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A row is brewing between Apple and the Web's leading search engine companies over technology designed to make finding information on the Internet easier that is set to be included in the Mac maker's forthcoming MacOS 8.5 operating system. One of MacOS 8.5's key features is Sherlock, a major upgrade to the system software's Find File facility. In addition to peeking in networked or hard drive-stored files for information relevant to the user's search request, Sherlock also queries the main Internet search engines, such as Alta Vista, Excite and Infoseek. However, while Sherlock, demonstrated recently by interim CEO Steve Jobs at the Seybold publishing conference (see Apple's Jobs bold at Seybold) has won the approval of users, the search. Their sites are funded by advertising that users will not be exposed to if they perform Web searches using Sherlock. This kind of business is becoming more important as search engine companies seek to become users' main access points to the Web -- the so-called 'portals' market. Apple is currently negotiating special deals with various search engine companies, though it refuses to name which of them will ultimately be supported by Sherlock -- and to what extent these engines will be branded within Sherlock.®

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