Apple Computer Inc has been outlining its future product strategy and encouraging third party vendors to develop cards for the Macintosh range. Microbytes Daily reports chairman and chief executive John Sculley saying that Apple’s next big push is the engineering workstation market which he predicted was ready to explode. Sculley thinks Apple’s recent Unix implementation – AUX – will lead to a significant development of Mac-based engineering software aimed at the four million engineers out there. However, Microbytes found several engineers ready to question Apple’s prospects in its new found direction. One developer pointed out that there is still no standard Fortran compiler for the Mac II and also that there is little in the way of engineering analysis software currently available on the Apple products. Another said that Apple still has not developed a marketing strategy for the engineering market and does not have in-house marketing personnel with experience in engineering. Despite the attack with Unix, Version 4.1 of Mac-DOS, which will ship in June with the Mac II, will be the standard operating system for the entire Mac product line. Version 4.1 includes new Textedit capabilities, the ScriptManager, a new control panel, sound and menu managers, and has printing calls built into ROM. Apart from engineering and Apple’s existing desktop publishing market, Sculley also believes that there are major opportunities for his company’s ScriptManager and Interfile file transfer products to DEC VAX and IBM mainframe environments and suggests that developers could also cash in by including hooks in their software that allow easier data transfers between operating systems. He promises that company will become a lot more aggressive in the market place especially at the high end. One of his targets will be IBM, which he claims is offering users only a complicated transition to the new Personal System/2 unlike Apple which, he says, offers compatibility throughout the Macintosh line. Microbytes also reports that Charlie Oppenheimer, product manager for the Mac SE has appealed to third parties to build communication cards, lab instrumentation boards with the RS488 connection, industrial cards for process control, sound and music peripherals, 68020 accelerator and graphics co-processor cards, expansion cages, and multifunction cards. He suggests that a multifunction card with a 68020 accelerator and large screen adaptor on board would be a good start.
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