Apple Previews ‘Tiger’ Operating System

SAN FRANCISCO — Have all the viruses got you down?

Maybe it might be worth it to think forward and at least consider a Mac, which has a record of being not so wormy.

Apple Computer Inc. CEO Steve Jobs on Monday previewed the next release of the Mac OS X operating system, code-named "Tiger."

When it’s launched in the first few months of next year, Jobs says it will have features "way ahead" of Microsoft Corp.'s next Windows release, “Longhorn,” which is due out in 2006.

The Tiger upgrade, retailing at $129, will be the fifth version of Mac OS X in its four-year history and include 150 new features.

Tiger will include a new version of the Safari browser that can generate a news feed-like interface for websites; support for the next-generation video-compression standard known as H.264; and support for multiple participants in the iChat video-conferencing program.

But most importantly, Apple’s Tiger will roll out “Spotlight,” which can search for keywords across different types of files in the machine, including emails, images or text documents. (Longhorn, too, will include a more sophisticated search tool when it is launched.)

It also will include a "Dashboard" feature that allows Macophiles to pull up a custom collection of tools with one keyboard tap.

Jobs also unveiled a new design of widescreen displays for its Apple Cinema line at the Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference at San Francisco's Moscone Center.

One of them is a 30-inch version, the largest high-res display in the market. It will also come in 20- and 23-inch models.

And good news for Windows PC users — the aluminum-encased flat-panel monitors also work with your systems.

The 30-inch display will be available in August for $3,299. It requires a separate purchase and installation of a $599 Nvidia Corp. graphics card.

The 20-inch and 23-inch models will be available next month for $1,299 and $1,999, respectively.

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