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October 12, 1995

EWORLD NOT LONG FOR THIS WORLD

By CBR Staff Writer

Sources inside Apple Computer Inc have confirmed that its eWorld is due effectively to be scrapped because even its own developers prefer the Internet. Apple confirmed it was conducting an internal enquiry into the future of its on-line system but would not confirm details of how far into the future the system was likely to run. A series of meetings culminated in an internal strategy briefing in which Apple decided to keep up with the times. The company’s dilemma has arisen from the fact that its own developers are unhappy with eWorld as a method of distributing information. When asked at the Apple World Wide Developers Conference, developers expressed a wish to have information standardised for HyperText Mark-up Language, the Internet standard, rather than Adobe Systems Inc’s Acrobat, which Apple hoped it would standardise on. The company has been moving developers from its former AppleLink system to eWorld but the majority of developers said that they would prefer to use the Internet as their medium for communication. This is seen as a move away from eWorld and the source within Apple said it was only a matter of time before eWorld was wound down completely. Only 115,000 people have signed to the service since its inception over 15 months ago, and of this number it is not known how many are actually active users of the on-line service. The company also confirmed that Apple was moving at a fairly fast pace towards the Internet and was also putting more emphasis on world-wide communications rather than developing its on-line service. We think the Internet is the next industrial battleground. In October we are offering Web content on the site, said the spokesman. Apple said Management of eWorld (is) moving it toward a more Internet-based service, although the company denied that it was planning to shut down the system altogether – we are not getting out of the proprietary on-line business, we’re not disappearing, a source said. Early next year the company is planning to release Cyber Dog an application that is intended to make it easier to pull graphic images off the Internet. The company also has plans to create a version of its planned Pippin device for Internet access. Pippin was originally intended as a CD-ROM and home ‘edutainment’ player that could be attached to television sets to enable it to serve as a low-cost device for connecting consumers to the Internet.

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