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Amelio Announces New Operating-System Strategy


During his keynote speech at MACWORLD Expo Boston, Apple Computer, Inc.,President and CEO Gilbert Amelio described Apple's efforts to reorganize itself into a more successful company, talked about new products being shown at Macworld, and previewed some exciting new technologies that Apple is currently working on. As part of that speech, Dr. Amelio announced a fundamental shift in the way that Apple delivers new operating-system functionality.

Dr. Amelio stated in his keynote speech that Apple is changing its strategy to deliver new functionality through incremental releases rather than large monolithic releases. Moving forward, Apple intends to follow the industry model of shipping software releases in incremental segments. This release strategy will get new software developments out to the market more quickly and allow both developers and customers to take advantage of new software developments sooner.

The motivation for this change is that Apple believes that its current model of monolithic system-software releases isn't working, and that it doesn't allow Apple to get software advancements out to customers and developers soon enough. Therefore, Apple has decided to change its introduction strategy for system software to adopt the industry model of shipping releases in incremental segments more regularly.

In line with this new strategy, Apple now views Mac OS 8 not as a single large release but as a series of incremental releases. Apple recently shipped an incremental release, System 7.5.3, and plans to issue the next system software release in January 1997, followed by another release in July 1997. These releases should begin delivering some of the new features from Mac OS 8.

The planned January 1997 release includes some new functionality and integrates the latest versions of OpenDoc, Open Transport, QuickTime, and Cyberdog into the Mac OS. Apple intends to ship a developer seed of this release in early October. At present, no details about the contents of the July 1997 release are available.

Apple's new strategy for delivering operating-system functionality has caused some changes in previously announced plans. Apple has canceled the Mac OS 8 Developer Release: Compatibility Edition CD, which was scheduled for delivery to developers this month. The reason for this is that the concept of shipping this or any other large, monolithic developer release is not consistent with Apple's new software strategy of shipping incremental releases.

Apple believes that it needs to work closely with developers to ensure that this new strategy meets their needs and allows both Apple and them to offer Mac OS customers the latest software technologies and applications. Once Apple has fine-tuned this new strategy based on developer feedback, the company will share a more detailed strategy with developers and the public.


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