Apple to slow pace of Mac OS X tweaks

Apple Computer plans to continue rapidly bringing out new versions of the operating system, but it won't continue at quite the pace it's maintained in recent years.

SAN FRANCISCO--Apple Computer plans to continue rapidly bringing out new versions of Mac OS X, but it won't continue at quite the pace it's maintained in recent years.

Since rolling out the first version Mac OS X in 2001, Apple has released three updates, and it plans to show off a new version of the operating system, code-named Tiger, at its worldwide developer conference next month.

However, during a talk at the SIIA Enterprise Software Summit 2004 here, Apple Chief Software Technology Officer Avie Tevanian said, "We're slowing that (pace) down a little bit...because that's not a sustainable rate. But you'll still see us go really fast." Tevanian had previously headed OS X development but was promoted last year to oversee the company's broader software development efforts.

Apple has not said when Tiger will ship.

By contrast, Microsoft has released just one major desktop version of Windows--Windows XP, which debuted in 2001. The company has added Tablet PC and Media Center versions of the OS as well as updates such as the forthcoming Service Pack 2 . The next major version of Windows, code-named Longhorn, is not expected until mid-2006 .

During his talk, Tevanian said Apple has made great progress in making its products a good fit for businesses but said it will take time before they are seen that way.

"We've not been strong in that market in the recent past at all," he said. "We don't expect people to automatically just believe that this product is the best thing for them."

In recent years, Apple has come out with new servers and storage gear. The company has also made some forays into clusters and high-performance computers. Tevanian promised that more is on the way, pointing out that there is an opportunity for Apple to make servers easier to manage and storage cheaper to buy. But Tevanian said most companies need to give Apple's gear a try and become comfortable with it.

"Our goal right now is to just have people take a look," Tevanian said. "I think most people who take a look and have an open mind will be very pleasantly surprised."

About the author

    During her years at CNET News, Ina Fried has changed beats several times, changed genders once, and covered both of the Pirates of Silicon Valley. These days, most of her attention is focused on Microsoft. E-mail Ina.

     

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