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July 15, 1991


By CBR Staff Writer

In wake of its industry-shattering alliance with IBM Corp, Apple Computer Inc has been lifting the veil on its future operating system plans, and has made it clear that the Macintosh System will not go on forever. According to Microbytes Daily, Apple officials last week put a term of five to 10 more years on the life of the Macintosh System and gave a few pointers to it successor, the object-oriented Pink. It is our belief that Apple’s current operating system won’t take us into the next century, Roger Heinen, vice-president and general manager of Apple’s Macintosh Software Architecture Division is reported as saying. The follow-on operating system will have object-oriented structures implemented deeply into its architecture, according to Heinen. It is being designed to be portable, running on multiple processors, including include Intel iAPX-86, Motorola 68000 and IBM RS/6000 Power PC – it is being designed up front for portability, according to Apple senior vice-president Ed Birss, adding that it was being written in the object-oriented C++, with some assembler code – which by definition won’t be portable – for tuning, but the intention is that doing new implementations should involve less code rewriting than Unix, according to Birss. The new operating system, to be developed with IBM and IBM’s new Metaphor Computer Systems Inc, will interoperate with the existing MacOS, the proposed combined Apple-IBM implementation of AIX Unix, and IBM’s OS/2 2.0. Interoperability may be accomplished through emulations, but existing programs will run according to Birss. Will the new operating system have the familiar Apple graphical interface? Will it look like the Mac? asks Microbytes: I hope not, said Heinen. We’re talking about 2001. I would hate to constrain the environment. On the Macintosh interoperability front, some observers see IBM picking up functions from AppleTalk for SNA, such as the way AppleTalk invokes automatically and finds its address. A merger of NetView with Apple’s network management is also on the cards, and there could be a network operating system that runs on both IBM and Apple kit – but that could now be Novell Inc’s NetWare – IBM seems to be ascloseasthis to Novell these days, and there is every possibility that the new IBM-Apple software company will make its own acquisitions. Meantime, IBM’s buy of Met aphor Computer gives IBM the Metaphor Data Interpre tation System, which comb ines a graphical user int erface and relational data base technology, as well as the Constellation portable object-oriented environment to be combined with Pink.

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