Apple Computer Inc, still trying to encourage developers to write native applications for its forthcoming PowerPC-based Macintoshes, is now said to have passed on a limited number of software development kits to users with prototype hardware. According to US reports, beta versions of the Macintosh on RISC Software Development Kit are now available from APDA, Apple’s own source for development tools. Apple says it expects to release at least two tool upgrades between now and when the first PowerPC-based Macintoshes are introduced in March. Further upgrades will follow every subsequent quarter. The APDA development kit comprises tools for Apple’s Macintosh Programmers Workshop environment, a MacApp application framework as well as a PowerPC-ready assembler, a C++ compiler, and a debugger. So far, it is believed that fewer than two dozen vendors have committed to providing native applications for PowerPC-based Macintoshes – embarrassing since Apple is planning to launch them next March.