Herbert Festoff reports from the Moscone Center in San Francisco on the third day of the MacWorld trade show.
This year’s San Francisco Macworld has been about the future of the Mac OS operating system and it is no coincidence that the show’s 80,000 visitors descending into the Moscone Center’s cavernous underground halls are greeted on arrival by an enormous portrait of Power Computing Corp’s chairman and chief executive. Steve Kahng is shown beaming radiantly in a pose reminiscent of Mao’s Cultural Revolution. Steve says: Defend your OS choice or you will lose it! sets the theme for Power Computing’s entire massive presence at the show. Power Computing is aggressive in a way that Apple Computer Inc should be but can’t be, and the company is making a success of its fierce commitment to the Macintosh platform. So much so, that Kahng is trying to move to center stage himself. In press interviews from Power Computing’s gung-ho MacWorld booth, he said that he was in talks with Motorola Inc and IBM Corp to form a consortium that would give cash support to Macintosh software developers. The idea is to defend the PowerPC platform (after IBM’s vacillation) and give succor to both the current MacOS and the future Rhapsody, the replacement for the ill-fated Mac OS 8 Copland project (CI No 3,073). A lot of developers have been very positive about the initiative and expressed interest in joining. In what might be seen as a bit like the tail wagging the dog, Apple will also be invited to the party.