Apple is to launch the first upgrade to its MacOS 8 operating system. MacOS 8.1 is also the first Apple software to show signs of Microsoft's recent investment in the company, as it includes Internet Explorer 3.01 as the default Web browser. Netscape Navigator 4.04 is also bundled. MacOS 8.1 includes a new version of Apple's Java Virtual Machine (MRJ 2.0) which implements Sun's latest JDK 1.1.3 spec, and conforms to Sun's "100% pure Java" initiative. This improves the compatibility and performance of Java whether running through a brow-ser or using Apple's Applet Runner standalone software. The subsystems have also been revamped, with a new disk file system called HFS+ that is designed to make more efficient use of the hard drive and reclaim space for users. However, to use the new file system users must backup their data and re-format the hard disk. The virtual memory and disk cache systems have also been improved. To keep up with the latest peripherals, Apple has included more support for DVD, including UDF (Universal Disk Format), which reads video DVDs and DVD-ROM interactive games. PC compatibility has been upgraded with PC Exchange 2.2, which supports Windows 95 long file names and volume formats, and support for PC-formatted removable storage such as Jaz and Zip drives. MacOS 8.1 will be available next month and will be posted on the Apple Web site free of charge for current MacOS 8 users. www.apple.com.
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