Following the sudden departure of CEO Gil Amelio earlier this month, Apple has begun the next chapter in its turbulent history with a new operating system, better than expected third-quarter results and a development tie-up with Computer Associates.
Apple will today release MacOS 8, heralded as the most significant upgrade since the Mac software was first released in 1984. Among the product's features is the multitasking PowerPC-native Finder, which allows users to launch applications while copying files in the background. The Finder also includes folders that open automatically and windows that pop-up from the bottom of the screen.
With the upgrade, Internet services are integrated so that users can connect, browse and share information from their Mac desktop environment.
Significantly, MacOS 8 includes built-in support for Java and Internet push technology. Previously, Mac users were forced to use third-party Java products.
So confident is Apple about the appeal of the new operating system that it has delayed US shipments of its PowerBook 2400c sub-notebook in order to pre-install MacOS 8. The 2400c, which weighs 4.4lbs and measures 10.5 x 8.4 x 1.9in, is expected in mid-August, a few weeks later than planned.
Last week Apple posted better-than-expected third-quarter results. For the quarter ended 27 June 1997, the company reported a net loss of $56 million (#33 million), compared to $706 million last year. Analysts had predicted losses of up to $70 million. Revenues for the quarter were $1.6 billion, as against $2.2 billion last time.
Also last week CA announced it was integrating its Jasmine object-oriented database development tool with Apple's Yellow Box application development environment for Rhapsody, a version of the Mac due next year. The deal will be a boon for Mac developers creating multimedia applications.
APPLE: FRIENDLY ADVICE
As Apple continues in its quest to replace Gil Amelio, former chief John Sculley has come out of the woodwork and offered the board some unsolicited advice on choosing a successor. In an open letter to the Apple board, Sculley proposed that Borland's CEO Delbert Yocam should be made head of the company with Steve Jobs assuming the role of non-executive chairman of the board. "I believe that if Del had been made CEO 17 months ago, Apple wouldn't be in its current precarious position," wrote Sculley.
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