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President's Letter

by Andrew Welch

[Andrew on Harley]

It's the day after Apple's "big event", in which they announced three differences between the new and old Apple: the ability to buy Apple products direct via the web (http://store.apple.com/) or via 800 number, a new build-to-order manufacturing plant/methodology, and some new kick-butt processors, the PowerPC G3 (aka PPC 750).

This is all very welcome news. It's about time that Apple came out with machines that were at least within striking distance of the price/performance offered on the Wintel side of the fence. It's about time that Apple managed its manufacturing decently, to prevent backorders of some products as well as warehouses full of unsold inventory. It's about time that Apple joined the 90's and sold their products via the web.

That's the real problem: while these are all good, positive moves, there's nothing earthshaking involved. There's no innovation that used to be a given at Apple. It's really simply a matter of playing catchup with the rest of the industry.

Again, don't misunderstand me. It's great to see Apple at least joining the rest of the mainstream PC business. It's great to see Apple giving consumers good value for their money, and an easy way to spend it. It's just not quite as much as many of us had hoped for.

Front page, headline news? Hardly. But it certainly demonstrates that Apple has some kick left in it, which is refreshing to see.

On another note, we've received Rhapsody for the PowerPC DR1 and Rhapsody for Intel DR1 already, which if nothing else, demonstrates Apple's commitment to making Rhapsody a true cross platform operating system.

I can't speak too much about Rhapsody (non-disclosure agreement and all that), except to say that's it's an extremely fast, robust, stable operating system with very cool development tools. As I've mentioned in previous articles, the real trick will be turning Unix into something the average person can setup and administer. No mean feat.

All of this mearly underscores something that I consider to be very important: Apple is actually doing something. Something right, for a change. It's about time.

[Andrew's Signature]

Andrew Welch
Ambrosia Software, Inc.

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