“At the Professional Developers Conference 2003 in Los Angeles last year, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates touted the searching innovations that would go into Longhorn, the next generation Windows version that’s now due in mid-2006. In a way, by detailing the new desktop search features Microsoft was working on so early, Gates had thrown down the gauntlet. In today’s PC world, desktop search is a miserable, slow affair, and as Microsoft executives are fond of pointing out, it shouldn’t take longer to find a file you know is on your hard drive than it takes to perform a Web search,” Paul Thurrott writes for Paul Thurrott’s SuperSite for Windows.
“However, Gates was also giving his competitors a leg up on Microsoft. And since announcing its Longhorn desktop search intentions, Microsoft’s worst fears were realized. Other companies began copying the Microsoft desktop search strategy, knowing that the never-ending Longhorn delays would help them get to market sooner and appear to be nimbler and even more innovative, though it’s sort of astonishing how transparent that latter claim is,” Thurrott writes.
“Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced in June 2004 that the next version of Mac OS X, due sometime in 2005, will include a desktop search feature called Spotlight. The Spotlight feature set is a rough subset of the desktop search features Gates discussed in late 2003, but presented to the user with Apple’s standard graphical excellence. Spotlight, according to Apple, is a “radically new and lightning fast way to find anything saved on your personal computer. Email messages, contacts and calendars, along with files and folders, all show up in Spotlight results.” Spotlight’s biggest claims to fame, presumably, are its near-instant search results and support for document meta data, both of which are, again, planned features of Longhorn. But no matter. While Apple has been busy copping Windows features since Jobs returned to Apple in late 1996, the company’s tiny market share ensures that very few people will benefit from Spotlight, despite Apple claims that it will deliver on desktop search a year before Microsoft ships Longhorn,’ Thurrott writes.
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Delusional as usual, Thurrott attempts to write his own history, conveniently forgetting to mention Apple’s Mac OS 8.5 Sherlock (released October, 1998) and shows a lack of basic understanding about Spotlight. Fortunately, Apple shows what Spotlight can do on their website, so you can see for yourself here.
On July 02, 2004, Leander Kahney reported for Wired News, “Ken Bereskin, Apple’s director of Mac OS X product marketing, said Spotlight has been a couple of years in development — before Panther — and incorporates several complex system technologies. Bereskin said the system was inspired by the speedy search engine in iTunes, which instantly returns results as soon as the user starts typing: whether the match is in the song’s title, album, genre or artist fields. ‘We noticed that people just search all the time,’ he said. ‘We asked if that could be applied to everything: contacts, calendar, e-mail and the contents of your hard drive.'”
Related MacDailyNews articles:
Apple Exec: Mac OS X Tiger’s ‘Spotlight’ system-wide search tech inspired by iTunes – July 02, 2004
Apple’s Mac OS X 10.4 ‘Tiger’ to contain powerful ‘Spotlight’ search technology – November 11, 2004