Apple Computer Previews Core System Software Directions at Developer Conference

By Cindy McCaffrey
Business Wire

San Jose, CA  -- May 9, 1989 -- Apple Computer Inc. Tuesday previewed its system software direction to an estimated 1,500 software and hardware developers by disclosing plans to extend its Macintosh personal computer System Software.

The announcement was made at Apple's 1989 Worldwide Developers' Conference here to give developers the opportunity to write applications and design peripherals that will take advantage of the new capabilities currently under development for the next major release of System Software.

The core system software technologies that are under development and announced today offer new capabilities across the board. The new system will include new functionality in operating system software, the imaging system, database access capabilities, Finder and communications capabilities.

"We are continually evolving the Macintosh system software by bringing new technologies and capabilities to our systems," said Randy Battat, Apple vice president of product marketing.

"It is important to us that our existing users as well as future users share in this evolution. Because the Macintosh architecture was designed to be extensible, System 7.0 will be compatible with both current and future Macintosh computers."

The expanded operating system software will extend available memory and will provide the facilities for applications to work cooperatively. The new capabilities include virtual memory, 32-bit addressing and the new Interapplication Communications Architecture (IAC). Virtual memory will extend users' available memory by transparently treating the hard disk as additional RAM. 32-Bit addressing will expand the maximum memory addressable by applications.

IAC is an integrated communications framework that allows applications to exchange data and instructions either on a single Macintosh computer or over a network. IAC includes both the foundation software to facilitate communications as well as a set of common protocols that allow applications to interact in a consistent manner.

The new imaging system software is being designed to maximize Macintosh capabilities in the areas of color, text and printing. The new software includes outline fonts, the Layout Manager, a new architecture for printing as well as the previously introduced 32- Bit QuickDraw software.

Outline fonts and the Layout Manager will provide sophisticated text functions. Apple's Outline fonts are mathematical descriptions of text that can be scaled to any point size at any resolution, providing sharp text on displays, printers, fax modems and other output devices.

Leading type vendors are also announcing support for Apple's Outline fonts today. The layout manager will provide typographical quality text layout including automatic kerning, ligatures and contextual forms for any application. Together, these functions will also set a new standard for internationalized applications software.

The new print architecture gives applications more control over printing and makes it easier for the Macintosh to support new output devices. The new print architecture will also provide enhanced color and gray-scale support and will include the features of the previously introduced LaserWriter printer 6.0 driver software for color PostScript output.

32-Bit QuickDraw is an extension to Color QuickDraw that support up to 32 bits per pixel, allowing Macintosh personal computers to process and display full-color documents, images and visualizations with exceptional color clarity.

The Database Access Manager will provide a standard interface to remote host databases supporting CL/1 server software. The interface integrates the CL/1 client software so that developers can provide access to remote host databases independent of the host or database vendor. CL/1 supports both SQL and non-SQL databases.

The new Finder will make Macintosh system operation easier and more powerful. Using intuitive, direct manipulation techniques, the new version will integrate previously separate functions and include important new capabilities. The new Finder will also be extensible so that features such as electronic mail and system backup can be incorporated onto the desktop.

New communications facilities provided by the Communications Toolbox will also be included in the new system software. The Communications Toolbox is an important new part of the Macintosh System Software that will extend the Macintosh Toolbox into the communications environment. Apple plans to announce the complete system software features and customer availability later this year.

"We are disclosing our plans to developers now so that they can plan to take advantage of the new Macintosh capabilities," said Battat.

The new software is being designed to run on Macintosh Plus through Macintosh IIx computers. Applications that follow Apple's Inside Macintosh technical reference guidelines should continue to run on future versions of Macintosh System Software.

The week-long Developers' Conference features 100 sessions on current technologies and marketing opportunities and is being attended by 1,500 hardware and software developers.

Other topics scheduled during the conference include Apple IIGS hardware and system software, developer tools, multimedia technologies, networking and communications, A/UX, and domestic and international marketing.

Note to editors: Apple, the Apple logo, Macintosh, LaserWriter and Apple IIGS are registered trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc. Finder and QuickDraw are trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc. CL/1 is a trademark of Network Innovations, a subsidiary of Apple Computer, Inc. PostScript is a registered trademark of Adobe Systems, Inc.

Copyright Business Wire 1989