Overnight news roundup: 11-12 November

Spotlight feature is expected to be included in the next iPhone.

As the number of iPhone owners continues to grow, some who enjoy the high-powered search feature Spotlight in Mac OS X have been wondering why it's missing from the iPhone. While Apple has yet to give an explanation for why it's not included, an industry analyst is expecting such a feature early next year.

Not only that, the same analyst - Gene Munster - believes Spotlight will arrive with the announcement of a new version of the iPhone, possibly even the long-awaited 3G model.

New iPhone coming in February?

"We expect the next major update to come in February when the iPhone is opened to third-party applications," Gene Munster wrote in a research report Monday. "As part of this update we also expect a contextual search feature, similar to Spotlight on a Mac."

Munster, citing anonymous sources at Apple, claims the new Spotlight feature will make it much easier for users to locate contacts, emails, phone numbers or calendar events through a single search interface.

Android arrives, next Windows version discussed

Although it took Apple months to even announce its iPhone SDK for native applications, Google on Monday released the Android SDK. In addition, the company also announced that it will offer $10 million (£4.8 million) to developers of software that is deemed 'innovative and compelling' by the Open Handset Alliance. Multiple cash prizes will be awarded in values of $10,000 to $275,000. The SDK also comes with an Eclipse plug-in to make programming and debugging a bit easier, so get cracking.

Windows 7 - the codename for the Microsoft operating system expected to replace Windows Vista by 2010 - has been the subject of much attention lately. Although Microsoft has been tight-lipped about the future of its platform, the 'feature request list' has been leaked to the public and some of the highlights may surprise you. Users are looking for the ability to "back up Xbox 360 games to a PC" and an "improved taskbar for multi-monitor" setups. Whether or not any of these requests will become a reality still remain to be seen.

Alienware desktop breaks the bank

Alienware, a company best known for creating high-end gaming PCs, has unveiled a desktop that sports the new 4GHz 45nm Core 2 Extreme QX9650. Dubbed Area 51-DLX, the mid-tower computer is also the first system to use dual AMD RADEON HD 3870 GPUs.

Besides that, the desktop sports 2GB of memory, two 160GB 10,000RPM hard drives, 802.11n wireless and a Blu-ray drive as an option. Of course, with all that, look for the Area 51-DLX to set you back quite a bit - it starts at $5,500 (£2,613) in fact.