[MD1] Apple's Future MacOS Strategy
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[MD1] Apple's Future MacOS Strategy

Apple Announces Future Macintosh Operating System (OS) Strategy and Roadmap

Strategy Delivers Compatibility with Currently Shipping Mac Systems and
Applications, Accelerates Delivery of Next-Generation Software, and
Provides Smooth Migration to Next-Generation OS

Mac OS Upgrades to Continue; First 'Rhapsody' Release Scheduled to Ship
Within 12 Months

MACWORLD/EXPO, SAN FRANCISCO--Jan. 7, 1997--Apple Computer, Inc. today
announced its strategy for the future evolution of the Macintosh operating
system software, for Macintosh and Mac OS compatible personal computers.
Apple plans to implement a strategy in which the Company will continue to
deliver significant and regularly scheduled upgrades to the current Mac OS
while accelerating development of a new and advanced operating system. The
new operating system is code-named 'Rhapsody' and will be based on the
merging of technologies from Apple and NeXT Software, Inc. (Apple announced
its intent to acquire NeXT Software on Dec. 20, 1996.) As well as providing
pioneering next generation technology, Rhapsody aims to provide strong
backward compatibility for Mac OS software offering current customers a
smooth migration path to the new OS.

Through this approach, the Company expects to provide customers and
developers with a platform for exceptional and cutting-edge applications,
while enhancing their current investment in the Mac OS. Apple also believes
that the advanced technical underpinnings and rapid development environment
of Rhapsody will allow developers to create new applications that leapfrog
those of other 'modern' operating systems, such as Windows NT.
Additionally, the Company anticipates that the scheduled enhancements to
the Mac OS will retain its industry leadership in ease of use and
multimedia, while greatly strengthening the software's Internet
capabilities.

The first release of Rhapsody is expected to be launched to developers in
mid to late 1997 and to customers within 12 months. Rhapsody is planned to
incorporate features such as preemptive multitasking and protected memory,
as well as a modern kernel. It is expected to also include a new
Application Programming Interface (API) based on NeXT Software's OPENSTEP
environment. In parallel Mac OS continues to evolve- -with a significant
upgrade, Mac OS 7.6, announced today.

"Apple has laid out an OS strategy that provides customers and software
developers with a safe, clear upgrade path to breakthrough next generation
computing. With this approach customers can migrate at their own speed to
21st century computing" said Dr. Gilbert F. Amelio, Chairman and CEO, Apple
Computer Inc. "Today we also deliver on a commitment made at Macworld
Boston in August, by announcing Mac OS 7.6, a robust and valuable update to
our current operating system. Together, Mac OS and our next generation OS,
Rhapsody, will allow customers and software developers to leverage existing
Macintosh applications and provide a platform for a new era of software
innovation from Apple and its industry allies".

OS Strategy Provides Clear Advantages For Customers and Developers

Apple believes that its OS Strategy provides clear differentiation from its
system software competitors in four areas.

Smooth Transition Firstly, Apple's OS strategy allows both Mac OS and
Rhapsody to share a similar look and feel and provide compatibility with
existing Mac OS applications and hardware--giving customers and software
developers a smooth upgrade path to next generation technology. Existing
Mac OS software is expected to work within Rhapsody at PowerPC speeds.
Additionally it is planned that Rhapsody will support today's currently
shipping Mac OS personal computers, as well as future Mac OS hardware.

Advanced Operating System Secondly, Rhapsody is expected to provide
customers and software developers with a robust, easy to use OS that
delivers features such as preemptive multitasking, symmetric
multiprocessing, and protected memory, based on a modern kernel. The
integration of NeXT Software's OPENSTEP development environment in Rhapsody
will provide software developers, in-house development teams, and new media
specialists with a market-leading component software environment. This will
allow new classes of software to be developed quickly and easily.

Multimedia Leadership Thirdly, Apple's OS Strategy will allow the Company
to continue to lead the market in multimedia innovation. Apple intends to
optimize its QuickTime Media Layer (QTML) for both Mac OS and Rhapsody
moving forward, providing all Apple customers with multimedia leadership
through the millennium. Apple also intends to further develop its value
added hardware to improve the multimedia capabilities of Macintosh systems,
with high performance PowerPC microprocessors and new classes of hardware
acceleration technology.

Superior Internet Integration Apple plans to carry forward key technologies
such as OpenDoc, Meta Content Format (MCF), and easy to use TCP/IP
connectivity to maintain the Macintosh as a leading system for Internet
access and the delivery of Internet content. The integration of Java--Sun
Microsystems' platform-independent application environment for the Internet
and corporate networks--will allow the company to provide market leading
Internet capabilities in both Mac OS and Rhapsody. As an integral part of
its OS strategy, Apple aims to incorporate Java in both Mac OS and
Rhapsody, and today announced Mac OS Run Time for Java. (See separate
release). Apple is committed to make both Mac OS and Rhapsody preeminent
development and deployment platforms for Java technology. In addition,
Apple expects that technology such as NeXT Software's Web Objects will
further reinforce the Mac platform's Internet capabilities.

Roadmap Shows Complementary Approach

Apple's OS strategy offers two complementary product lines moving
forward--Mac OS and Rhapsody. Customers in each of Apple's markets can
migrate to Apple's next generation OS, Rhapsody, at their own speed. Apple
also believes that Apple's new OS strategy will reinvigorate the Company's
presence in key market segments, particularly the enterprise market. Apple
anticipates many customers will remain on Mac OS for a number of years and
intends to continue to upgrade this track of the OS in regular semiannual
upgrades.

 

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