Apple CEO Steve Jobs is convinced that Tiger will help Apple increase the number of people choosing Mac over PC.

He told Business Week: "Tiger will give customers one more reason to buy a Mac, because it's so far ahead of Windows."

Jobs also described Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger as "our biggest leap forward since the original Macintosh in 1984".

Early bird

The new version of the Mac operating system will go on sale on Friday April 29, at 6pm. Jobs joked: "This is one of those rare occasions when a major software release is actually early." Microsoft has been criticized for constantly delaying the release of Longhorn, the next version of the Windows operating system, due in 2006.

According to Jobs, the people developing Longhorn "are trying to copy everything they can from Tiger."

Technology Business Research analyst Tim Deal shares Apple's enthusiasm for its new Spotlight feature – the ultimate in searching. He said: "The company is really underscoring the importance of Spotlight. I do think it will better enable users to manage the wealth of data they download or install on their computers."