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April 11th, 2000

3:00 PM] Apple Makes A Play To Bring The Mac Into DVD Authoring Prominence
by Staff

Apple has announced that they will acquire Astarte, the maker of several DVD authoring tools. Apple is acquiring the applications, the technology, and more importantly, the engineering team behind those technologies and products. According to Apple:

Apple® today announced it has acquired the DVD authoring software products and the associated underlying technology from Astarte GmbH, the award-winning developer of DVD authoring tools. Astarte’s DVD engineering team will join Apple as part of the acquisition.

Apple has not yet announced their specific plans for these technologies.

The Mac Observer Spin: This is very interesting. Apple is obviously going to get into the DVD authoring business as an extension to their Digital Video and Desktop Video markets. This is certainly a natural extension, but we think there is more to it than that. One of the reasons that some DVDs have been difficult to play on Macs is that authoring tools for the Mac are less plentiful for the Mac than they are for Windows NT. By supplying the tools for DVD production themselves, Apple can assure (as far as any assurances go) that DVDs work on both Mac and PCs. There is little doubt that Apple will eventually release an authoring suite that is among the easiest to use and produces cross-platoform titles. This is a smart move in our opinion.

More important than that for long term strategy is that Apple is offering another software title to its growing list of products. Hardware is great, but the profit margins sit in the software arena. Beginning with the purchase of Final Cut from Macromedia, and bringing ClarisWorks back into Apple to be released as AppleWorks, Apple has been slowly building its software catalogue. Certainly this build up has been slow, and selective, but it is a build up that will ultimately leave Apple far stronger.

Lastly, Apple will be the only company that can offer a complete hardware and software DVD authoring package developed entirely in house. Unless Amiga pulls some amazing surprises out of their proverbial. rear-ends, there is simply no other company that will be able to claim that. With Apple having long ago placed its bets with DVDs (and DVD-RAM) eventually replacing CDs (CD-R/CD-RW), this is an important step for making sure they have the solutions they think their customers will want.

Interesting, eh?


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