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Firewire to light up Macintosh OS

Apple Computer will integrate its Firewire bus technology into the Macintosh operating system and Apple desktops.

Apple Computer said today that it will integrate Firewire--Apple's own implementation of the 1394 high-speed bus technology--into the Macintosh operating system and Apple desktops starting in 1997.

The 1394/Firewire interface allows a standardized high-speed connection to consumer electronic devices such as DVD-ROM drives, camcorders, and VCRs.

Apple was the original developer of 1394 under the "Firewire" moniker, but the technology was later championed by Microsoft and others under the 1394 label. The technology is now slated to be used by major PC vendors such as Compaq Computer and Texas Instruments in systems coming out later this year and throughout 1997.

Some the highlights of what Apple announced today:
--The company expects to add support for IEEE 1394/Firewire to the Mac OS in the first half of 1997.
--The 1997 Pippin reference platform will incorporate Firewire for consumer product connectivity.
--Apple is now offering support to developers making Firewire-enabled products that connect to Macintosh.
--The company will next year ship select configurations of its desktops with pre-installed IEEE 1394/Firewire PCI host adapter cards and software.
--Standard configurations of all 1998 Apple notebook and desktop products are expected to ship with IEEE 1394/Firewire built into the motherboard in as a standard feature.

"We intend to build Firewire into every Macintosh product we sell," said Howard Lee, Apple's senior vice president of the Macintosh systems division. "We plan to continue this transition by taking Firewire straight to the motherboard."

Further technical information about Firewire can be found at the 1394 Trade Association home page at 1394.

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