Blinkx Desktop Search Engine Mac-bound on Monday

Blinkx will introduce a version of its desktop-search software for the Macintosh next Monday, the company has announced, beating Apple to market with a similar product, which will be built into the next version of Mac OS X to be released later this year.

Blinkx automatically lets users search their hard drive as well as Web pages based on the actions of the user. It also offers ismart foldersi, which automatically update content as new information becomes available based on the ideas already contained within the content of the files.

"Smart folders extend the desktop folder concept," Blinkx co-founder Suranga Chandratillake said in a prepared statement.

In its current state as a Windows product, Blinkx users right-click on an existing folder to begin automatic searches of a hard drive. Results are then shown, if anything is found.

Blinkx is the first company to offer a third-party desktop search tool for the Macintosh, and the release is timed to coincide with Macworld Expo, which begins next week in San Francisco, company spokeswoman Julia Blystone told The Mac Observer.

Ms. Blystone also said the company considers the software a beta product, and that it has been in development for six months by a team that was mostly located in the UK.

At present, the only product remotely resembling a desktop search on the Mac is Apple Sherlock, which is part of Mac OS X. iSpotlighti, which will be part of "Tiger," the next major release of Mac OS X, will be integrated into the taskbar and provide content indexing. Tiger is planned for release in the first half of this year.

Ms. Blystone said the minimum systems requirements for using Blinkx on a Mac will be Mac OS X, and that there were no hardware requirements. The software will be a free download.