10.0754 Apple software

WILLARD MCCARTY (willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk)
Thu, 6 Mar 1997 08:26:40 +0000 (GMT)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 10, No. 754.
Center for Electronic Texts in the Humanities (Princeton/Rutgers)
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
Information at http://www.princeton.edu/~mccarty/humanist/

[1] From: Tony Meadow <tmeadow@bearriver.com> (33)
Subject: Apple and compatibility (re 10.0751)

With regard to Kristen's comments:

>The question I've heard raised goes more along this line: Will the
>specialized software that academic departments and others have developed
>for themselves on the Mac platform over the years, with great labor, be
>able to make the move to this new OS, based on the NEXT machines' UNIX
>core? If Apple fails to consider this kind of compatability issue, some
>of its most loyal users will find themselves trapped using slow, out of
>date machines to continue using software they can neither replace nor
>Apple's record in this respect, I understand, leaves a lot to be desired.

While Apple's marketing and PR efforts have not been the best,
compatibility is one area where they have the best record in the industry.
For the record, I founded a company which got its start developing
Macintosh software in 1985. Today we work on both Windows and Macintosh.
I can assure you that we have paid our dues in worrying about compatibility.

Apple has done the best job of maintaining compatibility compared with
_every_ other operating system vendor. You can still take software which
was written in 1984 and run it on current models of the Macintosh,
including those which use a PowerPC cpu chip. The vast majority of
application software which was written for 68000-based Macintoshes runs on
PowerPC-based Macintoshes. This did not happen by accident.

Virtually every other operating system vendor has forced software
publishers to make changes in order to make their applications run on the
next generation of the operating system. There is no vendor that I know of
that has been able to provide such thorough compatibility as Apple has when
make a transition in cpu chips.

The absorption of the NeXT operating system will prove to be a formidable
challenge to Apple in many ways, but one aspect of this transition which
I'm not worried about is compatibility.

Tony Meadow
Bear River Associates, Inc., 505 14th Street, Suite 600, Oakland, CA 94612
Telephone: 510 834 5300 ext 108 Fax: 510 834 5396
Internet: tmeadow@bearriver.com Web: http://www.bearriver.com