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CHRP vendors may leave Apple behind

Vendors may ship CHRP computers before Apple does, using beta versions of Mac OS.

Delays at Apple Computer in adapting the Macintosh operating system for the Common Hardware Reference Platform mean that other vendors may ship CHRP-certified computers before Apple does, the company confirmed.

Apple won't ship a CHRP machine that runs both the Macintosh operating system and Windows NT during calendar 1996, but vendors might ship CHRP-certified computers this year, using beta versions of the Macintosh operating system, Apple spokeswoman Natalie Welch said. Other licensees include Pioneer, Umax, and Tatung.

But Mac fans can take heart from word that clone maker Power Computing on July 22 will roll out three fast Mac systems, including one with a 225-MHz 604e PowerPC chip. IBM and Motorola, which make PowerPC chips, have announced 200-MHz processors and said they intend to produce faster ones.

Apple said it will release an alpha version of the Mac operating system for CHRP machines to developers in mid-August. CHRP is designed so that PCs can run multiple operating systems off a single microprocessor.

To get CHRP certification, PCs using PowerPC microprocessors must boot up to run both Macintosh and Windows NT operating systems. IBM and Sun Microsystems are adapting their Unix operating systems so a version can run on CHRP-certified machines, but Apple has told developers that IBM won't adapt OS/2 for CHRP.

Apple, IBM, and Motorola hope to persuade Novell to port its NetWare operating system to the platform as well. Apple currently ships a machine, the Power Macintosh 7200/120 PC-compatible, that runs both Macintosh and Windows using a Mac motherboard with PowerPC chip and a PC adapter card.

Apple originally planned to have Copland, the former code name for its next-generation Mac operating system, serve as its CHRP system, but Mac OS 8 won't be available until mid-1997.