European Apple enthusiasts will have to wait until late summer for release 8.0 of the Mac OS, launched yesterday, although the US English language version will be available from 27 July.
Apple does not know when it will ship the UK version of the OS but has scheduled an Australian version to launch on 8 August. The company blamed the delay on logistical problems in configuring the Internet access capabilities included in Mac OS 8, but promised eventually to launch the OS in 38 languages, with "major European language versions ready by the end of September".
Peter Lowe, Mac OS 8 product manager, said the UK shipment date will be soon after the Australian launch but admitted: "We have no date on that."
Although Mac OS 8 only costs $99, or $69 for an upgrade, its tweaks are useful, according to analysts. It includes 3D colour, allows multitasking, "rarely crashes", reduces desktop clutter by closing directories when sub-directories are opened and includes Java technology so it can run applets without opening a browser.
One analyst said: "The changes give the Mac faithful reason to be faithful. It?s impressive for users, although there isn?t much there for developers."
The product also includes push client technology from Marimba and Pointcast in the OS, along with online links to Excite, the content and search engine.
Allegro, the code name for the next release of the Mac OS, is under development now. The next full generation of the Mac OS, Rhapsody, is due for launch in mid-1998.
Financial analysts also said Apple has started delaying payment of its bills, but Dun & Bradstreet said Apple is paying 17 days late on average, which is not enough to cause grave concern.
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