Apple Announces Mac OS 7.6; First Milestone in New Operating System Strategy
Upgrade Delivers Built-in Internet Access, State-of-the-Art Multimedia Support, and Improved Productivity and PC Compatibility
Macworld Expo, San Francisco--Jan. 7, 1997--Apple Computer, Inc., today announced Mac OS 7.6, the first step in a strategy designed to deliver state-of-the-art operating system functionality to customers on a regular, semiannual basis. This release integrates a host of new Apple technologies to offer customers best-of-class Internet access, state-of-the-art multimedia, built-in OpenDoc support, enhanced compatibility with DOS and Windows files, and improved productivity and reliability.
"The delivery of Mac OS 7.6 represents an exciting first step in Apple's new incremental release strategy for the Macintosh operating system," said Ellen Hancock, Apple's executive vice president of Research and Development and Chief Technology Officer. "Apple is committed to delivering to its customers advanced operating system capabilities and features on a scheduled and timely basis. This approach will help customers stay at pace with the rapid technological changes taking place today."
Mac OS 7.6 enables easy connection to the Internet by offering the latest versions of Apple Internet Connection Kit (AICK), OpenDoc, Cyberdog, and Open Transport software, as well as new connectivity tools, such as Open Transport PPP and Apple Remote Access Client (modem not included). AICK, which is bundled with the retail version of Mac OS 7.6, provides an integrated collection of best-of-class Internet applications, including Netscape Navigator and Claris Emailer Lite. The combination of Cyberdog and OpenDoc lets users easily embed live Internet links into their documents. Cyberdog also enables users to save and launch URLs directly from the Finder.
New Internet-related features include:
"Cyberdog is an incredible feature that integrates not only powerful email capabilities but also lets you create documents with live web links," said David Ruda, owner of Printing Unlimited. "Using the Cyberdog Notebook, we can access documents on our own hard drive or documents half way around the world. The system is solid as a rock. It's clearly the most stable system we have used to date and our customers really appreciate that"
Improved Productivity and Reliability
Mac OS 7.6 incorporates all of the reliability and performance improvements delivered with System 7.5.5 Update and extends Apple's leadership in ease of use by further streamlining essential and frequently performed tasks. Upgrading to Mac OS 7.6 has been simplified through a new Installer program that combines all of the necessary installation tasks in a single easy utility program. A new Extensions Manager makes it easy to configure and share extensions information or to turn off extensions for troubleshooting. Printing has never been easier as Mac OS 7.6 provides a new LaserWriter driver that simplifies setup and printer selection, while increasing printing speeds by as much as 35 percent for users of PowerPC-processor based systems using a networked printer. Since OpenDoc is automatically installed with Mac OS 7.6 (for PowerPC-based systems), customers can easily take advantage of a new class of component software, called Live Objects.
New efficiency/productivity-related features include:
"Component technology is an exciting new field in software development and we strongly believe that Apple's OpenDoc technology is the best platform to enable developers to deliver productivity-enhancing components," said Dave Harding, general manager of Digital Harbor. "By integrating OpenDoc into Mac OS 7.6, Apple has made it both easy and compelling for developers to start creating innovative applications based on it."
Mac OS 7.6 also extends Apple's leadership in graphics and multimedia by bringing together the latest versions of Apple QuickTime technologies, collectively known as the QuickTime Media Layer (QTML). Apple's QTML is already becoming an industry standard for adding video, music and three-dimensional graphics to documents. QTML components delivered with Mac OS 7.6 include: QuickTime, the core technology that works with any compression/decompression standard to control virtually any digital media content; QuickDraw 3D, which brings real-time three-dimensional graphics to the desktop; and Text-to-Speech, which enables the system and applications to convert on-screen text to synthesized speech. To demonstrate the power of multimedia and OpenDoc, Mac OS 7.6 also includes OpenDoc Essentials Kit, a set of components that allow customers to view three-dimensional files and various image formats, as well as to create buttons which play sound or provide links to web sites, in any OpenDoc-aware document.
New multimedia-related features include:
Improved PC Compatibility
Solid compatibility with DOS and Windows files is a key requirement for many users of Macintosh and Mac OS-based systems. Mac OS 7.6 provides customers with enhanced support for opening, viewing, and saving DOS and Windows documents via new DataViz MacLinkPlus translators. The new operating system also offers an enhanced PC Exchange utility that, for PowerPC-based desktop systems, adds support for the Windows 95 file format, called DMF, to its existing support of DOS and Windows 3.x floppy disks, SCSI drives and third-party removable media such as Syquest cartridges.
New PC compatibility-related features include:
Pricing and Availability
Mac OS 7.6 is scheduled to ship in the U.S. Jan. 31, 1997. The estimated retail price of Mac OS 7.6 in the U.S. is $99 for the CD version, and $129 for the floppy version, which includes the Apple Internet Connection Kit, Dataviz MacLinkPlus file translators, and access to America Online. Current System 7.5, 7.5.1, 7.5.2, 7.5.3, or 7.5.5 customers can upgrade to the new version for U.S. $69 for the CD version, $99 for the floppy version, by calling 800-742-1926 extension 1411, and provide proof of ownership. This release is also available in the United States through the Volume License Program, a cost-effective way for customers to acquire software licenses, support and maintenance in volume for selected Apple products. For more information, in the U.S. call 1-800-293-6617, or call 1-800-462-4396 for faxed Canada, call 1-800-361-6075 for additional information.
Customers who purchase a qualifying Macintosh or Mac OS-compatible computer after Dec. 7, 1996 that does not have Mac OS 7.6 installed can upgrade for a special price. For more information, visit http://www.macos.apple.com/macos/releases/fulfillment.html
Localized versions of this Mac OS 7.6 are expected to be available to customers in many countries outside the U.S. in the next 90 days.
Mac OS 7.6 is compatible with Mac OS applications currently available and will run on Apple Macintosh and Mac OS-compatible systems with a 68030, 68040, or PowerPC processor, excluding the Macintosh SE/30, IIx, IIcx. At least 8MB installed RAM is required, with an additional 8MB through installed RAM or virtual memory. A typical installation will require about 70MB of available hard disk space. (Note: Some features may only be available on specific computer models.)
Apple Computer, Inc., a recognized innovator in the information industry and leader in multimedia technologies, creates powerful solutions based on easy-to-use personal computers, servers, peripherals, software, personal digital assistants, and Internet content. Headquartered in Cupertino, California, Apple develops, manufactures, licenses, and markets solutions products, technologies, and services for business, education, consumer, entertainment, scientific, engineering and government customers in more than 140 countries.
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