Apple has scotched rumours it will acquire operating system company Be for the multitasking, multithreaded Mac OS 8, but came under fire from its developer community as details emerged of its systems plans. The company will also produce its own version of a network computer.
Ellen Hancock, chief technology officer at Apple since July, told its European developers' conference in London on Tuesday that she wants her own developers to create an operating system. ?We have to make our OS a better citizen in mixed environments, including NT, with better file and print facilities and domain name services.?
Rather than produce Copeland as a complete upgrade to the present System 7 OS, she said Apple will roll out elements next January and next July and will move to create a kernel-based System 8 for release later in the summer.
Responding to developers from the floor of the conference, she revealed that discussions were still underway internally about the exact shape of a kernel-based OS.
Graham Barr, a director at UK company Multimedia Corporation, said his company had spent money adopting and implementing previous Apple ideas. ?They were then thrown out of the window. This is going on and on and we?re asking, ?When will you give us good news rather than the answer that we don?t know???
?We won?t abandon System 7 and it will exist well into 1998,? Hancock responded. ?When I researched Copeland, I was concerned about a project that had been so long in development. We changed the plan from waiting for Copeland to deliver some of that technology in January and July of 1998.
?I said we?ll have a dual operating system strategy and our customers want memory protection and multitasking at the application level. Apple was a one-release company in the past. If a product did well we?d say it was perfect and if not we?d drop it,? she added.
That culture at Apple had to change, she said. ?My current plan says that my team is building the OS,? she said. ?Be is a developer and we give them development support - anything past that is rumour. Apple developers are building the kernel and the APIs.?
Hancock said that it had strategic plans with major players including Netscape, IBM and Oracle. ?Apple will become platform-agnostic,? she said.
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