Apr 13, 2005

Mac Industry Hails Tiger’s Roar

Source: eWeek
Written by Ian Betteridge

Developers, dealers and analysts have given a strong welcome to Mac OS X 10.4, aka Tiger, announced by Apple Computer on Tuesday.

The update, which introduces a slew of new features including a new search engine called Spotlight and revamped versions of core applications including Safari and Mail, is set to be released at the end of the month.

Joe Wilcox, senior analyst at Jupiter Research, pointed to the potential advantages that Tiger delivers in Apple’s battle against Longhorn, Microsoft’s next-generation operating system due for release sometime in 2006.

With the first Longhorn beta due for delivery this summer, Wilcox described Tiger as “better than a pre-emptive strike [against Longhorn].”

“Both Apple and Microsoft started talking about metadata at around the same time, yet Apple is delivering on that now—while Microsoft may not deliver at all.”

Wilcox also highlighted Spotlight as a potential opportunity for Apple Computer Inc. to take a technological leap over Microsoft Corp. “The file/folder metaphor is tired, and search is a much more natural approach for many users. If you want to group together your photos, videos and other files related to a trip, then searching for them is much smarter than having to remember to file them in the right place.”

However, despite these features in Tiger, Wilcox said Apple has little hope of gaining much traction in the enterprise market. “There’s a lot of resistance to upgrading in the corporate market—44 percent of companies still run Windows NT servers, for example—which provides a lot of resistance to Apple. But there is an opportunity in the small and midsized business [SMB] market, where there tends to be less IT staff—and it’s an opportunity that Apple’s increasingly aware of.”

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