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16 March 1998

Stefan Leuker has ported XWindows, the graphical interface for Unix, to the DR1 release of Rhapsody's Yellow Box on both PowerPC and Intel platforms. XNext, as it is called, is particularly cool because it allows Rhapsody to take further advantage of the slew of programs already available to XWindows. The release currently runs in a yellow box window or in a full screen mode much like the current release of the Blue Box (Mac OS for Rhapsody). If anyone downloads it and tries it out, please let us know. [MacOSRumors]

In the Unix vs. Windows NT war, many embattled Unix developers are hoping that Merced, Intel's 64-bit chip that will ship in 1999 will breathe new life and allow Sun Microsystems Inc., SCO, Digital Equipment Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co. to fight Windows NT's invasion into their market share. However, a 64-bit version on Windows NT is scheduled to ship at the same time as the Merced. With Rhapsody coming into maturity, 1999 is shaping up to be a war between server environments. Read more in PC Week.

On the other hand, news.com reports that Merced is just as likely to further balkanize the already divided Unix world.

In a move that, for good or bad, may have far-reaching implications for Java, Microsoft and Apple announced that they will be collaborating to include Microsoft's platform-specific Java "enhancements" to the Mac OS. While not directly undermining the Java-as-OS movement, this makes it possible for software developers to use the Java language to develop applications specific to one operating system, either Windows or the Mac OS.

To add insult to injury, Sun's JavaStation NC may never see wide deployment.

News.com is also reporting on a new device being developed by Apple code named Columbus. It is reportedly a set-top device offering DVD playing capability, web browsing, games, and other fun stuff. Macintouch, however, reports that the Columbus project is not an "appliance" per se, but a full-blown Macintosh, presumably with all the functionality of any other Mac.

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