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Apple had a good quarter, losing less money than Wall Street expected. However, Intel's net income for the quarter was up almost 60% YTY, to $1.7B, on revenues of $6B. Texas Instruments has also done well with its digital signal processing (DSP) chips. Earnings for Q2 were up 330% YTY, to $250M. [SNS, 16Jul97.]

Apple's new System 8 doesn't have memory protection or preemptive multitasking, or the slick new kernel that will be in next year's Rhapsody, but it does have a PowerPC-native, multithreaded Finder, faster file handling, faster Internet transfers, an integrated webserver for LAN use (or Internet use, if you have your own domain or stable address), and some nice interface improvements (such as pop-up and drill-down folders for reduced screen clutter). It's also a big step toward the Common Hardware Reference Platform (CHRP) that will let Mac clone vendors enhance system performance and introduce new products more rapidly. System 8 is a solid, on-time (!) release that will speed normal operations and nearly eliminate crashes. Background tasks run faster, and some applications see a 25% speed improvement. Mac users who've tried it generally love it. It won't be enough to win converts from Windows or to woo back developers, but it should be enough to keep Apple alive until Rhapsody arrives.

Apple expects Mac OS 8 to drive hardware purchases, since it requires at least a 68040 or PowerPC processor, 12MB of physical RAM (of 20MB total real or virtual memory), and 65MB of disk space (to 130MB for a full installation). The CD-ROM version costs about $99, with a rebate of $30 or more to OS 7.6 owners. Claris and other resellers will be offering limited-time bundle deals with other software. (Check .) RAM Doubler works with Mac OS 8, but forget Speed Doubler. Norton Utilities and a few other utilities will require updates, e.g., ; the MacsBug debugger needs version 6.5.4a3, . [Geoff Duncan , TidBITS, 21Jul97.]

A MacOS 8 demo CD will be bundled with MacWorld, Sep97. [Bill Park , 21Jul97.] (I don't know if this freebie is limited to the newsstand editions.)

BTW, if you're using an older Mac operating system, check for troubleshooting tips. [NetSurfer's Digest. Network News, 08Mar97.]

BeOS, Be Inc.'s Internet-capable operating system for digital content design, is now available in public beta. The $49 BeOS Full Package includes printed documentation and two free upgrades. . [IW Electric, 16Jul97. EduP.]

BeOS Preview Release CD ROMs for PowerPC Macs -- including CodeWarrior Lite for BeOS from Metrowerks (!) -- are being distributed with MacUser (Oct, US edition, on sale 25Aug97); MacPower (Oct, Japan, with a Japanese-language BeOS user guide); MACup (Sep, Germany); UniversMac (Sep, France); and MacUser (Aug, UK). Or you can send for the CD ROM, for $9.95. This is a full, unrestricted version of the Be Operating System, but with no free upgrades. Details at . CodeWarrior is the leading C/C++ development environment for Macs, with an excellent editor, integrated source-level debugger, and powerful class library. The full version costs about $400. . [Business Wire, 16Jul97. Bill Park.]