|Volume 7: No. 53|
I reported last week that Apple will be making network PCs. That's likely, but hasn't been announced. What has been announced is that Apple and Microsoft are dropping lawsuits, working together on at least one Java project, and agreeing to share some [undisclosed] technology and patents. Since these two companies control nearly all of the desktops, they can set any standards they want. One can infer that Netscape and Sun are in trouble, although the appointment of Larry Ellison to Apple's board is a point for the anti-Microsoft forces. Ellison and Gates are usually portrayed as arch rivals, competing for the coming home/education Internet/TV market. Steve Jobs just says that Microsoft is no longer the enemy.
Microsoft's $150M went for non-voting stock to be held at least three years. They probably paid $18/share, for a $50M paper profit already at the current stock price. As analysts say, Microsoft's pocket-change investment in Apple was a no-brainer decision. (The Justice Dept. will probably see no anti-monopoly violation, since propping up Apple keeps competition open.) But Microsoft's real contribution is the promise to keep producing software for the Mac -- also a no-brainer, given the hundreds of millions that Microsoft makes from Mac software.
An independent study of 30K media professionals at 10K media companies found that Mac users produced $26,441 more annual revenue and $14,488 more net profit per person than Windows users of comparable skill doing comparable work. [Gistics, Inc. (Larkspur, CA). IW, 28Jul97. EduP.]
Larry Tesler -- Apple's chief scientist, Internet honcho, and acting VP of Advanced Technology -- has left after 17 years. He has a Palo Alto start-up to do educational software for kids. [SJM, 05Aug97, 1C. Bill Park.] (I've heard Cocoa, Inc. and CSI as names for the company.)
Macworld and MacUser will be merging, consolidated under the same publisher as MacWEEK. Mac Publications is a joint venture of IDG and Ziff-Davis. [TidBITS, 04Aug97.] (The two magazines have carried almost identical advertising from the beginning. I always wanted MacUser to be more programmer/home user-oriented, as opposed to business oriented, but I guess that's not where the advertising money was.)
Software pirates have been paying Apple a rare tribute. After System 7.6 was released, some 30-40 websites are said to have circulated free copies of the CD image. But after System 8.0 came out, no one posted a pirated copy. None, reportedly. The pirates are urging people to buy it legally. [Chris Nolan, SJM, 04Aug97, 1E.]
Although eclipsed by Apple announcements, Be Inc. (Menlo Park) now has a version of its multiprocessing Be OS running on a PC with two Intel processors. Two Intel engineers worked at Be for three months to get it working. The Intel version will probably be released in Jan98. About 1,500 people have purchased Be OS for the PowerPC, available since mid-July. Be hopes to give away a million copies within a year. It's also seeking $15M-$20M to finance marketing of the OS. One company making software for the platform is Starcode Software (Redwood City, CA), founded by Stanford students. [Jodi Mardesich, SJM, 29Jul97, 1C.]
And there's still a use for old technology: Computer critic Clifford Stoll has converted the shell of an old IBM PC into a cat litter box; his old Mac Plus is now an aquarium. [WSJ, 02Jul97. EduP.]