Apple’s Mac OS X 10.4 ‘Tiger’ to contain powerful ‘Spotlight’ search technology

“With search technology in the spotlight, Apple Computer is making better ways to find desktop files the cornerstone of its next version of the Mac OS X operating system,” Ina Fried reports for CNET News.

“Essentially, Spotlight is an indexing engine that tracks every file as it is created, opened or changed, copied or deleted. By constantly tracking all of those files, as well as their complete contents, Spotlight can then quickly and powerfully search the files at a moment’s notice. When you try to remember where you stored travel information for your upcoming vacation, Spotlight already knows which files contain the words ‘Jamaica’ or ‘hotel,'” Fried reports.

“‘This is really going to transform the way people use a personal computer,’ said Ken Bereskin, Apple’s senior director of Mac OS X marketing. There’s even a concept in Tiger called Smart Folders that will pull together files based on a combination of keywords or file attributes,” Fried reports. “Developers can also write programs that incorporate Spotlight-based searching, not possible with downloaded software such as Google’s that might not be on a particular user’s hard drive.”

“Microsoft demonstrated similar abilities when it showed off Longhorn and its powerful WinFS file system at a developer conference in October 2003. However, it is unclear what search enhancements will come as part of Longhorn, now that WinFS has been decoupled from Longhorn,” Fried reports. “Queried on Wednesday about the revamped Longhorn, a Microsoft representative would not say whether any desktop search enhancements are planned. Longhorn is slated to ship in the second half of 2006.”

Full article here.

Find out more about Apple’s Spotlight search technology here.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Google desktop search for Mac OS X would be redundant and late – November 08, 2004
Microsoft’s Longhorn fantasy vs. Apple’s Mac OS X reality – September 14, 2004
Analyst: Apple’s Mac OS X Tiger ‘going to have quite a lead on Longhorn’ in search technology – July 02, 2004
Apple Exec: Mac OS X Tiger’s ‘Spotlight’ system-wide search tech inspired by iTunes – July 02, 2004


  1. Spotlight IS nice. Very fast and active too. It doesnt seem like much when you think about it, but using it makes all the difference ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  2. Scott,

    Why are you SHOUTING??!! You seriously need to switch to decaf buddy.

    Read IT-Enquirer’s take on Spotlight. Favorite quote:

    “Spotlight is a technology that Apple should be screaming about and which –if honest and objective reporting still exists among my colleague-journalists– should inspire them to write favourably about Mac OS X being vastly superior to anything else on the market.�”

    That sound you hear is the agonized shrieking of Microsoft engineers pissing razor blades.

    [Off Topic: Anyone else old enough to remember Emerson Lake and Palmer’s catchy boogie number “Tiger in the Spotlight”? I can’t think of a more appropriately named theme song for the upcoming OS.]

  3. Scott: chill! This is an article that was just posted on CNet yesterday. MDN is just collecting all articles on the net that deal with Apple, Macs, iPods and Tiger. News is news.

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