In an unexpected move, Apple announced last week that Tempo, the next incremental release of the Mac OS due this July, will ship under the moniker Mac OS 8 instead of Mac OS 7.7. Apple claims Tempo is a significant technological and user experience upgrade, and includes features like a PowerPC-native, multi-threaded Finder, significant interface changes, and the spring-loaded folders originally intended for Copland (the now-scrapped operating system formerly known as Mac OS 8).
It’s widely rumored this re-christening has less to do with making operating system releases clear to customers than with Mac OS licensing fees. Clone vendors currently have licenses only for System 7, and may have to obtain new licenses for Mac OS 8. Although this may create new opportunities for the application-poor BeOS, the timing should come as no surprise: most clone vendors knew Apple planned to ship a Mac OS 8 in 1997 when they originally signed up. However, Apple could be looking to increase its flagging revenues at the expense of Mac OS licensees, which could hurt the Mac clone business, a dangerous move in today’s market. [GD]
Mac OS Clone Sales — Dataquest recently released updated personal computer market share numbers that showed Apple’s licensing of the Mac OS provided noticeable increase in the overall Mac OS market share for 1996. Apple Computer’s share of the personal computer market was 6.7 percent in 1996, good for fifth place, but adding the Mac OS clones into the mix raises the numbers to 7.8 percent, or fourth place. In addition, Computer Intelligence just released numbers showing that the Mac OS market share in the U.S. dealer channel grew from 8 percent in Nov-96 to 11 percent in Jan-97, again, due primarily to Mac OS clone sales. Interesting stuff, especially in light of Matt Deatherage’s comments in TidBITS-363. [ACE]
Apple Drops QuickDraw GX Printing — Due to limited user acceptance and developer support, Apple has announced it will not include the printing features of its QuickDraw GX technology in the upcoming Mac OS 8. Other aspects of QuickDraw GX, including typographic and object-based graphics, will be rolled into the OS release. [JLC]
FTC Holds Apple Accountable — If you bought a Performa or LC 550 or a Performa 560 after 01-Apr-94, you may be able to purchase a PowerPC upgrade for $599, including upgraded software and extra RAM – and if you already upgraded your machine to PowerPC, you might be able to get $776 back from Apple! The Federal Trade Commission has held Apple accountable for "false and misleading" advertising regarding PowerPC upgrades for these specific machines. Although Apple admitted no guilt, Apple will be contacting customers directly about rebates. If this settlement affects you, feel free to contact Apple directly with your machine’s serial number or a proof of purchase. Apple Computer, Inc. — 408/996-1010 [GD]
More Developer Relations — Apple recently named David Krathwohl to replace the popular Heidi Roizen (see TidBITS-365) as the vice president of Apple Developer Relations. Although we haven’t heard a much from developers about the move, David has the background for the job, having managed Developer Relations in Europe for three years, after which Heidi named him director of International Developer Relations. [ACE]