The A/UX Unix for Apple’s new 68020-based Macintosh II – implemented by the Unisoft arm of Root Computers Ltd (CI No 636) – will not offer the full windowing facilities of the Mac’s own operating system and is not due till late 1987. Together with the A/UX System V will be an optional paged memory management unit, using the Motorola 68851, and an Ethernet interface. Apple says that it has seen demand from its technical and educational users for Unix, and that with the native Mac operating system limited to single tasking for the forseeable future, Unix would fill a need for multi-tasking applications such as network file servers. Although A/UX itself will not support the Mac graphics interface, it will provide access to the Mac toolbox, allowing applications to be developed that can manipulate Mac windows and the user interface. Now that the facility is built in, other co-processors are also planned for the new Mac II. While the II has gone down pretty well – there is a great division of opinion with some seeing it as very expensive, others as very cheap, the Mac SE has not won universal applause, not least because its facilities – such as the one slot – are not available as upgrades on any of the existing Macs, which means that many users may well be feeling that the company has let them down. But the older Macs are expected to be around for some time yet – Dataquest is forecasting 575,000 to 600,000 Macs this year, only 100,000 of them SEs and only 30,000 to 40,000 of them the top-end Macintosh II.
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