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Apple Going After Search?

June 4th, 2014 - 9:43 am

Steve Jobs famously said of his anger at Google over Android, “They decided to compete with us. We didn’t go into the search business!”


While users will still look to Google when searching in their web browser, the role of search in the modern operating system is more than the browser. It can be evoked in almost any application, and global search is generally a key-press or a touch gesture away.

For Apple this means Spotlight. In the new versions of their operating systems, Google results will be removed from Spotlight and replaced with Microsoft’s Bing. Of course Apple is going to offer searches through iTunes, the App Store, Apple Maps, iBooks, and more, but the prize of web searches in Spotlight now goes to Redmond.

One of the features of OS X Yosemite due out this fall is how much Spotlight has been moved front and center — literally — and how much more power it’s been given. I’ll likely be opening up far fewer search tabs in Safari, and I suspect that’s exactly the point.

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All Comments   (8)
All Comments   (8)
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Apple isn't going after search. They're making it less relevant while handing MS a bone, quite possibly as a result of the Office for iPad thing. Personally, I'm fine with that. I've had a much better experience using Bing than Google for the last year or so.

Bing is one of the exceptionally few things MS actually did right.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
Bing had a rocky start, but like you it's been my default for at least a year now.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
That's not going after Search, in any meaningful sense - "Search" as a business means web.

Apple, well ... I don't see them especially wanting to get into a low-margin high-investment, fragile game like being a web search engine. (Why would they want to? What would they offer that would make users prefer them to Google?)

Just keeping Google from getting overconfident by using Bing or DDG or someone else as default or an easy option for web search.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
Safari? So the first question is, "why are you using Apple products"?

Don't get me wrong; I love Ferraris. The only thing is, out here in the real world, I drive a Ford.

You don't get enough extra bang from Apple to make the extra buck worth it.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well, the "Macs cost more" bit hasn't really been relevant for the better part of a decade, but either way-- you might not get enough extra bang from Apple, but I certainly do. It saves me enough to buy a damn Ferrari in lost productivity alone every year.

If burning 20-30 hours to build and install a box of bits PC and make it semi-usable, in order to save maybe 10-15% per machine makes sense for you, more power to you. It most certainly does not for many others.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
Every time I compare prices I don't - like Mr. Green - see a huge difference.

Apple products are premium products, yes - but they're not Ferraris. Ferraris are grossly overpriced for what you get and are unreliable.

I'm not sure there's an appropriate automotive metaphor; Apple is price-competitive to within 10% on same spec* PC hardware, typically, and with build quality that makes any but the premium PC makers look like the cheap crap they are. (And then there's Apple resale value...)

Now, Mac Pros, well ... they're not as relevant because damn near nobody needs a capital-W Workstation; that's a specialty niche market.

(* Now, this part can be tricky, of course, because practically "specs" have to include vaguely comparable form factor. Not a lot of companies make something like the Mac Mini, for instance.

But the i5 NUC from Intel is roughly comparable, and with a 500gb drive and RAM and an 802.11n card it's ... barely cheaper than the Mini, if at all - and that's if you don't care about Thunderbolt.

For the iMacs, Dell's XPS 27" is $200 less ... and has a slower CPU and GPU. But hey, it also has a useless touchscreen, and a maximum of half as much RAM.

Apple products are way too expensive.

I say this as someone, by the way, who builds his own Windows gaming PCs. But only ever touches Windows for games and work. [I'm a programmer for a Windows-based product, so "work" here really means "Visual Studio", not "Office".] )
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
In a word? OSX. For folks like me who enjoy getting our work done instead of futzing with our computers, it's a superior OS.

Now, about those prices...

I just paid $3,994 for a stock six-core Mac Pro workstation. That sounds like a lot of money, and it is. Out of curiosity however, I spec'd similar workstations from Dell and HP. Can you guess how that turned out?

The Dell machine -- AFTER Dell's instant discount -- cost about $4,300. That was for a significantly slower 6-core Xeon processor (2.6ghz vs 3.5ghz), much slower graphics cards, and a much slower SSD (SATA vs PCIe). There was no Thunderbolt option for the Dell, versus three controllers and six ports for the Mac Pro. The Dell also draws more power, is uglier, and far nosier if you care about those things. I do.

I was able to price a workstation from HP with specs nearly identical to my Mac, but at a price -- again, AFTER discount -- of over $6,500. That's no typo: Over $6,500.

My five-year-old Mac Pro which I paid $2,500 for brand new, recently sold on eBay for exactly $1,120. Back when I used to buy Windows machines, their resale value was zero. I suspect that in five or six years, when I sell my current Mac Pro, I'll get a minimum of $1,500 for it.

Are iMacs expensive? Compared to POS Windows boxes, yes. But once you figure in resale value, longevity, and all the time you spend having it "just work" instead of forcing you to fiddle with it, those Windows boxes suddenly don't look like such a great value.

Fact is, I do "drive" a Ferrari on my desktop -- but in the end it won't cost any more than the Ford with the nice trim.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
Jeebus, there are still "you're just an Apple fanboi" morons out there? I thought that meme went out with AGW.

Teenagers--can't educate them, can't eat them.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
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