It appears that Copland has gone the way of the dinosaurs and IBM Corp’s Future Series, and that, like the birds and the IBM AS/400, only bits of it will be recognizable in a completely new product. According to Apple Computer Inc chief executive Gilbert Amelio, the company now plans to release a new line […]
It appears that Copland has gone the way of the dinosaurs and IBM Corp’s Future Series, and that, like the birds and the IBM AS/400, only bits of it will be recognizable in a completely new product. According to Apple Computer Inc chief executive Gilbert Amelio, the company now plans to release a new line of computers as early as 1998 that will run an operating system written from scratch. It is still entirely possible that this will be derived from Be Inc’s BeOS, but Amelio studiously avoided saying so in his speech to the American Electronics Association Monterey Classic investment conference in Monterey, California. Apple programmers will use some of the components of Copland but will otherwise start from scratch, Amelio said, implying that the BeOS option had been rejected. The new operating system will leapfrog Microsoft Corp Windows family, Amelio said, but at a price of not maintaining compatibility with the current generation of Macintosh applications. When you are the minority player in the marketplace, as we are, you need something other than market share to distinguish yourself, Amelio told the conference. He declined to specify what the new software would look like or how it would out-perform Windows, he promised that it would completely change the way people get their work done on computers. The new operating system will take advantage of much faster computer chips – presumably Exponential Technology Inc’s 533MHz X704 version of the PowerPC (CI No 3,026) while reducing the complexity of the software to make computers less prone to crashes, he said. The company hasn’t decided yet whether it will license the new operating system to other manufacturers of personal computers. Amelio also reiterated that increasing Apple’s revenue and market share would not be a priority until he could improve the company’s operations and product lines, which is the same approach Data General took in what now looks a thoroughly successful turnaround. The effort may take until 1998, he added, again echoing the steady approach taken by Data General. I have to have a solid foundation before I can build a castle, Amelio said, because without a solid foundation, Apple would improve its financial performance for one or two quarters but slide again, he said – exactly what happened to Digital Equipment Corp.