Microsoft has released a live version of its desktop search tool, in what some are describing as the company's attempt to keep up with the Joneses – or Jobses.

One of the newly launched Mac OS X Tiger's most touted features is its desktop function, writes Newsfactor, suggesting that Microsoft has taken its desktop search tool out of beta mode in order to keep up with Apple CEO Steve Jobs' latest offering.

Yankee Group's Laura DiDio told Newsfactor: "Customers do not need an impetus to stay with Windows. But other companies are trying to offer them motivations to go, and that is where Microsoft cannot afford to let other desktop search vendors - be they operating-system makers or search-engine companies - get the best of it."

She added: "There is a battle looming in the Asia-Pacific market. In that region, operating-system decisions are much more fluid than they are in markets where network infrastructures are more established."

"This is much more a green-field situation and Microsoft must compete on a feature-by-feature basis with each new installation or network," she said.