MacWorld: Microsoft supports the Mac in a big way

Sorry folks, but today the news is all Mac. Set in the backdrop of a year of massive losses, Apple opened MacWorld today with keynote speeches by Gil Armelio and, later, Apple veteran Guy Kawasaki. Earlier this week, Chief technology officer Ellen Hancock announced that Apple will offer their "NeXT" operating system--code-named Rhapsody--in two versions to developers, "Yellow" and "Blue" sometime in the next six months, with general release in a year. Most importantly, Rhapsody will, in fact, allow users to run legacy Mac apps in a window, similar to the way Mac users emulate Windows now with add-in cards and emulation software. This announcement drew a sigh of relief from the Mac faithful, though the first release of the OS won't run legacy apps--this feature will be added in 12-18 months. The "Yellow" project contains the primary Rhapsody components that are based on NeXT Software's excellent OpenStep OS technologies. The "Blue" portion is a "box" that runs legacy System 7.x applications. If a System 7 app crashes, Rhapsody will continue running unaffected. This sounds to me like Windows 3.1 applications running in Windows NT, or the way that these apps are supposed to--but don't--run in Windows 95. Steve Jobs was greeted to thunderous applause and announced that the new OS will be a mix of Unix with a Mach kernel. Additionally, the new OS will be able to run on Intel Corp. processors. Also on stage was Steve Wozniak, strangely silent in all the hoopla. Apple and other companies, notably Microsoft, will make many announce- ments this week. Apple, for example, will integrate Marimba's Castanet program into the next release of the Mac OS, as Microsoft will with Internet Explorer 4.0 and Windows 97. More amazing, however is the announcement that Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 will be bundled with *every* Macintosh that Apple sells. Yes, you read that right: IE 3.0 bundled with the Mac. Also, Microsoft Office for the Macintosh will be bundled with Mac systems for the first time. Microsoft, for their part, has announced a new Macintosh division that will create native Mac versions of Office 97, Front Page 97, Comic Chat, a Personal Web Server, and more. They will also port ActiveX to the Mac so that ActiveX controls can run in the new Mac OS environment. Beta 1 of Front Page 1.0 for the Mac is available for download today from the Microsoft Web site. Microsoft will post the final version of IE 3 for the Mac next week. Attendies received the software on CD. Netscape announced today that the first beta of Communicator 4.0 would be available to Mac users within "30 days" and that they will support Apple's forthcoming Rhapsody OS

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