Apple and IBM Launch a New Joint Venture System Software Company for a New Generation of Computing
San Francisco, California--October 2, 1991--Apple Computer, Inc. and IBM today announced the formation of a new software company they believe will be instrumental in creating the next generation of computers for the mid to late 1990s. The new company will be jointly owned by Apple and IBM, yet will operate independently so it can meet the needs of the broad industry and customer constituencies.
The joint venture will develop and license an entirely new genre of system software that greatly simplifies computer programming and allows much easier customization of software programs. The new company's system will be based entirely on object-oriented technology, a process that greatly simplifies software creation employing reusable building blocks of programming code. In contrast to current operating systems, which offer object oriented layers, the joint venture's technology is being designed from the ground up as a full object-oriented operating environment. This means developers can realize the full potential of object-oriented technology without the programming constraints of operating systems on the market today.
The new company's technology will be used separately by both Apple and IBM as the core of new products expected in the mid-1990s. New products based on the joint venture's technology will operate in parallel to, and complement the evolution of, Apple's and IBM's existing product lines, (Macintosh, OS/2 and AIX). Each company plans to offer compatibility between future joint venture products and their current products, allowing users to leverage their current investments in software.
According to the companies, the joint venture company is structured to encourage widespread industry adoption of this operating system platform, providing customers with a vast array of exciting new applications and capabilities. The new company will openly license its software technology to other system vendors, thereby broadening its availability. The operating environment is planned to be "platform independent", meaning it will work on many different kinds of hardware platforms, such as IBM's RISC POWER architecture, Motorola's 680X0, and Intel's 80X86.
"The next major era of computing must focus on meeting the needs of the developer. Object-oriented technology is the driving force behind this shift, and the new company is well on the way to delivering the solution," said John Sculley, Apple's chairman and chief executive officer. "Beginning with a new blueprint for a completely object-oriented technology, the joint venture's technology will leapfrog programming constraints developers face with today's systems, which layer object-oriented technology onto current software architectures."
James A. Cannavino, IBM vice president and general manager, Personal Systems, said: "Building a true object-oriented software environment will unleash significant productivity gains for users and developers. We are drawing on the best of IBM and Apple to produce a fundamentally new and better method of software construction, one that builds programs with prefabricated blocks instead of line by line. No other technology has the potential to break the applications logjam that so frustrates customers today."
The joint venture's board of directors will be composed of an equal number of Apple and IBM representatives and will name a chief executive officer at a later date. Apple brings more than three years of development and more than a million lines of production code from its Object-Based Systems division (code-named the Pink research effort) to the new company, and IBM brings the best of its object-oriented technology, including results from its Patriot Partners joint venture.
Both Apple and IBM will transfer employees to the new company, which will be based in the Santa Clara Valley area of California.
Final agreement is subject to closing and government reviews and waiting periods.
Apple, the Apple logo, and Macintosh are registered trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc.
IBM, AIX, and OS/2 are registered trademarks of International Business Machines
Apple Computer, Inc.