While rumours of a Mac OS 9 "recall" at CompUSA stores around America spread around various Web sites this weekend, the real culprit was nothing more than an "internal error" in shipping orders, a company representative told MacWEEK.
Suzanne Shelton, the director of public relations for Dallas-based retail chain CompUSA, said salespeople who informed customers that Mac OS 9 had been "recalled" (as reported on other news sites) were mistaken. Although some stores indeed sent copies of the shrink-wrapped operating system back to the main office, it was because original shipments were too large. "Everybody got Mac OS 9," Shelton said, "but they got too much of it."
To correct this, Shelton said, the home office sent out an overstock-return order. However, there was "some error internally," and "some stores accidentally got the message to return all copies" of Mac OS 9. Shelton said that a few stores checked with the home office after getting the message; these outlets received the correct orders, but others simply returned all of their Mac OS 9 stock, resulting in empty shelves.
Shelton said CompUSA is working to make sure that all of their stores have the correct amount of stock.
Kelly Johnson, business unit director for the Mac division of wholesale distributor Ingram Micro Inc., said the company has seen "great inventory and great sales" of Mac OS 9. "We have not been instructed by Apple to stop shipping," she said, and added that "Apple keeps sending it to us and we'll keep selling it."
"CompUSA is still buying" copies of OS 9 from Ingram, Johnson said.
Likewise, a salesman at a Mac-centric online retailer said he's seen no slowdown of OS 9 shipments coming in.
An Apple Store saleswoman said any order of Mac OS 9 would be filled within 48 hours.
Fueling the recall rumor was a recent trademark-infringement lawsuit filed against Apple by Microware Systems Corp., makers of OS-9, a Unix-derived operating system for use in embedded systems. Microware began using the OS-9 product name in 1980.
A Microware spokesman told MacWEEK that there had been no developments in their case recently.