|July, 1997 Archive
Wednesday, August 6th
The Mac Observer's Macworld Expo Coverage
For all the latest happenings from what is already shaping up to be one of the most exciting Macworld Expo's in recent memory, be sure to tune into The Mac Observer's daily coverage of the big event in Boston. Our own Todd Stauffer is in Beantown covering the show and we will have several updates throughout the day.
The Mac Observer's Macworld Expo Coverage
- Jobs Announces New Board, Microsoft Partnership
- Exact Details Of Patent Deal Unknown
- Patent License: One Way Payment From Microsoft
- Fueled By News, Apple Stock Takes Off
Jobs Holds Up OpenGL Announcement?
According to a reader report on Ric Ford's MacInTouch, Apple was expected to pledge support for the industry-standard OpenGL graphics library this week at Siggraph, but that announcement was apparently held back by Steve Jobs. While officials from Apple have failed to even utter the term "OpenGL" over the past nine months, it is widely believed that it is essential for Apple to support the Silicon Graphics-developed library, especially if they expect to garner support for Rhapsody from the gaming industry. Id Software's John Carmack, for one, has said in the past that Rhapsody would become his platform of choice if Apple added a few key technologies to the OS -- OpenGL being one of them.
BoxTop's ColorSafe Extends Web Palette
BoxTop Software announced earlier this week the release of ColorSafe 1.0, a plug-in for graphics applications (Photoshop, PhotoDelux, Illustrator, Painter, xRes, ColorIt!, DeBabelizer, Canvas, etc.) that extends the limited "216 color Web palette to millions of non-dithering optical colors and patterns with an real-time, fully interactive RGB color picker and a pattern canvas for creating tiling patterns." A demo is available from the company's Web site.
Newton Inc. Gets New Look catch jobs' keynote with audionet's archive<>
Recently created Apple subsidiary, Newton Inc., said today that they will unveil a new company logo and new headquarters in Santa Clara, California. The spin-off, which up until now has been using the Newton "light bulb" insignia as their trademark, are also doing their best to disassociate themselves with Apple, as evident from recent ads in several mail order catalogs.
Steve Jobs' eloquently delivered (at least when compared to Gil Amelio's star-studded three-hour marathon session in January) keynote speech from Macworld Expo this morning is available for listening via AudioNet's rebroadcast archive page. RealAudio and at least a 14.4Kbps modem are required for listening.
Thursday, July 31st
Cloners Go It Alone With 8
Frustrated by an apparent stand still in license negotiations with Apple over the rights to Mac OS 8, several clone vendors will rely on their previous agreements and begin shipping copies of the latest operating system with their machines, according to an article on NEWS.COM. Power Computing will begin shipping the software pre-installed on their systems as early as next week, while Motorola will include a copy of the CD and leave the installation duties up to users. These moves come despite the lack of any sort of formal agreement, and are more than likely being made to apply pressure on Apple to make a fair license offer. All vendors are not taking the same aggressive approach, however, as UMAX, for one, will wait until an agreement is made before making any moves.
First Rhapsody Spreadsheet Announced
The Rhapsody version of Mesa, a leading spreadsheet for OpenStep from P&L; Systems, will be shown in alpha form at Macworld Expo in Boston next week. P&L; says that the Rhapsody version will be more than just a port of a prior release, as it will include enhanced Excel compatibility, workbooks, and integration with databases through Apple's Enterprise Object Foundation (EOF). The company expects a beta release to follow shortly after the DR1 of Rhapsody, which is currently scheduled to reach developer's hands in late August. (A screenshot shows the program running on a pre-DR1 release of Rhapsody.)
The Latest Turn In The Jobs Saga
While sources close to The Mac Observer still maintain the accuracy of their story (see yesterday's news below), the Wall Street Journal and an email message apparently from Steve Jobs points to the Apple co-founder rejecting the chairman (and chief executive) post at Apple. The Journal reported this morning that Jobs has been running meetings at the company since the departure of Gil Amelio (and generally acting like a CEO), but when presented with offers for the chairman and chief executive position, Jobs declined, at least according to the Journal's source, an unnamed, "close associate" of Jobs.
And then there's a widely circulated note (which can be seen in its entirety at Eric Belsley's Macintosh Resource Page) from Jobs that is claimed to have been sent to a company mailing list at Pixar, the animation studio where the Apple co-founder is firmly planted in the CEO chair.
Aladdin Introduces Encryption Utility
Longtime compression specialists, Aladdin Systems, will be extending into the encryption arena with the introduction of PrivateFile, a $50 cross-platform application that uses 128-bit encryption to safely transmit files over Internet protocols. The application, which ships on a hybrid CD containing Windows 95/NT and Mac OS versions, consists of two drag and drop components; PF Encrypt and PF Decrypt, which each function exactly like their name implies. The PF Decrypt portion of the program will be incorporated into future versions of Aladdin's StuffitExpander.
AOL's Efforts To Battle Trojan Horses
Having your email inbox spammed with countless pieces of junk mail is bad enough, but when those messages are accompanied with potentially dangerous Trojan Horse programs (which can format hard drives, steal passwords, etc.), it's time to be concerned. In hopes of countering this, America Online has introduced "Download Sentry", an automatic warning that alerts users to suspect email attachments. The system will warn a member when they proceed to download files that are commonly associated with Trojan Horse programs.
MacQuake No Go Until August 22nd
Citing unresolved network issues, MacSoft said yesterday that they have delayed the release of the highly-anticipated MacQuake until August 22nd. The company's initial ship date was set at August 4th, and how this affects -- if at all -- the delivery schedule of TechWorks' Power3D 3Dfx-based video card isn't known. The card is set to ship in early August, but with MacQuake (one of the bundled titles, and one of the card's strongest selling points) delayed, that timeframe could be altered.
Apple Releases MRJ 1.5... Really!
After announcing the release of Mac OS Runtime for Java (MRJ) 1.5 at last week's Internet World '97 show in Chicago, and then subsequently holding the software back due to last-minute bugs, the company finally posted the software on their AppleJava homepage earlier this morning. MRJ 1.5 is available in both 680X0 and PowerPC versions, although the highlight of this release, the Just-In-Time Compiler, is, at this time, PowerPC only.
CompuServe Goes Route Of AOL
Following America Online's much publicized and poorly executed move to flat rate pricing last year is the nation's number online provider, CompuServe. After abandoning such a pricing structure last year, the online service is set to reintroduce it at a price ranging from $24.95 to $27.95.
Wednesday, July 30th
Jobs Voted In As Chairman
The widely publicized whisperings of Steve Jobs possibly taking the vacant chairman of the board of directors position at Apple have turned out to be true, according to report from a source close to the company. The Mac Observer has learned that the board of directors (including outside director and chief executive of DuPont, Edgar Woolard) has signed off on Steve Jobs to become the company's chairman. The announcement, as previously suggested, will come at next week's Macworld Expo in Boston, as Apple wants to take advantage of the Expo crowd and 'energize the faithful', according to our source. Jobs has no plans to step down from his CEO post at Pixar, and, at his own personal request, is not in contention for the Apple CEO vacancy, thus keeping the search for a new chief executive open.
The Mysterious 1.5 Million Shares
Travel back in time to May 30th, the day in which we saw the initial story about Steve Jobs selling his 1.5 million shares of Apple stock hit the news wire. Despite the scrupulous media coverage that ensued, the question of whether or not it was Apple's prodigal son who sold the shares went unanswered. Now, fast forward to next Wednesday, August 6th, the opening day of Macworld Expo and also the day in which this story takes its next turn. The official announcement of Jobs becoming the chairman of the board at Apple will in turn necessitate (through the Securities and Exchange Commission's regulations) that he finally divulge the information regarding the sale of the stock. Did Jobs make the anonymous sale? Only the mercurial one knows for certain.
Amelio Offers Advice For Next CEO
Speaking at the Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco -- the first public appearance since his recent ouster -- former Apple CEO, Gil Amelio, gave advice to whomever the successor to his top job in Cupertino turns out to be; "Apple people cannot be won over by a charming smile and a comradely manner. They need to see some dynamic capability, and right now that capability had better be in sales and marketing." While Amelio feels that it's time "for a charismatic leader to woo and win the followers," he said that he "has no clue" whom the next CEO and/or chairman will be, despite his seemingly strong reference to Steve Jobs.
Amelio was also certain to take the time and bolster about his accomplishments at Apple over the past 17 months. Taking credit for "putting Apple back in a strong, ready-to-relaunch position," Amelio believes that the company has its strongest product lineup in history and that everyone will be affected and influenced by the company's new operating system, Rhapsody.
Iomega Files Complaint Against SyQuest
Iomega Corporation has filed a complaint in U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, citing chief competitor, SyQuest Technology, with infringement of Iomega's patents used in both its Zip and Jaz disk drives. The patents, which cover Iomega's Read/Write protection scheme and the actual design of their Jaz cartridges, are the main issues of the complaint, although Iomega also contests that SyQuest's use of the term "syJet" infringes upon their JET trademark.
Be Issues BeOS Preview Release Update
Just two weeks after rolling out the first official version of the BeOS, Be has posted what they call the 'Preview Release Update 1' which patches several component of the operating system to increase stability. Improved video card drivers, fixes to AppleTalk printing, performance fixes for IDE hard drives, and fixes to indices and queries are just some of the changes. Be suggests backing up any critical data before making the upgrade.
The Mac Observer's Weekly Columns
Kicking off this week are new weekly columns from a trio of Mac Observer editors (Mike Lambert, Arlen Britton, and Todd Stauffer). Each of them will be covering specific areas of focus, and the following schedule is when you can expect to see their articles each and every week.
Microsoft Posts IE 4.0 Preview Release
As expected, Microsoft released the Internet Explorer 4.0 Preview 1 for the Macintosh today. Both 680X0 and PowerPC versions are available, as is new co-developed Java Virtual Machine from Microsoft and Metrowerks, which, as we reported on Monday, is the first publicly available JVM on the Mac to support the Java Development Kit 1.1 standard.
Totally Hip Cuts Content Deal With Microsoft
Totally Hip Software announced today a revenue agreement with Microsoft in which they will provide the Redmond-based software giant with a licensed portion of their new Hip Clips animated content library. Microsoft intends to include the media clips in future version of their products.
Kaleidoscope 1.7.1 Mends Numerous Hiccups
Greg Landweber's Kaleidoscope 1.7.1 fixes reported problems in a variety of different applications and utilities including; QuarkXPress, Illustrator 7, Ircle 3.0, and Word 5.1a. The most efficient way to download the latest version is through Eric Belsley's MRP Software Mirror.
Power Mac Resource Page Back?
After a lengthy hiatus, Steve Tannehill's always interesting Power Macintosh Resource Page appears to be back. Regular updates resumed last week, and like Steve has done in the past, coverage is slanted towards new content ideas.
Tuesday, July 29th
BeOS On Intel Coming To Macworld
The San Jose Mercury News' Jodi Mardesich is reporting today that the oft-hinted BeOS port to Intel processors will come to fruition at Macworld Expo in Boston next week when the company demos a version of the operating system running on a dual Pentium processor machine. According to the article, two Intel engineers have been at Be's Menlo Park headquarters for the past three months, after the semiconductor giant approached Be about doing a port to the Pentium processor. But an expanded marketplace isn't Be's only reason for the port to Intel; the company is reportedly concerned over the long-term viability of the PowerPC platform.
Jobs Given Reigns Of Macworld
The vacant keynote speech at next week's Macworld Expo in Boston will be filled by the shadowy lurker in Cupertino, Steve Jobs, according to Macworld. The empty spot, which was left open with the departure of Gil Amelio, was expected to be filled by Avie Tevanian, but apparently, Apple has since decided to hand over the ever-interesting presentation to Jobs. What's more intriguing, given Jobs' current stance on the entire Mac OS licensee situation, is that a key executive from each of the major clone vendors will be on stage next week as well, showcasing some of their key technologies.
Apple Continues Resurrection Of HFS
An anonymous reader notes of the latest version of Apple's upcoming filesystem, HFS-Plus (codenamed "Sequoia") -- which is expected to accompany a system software upgrade in late August/early September -- and the potential compatibility issues surrounding it.
"Sequoia, AKA HFS-Plus, has hit late 'd' version and will be going Alpha soon (beta to follow). As mentioned before, HFS-Plus will have unicode support (a boon to international users) and support 255 Unicode characters for file names (no word yet as to how the Finder will handle these long names).
The most interesting and conflict causing feature of HFS-Plus is that it is designed to run on OS8 and later machines. Also many machines will be able to use HFS-Plus, but not without reading the HFS-Plus info from an updated System version. What this means is that all HFS-Plus disks will have an HFS 'wrapper' that will contain a blessed System Folder with enough System to get the real System on the HFS-Plus partition to be accessible as well as a Read Me file that will explain that the volume is HFS-Plus and the user needs additional software to use it."
Amelio's Old Firm To Acquire Cyrix
National Semiconductor announced after the closing bell yesterday that they have agreed to purchase Cyrix in a stock deal valued at over $550 million. The move by National Semi, who Apple fans will remember as the company that produced recently ousted Apple executives, Gil Amelio and Ellen Hancock, is expected to precipitate a transition to the low-cost personal computer business, an area truly unfamiliar to the company. But Cyrix, whose MediaGX chipset has been used in numerous sub-$1,000 PCs, has experience in this area, and the merger will give the long-time Intel competitor manufacturing resources it never had.
Tenon Updates Apache Server Port
Tenon Intersystems has rolled out WebTen 1.1, an update to their Macintosh port of the popular freeware Apache UNIX Web server. The free upgrade provides "reduced memory and disk requirements, improved behavior in low memory conditions, improved scheduling of CGIs during heavy cache usage, enhanced performance and reliability of Tenon's TCP stack under load conditions, updated caching software, and an enhanced user interface." A MacWEEK review looks at the 1.0 version.
Watch Out! DigitalRadar May Be Eyeing You
Billed as an innovative and affordable motion-detection application, Connectix' new cross-platform DigitalRadar works in conjunction with digital video cameras to either visually record any movement in a particular area or to play a user-specified event when motion is detected. DigitalRadar is available immediately for Windows 3.1, Windows 95, and Mac OS systems at a retail price of $29.95.
Weekly Shareware Giveaways From digitalApple
Beginning this week, Jim Adams' digitalApple Web site will be offering a chance to win a variety of shareware programs on a weekly basis. Window Tamer from Jeff Kreuger, a utility that sets global views in Mac OS 8, is this week's hi-lighted product.
Monday, July 28th
IE 4.0 Preview Due Wednesday
Microsoft is expected to release a preview version of Internet Explorer 4.0 for the Macintosh this Wednesday (we earlier published an incorrect release date). While support for the company's much-hyped ActiveChannel technology isn't set to be included in this initial release, IE 4.0 will be the first browser on the Mac to support the Java Development Kit 1.1 standard allowing users to run applets and applications written for the latest Java and JavaBeans versions.
Will Jobs Win Chairman Seat?
If you're to believe rumors floating around the Macintosh industry, Steve Jobs will be named chairman of the board of directors at Apple within the next two weeks. The position, which was one of the many titles Gil Amelio recently held, would give Jobs precisely what he apparently wants; total control over the company without having to tackle the day-to-day operational duties. Further, according to sources contacted by Macworld, Jobs is interested in signing up Advanced Micro Devices (makers of the K6 Pentium-compatible processor) to deploy Rhapsody for Intel Internet servers. One would have to gather that giving Jobs any amount of control of the company could result in a transformation of Apple into the current day NeXT.
Communicator Flaw Discovered
Officials at Netscape are saying that a patch will be available in two to three weeks, but the order of delivery for specific platforms was not revealed. The company also said that Chiang, whose own homepage contains an applet demonstrating the flaw, is cooperating fully with them.
Claris' Answer To Microsoft Office
Armed with full cross-platform availability, an attractive price point, and low hardware requirements, Claris is hoping its just announced ClarisWorks Office suite can offer a "compact and economic alternative" to Microsoft Office. Slated to ship this September on Windows 95, NT 4.0, and Mac OS platforms, the suite will comprise of ClarisWorks 5.0, Claris HomePage Lite, and small business software from BizPlanMaker. The Windows 95/NT version will retail for $79, while the Mac OS version will carry a price tag of $99. Special upgrade pricing will be available for both platforms and Claris will also offer discounts on just ClarisWorks 5.0 to owners of prior versions.
PointCast 1.1 Adds Apple Channel
Available as either a free download or automatic upgrade to current users is the PowerPC-only PointCast Network Viewer 1.1 (a version for 680X0 machines is expected within the week). The upgrade provides access to five new content channels, including the previously announced Apple Channel, which offers company news, software updates, and product descriptions. A new ZDNet channel containing articles from their wealth of publications is available as well.
Intel Acquires PowerBook Graphics Chip Maker
Intel announced today that they have entered into an agreement to acquire Chips & Technologies, a leading vendor of notebook graphics accelerator chips who, coincidently, happen to provide Apple with its technology for both the PowerBook 2400 and 3400 machines. Terms of the deal call for Intel to purchase all outstanding shares of Chips & Technologies at $17.50 per share and merge the graphics chip maker with a previously created subsidiary of their company.
AOL To Charge Retailers "Rent"
If you're the owner of a retail storefront on America Online, be prepared to start paying for your online space. The Wall Street Journal reported this morning that the online giant will begin charging "rent" from its retailers, saying that the previous model of collecting per-sale fees allowed merchants to delay full-fledged marketing efforts, and instead dabble with online experiments.
Apple Puts Brakes On MRJ 1.5 Release
After announcing the final version of Mac OS Runtime for Java (MRJ) 1.5 at last week's Internet World '97 show in Chicago, Apple held back its planned public distribution this past Friday due to a last minute bug in the software. According to a note on the AppleJava homepage, a problem that could cause large Java applications to crash was discovered in the final candidate version.
Friday, July 25th
The First Shipping CHRP System?
Motorola might be the first company to ship a CHRP based system, dubbed the StarMax 6000 series. Expected to be announced at this summer's Macworld Expo in Boston, the system will reportedly sport a 66-MHz bus, putting Motorola ahead of rival Power Computing in the race to have the fastest system bus. Combined with the Arthur chip (G3) and its 1MB backside Level 2 cache, these systems will boast twice the performance of a PC with Intel's comparable-speed Pentium II. Hopefully Motorola will do more than just preach to the choir at Macworld Expo and advertise his impressive stat to the PC world.
Another Resignation At Apple
Citing increased time demands at his company, Delano Lewis, president and CEO of National Public Radio, resigned from Apple's Board of Directors today, leaving four openings on the oft-criticized board in Cupertino. Following the resignation, Lewis had the following to say:
"I have appreciated the opportunity to serve Apple and I wish the Company every success facing the challenges for the future. I have every confidence that the board, executive management team, and employees will meet those challenges with confidence and vigor."
Mac OS 8 Shipping Now!
MacMall, the catalog based Macintosh reseller, has begun shipping Mac OS 8. The new operating system has also been seen on the shelves of some Mac retailers. Shipments of MacOS 8 have reached the public much faster than did the first shipments of MacOS 7.6, a further testament to the ongoing operational improvements at Apple. For a review of MacOS 8 read our feature coverage.
Shaman Will Post Demo Of Personal Edition
Founded with the avowed goal of ridding "the world of out-of-date software", Shaman Corporation will be posting a demo of the Shaman Update Server Personal Edition to their Web site next week.
"We currently research over 25,000 titles and have agreements with over 200 top publishers (including Apple, Microsoft, Adobe, Claris, and Macromedia) to include their updates on our Monthly CD-ROM. All our customers have access to update "read-me" windows, which is a compilation of the update's features, fixes, conflicts and other relevant information."
Expected to be released at next month's Boston MacWorld Expo are Shaman Update Server 2.0 (price $595) as well as the Personal Edition ($69) and Personal Edition Gold ($289).
Power Computing Selects New Ad Agency
Power Computing has selected GSD&M of Austin, Texas as their new advertising agency. GSD&M, who will be replacing the recently departed BAM!, has handled relatively few high-tech firms in the past, but has a reputation as an agency on the rise. The deal is said to be reportedly worth $15 million.
Brand New Site For Macintosh Developers
A new online resource for Macintosh developers has been announced. Called Program.Com Macintosh Developers' Resource, this site adds to the growing number of Macintosh oriented Web sites available on the Internet.
The Information Age Is Officially Here
MacKiDo has an article called The Information Age. MacKiDo's David K. Every says "It is all about what the Information age means to users -- and where technology is likely to go..."
New Beta For MacComCenter
As part of Smith Micro Software's public beta testing program of it's voice/fax/data communications package, version 2.0b11 of MacComCenter has been released for mass consumption. The installer expires October 1st, 1997.
Thursday, July 24th
Memphis Officially Dubbed Windows 98
In an announcement that was expected since early this year, Microsoft surprised no one when it said yesterday that its successor to Windows 95, code-named 'Memphis', will now officially be titled Windows 98. The company concedes that the release still doesn't have a specific timeframe, as they will only commit to saying a first quarter rollout is expected, and the missed Christmas selling season will be a blow to not only Microsoft, but also the dozens of PC manufacturers who expected to have Memphis available to pre-load on their machines for the ever-important holiday season. PC Week has more.
Power Proceeding With BeOS Plans
Power Computing stated in a note on their Web site that they should begin bundling the BeOS with new machines once "engineers have completed an independent compatibility analysis of the BeOS." The company expects to have these evaluations completed soon, according to the note. Customers of Power machines who purchased their equipment after mid-November of last year are entitled to a free copy of the BeOS, but it should be noted that PowerCenter Pro users will have to rework their hard drive setup to use the OS, as it doesn't currently supported the bundled Adaptec SCSI card.
Roaster To Showcase JDK 1.1 Support At Macworld
Though Apple's JDK 1.1-based Mac OS Runtime for Java 2.0 has been privately seeded to developers for months, Roaster Technologies' will mark the first public showing of JDK 1.1 support on the Mac OS platform with a demo Roaster Release 3.1 at next month's Macworld Expo in Boston. The update is expected to be released in late August and, according to the company, will be free to all registered users.
IBM Quietly Rolls Out NCs
In stark contrast to Oracle's public championing of their, as of yet, undelivered Network Computer (NC), IBM quietly announced today additions to their line of already shipping NCs. The $799 IBM Network Station Series 300 is available now, and the company's Java-oriented machine, the IBM Network Station Series 1000, will go on sale later this year.
Wednesday, July 23rd
The Mac Observer's Mac OS 8 Coverage
After the official rollout of Mac OS 8 yesterday in Cupertino, copies of the most significant Mac OS upgrade in years were on their way to store shelves everywhere for sale this weekend, but we've got a chance for you to win one of eight copies, now. However, before trying your hand at our Mac OS 8 Bonanza contest, see what all the hype is about in Mike Lambert's and Bryan Chaffin's in-depth article, entitled, Mac OS 8: Resistance Is Futile. The staff here at The Mac Observer has had the chance to run the software through its paces throughout the last week, and we must say, after experiencing 8, there's no going back.
Apple's Rumblings At Internet World
Typically a somewhat drab and uneventful show for Apple, this week's Internet World '97 in Chicago is proving to be a showcase for some of the company's bigger announcements. Numerous products were announced today, and we'll start with Apple's Java movements. The final version of the speedy Mac OS Runtime for Java 1.5, which is decked out with a PowerPC native Just-In-Time compiler and conforms to the 100% Pure Java initiative, and its companion Java Development Kit were announced today. The software is expected to be posted on the AppleJava homepage sometime today.
Although not due for release until this fall, the QuickTime Plug-In 2.0 for Internet Explorer and Netscape's browsers was on hand as well. The fully cross-platform product will ship alongside QuickTime 3.0 later this year and it will introduce bandwidth sensitive QuickTime movie delivery, as we reported last week. Support for AVI movies (Microsoft's competitive video format) and integration with QuickTime VR 2.0 is also planned.
The third generation of the Apple Internet Server Solution (AISS 3.0), which includes an astonishingly long list of Web server and content creation software, will be featured on two new workgroup servers, the 9650/233 and 7350/180. Both systems are said to be available immediately and feature the following configurations:
Three SCSI Channels
Single Or Dual 4GB HD
12X CD-ROM Drive
12X CD-ROM DRIVE
Finally, Apple and Advis, an Apple Enterprise Alliance Solution Provider, introduced Mantle for SAP R/3, a developer component that integrates the data and functionality of SAP R/3 systems with the dynamic Web capabilities of WebObjects. Through three integrated capabilities from Advis' product, the Mantle and WebObjects combination results in robust and highly scalable Web business applications.
AppleChats Featuring Apple Product Managers
The Apple WorldWide Community is kicking off what will be a series of weekly chats revolving around Mac OS 8 tonight at 6PM/PST. This evening's quest will be AppleScript Product Manager Sal Soghoian with MacOS 8 Product Manager Peter Lowe taking questions tomorrow night at the same time slot. The discussions will be simulcasted via the Apple area on AOL (keyword: APPLECOMPUTER) and their IRC server (chat.online.apple.com, port 6667, channel #AppleLive). The Apple Live Web site has further information.
Ambrosia Addresses Compatibility; Delays Manse
Ambrosia Software, developers of such notable Macintosh shareware games as Escape Velocity and Maelstrom, stated today that their entire line of products is fully compatible with Mac OS 8, a statement that not every developer can make, unfortunately. In related news, speculation is that Ambrosia has delayed their forthcoming action adventure titled, Manse, citing not enough innovation in its current form.
Revenues Dip 3% For Apple Subsidiary
Despite being without any major product launches in the quarter (Claris' president, Dominique Goupil, evidently doesn't think Emailer 2.0 is a flagship product), strong sales in the Windows market kept Claris relatively close to their year-ago results. Revenue for the Apple subsidiary's third quarter came in at $53.9 million, down only 3 percent in the same quarter last year, but sharply lower than the company's previous quarter mark of $69.7 million. On the positive side, revenue from the company's Windows product line doubled over the same quarter last year.
Netscape Q2 Earnings Jump 52%
Netscape says that strong sales of the recently launched SuiteSpot 3.0 and Netscape Communicator helped boost their second quarter operating income by 52 percent. The company reported an operating income of $8.8 million, compared with $5.8 million in the year-ago period. Revenues, however, dipped into the red, as Wall Street expected, due to the one-time charge of $52.6 million for the purchase of DigitalStyle Corp. and Portola Communications earlier this year. Shares of Netscape were down sharply today after an analyst lowered his outlook for the remainder of the year.
Tuesday, July 22nd
Heidrick & Struggles Takes CEO Task
Apple's Board of Directors is hoping Heidrick & Struggles can continue their recent run of successful recruited executives (which, most notably, have included IBM's Lou Gerstner) as the CEO-less company announced today that they have retained the rights of the high profile executive recruitment firm to pick a replacement for the departed Gil Amelio. Although no public timeframe has been committed to yet, it's expected that the Heidrick & Struggles and Apple Board partnership will result in a newly appointed CEO within the next 90 days.
Mac OS 8 Rolls Out Today!
After months of anxious waiting and anticipation, Macintosh owners will finally got their 8 as Apple officially rolled out Mac OS 8 at a press conference in Cupertino earlier this afternoon. The company's internal celebration also began today as well, complete with 6-foot tall statues bearing the "8" moniker which were sparsed throughout the Apple campus, and we here at The Mac Observer will kick off our coverage tomorrow morning. Besides an in-depth review of the new operating system, we're also preparing a promotional event that you surely won't want to miss out on.
Metrowerks Adds Java To CodeWarrior For BeOS
Metrowerks began shipping CodeWarrior for BeOS Release 3 yesterday, the latest in their line of development tools for the BeOS. A native JIT compiler and support for JDK 1.0.2 are introduced in this release, which also comes complete with the recently introduced BeOS Preview Release. The development kit is priced at $299 and $119 for education outlets. Current owners who have free upgrades coming can download the new release from Metrowerks' homepage.
Progressive Cuts Deal With CEO's Former Employer
Microsoft announced yesterday that they have invested a 10% stake in Progressive Networks, the company lead by former Microsoft vice president, Rob Glaser, and best known for their streaming server and client software, RealAudio and RealVideo. The $30 million investment was said to have been made to aid in the development of standards for streaming software.
Excite Extends Beyond Search Engine
Taking a step beyond their search engine heritage, Excite said it plans to offer free Web-based email access in conjunction with Whowhere Inc., a company backed by the Rockefeller family. The partnership will make Excite the first search engine company to offer free email, and it's expected to garner $2 million to $10 million annually for Whowhere.
Lari's LightningDraw/WEB Now Supports 68K
At this week's Internet World '97 show in Chicago, Lari Software announced a version of their Web graphics application, LightningDraw/WEB, for 680X0 machines. A 30-day fully functional trial version is available for download from the company's homepage.
Sculley Buys Into Digital Video Firm
Former Apple president and CEO, John Sculley, was part of an investment team who invested a $3 million stake in Ephyx Technologies, a company focusing on interactive digital video products. This is the latest in a string of investments Sculley has made, including recent a infusion into NetObjects.
Mac OS 8 Web Campaign
Intended to "turn the Web into a gigantic Mac OS 8 promotion to complement Apple's own marketing", Lari Software's Mac OS 8 Web Campaign has a collection of promotional material, including a variety of buttons for use on Web pages.
Monday, July 21st
Motorola Strengthens StarMax Line
Motorola began shipping the latest systems in their StarMax 5000 product line today. The new machines are built around the Tanzania II motherboard, which Motorola co-developed with Apple, and feature a 50-MHz system bus along with an integrated ATI Rage 3D II+ graphics chip. The already available 5000/300 now sits alongside the newly introduced 5000/225, 5000/250, 5000/275, and 5000/200 models, with the later being the only machine to use a PowerPC 604e chip (all other systems use a 603e). The entire line uses a minitower design and will ship with Mac OS 7.6, 512K L2 cache, 16X SCSI CD-ROM, 5 PCI slots, 2.5 or 4.3 GB hard drives, 10BaseT or 10/100 Ethernet, 32 MB RAM, and an Iomega Zip drive. Prices range from $1,999 to $3,399.
In addition, Motorola also announced a graphics accelerated version of the 5000/300. The upgraded machine will feature a 8MB IXMICRO Twin Turbo video card and will retail for $3,399.
Surprise! Ellison Points To Jobs
Larry Ellison, chief executive of Oracle and the man behind the infamous Apple takeover 'trial balloon', has publicly stated that he feels that Steve Jobs would be the best choice "by a huge amount" to be the successor to the recently ousted Apple CEO, Gil Amelio. Ellison and Jobs, who are widely known to be best friends, have long been proponents of the much-ballyhooed Network Computer (NC), and some have recently suggested that if Jobs were to take either the CEO or president post at Apple, an Apple-branded NC would be headed towards the production line.
Jobs Spending More Time In Cupertino
Steve Jobs has been spending much of his time at the Apple campus in Cupertino following his recent increased role in the company, according to an article in this morning's USA Today. Jobs is reportedly holding frequent high-level meetings with company executive to discuss strategy, products, and marketing, and is even talking directly with the workforce. The co-founder of Apple told employees last week that their stock options have been lowered to $13.25 per share, giving them actual leveraged assets.
VRML 2.0 Coming To The Mac Later Today
Intervista Software's Worldview 2.0 beta 1, a VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language) 2.0 browser plug-in, is due to be released for the Macintosh later today, marking the first time in which Mac users will be able to view VRML 2.0 files. The software will initially only work with Netscape browsers, but the final version will function with Microsoft's Internet Explorer, according to the company.
QuickMedia Offering Free Living Album Pro
QuickMedia Labs, Inc. said today that it is giving away 800 copies of its multimedia photo/audio/video album creator, Living Album Pro CD, to early purchasers of Mac OS 8. The free CD offer available through the company's secure on-line ordering page and users will only have to pay shipping and handling fees, which, in the case of U.S. customers, is $8.
Access Software Mysteriously Pulls Demo
The Links LS for Macintosh demo we reported on last Thursday has been pulled from Access Software's homepage, and no explanation has been given. On a seemingly unrelated note, the company has also posted a warning to owners of the Congressional add-on golf course. Access states that a MBDF A/B virus was shipped with the 1.0.0 version.
Buy-A-Mac Now Known As MacSystems
Oliver Dueck's Buying-A-Mac Web site has undergone a transformation and is now known as MacSystems. The area of focus has changed as well; Dueck's new site will "provide rumors, news, and views on new Mac OS systems and related software."
Friday, July 18th
Microsoft Sees Profits Soar Nearly 90%
Citing strong sales of Windows NT Server and other 32-bit products, Microsoft reported a 88% jump in their fourth quarter earnings. The software giant earned $1.05 billion, or 80 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $559 million, or 43 cents a share, in the year ago period. Revenues were up sequentially as well, surging 41 percent to $3.18 billion from $2.26 billion, a year earlier. But despite the impressive results that were actually ahead of expectations, Microsoft is trading sharply lower in today's session, due to its failure to meet the so-called "whisper number."
Netscape Pushes Netcaster PR3... Still No Mac
Netscape posted the Preview Release 3 version of its push component, Netcaster, earlier today, and like prior versions of the software, platforms other than Windows 95/NT are still being ignored. Despite numerous people hinting at an imminent release of the Mac version, Netscape has remained tight-lipped about release dates, saying only that it is their intention to provide all of their platforms with Netcaster.
Blue World Announces Lasso 2.0
Blue World Communications has announced the availability of Lasso 2.0, a major upgrade to their Internet publishing solution that brings Web and Java capabilities to Claris' leading database application, FileMaker Pro. Both CGI/Plug-in and Server versions are available for ordering from Blue World's homepage, and the company says that registered owners of Lasso 1.X are entitled to special upgrade pricing.
MacUser Previews Arthur-based Offering
In its September issue, MacUser previews a PowerTower Pro prototype from Power Computing featuring the soon-to-be-released 'Arthur' PowerPC chip. Testing revealed the 275-MHz chip to be nearly 80% faster than the fastest currently available PowerPC chip, the 604e/250. But incremental megahertz speed bump is not the only important issue with Arthur -- the chip is coupled to a 1-MB backside L2 cache.
Apple To Show Off QuickTime 3.0
Apple will demonstrate the Internet features of QuickTime 3.0 at this week's Internet World Summer 97 show in Chicago, according to MacWEEK. The latest version of the industry's multimedia standard, will ship for both Mac OS and Windows machines in September, and will feature the QuickTime 2.0 plug-in, which will introduce bandwidth sensitive distribution.
Qualcomm Rolls Out EIMS 1.2
The final version of Qualcomm's Eudora Internet Mail Server 1.2 (formerly Apple Internet Mail Server) is now available for downloading from the company FTP server for both 680X0 and PowerPC machines.
MacOS Rumors Moves To Own Domain
The staff over at Mac OS Rumors has moved to a new server and its domain name, which they say should speed access to their site. Rumors also has expanded coverage through new features, such as a Rhapsody application list.
MacFixIt Makes Its Return
MacFixIt, the indispensible online resource for any technical problems related to the Macintosh, has resumed its normal updates today, following the three-week long vacation of Webmaster and creator, Ted Landau.
At the request of a Power Computing employee, we have removed our story regarding information about the company's Wintel intentions that was sent to us by an anonymous reader.
Thursday, July 17th
Apple Garners Speculative Buy Rating
Robert M. Cohen & Company issued a speculative buy rating on Apple Computer today and set a 18 month price target at $32 share, signaling the first real confidence marker from a Wall Street brokerage house in years. Despite continued losses and a uncertain time frame for a return to profitability, Robert M. Cohen analyst Keith R. Bossey said that 1998 will be "a year of rebirth for Apple", and believes that the ousting of Gil Amelio was the first step toward future targeted growth.
Buyout Rumors Continue
Hewlett-Packard and UMAX are preparing buy offers for Apple, according to yesterday's edition of Don Crabb's New Product Gossip Of The Day newsletter. UMAX' name has been sifted through the rumor mill ever since Gil Amelio's departure, but this is the first we have heard HP's name mentioned. Officers at Apple, however, are deaf to these rumors -- acting CEO, Fred Anderson, said in yesterday's conference call that no companies have approached Apple about an acquisition.
Back To School Promotion From Apple
Apple's latest Back To School promotion gives college students cash rebates ranging from $50 to $300 when purchasing selected Apple-branded products through campus resellers. A $300 rebate is given on Power Mac 6500 machines, while $200 is offered on the PowerBook 3400, 1400 and Power Mac 7300, 8600, and 9600. Power Mac 4400 and 5400 machines carry a $100 rebate, and purchasers of several peripherals, including the QuickTake 200 camera, will receive a $50 rebate.
Live Picture Picks Up OLiVR
Live Picture, a relatively new digital imaging firm headed up by former Apple CEO, John Sculley, announced yesterday that they have purchased OLiVR Corp., a developer of technologies used to accelerate image transfers over the Internet. Live Picture will integrate the technology in their RealSpace Image Server Suite.
New Photoshop Plug-In Expands Web Palette
RDG Tools' DitherBox, a new $29 plug-in for Adobe Photoshop extends the limited 216 color Web palette by blending single pixels of legal colors to create new colors not in the original palette, is available in demo form for both 680X0 and PowerPC machines.
MacSurfer's Mac OS 8 Links
MacSurfer's Headline News, the venerable Macintosh Web site indexing house, has added "a comprehensive link list to all things Mac OS 8 oriented including reviews, official Apple press, software, and other tidbits leading up to Mac OS 8's release."
Tee Off With Links LS Demo
A demo of the imminently available Links LS has been posted by Access Software. Like the game, the demo is PowerPC-only, and your machine must have a monitor capable of displaying 800x600 resolution. Also, be wary; the file is 19.2 megabytes.
Wednesday, July 16th
Apple Posts $56 Million Loss, Beats Street
In a day in which Wall Street saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average surpass the 8,000 milestone, even Apple shareholders had something to be encouraged about, despite the negative superficial appearance of Apple's quarterly results. The company posted a net loss of $56 million, or 44 cents a share, for its fiscal third quarter, but beat the street's expectation of a loss of $70 million, or 54 cents a share. This compares with a loss of $32 million in the year ago period. Revenues for the third quarter were $1.7 billion, compared to $1.6 billion in the quarter ended March 28, 1997 and $2.2 billion in year ago period.
The company's acting CEO, Fred Anderson, attributed the relatively small jump in sequential revenue growth to the strength of sales in the high-end Macintosh and education markets. But after seeing the company beat the street this quarter, shareholders will not be thrilled over the prospectus for the fourth quarter. Anderson revealed that the company does not expect to turn a profit in the fourth quarter, reversing what has long been Apple's publicly stated objective. A press release has more.
BeOS Goes On Sale Today
For those of you keeping a watchful eye on the operating system that nearly became Rhapsody, you'll be interested to hear that Be, Inc. will be taking orders for the BeOS, beginning sometime today. The 'BeOS Preview Release', as this first general release is officially dubbed, will be available through a variety of bundles, with one of them being entirely free to the end user. The details below are taken from an announcement made to Be developers.
The BeOS Trial CD
Freely bundled with magazines and other avenues. This includes the BeOS Preview Release CD and electronic documentation. It is what we call a 1 + 0 product which means that you get that one System release and no free updates (excepting maintenance releases). The October newsstand issue of MacUser (available the week of August 25th) will include the software.
The BeOS Trial Pack
$10 in the US including US priority mail. This includes the BeOS Preview Release CD, a printed installation guide, and electronic documentation. It is a 1 + 0 product which means that you get that one System release and no free updates (excepting maintenance releases).
The BeOS Full Package
$49 in the US including US priority mail. This includes the BeOS Preview Release CD, a printed installation guide, electronic documentation, and the printed 200 page BeOS User's Guide. It is a 1 + 2 product which means that you get that release plus the next TWO upgrades are sent FREE to registered users.
Jean-Louis Wants More Apples
In his weekly column in the company newsletter, Be, Inc. president and CEO, Jean-Louis Gassée, suggests that Apple take the oft-mentioned track of splitting the company into two distinct firms; one for hardware, the other for system software and applications. Gassée proposes either merging the hardware company with Power Computing or hiring Steve Khang, and puts forth the idea of former Claris president, and current Apple VR of marketing, Guerrino De Luca, running the software company.
Netscape Said To Be Nearing In On 10 Million
Netscape's vice president of client product marketing, Bob Lisbonne, said today that the company will have 10 million users of the new Communicator suite in the near future. An official announcement when they hit the milestone is forthcoming. Lisbonne also reiterated Netscape's support for Rhapsody, although no specific plans were mentioned. Reuters has more.
Apple's Mac OS 8 Days
Apple has posted a new page on their Web site entitled 'Mac OS 8 Days' which, through Macromedia Director clips and Shockwave animations, showcases some of marketing directions the company will be taking with the OS. Additional clips will be posted on each successive day before the product's launch on July 22nd.
Kodak Utility For Digital Camera Owners
Kodak has released the Macintosh version of the Kodak Digital Science Picture Transfer Application, a file format conversion utility for owners of DC40 and DC50 digital cameras that takes file in Kodak's proprietary format (.KDC) and converts them to more popular graphic formats (PICT, TIFF, JPEG, and FlashPix).
New Cyberdog Part In Development
Alex Musil and Albert Lai have been developing at Cyberdog QuickTime Conferencing component for their senior project at Stanford, and are expecting to release a beta quality revision of the software on their homepage soon.
Our story regarding Be's plans for the BeOS was published last night and subsequently moved to today's new to allow for greater viewing.
Tuesday, July 15th
StarNine Releases WebSTAR 2.1
Macintosh Web administrators, get ready to upgrade; StarNine Technologies has announced the immediate availability of the latest version of their venerable Mac Web server, WebSTAR 2.1. Current owners of 2.0 can download the free 2.1 Updater archive via StarNine's update page. For owners of prior versions, the company is offering a 'Macworld Expo' upgrade price of $149, which is good until August 15th. Evaluation copies are available at StarNine's homepage as well.
Losses Could Be Greater Than Expected
Tomorrow's third quarter results from Apple could be higher than the recently released First Call consensus estimate of $70 million, according to Reuters. Analyst's whose expectations were already in the $100 million range see a chance that losses could run even higher amid reports of dropping sales by Computer Intelligence. Further, some firms believe that Fred Anderson's comments last week (the interim CEO stated that Apple is out of the profit predicting business) signal that the company could miss its break even mark of returning to profitability in the fourth quarter.
WWDC Sessions Coming To Macworld Expo
Intended to recap the ten most popular Mac OS and Rhapsody technology sessions from May's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), Apple Developer Relations will be offering a new conference track at next month's Macworld Expo in Boston labeled 'WWDC Essentials Track'.
Claris Emailer Update Disappears, Reappears
After releasing the Claris Emailer 2.0v2 upgrade earlier today, Claris pulled the file, and its accompanying text description, off of their FTP server, but has since posted it once again. No explanation on the reasons for the vanishing file are given.
Apple To Introduce New Reseller Program?
In an apparent effort to move beyond the short list of authorized nationwide catalog dealers who have marketing rights, Apple will introduce a new initiative called the 'Electronic Reseller Program', according to MacInsider. Apparently, the new program is aimed to give authorized dealers the ability to market Apple branded products through online storefronts, provided they bring in a minimum of $10 million of annual sales on Apple machines.
Power Computing Upgrades Coming Next Month?
Based on a source presumably from within Power Computing, Jeff Keller's PowerWatch Web site is reporting that the company will ship upgrades to the PowerWave, PowerCurve, PowerCenter, PowerTower, and PowerBase lines in August, seemingly to coincide with Macworld Expo in Boston.
Microsoft's Latest Shot In The Browser Wars
Microsoft made their latest move in the browser wars today, ushering in the preview release 2 version of Internet Explorer 4.0, the first version to be classified as 'feature complete'. In addition, the company also signed 250 content providers for its new Active Channel technology. Unfortunately, though Microsoft surprised people by unveiling a Windows 3.1 preview, the first Macintosh beta isn't expected to show up for several more weeks.
Crack-A-Mac Server Attacked
The Crack-A-Mac Web server that is being used to host a lucrative security contest fell victim to a furious Syn_Flood attack last night. The ISP providing service for the contest believes that the IP-spoofing attack was strong enough to bring any system down. As result of this meltdown, the contest has been temporally suspended, and will not resume until a solution is found.
Apple And CodeFab Enter Into Agreement
Apple and CodeFab, Inc. entered into a WebObjects training agreement today that will give CodeFab the right to conduct education sessions centering around the Web technology in New York City. CodeFab's next course, entitled 'World WebObjects', is a $2,000 four-day event that is scheduled for July 22-25.
Monday, July 14th
New Machine, New Promotion From UMAX
In their efforts to distribute their CacheDoubler technology throughout their entire line of Mac OS machines, UMAX announced today the SuperMac S910/250, the first PowerPC 604e machine to use the new advancement in cache. Slated for delivery in early August, the $4,395 machine is expected to be featured in the company's Macworld Expo booth, and it will ship with the following configuration.
4GB Ultra SCSI HD
1MB L2 Cache
24X CD-ROM Drive
Internal Zip Drive
8MB IXMICRO Twin Turbo
10Base-T and 100Base-T
The company also announced a promotion featuring a flatbed scanner from their sister-firm, UMAX Technology. Beginning this Tuesday, July 15th, and lasting until September 30th, customers who purchase a machine from the C600 line (which includes the C600/180, the C600/200, the C600/240, the C600e/200, the C600x/240 and the C600x/280) will receive a free UMAX Astra 600s 30-bit color flatbed scanner, valued at $249.
First BeOS Suite To Debut At Macworld
Jay Swartzfeger from BeOS Central notes that BeatWare Inc.'s BeBasics, the first productivity suite for the BeOS, will debut at next month's Macworld Expo in Boston. According to BeatWare, pricing for the product, which will be distributed via both CD-ROM and the Internet, is expected to be set at $69. Further information about BeBasics is available from the company's homepage.
The Future Of Apple From Sculley
Following an exclusive interview last week with freshly departed Apple CEO, Gil Amelio, the San Jose Mercury News sat down for a discussion with another ex-CEO, John Sculley. The former PepsiCo executive believes that Apple should look to Delbert Yocam and Steve Jobs to head up their vacant top-level positions, in large part because, as ex-Apple employees, they understand the company culture. Further, Sculley outlined a four-step plan that he thinks would keep Apple alive, albeit at a reduced sized:
- Attack education markets through a "licensed royalty deal" with a respected vendor of Wintel PCs.
- Sell a range of products, including the upcoming Rhapsody-based computers, to "creative professionals".
- Develop an Apple-branded network computer.
- Shut down everything else -- for now.
AppleTalk Coming To NT Via PC MACLAN
Miramar's PC MACLAN for Windows NT is expected to ship this October for $249. Like the current Windows 95 variation, PC MACLAN for NT implements the AppleTalk protocol, giving Wintel users the ability to share files and disks bi-directionally with any Mac OS machine. Printing capabilities via PostScript- or AppleTalk-compatible printers are also included with the software.
Microsoft Shutting The Window On Netscape?
Microsoft's goal of seamlessly integrating Internet Explorer 4.0 with the Windows 98 operating system could draw interest from beyond the computer world; the San Francisco Chronicle is reporting today that Senator's Ted Stevens and Barbara Boxer will ask the Federal Trade Commission to review the Windows-IE link. Due to the integration, competitors, such as Netscape, will be left out, as installation obstacles among other things will face users trying to make the switch to Communicator.
Apollo Technologies Unleashes CyberDoc
After breathing new life into the OpenDoc world with their OrbitPak CD, Apollo Technologies is giving the circle of users a boost with a quarterly CD-ROM magazine, dubbed 'CyberDoc'. Featuring a variety of Mac software, news, and tutorials, CyberDoc is now available by yearly subscription for $19.95. The current edition is being sold separately for $5.95. Further details have been posted on the company's Web site.
New Macintosh E-Zine Available
The July issue of Apple Wizards, a new free monthly DOCMaker electronic magazine focusing on serving the Macintosh community with opinions, news, and tips and tricks, is now available.
Macintosh Web Sites In The News
After a two-week hiatus, Bryan Goldstein is resuming updates on his PowerBook Memory Source site. Meanwhile, Eldee Stephens' newly redesigned thessaSOURCE is now at its own domain name.
Weekend: Saturday, July 12th
If Asked, Hancock Would Take CEO Position
Despite her resignation from Apple last week, former vice president of advanced technology, Ellen Hancock, said in an interview with MacWEEK that she would take the vacant CEO post, if given the opportunity. Hancock believes that Apple needs a chief executive who understands the company's employees and can be a 'visible and articulate' leader. She also says that focusing on the enterprise market would be a mistake, and is hoping that the company will not lose focus of its own markets.
Prices Cuts On 6400 And 6500 Lines
An Apple press release announces the widely expected price cuts on the Performa 6400 and Power Macintosh 6500 lines. The reductions, which range from $200 to $300, are in effect immediately throughout all reseller channels.
Revised Mac Observer Contact Information
In conjunction with our transition to Reprahduce, we are revising our contact information to help aid in organization and the speed in which we can reply to your letters and notes. Please check out our Contact Information page for the revamped addresses.
Friday, July 11th
Apple Shares Up 15% On Buyout Rumors
Rumors that a buyer is interested in purchasing Apple sparked extremely heavy trading today (over 6.5 million shares traded hands) that resulted in the stock soaring nearly 15%, ending the day at 15 3/16. Despite the speculation, no specific names have been mentioned thus far, though past 'trial balloons' from Sun Microsystems and Larry Ellison's Oracle will surely have their names being tossed around.
Amelio Admits Ousting From Board
In a exceptionally candid interview with the San Jose Mercury News, ex-Apple CEO, Gil Amelio, revealed that his so-called 'resignation' from the company was actually a decision made entirely by the board of directors, confirming what my insiders had already believed. Amelio's honesty directly contradicts reports from columnist, Don Crabb, in which Crabb suggests that Amelio stepped down in large part because of personal problems. Rather, Amelio readily admits he would have preferred to remain with the company. (Audio clips from the interview are also available.)
Jobs Doesn't Want CEO Position, Says Woolard
Steve Jobs has indicated that he does not want to be considered for the vacant Apple CEO position, at least according to what Apple board member, Edgar Woolard, said in an interview with CNBC's David Faber last night. The chief executive of DuPont, who was also the first one to contact Gil Amelio about his departure, went on to say that the board doesn't "think a sale of the company is the appropriate thing." However, rumors circulating around the Mac community are hinting otherwise.
Microsoft And Intuit Team Up For Active Channel
Microsoft announced today that Intuit's Quicken Financial Network will be offered as an Active Channel on the push portion of their upcoming Internet Explorer 4.0 browser, which is due to enter beta on the Mac within the next 30 days. This announcement follows similar deals with both PointCast and MSNBC. Intuit also said that they will be integrating Internet Explorer in its line of software.
No PowerBook 2400 For Canadians
A report received by a variety of Macintosh Web sites states that Apple Canada has no intentions of carrying the PowerBook 2400. The sub-laptop is scheduled for an early August rollout here in the United States, and is expected to include Mac OS 8.
Apollo's OrbitPak: Hot Mac Product
OrbitPak, Apollo Technologies' collection of OpenDoc software, is highlighted by Apple in their July Hot Mac Products. If you're interested in picking up the package, we would kindly remind you that our promotion with Apollo expires this afternoon.
Thursday, July 10th
Amelio-Less Apple Moves On
The media is still abuzz over the resignation of Apple CEO, Gil Amelio, and his right-hand partner, Ellen Hancock, and rightly so. Just why did the self-dubbed 'turnaround expert' leave the company at such an odd time, especially with their third quarter earnings announcement just one week away. Questions about the company's financial position and profitability outlook have exploded because of the coincidental timeframe and interim CEO, Fred Anderson, declared that the company would take its foot out of the profit predicting business, an announcement that any shareholder could have lived without. Quite frankly, when you get down to it, one would have to believe that Amelio's departure came because of his inability to turn the company into a profit-making machine.
Speculation hinting at other factors for his exit have been rampant as well. Amelio himself put a semi-spin that basically said his job was complete, a story that one might half-heartedly believe if the announcement followed a true milestone (ie. something along the lines of Rhapsody DR1). But it didn't. Further, columnist, Don Crabb, states that personal problems forced Amelio's decision to come earlier than expected. Apparently, his intentions were to leave after the fourth quarter anyway, a quarter in which the company expects to turn profitable.
Board room showdown, or not, the financial performance of Apple under the Amelio tenure was simply disheartening, and in itself, was presumably the reason for his exodus. The company's stock was cut nearly in half over 17 months, dropping to decade lows just last week. Significant losses (totaling over $1.6 billion) were posted in four of the five quarters under his realm. And almost laughably, despite these woeful financial figures, Amelio will walk away from Apple with a severance package worth well over $10 million.
Below are the latest stories surrounding the resignation:
We are trying to collect information on which Macintosh browsers are susceptible to this security flaw, and if you have any notable experiences, please be sure to email us.
Yahoo! Posts Strong Results
Helped by an increase in Web traffic to their collection of sites, Yahoo! beat the street's expectation of a 1 cent loss with second quarter profits coming in at $610,000, or 2 cents a share, marking the third straight quarter in the which the company posted a profit. Revenues in the year ago period more than quadrupled, rising from $3.3 million to $13.5 million.
Wintel Machines Reach For 300-MHz Mark
Following better than expected quarterly earnings this morning, Compaq announced today that they will be delivering a line of 300-MHz Pentium II machines this fall, leaving the PowerPC camp with the only available 300-MHz desktop processor. Though Intel is shipping the chip, as of yet, none of PC desktop clone vendors are offering systems centering around it.
Wednesday, July 9th
Amelio, Hancock Resign
The story first broke on CNBC after the close of the market today, and though there were rumblings in the Mac community the past few days, the story is still shocking -- both Apple Computer CEO, Gil Amelio, and vice president, Ellen Hancock, have resigned. Apparently, the decision came after a 'consultation' between Amelio and the Apple board of directors. Current chief financial officer, Fred Anderson, will take over as interim CEO, and Steve Jobs will assume an expanded role with the company. Jobs' name is also said to be on the list of possible candidates for the CEO position, though no one is sure if he wants that dubious title again. A press release from Apple, along with the below clippings, lay out more details.
Estimate Calls For $70 Million Loss
A consensus estimate of 24 financial analysts compiled by Boston-based First Call, expects Apple's red ink for the third quarter to approach $70 million, or a loss of 54 cents a share. While just an estimate -- analyst's opinions differ largely with evaluations ranging from a loss of 9 cents to a loss of 96 cents -- the street puts a significant bearing on the First Call report, with subsequent trading often based entirely around the actual comparative results. The good news for Apple, and its shareholders, is that First Call estimates a small profit in the fourth quarter, which is right in line with expectations from executives at the company. MacWEEK has more.
ODF Lives On Through Hutchings
A lengthy waiting period for Hutchings Software has ended and their hopes of gaining the rights to Apple's OpenDoc Development Framework (ODF) have succeeded. Apple has granted Hutchings a source code license to the component architecture, meaning that Hutchings now has the rights to distribute and enhance future versions of the software. The company apparently will now label OpenDoc as Component X and it plans on picking up right where Apple left off. Developers interested in the project can already download the latest Hutchings version of ODF, ODF R4-HS beta 1.
New Twin Turbo Drivers Posted
IXMICRO has released the 4.0.2 drivers for both stand-alone and pre-installed Twin Turbo 128 video cards. No documented changes are available, as the company only notes that "version 4.0.2 is our newest and fastest driver".
BackWeb Releases Software... Makes Some News
BackWeb, the latest vendor of Internet push technology for the Mac platform, has released the final 1.2 version of their client. Meanwhile, the company also announced plans today to acquire Lanacom, and to integrate Lanacom's Headliner tools in the BackWeb server software. With the industry bell-weathers (Microsoft and Netscape) now in the push market, this deal is likely to be the first of many more to come.
Newest Navigator 3.0 Addresses Flaw
Users who are still holding onto Netscape Navigator 3.0 should be advised to download the latest update, 3.0.2. A wide-publicized security flaw that was discovered last month by Danish software firm, Cabocomm, is remedied in this release. No other changes are apparent, although Netscape has yet to post release notes.
Sign Up To Beta Test Ambrosia's Latest
Ambrosia Software, the venerable Macintosh shareware author, is now accepting beta test requests for Eclipse 3.1.0, the latest version of their popular screen saver program. Unfortunately for game fans, testing for the company's Harry The Handsome Executive and Manse has been closed.
Tuesday, July 8th
Motorola Out With Q2 Earnings
A trading day that saw the street's anticipation for Motorola's second quarter earnings push the stock to a new all-time high ended quite nicely for the semi-conductor giant, despite a drop in quarterly margins. Sales for their second quarter came in at $7.5 billion, a full 10% increase from the year ago period. Earnings, however, actually fell $58 million to $268 million, in large part because of the company's decision last week to phase out its production of DRAM chips. The associated one-time charge of $170 million was the main culprit of the dip in earnings.
Apple To Shuffle PowerBook Lineup
As has been widely expected, Apple will be making significant changes to its entry-level PowerBook 1400 line next week. The company will introduce on Monday the highly speculative 166-MHz version, and will also usher in price cuts and additions to the 133-MHz models. Gone will be the low-end 117-MHz machine, apparently due to the fact Apple has exhausted its current supply of PowerPC chips at that speed. Significantly, this move will apparently eliminate a sub-$2,000 PowerBook from Apple's line as the 1400c/133 and 1400cs/133 with 1.3GB hard drive and 8X CD-ROM, will retail for $3,000 and $2,500, respectively. The 1400c/166 will clock in at $3,500.
ROM-Less CHRP Systems In August?
MacSurfer's MacNews received a note from Macworld's executive editor, Galen Gruman, indicating that Apple is nearing completion on their long awaited RAM-loadable ROM routines for CHRP-based systems. According to Gruman, Apple will ship systems in either August or September, a significantly earlier time frame than originally expected. ROM-less systems will effectively grace clone vendors with the ability to design their own machines from top to bottom, something which hasn't been possible due to their needed reliance on Apple motherboards.
Net Pager Now Available In Final Form
The final 1.0 version of ichat's Internet messaging client, ichat Pager, is now available for both PowerPC and 680X0 users. For an overview of what the product can do, be sure to check out a Mac Observer preview of an earlier beta.
Java Makes Its Move Towards Consumers
Last week, Sun Microsystems took the wraps off their initial efforts to move Java into the consumer marketplace. Centering around its new Java Application Environment, PersonalJava, the new specification has been posted for a two-month public review. The goal of PersonalJava is to give smaller devices with smaller memory footprints the ability to run Java applications.
Apple Research Releases SK8
Apple Research Libraries' SK8 (pronounced 'skate') is a new multimedia authoring environment that has been used in the creation of several applications, including Apple's Cocoa. The development environment features a "fully dynamic prototype-based object system, an English-like scripting language, a general containment- and renderer-based graphic system, and a full-featured development interface." .
MBDF B Variation Sparks Anti-Virus Revisions
John Norstad's Disinfectant 3.7 and Datawatch's July updater for Virex have been released to protect users against a minor MBDF B variation that has been discovered. The prior version of Disinfectant (3.6) was able to detected this virus, but only through the program's extension, not the actual application.
3COM/USR Merger Results In Cutbacks
Following the recent acquisition of U.S. Robotics, 3COM revealed today their plans to downsize their workforce by up to 800 jobs over the course of the next year. The layoffs, which are planned to consist of 600 permanent and 200 part-time positions, will be taken as a unspecified one-time charge in the company's current fiscal quarter.
Monday, July 7th
Amazon Opens Book With Yahoo!
Amazon.com and Yahoo! entered into a multi-year agreement today that will have the popular search engine providing references to related content from the online bookseller. Slated to kick off this fall, the service will offer users direct links to book titles from every Yahoo! search and book category pages. The new venture will initially encompass the Yahoo!, My Yahoo!, and Yahoo! Metro sites, with further expansion planned for early 1998.
Cross-Platform Intranet Server From SoftArc
The $999 FirstClass Intranet Server (FCIS) from SoftArc Inc. is now shipping for both Windows and Macintosh platforms. Billed as a robust and secure workgroup communication environment, FCIS is available as a $299 upgrade for existing owners of FirstClass 3.5. After a 90-day grace period, the company will raise the upgrade price to $599.
Apple Japan Aiming For 16% Domestic Sales
Based on the prospectus of the introduction of Rhapsody, Apple Japan said today that are hoping to capture 16 percent of the personal computer market in Japan in 1998. The unit, which had been at or above that market penetration level in prior years, also disclosed that sales for 1997 could fall short of the previous year's mark of 700,000, due to product shortages.
Alpha Of Quid Pro Quo 2.0 Arrives
Social Engineering is now conducting a alpha test of the latest version of their freeware Web server, Quid Pro Quo 2.0. The new revision adds support for multiple virtual hosts, multihoming, remote adminstration, and more. Two additional variations of the server are planned for distribution upon the program's release. Quid Pro Quo Secure will include full SSL and X.509 certificate server support while Quid Pro Quo Plus adds SSL only.
mBED's Interactor 1.0 Begins Shipping
mBED Software announced today the immediate availability of mBED Interactor 1.0, their entry into the ever-growing market of multimedia design tools for Web developers and designers. Several online storefronts, including BUYDIRECT.COM and Software.net, are carrying the $99 tool, which is also available in a 30-day trial version from the company's homepage.
OneStep Delivers Complete OpenStep Interface
OneStep 1.0 from Harry Alloul, Bernard Frangoulis and Alessandro Levi Montalcini is a new interface extension that overhauls the appearance of your Macintosh to mimic the look of OpenStep. While some Kaleidoscope color schemes have offered similar styled windows, OneStep adds features like actual window re-sizing routines and 'lined' pull-down menus.
The Mac Observer Transition Complete
Our move over to Reprahduce was completed earlier this afternoon, and everyone viewing the site should be seeing it from the new server, provided that the domain name switch trickled down in all locations. There are still some things we are working on (namely email issues) but any hiccups will be remedied as quickly as possible. We ask that you please bear with us through this transitional period.
Thursday, July 3rd
Claris Now Taking Mac OS 8 Orders
Claris has begun taking pre-orders for Mac OS 8 via their direct sales line (1-888-643-0137, ext. 1569), and owners of Mac OS 7.6 will undoubtedly be delighted as Apple has seemingly shown their appreciation to people who made the January upgrade by offering a $30 discount off the price of the upcoming operating system. And for orders before July 24th, Claris will be offering several value-added software bundles featuring Emailer 2.0 and Conflict Catcher 4. Full pricing information is available from here.
Meanwhile, the exact shipping date of Mac OS 8 seems to be confusing a number of readers. Several news outlets and Web sites have reported two different dates for release -- July 22nd and July 26th -- and from what we have been hearing, there is logical explanation. Apparently, the software will be officially unveiled at a press event in New York City on the 22nd, but shipment won't occur until the 26th.
Marimba To Be Acquired? Polese Says No
If you're to believe the rumors circulating around the Java community, Microsoft would be pulling out its wallet, yet again, to purchase start-up Marimba, makers of the innovative but, as of yet, lackluster Castanet Tuner. But that won't happen, at least according to Marimba CEO, Kim Polese. In Chris Nolan's latest column in the Mercury News, Polese strongly denies that Marimba is any acquisition talks (with anyone) and points out the company's hope of eventually going public.
Crack A Mac: The Next Generation
Intended to quell any criticisms that were labeled against the original hacking promotion, Crack A Mac "The Next Generation" still holds true to the same basic premise -- break into the machine, win the prize -- but the server software has now been revamped to guard against any Ping Of Death attacks and to allow for a more realistic scenario. The contest, which has a prize of SEK 100.000, starts tomorrow, July 4th, and runs through October 15th.
MetaCreations Shuffles Management Team
The new digital imaging conglomerate, MetaCreations, announced today several appointments in their management team. They are as follows: DeAnna Wassom, vice president of marketing; Chuck Massanari, vice president of sales; and Thomas Cullen, vice president of OEM sales. Last but not least, Frank Casanova, the former Apple employee so many of us know as the 'Macworld Demo God', now takes the seat of vice president of product management and design with MetaCreations.
Is A 300-MHz 603e Faster Than A 200-MHz 604e?
Without a doubt, megahertz is usually the indicator looked upon by people when trying to judging the performance of different processors. But in the PowerPC world, the higher the number doesn't always necessarily mean that it's the better chip, especially in the case of the 300-MHz 603e. A SPECint chart on The Mac Performance Comparison Page proves this.
Abbott Seeking Beta Testers
Abbott Systems is currently looking for prospective beta testers for the Macintosh version of AtChat, their new Internet chat client that doesn't require the use of dedicated server. Interested parties should email the company at email@example.com.
Amelio, Kawasaki To Keynote Macworld Expo
Gil Amelio and Guy Kawasaki will be the keynote speakers at Macworld Expo in Boston, which runs from August 6-8, and in his customary position, Kawasaki will be displaying the hottest, coolest, and most exciting Macintosh products during his session. Below is a list of the third-party products which will be featured:
Starry Night Deluxe
|TIFFany III (Rhapsody)
GearBox Spins To 1.0.1
The latest version of Rockstar Studios' Internet connection management tool, GearBox 1.0.1, cures problems associated with running OpenTransport on a 680X0 machine, along with separated TCP preference and DNS entry bugs.
Wednesday, July 2nd
Apple Stock Tumbles To 12-Year Low
Since the afternoon of June 17th, Apple stock has dropped in price each successive trading day, cumulating yesterday with the street's reaction to Power Computing's filing of their initial public offering. The stock dropped by 7%, putting the price at a twelve-year low of 13 3/16. In today's trading, the stock continued that downward spiral, ending the session off 1/8 of yesterday's mark. And though volume was half of what is was in the previous session, over 2.25 million shares of Apple were traded this afternoon.
Of importance, stock followers and Apple fans should keep the following items in mind: Apple is scheduled to release their quarterly earnings on July 16th, and the FirstCall estimate is for a loss of 57 cents per share. If this year's reaction from the street in regards to a missed earnings estimate holds true, any loss higher than 57 cents could realistically drive the stock even lower.
Newton Inc. To Be A No Show At Macworld
Due to concerns over the prohibit costs of attending large scale trade shows, Newton Inc. has decided to skip this summer's Macworld Expo in Boston. The young company's goal of being profitable in its first year will necessitate many limitations, and despite the importance of having their product in the public eye, Newton Inc. says that they will stay away from attending every event and will only participate in two major industry shows a year and a few 'vertical market' events. However, the company notes that they will be on panels and forums at Macworld in August.
Apple Europe Offers Free Upgrade To Mac OS 8
As a part of the Mac OS Up-To-Date Program, Apple Europe will offer a free copy of the Mac OS 8 CD to customers who purchase a Macintosh from this day forth. The localized European version of the operating system update is expected to be released in September, following the July 22th rollout in the United States.
Power's Kocher Talks To The Public
It's not something you see occurring everyday, and it brings back nostalgic memories of when every company president would return a phone call, but nonetheless, Power Computing's chief operating office and president, Joel Kocher, took the time yesterday to return dozens of phone calls to people who were concerned about the direction the company has decided to take over the course of the next year. MacInTouch, Mac Resource Page, and Clone Central have all received reports from readers detailing their conversation with Kocher.
Fog City Delivers LetterRip 2.0
This week, Fog City Software took the wraps off of LetterRip 2.0, the latest version of their highly-regarded mailing list manager. Complete changes are documented in the product's version history. The company recommends that all current users upgrade to the new version, something that will be of no cost as part of the 12 month subscription that customers receive.
Are You A Macintosh Expert? Looking For A Job?
Doug Noble's MacTalent.com, a nationwide employment registry focusing exclusively on Macintosh-related jobs (including part-time, full-time, contract or freelance), is offering a free six-month introductory listing for interested companies.
Casady & Greene Corrects Update Problems
Following yesterday's disappearance of the Conflict Catcher 4.0.3 update, Casady & Greene wasted no time and has posted the corrected update (4.0.3v2) along with a patch for users who happened to install the previous incarnation. Both are available for download from here. An explanation from the company sorts through any possible confusion.
Web Archer PR2 Supports More Browsers
The Preview Release 2 of ClearWay Technologies' Web Archer adds support for Internet Explorer, America Online, and Cyberdog in addition to its original backing of Netscape Navigator. The search system is still expected to be released on July 31st at a retail price of $29.95, although that price-point has yet to be finalized.
Qualcomm Ups Eudora's To 3.1.1
Qualcomm has a Eudora Pro 3.1.1 updater available for downloading, along with readme notes for the new release. In addition, Eudora Light 3.1.1 has been posted, although from what we can gather, there are no updaters -- only the full version is available.
Tuesday, July 1st
Mach 5 CPU Blasts Off
Motorola and IBM took the wraps off of their latest PowerPC collaboration yesterday -- the Mach 5 chip. Dubbed as a lower-powered version of the PowerPC 604e, the new chip initially runs at 250-MHz yet consumes nearly one-third the power of a 200-MHz 604e processor. But even with the low power dissipation, don't expect to see the chip running in any laptops soon, as the Mach 5 doesn't include the power management functionality of the 603e or Arthur designs. Systems using the new processor are expected to begin showing up in the third quarter. MacWEEK and Macworld have more.
New NIE To Bring Ethernet Support
An enhanced Newton Internet Enabler (NIE) 2.0, featuring first-time support for Ethernet connectivity, will ship this fall. In conjunction with the release, several third-party developers will ship products which take advantage of the new capabilities, including Farallon who will provide support for its Ethernet PC Card on the eMate 300 and MessagePad 2000. Meanwhile, the freshly independent Newton Inc. will be debuting the features of the new software extension at this week's National Education Computing Conference in Seattle.
Apple News On The Education Front
Today's issue of Investor's Business Daily is reporting that Education Access (EA), Apple's largest exclusive dealer to elementary schools, will begin selling and supporting machines from both IBM and Power Computing. Over $120 million of Apple products were sold through EA last year, accounting for nearly 50% of Apple's total sales in the elementary market.
More importantly, a study released yesterday by Quality Education Data reveals that, despite the troubled times and bad publicity surrounding Apple, sales in the ever important K-12 education market actually rose three percent during the past year. Apple now holds a 56% market share, compared with a 40% for Wintel machines. Interestingly, Bill Gates, speaking at the National Educational Computing Conference, said the he believes that "the Macintosh is going to continue to be very, very important in the educational environment for a long, long period of time."
Insignia Slashes Price Of SoftWindows
After going years without competition in the PC emulator market, Insignia is faced with the tough task of overcoming Connectix' newly-released Virtual PC. The wide range in price difference should become a small factor going forward, however, as MacWEEK reported yesterday that Insignia has lowered the price of SoftWindows 3.0 and SoftWindows 95 4.0 down to $149 and $199, respectively. Further, Insignia is evidently working on RealPC, a low-cost emulator that will bring sound support to DOS, as well as, we assume, the ability to run any PC operating system.
Motorola Plans Exit Of DRAM Market
According to a published report, Motorola will halt production of DRAM (dynamic RAM) chips and has planned a staged exit of the market by the year 2000, due to a declining market share. The first chip to be phased out will be the company's joint-venture production of 16MB DRAM modules with Toshiba. Motorola will take a $170 million pretax charge for this cutback in its second quarter which could have an effect on its July 8th earnings report.
Is Gates' Eye On CBS?
The New York Post is reporting today that software giant, Microsoft, has approached Westinghouse Electric in a bid to buy CBS. Any takeover won't be easy for Microsoft, who is already in a joint effort with NBC, as Seagram's is said to be also interested.
[Update:] Following this morning's report, Microsoft has firmly denied that they are in any takeover discussions with Westinghouse. A spokeswoman for the company stated that any talks for a CBS acquisition would jeopardize their relationship with NBC. The AP Wire has more.
ClarisWorks For Kids Coming This Month
The previously announced education offering from Claris -- ClarisWorks for Kids -- has been certified and is on schedule for release in the middle part of July, according to the company. A Windows 95 version is expected to follow in the spring of next year. The education retail price of the product will be $49.
Start Me Up: The Sequel?
Computer Reseller News Online reported last week that the expected September 15th release of the final version of Internet Explorer 4.0 will be ushered in with the biggest marketing campaign from Microsoft since the much-ballyhooed launch of Windows 95 in August of 1995.
Casady & Green Pulls Conflict Catcher 4 Update
The 4.0.3 update to Conflict Catcher 4 that we reported on last week has been pulled, according to the Mac Resource Page. This update, as you'll recall, brought Mac OS 8 compatibility to the utility, but problems with the file not updating everything it should have caused the disappearance.
MacInsider Uncovers Printer Promotion
Apple will run a LaserWriter 12/640 Rebate/Trade-In program from July 12 to October 10th, according to MacInsider. Apparently, Apple will issue a $200 rebate to purchasers of either the LaserWriter 12/640 PS or LaserWriter 12/640 Plus, while also providing compensation for laser printers that are traded-in.