Apple last week announced an extension of its Open Transport architecture that supports the Point-to-Point Protocol. Mac users will now get an authorised thumbs up from the company when accessing multi-protocol networks, including the Internet.
Before the announcement Mac users had to sift through freeware and shareware offerings to use PPP if they needed access to non-AppleTalk networks - probably most of the world - resulting in fierce criticism from users forcing the company to change its mind.
Apple Open Transport PPP 1.0 will be the Macs debut PPP implementation and takes full advantage of the Open Transport networking and communications system. The Apple approval ties the company into ensuring the performance and stability of the extensions are as reliable as native code running on PowerPC-based Macs. The native nature of the new code will give the Mac much faster Internet access both at the client and server ends and Apple hopes its version will be easier and more reliable than current shareware implementations.
Remote Internet users will benefit from the technology as it allows clients to connect to a remote TCP/IP network or the Internet via a modem or ISDN.
It will also access TCP/IP network services using the Apple interface.
This is the company's second completed goal of its AppleTalk Remote Access (ARA) road map which was designed to open up the AppleTalk networking products a wider audience. Apple admits that this has been "speeded up" by the enormous success of TCP/IP.
Next year will see the completion of the road map and will include enhancements to Apple's ARA product line that will allow simultaneous support of AppleTalk and TCP/IP over PPP, as well as Open Transport-Enhanced support for the AppleTalk Remote Access Protocol (ARAP).
Downloaded Apple's Software Updates Archives Open Transport/PPP 1.0 at www.info.apple.com/swupdates/
This has been a long time coming and shows Apple's initial lack of understanding in the larger markets. However ARA is moving along swiftly and soon Mac users will be as well equipped to surf the net.
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