It may have dumped its AIX-based Network Servers, but Apple Computer Inc is determined to remain a serious player in the lucrative server marketplace. After all, it’s the number two supplier of Internet servers behind Sun Microsystems Inc. That’s why it’s going to create new SMP server hardware to host its next-generation Rhapsody operating system plus a Network Computer Server to support thin client devices. Next year Apple will extend its Workgroup Server and K2 (9650) form factor upwards, introducing a four-way PowerPC server that will take advantage of support for multiple processors in its next-generation Rhapsody operating system – Next’s OpenStep plus Mac OS – due mid-1998, as well as a server tailored specifically to support the new breed of thin client devices including its own eMate network computer (and subsequent NC offerings) and other vendors’ NCs. VP Technology Ellen Hancock says Apple is still seeking partners for its Newton handheld unit which is responsible for eMate (CI No 3,139). Apple’s also sounding out what kind of functionality users might expect of a server based on just the Next technologies. Meantime, to optimize Rhapsody for particular requirements – and take advantage of the componentized features of the Mach microkernel which will underpin it – Apple is going to calve an unspecified number of operating systems from the core Rhapsody OS to support thin clients, power workstation users and server environments. We’ll offer Rhapsody Server and client much like Microsoft Corp offers Windows NT Server [and client], the company said. If it’s going to be contender in the server space surely it must have a 64-bit strategy up its sleeve? Not just yet, it says, although it is designing Rhapsody with future support for 64-bits in mind. It says it’s simply not seeing any demand for 64-bit hardware or software in the $8,000-to-$25,000 price band it targets. Meantime, Hancock says that after re- assessing the way it was conducting Mac OS licence negotiations with the compatible builders – and provoking the ire of IBM Corp in the process by trying to hike prices by up to a reported 100% – it’s now re-focused on establishing terms which will lead to an increased share for the [Mac] brand… and provide a win-win situation for all parties. Apple’s newest servers are the Workgroup Server 7350/180 with a 180MHz PowerPC 604e processor, 48Mb memory with 4Gb disk three PCI slots, at $2,900 to $3,600. The Workgroup Server 9650/233 uses a 233MHz CPU with 64Mb memory and one or two 4Gb drives, at from $5,800 to $6,900.