It is the best of times...It is the worst of times...It is the Summer of 1997! We won’t tell you the tale of two operating systems (that will be a future contemporary classic). We’re more interested in the release of Mac OS 8 and the continuing story that the world’s fastest personal computers now come with the Mac OS as standard equipment! And, despite the sensational press reports, more people are buying Mac OS based machines than they did a year ago. We’ll talk about the worst of times in our new Wintel watching department (just kidding!).
The welcome section of ATPM is usually dedicated to a bunch of rather zany monthly messages. We like using the space for spoofing the world of personal computing and often poking fun at ourselves. However, this month there’s something important we’d like to say.
In the wake of Dr. Amelio’s departure, we’d like to to speak with you about a very important matter - The Future of Apple and the Macintosh OS .
From its inception, About This Particular Macintosh (ATPM) was intended to be a fun monthly chronicle of the Macintosh experience, written by and for everyday users of the most personal of personal computers—the Apple Macintosh and Mac OS clones. Lately, however, the fun, lighthearted world of Mac OS computing has been overshadowed by the day-to-day travails of Apple Computer and the continuing speculation about its share of the personal computer industry. We have attempted to provide you, our loyal readers, with a light monthly “snapshot” of important happenings in the world of Mac computing along with informative columns, reviews and entertaining stories. We enjoy what we do and we appreciate your continued support.
There is an old adage that “It’s always darkest just before dawn.” Today, we are taking this adage to heart. Why? Because we believe the incessant speculation, constant rumors and consistently poor media reports about Apple Computer have reached an all-time low. For example, we believe it makes no difference to the vast majority of Mac OS users how many shares of Apple Computer stock are owned or not owned by Steve Jobs. How he wishes to pay his bills and invest his money is his business.
We believe Dr. Amelio did a lot to save Apple Computer. The company he left in July 1997 is vastly different than the company he joined in February, 1996. Because of his efforts, OS 8 is being delivered on time and Rhapsody is on schedule. Perhaps, it is because of the changes he made, that a new chief executive is needed. Apple faces new challenges today (increasing revenue is one). We don’t know what went on “behind closed doors,” nor do we wish to speculate. What we do know is that Apple Computer is here today, and thanks to Dr. Gil Amelio, it has a much, much better chance of thriving tomorrow. Thank you Gil Amelio. Thank you Ellen Hancock. We wish you well.
We believe it’s smart business for Power Computing to manufacture a line NT servers and workstations. These products will better meet the needs of their current customers and help to recruit new ones. This strategy increases the potential market for Mac OS sales, too. We believe Power’s decision is good news for the Macintosh platform, not a cataclysmic break in the relationship between Apple and its first clone maker. We would like to thank the executives of Power Computing for responding to the concerns of Mac OS users about this matter. If the press showed a similar respect for their readers, more truth about Apple, the Mac OS and Rhapsody might see the light of day.
The truth is that Apple will sell billions of dollars of hardware and software this year. Clone makers will only add to the sales of Mac OS-based machines and help increase demand for Mac OS software. We live in a multi-platform world. As much as we’d like to see it, The Mac OS and Rhapsody will not replace Windows 95 and Windows NT as the predominant computer operating systems (although we expect Rhapsody and its Yellow Box adaptions for Intel boxes and Windows to significantly increase Apple’s OS market share). The market percentage Apple’s operating systems command can be important. As a concern, it is secondary to the superior computing experience enjoyed by Mac users.
Despite Apple’s problems (real and unreal), there will continue to be Macintosh computers, Mac clones and an excellent operating system for users. This is what matters most to us and to our readers. We’re looking forward to what comes next from Apple and the clone makers. We’d appreciate your continued company along the way.
OS 8, Ain’t It Great? At press time, we’re awaiting the official release of Mac OS 8. Many of us have read snippets, seen snapshots or worked with the various beta releases. We have our own opinions, but on this issue we’d like to hear from you, our loyal readers. In that great ATPM tradition, please send your unbiased, thought provoking comments about Mac OS 8 to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please enjoy this month’s issue. We think it’s hotter on the inside than it feels outside, wherever you live. The good news is our text has no humidity. Sometimes, though, our columns can be “drenched” with sentiment!