FW: Changes at Apple - from Dave Winer (fwd)

Dan Kohn (dan@teledesic.com)
Fri, 14 Mar 1997 15:50:08 -0800

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From: k claffy [SMTP:kc@nlanr.net]
Sent: Friday, March 14, 1997 2:43 PM
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Subject: Changes at Apple - from Dave Winer (fwd)
Date: Fri, 14 Mar 1997 16:38:11 -0500
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From: Dave Farber <farber@cis.upenn.edu>

Amusing Rants from Dave Winer's Desktop
Released on 3/14/97; 1:33:26 PM PST

I just got off the phone with Guerrino De Luca, deluca@apple.com,
vice-president of marketing at Apple Computer. At 1:30PM Pacific,
forty-five minutes from now as I write this, after the stock market
closes, Apple will announce changes in their product strategy and
changes in the Apple organization.
I was not given the number of people who would be laid off, or the
financial charge that the company would take for the restructuring.
Details will be on the website, address at the bottom of this email.
I agreed to a one hour embargo, so that's how much time I have to get
this piece together. More real-time web writing. OK.
First I'll transcribe the notes from my conversation, and raise a few
questions about the future, some of which De Luca answered and some
which need to be answered next week as the dust settles from the
Apple will focus in the following areas, according to De Luca: great
PCs, great OSes, plug and play, ease of use, multimedia, and the
Internet. The goal is to reduce costs and be more effective in
communicating what Apple stands for.
Previously Apple had 22 marketing organizations, after the reorg they
will have a single marketing organization. Before the reorg, Apple had
six business units for the Macintosh, after the reorg they will have
The result will be a streamlined product line, across all price
points. The Performa line will disappear. This brand-name, according
to De Luca, resulted from the need of a separate
profit-center/marketing organization to have a separate identity.
After the reorg, there will be a single product-
In April, Apple will introduce a new entry-level Macintosh. That's
what they'll call it. No more Performa name.
Mac OS 8 will ship in July. They are abandoning the idea of a
twice-yearly OS release schedule. The next release after the 8.0
release will be called 9.0, its code name is Allegro.
Apple is going to stop development in several OS technology areas.
These include OpenDoc, CyberDog, Open Transport, Games Sprockets, Mac
OS Development Tools, speech technology and videoconferencing. AIX,
Apple's implementation of Unix, will be frozen at version 4.1.5.
These technologies will continue to ship with the operating system,
but will not be enhanced. Bug fixes and minor performance improvements
will happen.
De Luca said that scripting is essential to the publishing industry,
which is a key part of their Internet publishing strategy (I agree)
and that the plans would be coordinated with developers, including my
company, UserLand Software and our scripting environment, Frontier.
Newton and Claris, separate business units, are unaffected by the
restructuring. No layoffs in these organizations. No changes. This
suggested to me that they may be planning to sell them off. I asked
about it. "We're keeping all options open," De Luca said.
That's the substance of the announcement. Now for a brief discussion.
***WebObjects is a mainframe
I asked De Luca to help me understand the positioning of Next's
WebObjects platform. My concern-will WebSTAR and other server
products, and the communities behind those products, have any reason
to make the transition to the Next-authored operating system? His
response: "WebObjects is a mainframe. The price is $25,000 per
I wonder if the $25K price will be justified when the Next people
discover how deep and powerful an enviroment the Mac web developer
community has created.
Last night I spent two hours discussing the future of the Macintosh
web server platform with Chuck Shotton, cshotton@biap.com, the lead
developer of WebSTAR, which I think of as the core product in the
Macintosh OS server environment. We're both still confused about how
WebSTAR and its community will go forward.
I asked De Luca the question about WebSTAR on Rhapsody. He said "We
desperately want WebSTAR. WebObjects is not the end-all on the server
side." I asked if he and the Next people in Apple were in agreement on
this, and he said yes, they were.
I forgot to ask about clones, how Apple will compete with the products
from PowerComputing, UMAX, Motorola and IBM and others. Reports in the
trade weeklies say that Apple is changing the license pricing
structure. I'm concerned that the choices, which have become an
essential part of the Mac environment, will be lessened if this
happens. I'll look for more information on this next week.
***Compare Mac to Windows
"Mac is better than Windows," he said. "You know that."
I actually say something different. The Mac is not Windows and Windows
is not Mac.
Highlighting the differences is good for the platform. Going head-on
is not.
***What about the Internet?
"Mac is bigger than the Internet."
I don't agree, but I understand why De Luca may feel this way. No
doubt in his world Mac *is* bigger. But my view changed dramatically
in mid 1994. I see myself as a net developer. I do a lot of work on
the Mac platform, and have no regrets about that choice.
***Other stories
We're almost finished with our coverage of InternetWorld live from the
Apple booth. There's a pointer at the bottom of this emai. Some great
An interview with musician Thomas Dolby. Photos from the show floor.
A fantastic collaboration between a lot of interesting technologies.
There will be more to say when the dust settles, but the moon mission
thing happened, lots more stuff is possible now, but comments and new
software will necessarily wait till we get home and regain
Still diggin!
Dave Winer

InternetWorld News: <http://apple.www.conxion.com/newsRoom/>