by Mark H. Anbinder, Contributing Editor
Apple has announced that, as of 14-Sep-92, it has begun shipping new Macintosh computers with a run-time "HyperCard 2.1 Player" program in place of the more-functional HyperCard 2.1 software that has shipped with all Macs since last fall. The company's license from Claris to distribute HyperCard itself expires on 30-Sep-92.
The Performa line, available through consumer retail outlets rather than dealers, is the first group of Macintosh computers to include the new HyperCard 2.1 Player software, which includes the player application, a special Home stack, and a Read Me file but no sample stacks or a manual. By the end of the month, Apple expects all computers in their inventory to include the new software in place of the full HyperCard version.
For Macintosh models of which a floppy-only configuration is available, such as the Quadra family and the IIci, a HyperCard 2.1 Player floppy disk will come with the system. Other CPUs will only include the software pre-installed on the internal hard drive.
New Macintosh purchasers who want the complete HyperCard package in order to develop their own stacks will still be able to purchase Claris's HyperCard Development Kit, which retails for $199. Most Apple dealers sell this kit.
Apple's research has shown that most people who use the free copy of HyperCard that came with their Macs simply use stacks that other programmers have designed, and Apple feels that few people will be affected by this change. While we feel that this may limit the number and variety of nifty stacks generated by "average Mac users," it does make sense not to force all Macintosh purchasers to pay for something that only a few use. (The same logic applied to Apple's decision to introduce the Macintosh IIsi with a single expansion slot, after they learned that most users of three-slot and six-slot machines only filled one anyway.) If Apple did not include the new HyperCard Player with the machines, we would complain vociferously... but this seems to be a good compromise.
Claris -- 800/544-8554 -- 408/987-7000