Next Mac OS Roars Like a Tiger

By Michael Miller  |  Posted 2005-04-14 Print this article Print

Apple's ready with another major operating-system update that could trump Microsoft in some key areas.

Apple has announced that the next version of its OS X operating system, called "Tiger," will go on sale on Friday, April 29. While Im still waiting for the final code, Ive seen a number of demos of the new system, and it certainly looks impressive.

Tigers big news is a desktop-search system called Spotlight. The demos Ive seen show a very good-looking user interface for searching all the files on your system using their content and metadata. This lets you easily find information on your system—in an e-mail, address book, files, or wherever—very quickly and simply. Though there have been a number of individual utilities that do this on the Mac and PC, building it into the operating system means that other applications can take advantage of it, and that the results change whenever your files do.
Microsoft has been talking about a similar feature for some time (its now slated for Longhorn), but Apple should be crowing about getting this out before Microsoft. It looks very good.

For insights on the Mac in the enterprise, check out Executive Editor Matthew Rothenbergs Weblog. Tiger also has a new set of widgets (or accessories) that includes notepads, calculators, and apps for collecting Web data such as flight information, stock quotes, and weather updates. Collectively called Dashboard, these tools can be hidden or displayed on the desktop with a single keystroke. In many respects, it reminds me of a more modern version of Sidekick. Because Dashboard is based on standard Web technologies, Apple expects it will be easy for developers to create new widgets.

Other enhancements include a new Automator for building scripts that automate various applications and tasks. The iChat application now supports a new video codec for better picture quality. It also lets you create video conferences with up to four people, something you cant do in any of the standard IM clients on Windows.

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Michael J. Miller is Executive Vice President and Editorial Director of Ziff Davis Media Inc., where he takes an active role in corporate editorial issues, helps identify new editorial needs in the marketplace and shapes the editorial process of every Ziff Davis Media publication.

He joined the company in 1991 as Editor-in-Chief of PC Magazine. Under Miller's supervision, PC Magazine has grown to have the largest readership of any technology publication in the world, at 5.9 million readers. He oversaw the redesign of PC Magazine, the launch of and an expansion of PC Magazine Labs, the largest computer testing lab run by any publication.

Prior to joining PC Magazine, Miller was editor-in-chief of InfoWorld, which he joined as executive editor in 1985. Previously, he was the West Coast Bureau Chief for Popular Computing, and Senior Editor for Building Design & Construction.

An experienced public speaker and veteran technology journalist, Miller has become the 'spokesperson' for the technology industry. He has received several awards for his writing and editing, including being named to Medill's Alumni Hall of Achievement. In 2002, Mr. Miller was named the number one consumer/computer journalist by Technology Marketing magazine.

Mr. Miller holds a Master of Science degree in Journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Computer Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York.


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