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August 20, 1998


By CBR Staff Writer

Apple Computer Corp, along with Microsoft Corp, has been one of the main evangelists for the Universal Serial Bus (USB) connection interface, pushing the twin USB ports of its new iMac as a major selling point. However, news now reaches us that Apple may be hedging its bets on the take-up of the USB standard – there is a custom pin out PCI port on the underside of the iMac’s motherboard, not listed in the iMac’s specs. An Apple spokesperson says of it, the port is there to provide Apple with design flexibility…there are no published specifications. This presumably means that if USB does not pan out as quickly as expected, the iMac will be able to support PCI compliant devices equipped with a suitable cable, accessing the PCI port through the expansion door on the side of the iMac. Which may turn to be a wise move, for although Microsoft, Acer Group and Apple are all bullish about USB, peripheral makers such as Cannon Inc and Seiko Epson Group are more cautious about the standard (CI No 3,475) and as yet have not provided the flood of USB compliant devices that the PC makers are talking about.

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