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Users sanguine as Macworld winds down

As Macworld winds down, most attendees remain optimistic about Apple's future.

    SAN FRANCISCO--As the Macworld Expo heads into its last day, several attendees express their abiding faith in Macintosh technology, while other users note that third-party vendor support for the platform appears to be shrinking.

    One show attendee was eager to comment on the superiority of the Macintosh platform over Windows. "The Mac OS is a great computer. Windows is an imitation of the Mac. It's evil and it's not friendly like the Mac," said Alain Bastide, president of the Tekkie Company in Ecuador. Bastide has been attending Macworld since 1986.

    Another Macintosh fan downplayed Apple's financial woes. "I think some people are afraid to buy a Mac now, but they shouldn't be. Their software is great, but they don't know how to make money," said Jeff Wilbur, an IS manager at Chevron Overseas Petroleum, in San Ramon, California.

    This year's Macworld provided solid sales, according to Gordon McNeil, sales manager for ClubMac of Irvine, California. "Sales are just as good this year as they always have been. We usually pull in about $1.5 million each show no matter what year it is," McNeil noted. Big sellers at the show included Iomega's Zip Drive and the Apple Newton 120, he said.

    But several attendees noticed a diminished vendor base. "I noticed an absence of certain companies this year. Novell and CompuServe pulled out at the last minute. It makes me wonder where their support for the Macintosh is going," said Joe Konton, systems administrator for Unison Software, in Santa Clara, California.

    "WordPerfect usually has a huge booth and they weren't even here this year," said Dennis Haynes, a developer for Media Solutions, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

    Konton was also disappointed by the dearth of new products at the show. "The products are mostly the same as last year, unfortunately. There is nothing new and exciting," he said.