Apple chief Gil Amelio has committed to make the next generation of the company?s operating system, codenamed Rhapsody, work on Intel-based PCs in an attempt to stop war-weary Mac developers from defecting.
In his keynote speech at Apple?s Worldwide Developers? Conference, Amelio said the firm would also release programming tools in the next couple of months to enable developers to write applications for the Mac that could run on Microsoft Windows-based PCs, after a simple recompile.
He promised to shorten product development cycles to compete more effectively in the Windows/Intel world and also committed to a dual operating system strategy.
This would enable users to migrate to Rhapsody at their own pace. Rhapsody is based on the Nextstep operating system that Apple acquired along with Next Software last December.
It consists of the core operating system; Blue Box, which is a Mac-based environment to ensure backwards-compatibility; the Yellow Box development environment; and the Advanced Macintosh User Interface.
Yellow Box will ship with a future version of the MacOS, codenamed Allegro, due in mid-1998. Allegro will still be based on existing MacOS technology, and will follow the release of MacOS version 8.0 this July.
But, Apple also sees Java as a big opportunity and plans to open up the Yellow box application programming interfaces (APIs) to the programming language, which means developers will be able to write Mac applications in Java.
The company announced that it is now joined Javasoft, Netscape and IBM in developing Java Foundation Classes (JFC) or tools for defining the look-and-feel of Java applications. JFC will become a central component in the development and deployment strategy for Rhapsody.
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