Network: Bytes - Apple OS upgrade to support DVD

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Indy Lifestyle Online
Apple Computer is preparing an upgrade to the Macintosh operating system that is expected to be available next month. Mac OS 8.1, which will be free to registered users of Mac OS 8.0, will include a revised file-handling system, support for reading DVD (digital versatile disc) files, performance enhancements, better Internet integration, and other refinements. Apple has previously said it will incorporate DVD-Rom drives into most of its Macintosh desktop and notebook lines early in 1998. DVD-Roms are of special interest to Apple's core audience of multimedia developers because they deliver better audio and video than CD-Roms - storing up to 4.7Gb of multimedia data, compared with the 650Mb of a CD.

Because the Mac OS 8.1 upgrade will introduce a new way of handling files, the company is being cautious about promising a delivery date. "Anything that involves customer data, we take seriously. If it takes an extra build to make sure it is rock solid, we'll do that," said Peter Lowe, product manager of Mac OS.

Meanwhile, Apple is continuing to develop its new OS, Rhapsody. Following last month's announcement of the release of a developer version of Rhapsody with the so-called Blue Box component, which allows users to run most older Mac OS programs on systems with PowerPC processors, Apple has released a PC-compatible version of Rhapsody, a hybrid between Mac OS and NeXT's Openstep OS. PC developers can also create applications for Windows 95/NT on Rhapsody, using Apple's new Yellow Box for Windows.

The PC-compatible version of Rhapsody supports most Pentium-compatible hardware, Apple said at its European Developer Forum. It will enable developers to run fully functional versions of Mac OS and/or Openstep on their PCs, using Rhapsody's dual boot facility.