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Bill Brown

A complicated man.

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Well, my copy has shipped and is currently sitting on the FedEx loading ramp at Sky Harbor having just arrived eight minutes ago. Two minutes ago, I discovered that Ars Technica’s John Siracusa has posted a 21-page review of Tiger. I’ll probably spend an hour poring over the review since Siracusa’s reviews of Mac OS X are must reads: his analysis is insightful, objective, and thorough. I can’t emphasize these adjectives enough—it’s easily the best reviews of any product I’ve come across. Over time, they provide an excellent view of Mac OS X’s development and evolution.

MacWorld’s also got a ton of articles about Tiger and TigerWiki could prove to be a useful resource once people start receiving their copies. I can’t wait to dig into the 200 or so new features.

Also, retailer Tiger Direct has sued Apple for trademark infringement. Curiously, they didn’t complain for the year or so that Apple has announced that the new version would be called Tiger. I guess they didn’t anticipate that it would be a big deal and start affecting their search rankings, which basically cinches the conclusion that they’re idiots. Luckily, everything’s shipping so a temporary injunction (if they found a similarly idiotic judge) wouldn’t affect my Tiger weekend.

There’s been some comment from Jim Allchin to the effect that Tiger is copying Longhorn. Pish, I say. At best, they might be borrowing some vapor features that were announced and subsequently pulled in an effort to meet a fourth-quarter 2006 (WTF!) ship date. Except they’re actually implementing them and they’re shipping their “knockoff” tomorrow. The fact is that Longhorn was heralded with considerable fanfare in 2003 or 2004 (I can’t remember which at this point) and the moon was promised. Apple had released Panther (10.3) in October 2003 and had likely started compiling the planned feature set before that. It’s entirely plausible that Apple had already planned something like Spotlight since it seems like a natural move in the direction that Apple has been heading with its search tools. Beyond Spotlight, most everything new about Tiger wasn’t announced in the Longhorn hoopla.

From everything I’ve read about Spotlight, it’s much more than what Longhorn’s WinFS was supposed to be. I say supposed to be because it has been excised from the final list of features. Microsoft has said that they’ll probably put it in a future version of Windows. By that time, however, Apple will have had at least two major point releases and Spotlight will just keep improving.

Is it time to start calling Microsoft beleaguered?

[UPDATE (4/29/05 12:37PM): Tiger just arrived. Luckily, I’m on page 17 of Siracusa’s review so I’ll start installing shortly.]

[UPDATE 2: Installed. Spent the intervening time running Monolingual since I forgot to customize my install to remove all the i18n detritus. Given the number of files it had to remove (upwards of 75,000!), I’d have to say that Tiger is very cosmopolitan.]