Mac OS X Lion
Spotlight, the already-resourceful search bar on Macs, becomes even more productive in Lion. Activated by clicking on the magnifier icon in the upper right corner or pressing Command + space bar, Spotlight will search the entire hard drive, the web, or even Wikipedia. As you type characters in the search bar, Spotlight intuitively finds possible choices grouped by category (documents, music, pictures, etc.) and often finds your quest before you finish typing. You can reduce the search universe to specific types of data by customizing Spotlight in System Preferences.
In Lion, Spotlight now shows a preview of the item so you can double-check that it’s what you wanted to find. Dragging and dropping the item directly into e-mail, the desktop, or an application adds speed and convenience to what was once a Where’s Waldo? procedure.
Lion also supports searches limited to the contents of a directory folder, with a search bar located in the top right corner of the folder window.
Improved since its first appearance in Windows Vista, the Start menu search box will attempt to locate your query by suggesting results grouped by category (docs, e-mail, music, pictures, etc.) as you type. The search box is ready as soon as you press the Windows key or click the Windows button at the bottom left.
Searching in a particular folder or library can further pinpoint results limited to the folder’s contents. Users can apply context-sensitive filters using the search box’s drop-down menu. A resulting preview pane makes it a snap to see if it’s the right search result.
Both Lion and Windows 7 do an excellent job of helping you find what you’re looking for fast, but Apple’s OS goes the extra mile by letting you preview files from within Spotlight. Lion also works faster and lets you extend your searches to the web.