Developers are bullish on Apple

After some lean times, developers are finally voicing optimism about the Mac platform. Pointing to such promising trends as the G3 processor, the consumer iMac, and Mac OS X, many see the Mac figuring prominently in their future product strategies. Among them are MetaCreations' Frank Casanova, a nine-year Apple veteran who thinks the company is more focused now than it ever was during his tenure and is 'doing better than it has in the last five years.'

After some lean times, developers are finally voicing optimism about the Mac platform. Pointing to such promising trends as the G3 processor, the consumer iMac, and Mac OS X, many see the Mac figuring prominently in their future product strategies.

Bryan Lamkin, vice president of Adobe Systems Inc.'s graphics products division, says that Apple Computer Inc. is "doing the right things to serve the needs of professional publishing and digital-content creators," Adobe's prime market. He applauds Apple's new OS strategy, which makes it easier for developers to migrate to the next-generation Mac OS X.

Also bullish on Apple is MetaCreations' Frank Casanova, vice president of product management and design. A nine-year Apple veteran, Casanova thinks the company is more focused now than it ever was during his tenure and is "doing better than it has in the last five years."

Many vendors sense Apple's renewed interest in developers' concerns. Norm Meyrowitz, president of Macromedia Products, previously saw Apple as focused inward, competing with itself, whereas now the focus is where it should be -- on developers and customers. Macromedia president and CEO Rob Burgess recalls that when Apple CEO Steve Jobs recently visited Macromedia headquarters to meet with executives, the staff gave him a standing ovation. Jobs joked that perhaps it had been a while since they'd last seen an Apple executive.

Roger Kasten, Newer Technology's chief technical officer, is enthusiastic about Mac OS X as well as Mac OS 8.7, both due in 1999. The latter, he says, will include most of the functionality of Mac OS X, but unlike Mac OS X, it will run on older Macs.

Kasten also believes the iMac will make Apple "the driving force in the USB market." Newer plans to offer a Universal Serial Bus converter supporting serial-port printers and modems, a USB floppy drive with two serial ports, and a USB hub with seven powered ports.

Heartened by Apple's revitalised consumer strategy, Terry Kunysz, president of Casady & Greene, says his company is "getting back in the game market" and is planning to launch several new products early next year. He says he is looking at other potential products the company "wouldn't have even considered six months ago."

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