Apple Computer Restructuring: the Technology FAQs
What are Apple's product priorities moving forward?
Much of the restructuring in software engineering is targeted to support Mac OS and Rhapsody development plans. As before, Apple's goal is to deliver market-leading, Internet-ready operating systems for its customers and provide industry leadership in multimedia, human interface design, ease- of-use, and plug and play. On the hardware side, Apple will simplify its product line. This will allow us to deliver a much stronger product portfolio that directly addresses Apple customer needs. This process has already begun with recently announced high-performance Power Macintosh systems, industry-leading PowerBook products, and the new entry-level Macintosh products, scheduled to be introduced in April. Apple has decided it will no longer invest in technology projects that are not related to its core business, or that are better served by adopting industry standards, or where third-party developers can provide more compelling solutions.
What's up with OpenDoc and Cyberdog?
We are moving more of our resources for component technology toward Java-based technology, which is becoming the industry standard. OpenDoc and Cyberdog will ship in Mac OS 8, but we are planning no major updates. Apple will not port OpenDoc to the OPENSTEP APIs (sometime referred to as the "Yellow Box") in Rhapsody, and this is a change from our earlier announcements. The future of CI Labs is being worked out with the other board members (IBM and Just Systems). Meanwhile, the source code for OpenDoc remains available through CI Labs.
What's up with Open Transport?
Apple is shifting its networking engineering development efforts to Rhapsody. Open Transport will be maintained in Mac OS but will not be ported to OPENSTEP in Rhapsody. OPENSTEP already supports a wide variety of industry networking protocols through a standard "sockets" interface, including TCP/IP and IPX. It should also be noted that the previously announced upgrade to Open Transport (version1.5) has been canceled. Open Transport will continue to operate in the Blue Box of Rhapsody.
What's up with Games Sprockets?
Apple intends to maintain Game Sprockets API (applications program interface) in Mac OS, meaning developers can still write to it. Existing games using these interfaces should continue to work. No upgrades to this API are planned and we do not plan to port it to the "Yellow Box" in Rhapsody. It should be noted that applications that support Game Sprockets in MacOS should run in the Mac OS compatibility area, or the "Blue Box," in Rhapsody.
What's up with AIX Servers?
Apple will concentrate on Rhapsody and Mac OS as our server operating systems in the future. These host important solutions like AppleShare and WebObjects. Apple continues to work on the next update of AIX Software--version 4.1.5. After this version, no future upgrades are planned. It should be noted that server hardware stays as part of the Apple product line and will continue to be developed.
What's up with QuickDraw GX?
As previously announced Apple is dropping the QuickDraw GX printing architecture in favor of "classic" printing drivers in Mac OS. GX developers can still use the advanced text and graphics capabilities of GX through a shared library mechanism. We are investigating how best to combine the text and graphics features of GX with Display Postscript to build the imaging model in Rhapsody.
What's up with video conferencing?
Apple will be discontinuing its video conferencing products and projects after current commitments are met. video conferencing is an important solution, and Apple will be investigating various third-party opportunities for its video conferencing technology.
Is Apple continuing to develop QTML technologies for the Windows platform?
Yes. Apple continues to invest substantial amounts of engineering effort to maintain and extend Apple leadership in cross-platform and Internet-centric multimedia.
What is the status of Mac OS Tools?
As developers would expect, Apple has decided to focus engineering resources on developing a broad portfolio of tools for Rhapsody. Apple's current Mac OS Tools are stable, reliable products. Additionally, the market is well served by many excellent third-party products. As such, no new versions of Mac OS development tools are planned from Apple.
What about Newton?
New Newton products (MessagePad 2000, eMate 300) are now shipping, and the products have been well-received. Apple is exploring a wide range of options for future Newton business. We have no specifics regarding those discussions at this time. The Newton Systems organization remains intact, reporting to Jim Groff, senior vice president, as part of George Scalise's group.
What about Pippin?
Apple will continue to work with its current Pippin licensees, but will not produce an Apple-labeled Pippin product.
What's up with Apple's Imaging products?
Imaging remains absolutely an integral part of Apple's business and a crucial component in the Company's unique "Plug and Play" solutions.
If a technology is "maintained" in Mac OS, is that another way of saying it's over?
No. Most of the elements of Mac OS today are maintained in this sense today--yet customers and developers use them daily. Apple continues to improve the reliability and performance of the overall system including technologies that have not seen major updates in years. Furthermore, these technologies will reside in Rhapsody as part of the Mac OS layer (the "Blue Box") that will run today's software for years to come on a faster, more reliable foundation.
Is Apple discontinuing its Performa products?
Are you abandoning the consumer market? Apple remains committed to the consumer market and plans to announce a new line of entry-level products aimed at home, small business, and education customers this spring. Apple does plan to phase out the Performa brand name with the introduction of these new models, in favor of the Power Macintosh brand. This is part of our overall product line simplification and will end confusion for customers trying to decide between Performa products and Power Macintosh models today, all of which have PowerPC microprocessors.
What's up with the release schedule for Mac OS?
As part of our reduction and simplification process, we are changing the delivery schedule for future Mac OS releases. Instead of two full retail releases of Mac OS in 1998 (Allegro and Sonata), Apple plans to ship one complete release in 1998 (Allegro). It is targeted for mid-1998. To make the latest system improvements readily available, we plan to ship two system updates between Mac OS 8 (Tempo) and Allegro instead of one. The schedule for Mac OS 8 remains unchanged with delivery anticipated in summer 1997.
Meanwhile Apple plans to ship both the Premier and Unified releases of Rhapsody in 1998, so the Company plans three major system releases next year rather than two. While this does contribute to Apple's lower financial expense goals, it is also a direct response to customer feedback. Many companies and individuals have expressed concern over the expense and logistics of upgrading their systems twice a year. With Mac OS 8, Apple will have an excellent foundation for future Mac OS updates and upgrades so the new schedule is more appropriate.
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, handheld computers and Internet content. Headquartered in Cupertino, California, Apple develops, manufactures, licenses and markets solutions, products, technologies and services for business, education, consumer, entertainment, scientific and engineering and government customers in more than 140 countries.
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