We've talked a lot about 7.1 in the past but have missed a few interesting bits. You know how Apple has shipped a new version of the operating system for each new computer, causing a proliferation of that final digit in the version number? Well, that's about to end. System 7.1 supports drop-in software modules called "system enablers" that enable the standard version of 7.1 to support whatever new features of the specific Macintosh are appropriate. That should eliminate the 6.0.x-syndrome, where x equals any arbitrarily large number. I think this is a terribly useful (it would be thoroughly clever if it wasn't so obvious) innovation, and I applaud Apple for making Macintosh life easier.
System 7.1 has System 7 Tune-Up built into it, which is good, but may unfortunately confuse the issue more. You need System 7 Tune-Up 1.1.1 with System 7.0 and 7.0.1, but you do not need Tune-Up at all with System 7.1. Hope that settles it. Apple also increased File Sharing security so "guest access" is no longer the default, and in a move I love, Apple removed DAL from System 7.1 so normal people no longer have to throw it out immediately. Those who need it can get it in a software solution pack from Apple.
System 7.1 users should have almost no compatibility problems, with two known exceptions. Networks running AppleShare on the server will need to upgrade AppleShare on the server to version 3.0.1. More commonly, if you use MacTCP for network access, you should upgrade to MacTCP version 1.1.1. We have no information on upgrade costs or procedures for AppleShare 3.0.1 and MacTCP 1.1.1 yet, so stay tuned.
System 7.1 Update Kit -- As we reported, Apple's press materials imply, but do not state clearly, that you may not copy System 7.1 freely. You can get the System 7.1 Update Kit if you are a System 7 user for $34.95, and it includes new system disks in either 1.4 MB or 800K format, a QuickTime 1.5 disk, and a System 7.1 Update Guide.
Unlike the following two upgrades, which will certainly be available through dealers and software resellers, and probably mail order firms like MacConnection and MacWarehouse, Apple's press materials say that the System 7.1 Update Kit will be available directly from Apple, never mentioning dealers or software resellers. In some respects this makes sense, since after the middlemen take a cut of that $35 price and discount it to the user, Apple would probably lose money on the Update Kits. It may make sense, but it doesn't mean we have to like it. $35 is not a lot of money for most people (and yes, I know it is for students - I was one not long ago), but you can't buy much other software for $35 and as we discussed in TidBITS-143, Apple is at heart a software company and must transfer its money-making ventures to software so that it can lower the prices on its hardware. At least 7.1 will come with new Macs.
System 7 Personal Upgrade Kit -- Apple aimed the (Version 7.1) System 7 Personal Upgrade Kit at users upgrading from System 6. It costs $99 and includes System 7.1 on six 1.4 MB disks, a QuickTime 1.5 disk, and a disk with the Compatibility Checker. Manuals include the Desktop Macintosh User's Guide and the System 7 Upgrade Guide. For an unspecified limited time, Apple will bundle At Ease with this upgrade.
System 7 MultiPack -- Larger sites can purchase the System 7 MultiPack, which provides a license for a site to upgrade up to ten users from System 6 to System 7.1. The software comes on CD-ROM in several language versions, and includes QuickTime 1.5, the Compatibility Checker, and system enablers. You also get 1.4 MB disks containing the same stuff, as well as the two manuals from the Personal Upgrade Kit and the Administrator's Handbook. All that and more for a mere $499 if you call fast. No At Ease, but you might get a Ginsu knife if you hurry. Obviously, a ten-user upgrade won't do squat for a really large site, but sit tight because Apple plans to offer a volume-purchase plan after 30-Nov-92. Call the number below or hassle your Apple rep for more info.
Picky little details -- US customers who purchased the Version 7.0 System 7 Personal Upgrade Kit or the Group Upgrade Kit after 01-Sep-92 can get the 7.1 version for free with proof of purchase. For more information on that, call the number below.
If you purchase either the System 7 Personal Upgrade Kit or Group Upgrade Kit and require 800K disks, you can call and Apple will send them to you at no charge.
Asian System versions -- Along with the US version of System 7.1, Apple also has KanjiTalk 7, the Japanese version, available immediately. It includes all the features of System 7.1, plus the Kotoeri input method and seven new Kanji TrueType fonts. Other versions of System 7.1 will be available soon, including the Korean version on 01-Nov-92, the Thai version on 15-Nov-92, the ChineseTalk II (Traditional) version on 15-Nov-92, and the System 7 (Chinese/simplified) version on 15-Jan-93.
Apple System Software Upgrades -- 800/769-2775