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Dec 91 Letters
Volume Number:7
Issue Number:12
Column Tag:Letters

New Era or New Hassles

By Kirk Chase, Editor

Announcements From Apple/IBM

A number of announcements came out October 2nd covering the Apple/IBM alliance. This alliance has the possiblity of allowing multiple OS emulation that meet certain, minimal hardware standards (PowerPC, Motorola 680X0, and Intel's 80X86 chips for now). For those who don't get the press releases, here they are below:

Apple/IBM Finalize PC Alliance

Apple Computer Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced a series of comprehensive agreements that will propel the personal computer industry into a new era.

The historic agreements, in which Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) will play a key technology role, cover a range of hardware and software initiatives and follow the terms of the companies’ letter of intent announced three months ago.

For customers, the benefits of the alliance will begin in the near future with Macintosh computers communicating even more readily in large-system networks. These agreements then will extend the benefits of IBM RISC and Macintosh technologies across a broader range of open-systems platforms. And longer term, Apple and IBM have formed two software joint ventures that will create exciting new capabilities, make computers easier to use, and make computer programming simpler and much faster.

For the industry, these initiatives will expand business opportunities for developers and other vendors while accelerating the pace of technology creation. And while IBM and Apple will work together to cultivate these opportunities, they will continue to compete unrelentingly with their own systems.

“These agreements are the foundation for a renaissance,” said John Sculley, Apple’s chairman and chief executive officer. “We’re dramatically expanding customers’ choices while lowering their risks when buying computers. We’re making open systems even more powerful and easier to use. And we’re building new foundation technologies that will be a framework for innovation across a vast array of industries.”

John F. Akers, chairman of IBM, said, “The second decade of personal computing begins today. Increasingly, systems software and semiconductor technology are defining where essential value is added to computers. With this alliance, Apple and IBM are drawing on their strengths and those of Motorola to continue setting the pace for our customers.”

George Fisher, chairman and chief executive officer of Motorola, added, “These agreements combine the unique talents of three great companies to create a powerful new computing platform. Motorola is proud to invest its microprocessor design and manufacturing leadership in this seminal undertaking.”

The alliance consists of five distinct technology initiatives. Three expand the companies’ current technologies. Two focus on the creation of new foundation technologies.

Apple, the Apple logo, Macintosh, A/UX are registered trademarks of Apple Computer Inc. OS/2 and AIX are registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corp. RISC System/6000, PowerOpen, and PowerPC are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp. UNIX is a registered trademark of UNIX System Laboratories.

CONTACT: Christopher Escher of Apple Computer Inc., 408-974-2202; or Paul Bergevin of IBM, 914-765-6630; or Ken Phillips of Motorola Inc., 602-952-3637.

Apple/IBM Joint System Software Company

Apple Computer Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and IBM (NYSE: 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.

CONTACT: Brooke Cohan of Apple Computer Inc., (408) 974-3019; or David Harrah of IBM, (914) 642-5455.

Apple/IBM Multimedia Venture

Apple Computer Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) today announced the formation of an independent, joint venture company that will catalyze the development of exciting new multimedia technologies and products.

The new company will develop, license, and make available specifications and technologies to promote the exchange of information such as sound, graphics, video, text, and animation across a variety of computing and consumer electronic devices.

The joint venture company intends to license its future specifications to those companies developing multimedia products, including Apple and IBM. Apple and IBM will continue to independently develop and market their own multimedia products. Both companies expect that the technologies and products offered from the joint venture will enhance Apple’s and IBM’s future multimedia efforts.

Among other activities, the new venture will develop and promote data formats - that are independent of the computer system used-in order to allow developers to concentrate on multimedia applications that will play on a wide variety of platforms from many different vendors.

“We believe that multimedia technology will be the cornerstone for the next generation of computing,” said Dr. David Nagel, vice president of Apple’s advanced technology group and acting general manager of Apple’s consumer products division.

“Animation, video, and sound will proliferate throughout new interactive applications in much the same way as graphics and text do today. The new company will provide a basis of technology for the industry to build upon and will prove to be a springboard for exciting new developer innovations across the education, business, home, and entertainment markets.”

“Through this joint venture, IBM and Apple will contribute their experience in multimedia computing to aid the growth of this rapidly changing field,” said Lucie Fjeldstad, IBM vice president and president of the Multimedia and Education Division.

“With this organization, we will be able to more quickly and cost-effectively deliver platform-independent multimedia technologies that will enable multimedia content providers to thrive.”

Apple and IBM will contribute resources, as well as license their multimedia technology to the new venture. The new venture’s board of directors will be composed of an equal number of Apple and IBM representatives and will name the company’s executive staff at a later date. The new company will be headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area.

CONTACT: Patty Tulloch of Apple Computer Inc., (408) 974-5449; or Jim Keller of IBM, (914) 642-5472.

Apple/IBM Open-Systems Platform

Apple Computer Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) today announced a software licensing agreement that will allow for the establishment of PowerOpen, an open-systems environment that will provide customers and developers an easy-to-use, standards-based, high-performance platform.

A future release of IBM’s standards-based AIX operating system, based on the Open Software Foundation’s OSF/1 operating system, will be combined with the world-class, easy-to-use Macintosh interface provided by Apple’s UNIX offering A/UX.

This new operating system will run on the Power (Performance Optimization with Enhanced RISC) architecture, as well as the PowerPC architecture announced today by Apple, IBM, and Motorola.

The PowerOpen technologies will be licensed to other vendors. Apple and IBM each will use PowerOpen in future versions of their respective UNIX implementations, A/UX and AIX.

Both Apple’s and IBM’s RISC hardware lines will support the PowerOpen environment, giving customers access to the broadest set of applications on any UNIX-based open-systems platform, including the thousands of AIX and Macintosh applications.

The new PowerOpen environment will provide customers with a highly scalable, standards-based, open-systems architecture ranging from desktop personal computers to very large network servers. Customers will have the choice of acquiring the Macintosh user interface, as well as the OSF/Motif interface, from both Apple and IBM.

Additionally, customers will be able to preserve their application investments as current AIX, A/UX, and Macintosh applications will be supported in the PowerOpen environment.

The PowerOpen environment combines the best of both companies’ current UNIX products. It makes use of the new PowerPC hardware, which is an architecture based on IBM’s acclaimed RISC System/6000 and IBM’s powerful AIX operating system.

In addition, Apple’s A/UX provides an easy-to-use, integrated Macintosh UNIX solution. Apple and IBM each plan to make their PowerOpen products conform to major industry standards, such as POSIX and X/Open.

Software developers will benefit from the new high-volume business opportunity offered them by the PowerOpen environment. Application developers will benefit from access to both A/UX and AIX on a single hardware platform with no need to recompile. In-house developers will benefit from the support of both companies and the wealth of development tools available.

CONTACT: Jackie Promes of Apple Computer Inc., (408) 974-3609; or Judy Radlinsky of IBM, (914) 642-4634.


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