TECH 14

TECH #14
8/7/97
Hold on to your hats folks, the ride is about to start. Last week in Tech we met Hampton Road’s largest Apple computer retailer John Crow, who sang the praises of the new Mac operating system OS-8. Just coincidentally, at press time Microsoft kingpin Bill Gates was giving Apple founder and new CEO Steve Jobs a $150 million pat on the back. What’s going on here?

It’s a safe bet there’s still some spark at Apple’s core. Another safe assumption is that things are going to get a little easier for computer users, especially web surfers. Huh? Gates didn’t just make a gift of that multi-million dollar check. From now on all Apple computers will come with Microsoft’s brand of browser, Internet Explorer. Since Microsoft and Apple operating systems run virtually all personal computers, every new PC will come equipped with it.

That means browser leader Netscape will have to work a little harder. After loading the newest version of Netscape, I have to tell you all this competition is a good thing. The new software is called Communicator. Compared to regular old Netscape, it’s easier for anyone without web surfing experience to find and do neat things on-line. Communicator has a sophisticated Internet page composer built in, so even if you don’t know a thing about HTML code you’ll be able to make a zippy home page. It even has a spell check to keep guys like me from making goofy mistakes.

Expect retaliatory improvements for Internet Explorer with some help from Apple. Hey, while the big guys battle it out by spinning off better software, we’ll all win.