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Apple plans new Macintosh system in '88 to run on any microprocessor

MONTEREY, CALIF. — MONTEREY, Calif. -- Apple Computer Inc. said yesterday that it will introduce a Macintosh operating system in 1998 that will be able to run on any microprocessor.

Chairman Gilbert Amelio, in a speech to analysts and investors, said the new operating system will run some older applications, but will have a new core of software code that enables it to run on chips from Intel Corp., Sun Microsystems Inc. and others -- as well as the Motorola Inc. processor used now.

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Apple's machines now run only on the PowerPC chip, a limitation that has hampered acceptance in a world increasingly dominated by machines featuring Intel chips and Microsoft Corp. software.

"We're not locked into one chip with the new operating system," Amelio said, noting that the new OS means that the company's products will be in a state of transition through next year.

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Analysts said the announcement was important because it could be the big driver of new sales that Apple will need to maintain its market share.

"You have to have the new OS to grow," said analyst John Dean of Salomon Brothers, who attended the presentation. "They have to have an OS that the commercial world believes in."

Pub Date: 10/31/96


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