Have I mentioned how badly I want Apple’s new Tiger operating system (OSX 10.4) You should get it too.

“Operating-system releases often let personal computer users do cool new things, but few revolutionize the way you go about your computing business. Tiger, released to the public Friday by Apple, could radically alter the way you use your computer. It should result in much faster and more efficient operation,” Eric Convey writes for The Boston Herald. “The technology behind the big change is called Spotlight. Think of it as a way to Google your computer’s contents – but more quickly and thoroughly than you can Google anything on the Internet or on your PC’s hard drive (using Google Desktop Search). Why does this matter? Because the search ability lets you dramatically speed up the way you put your computer to work on specific tasks, whether opening documents or launching arcane applications.”

“In a piece of irony, the emergence of Spotlight can make using a new Mac feel a lot like using a Mac or PC from the days before Apple brought the graphical user interface to the masses in 1984 with the first Macintosh,” Convey writes. “Microsoft Corp. says its next-generation operating system, called “Longhorn” for now, will have built-in search capabilities. But when Longhorn will arrive is a mystery, with previous deadlines already blown to bits. While Spotlight is by far the most significant upgrade contained in Tiger – at least among those most users will notice- it is only one of what Apple lists as 200 significant improvements.”

“For all its features, one of the best selling points for Tiger is not something it has or is, but something it’s not. Tiger is, obviously, not Windows – the Microsoft operating system that works well but has become a virus magnet. Whether Microsoft is to blame for this is a matter of debate among computer scientists. For those of us whose concerns are more pedestrian, the equation is simple. Use Windows and fend off viruses, or use Linux or a Mac OS. For most regular folks, the real choice is between Windows or Mac… Will Tiger compel PC users to switch to Macs? It should prompt many to at least think about it. Is the $129 upgrade cost worth it for existing Mac users? Simply put, yes.”

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Erick Erickson

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