PC makers plotting Mac expo offensive

Summary:Some companies are thinking different about January's Macworld Expo in San Francisco. Think PC vendors.

Some companies are thinking different about January's Macworld Expo in San Francisco. Think PC vendors.

At the semiannual Mac industry gathering, Intergraph Computer Systems and Digital Equipment Corp. will let content creators test drive the cross-platform performance and interoperability of high-speed Windows NT systems right on Apple's home turf.

Huntsville, Ala.-based Intergraph will unveil a new model in its ExtremeZ line. Tuned for 2-D graphics and prepress applications, the new system will include a 300-MHz Intel Pentium II processor, 64 Mbytes of RAM, a graphics accelerator and a 4-Gbyte hard drive.

According to Jim Lambert, executive director of Intergraph's publishing and prepress division, the company is concentrating on increasing its presence in the Mac print publishing arena.

"We say 'integrate,' rather than 'migrate,' " Lambert said. "The Mac won't ever be out of the publishing market. Prepress shops will never be 100 percent anything."

Lambert said Intergraph is seeking "the best out-of-the-box experience of any NT vendor - plug and play on AppleTalk networks." The company trademarked the term MacFriendly for its systems and is "developing applications, invisible to users, that will allow [the two systems] to co-exist."

The company's expo booth will include a hands-on classroom running NT versions of popular cross-platform prepress applications. In addition, a stage show will demonstrate NT-based RIP servers in a mixed environment.

While Digital won't have its own station at Macworld, Reese Gautschi, product marketing manager at the Maynard, Mass.-based company, said several software developers will run Digital workstations in their booths. Digital will also direct interested users to a nearby hotel suite.

The company last week unveiled the Creation Studio, a new line of NT workstations running a 300-MHz Pentium II or a 500-MHz Digital Alpha processor.

Gautschi said Digital offers "a strong presence in the content-creation industry for customers wanting to transition to NT." The company expects to leverage its market savvy as a major provider of systems used for RIP servers.

In addition, Gautschi said Digital hopes to woo creators of Digital Video Discs and production video with the speedy floating-point performance of its Alpha processor.

The base $4,999 Creation Studio will include 64 Mbytes of RAM, a 4-Gbyte Wide Ultra SCSI-3 drive, and 2 to 4 Mbytes of Level 2 cache. It will also come with a 24x CD-ROM or DVD player and an accelerated graphics card with 4 Mbytes of video RAM. The workstation will also support faster 64-bit PCI slots, unlike the 32-bit versions common in Macs and most Intel-standard PC workstations.

The systems will come bundled with a wide range of third-party software, including QuarkXPress and several 3-D applications.

Gautschi said Digital will kick off a marketing campaign aimed at prepress users in January. The effort will focus on XPress, which gets a boost from the Alpha processor, he said. Denver-based Quark Inc. announced plans to port its layout software to Alpha NT at October's Seybold San Francisco (see 10.06.97, Page 1).

"It's not just a question of productivity," Gautschi said, pointing to Digital's new support organization aimed at content users. "We have an interoperable solution for a production environment."

Meanwhile, Apple said it will give content pros lots of reasons to stay on the Mac. At the expo, Apple will highlight the release of QuickTime 3.0 and other announcements aimed at publishing users.

According to Jeff Martin, Apple senior director of worldwide design and publishing markets, interim CEO Steve Jobs met this month with key vendors to shore up relations and win support for "Apple-enabling" technologies such as ColorSync and Apple-events scripting. At the show, several third-party developers are expected to reaffirm their support for the Mac, including Adobe Systems Inc. and Macromedia Inc.

In addition, Martin said, Apple will tune upcoming Mac OS releases specifically for publishing and multimedia applications.

"PC vendors are offering a desktop but not a real work flow," Martin said, pointing to the use of Apple-events scripting in prepress work flows and using XPress and its Mac-centric XTension architecture as an example. He said Apple also intends to extend the capabilities of work flows by tightly integrating Apple-events scripting into its WebObjects Internet development environment.

In addition, Martin identified several other recent Apple initiatives that address the concerns of content creators, including the midrange G3 systems and the new online Apple Store, which he said makes it easier for users to configure their machines.

Some companies are thinking different about January's Macworld Expo in San Francisco. Think PC vendors.

At the semiannual Mac industry gathering, Intergraph Computer Systems and Digital Equipment Corp. will let content creators test drive the cross-platform performance and interoperability of high-speed Windows NT systems right on Apple's home turf.

Huntsville, Ala.-based Intergraph will unveil a new model in its ExtremeZ line. Tuned for 2-D graphics and prepress applications, the new system will include a 300-MHz Intel Pentium II processor, 64 Mbytes of RAM, a graphics accelerator and a 4-Gbyte hard drive.

According to Jim Lambert, executive director of Intergraph's publishing and prepress division, the company is concentrating on increasing its presence in the Mac print publishing arena.

"We say 'integrate,' rather than 'migrate,' " Lambert said. "The Mac won't ever be out of the publishing market. Prepress shops will never be 100 percent anything."

Lambert said Intergraph is seeking "the best out-of-the-box experience of any NT vendor - plug and play on AppleTalk networks." The company trademarked the term MacFriendly for its systems and is "developing applications, invisible to users, that will allow [the two systems] to co-exist."

The company's expo booth will include a hands-on classroom running NT versions of popular cross-platform prepress applications. In addition, a stage show will demonstrate NT-based RIP servers in a mixed environment.

While Digital won't have its own station at Macworld, Reese Gautschi, product marketing manager at the Maynard, Mass.-based company, said several software developers will run Digital workstations in their booths. Digital will also direct interested users to a nearby hotel suite.

The company last week unveiled the Creation Studio, a new line of NT workstations running a 300-MHz Pentium II or a 500-MHz Digital Alpha processor.

Gautschi said Digital offers "a strong presence in the content-creation industry for customers wanting to transition to NT." The company expects to leverage its market savvy as a major provider of systems used for RIP servers.

In addition, Gautschi said Digital hopes to woo creators of Digital Video Discs and production video with the speedy floating-point performance of its Alpha processor.

The base $4,999 Creation Studio will include 64 Mbytes of RAM, a 4-Gbyte Wide Ultra SCSI-3 drive, and 2 to 4 Mbytes of Level 2 cache. It will also come with a 24x CD-ROM or DVD player and an accelerated graphics card with 4 Mbytes of video RAM. The workstation will also support faster 64-bit PCI slots, unlike the 32-bit versions common in Macs and most Intel-standard PC workstations.

The systems will come bundled with a wide range of third-party software, including QuarkXPress and several 3-D applications.

Gautschi said Digital will kick off a marketing campaign aimed at prepress users in January. The effort will focus on XPress, which gets a boost from the Alpha processor, he said. Denver-based Quark Inc. announced plans to port its layout software to Alpha NT at October's Seybold San Francisco (see 10.06.97, Page 1).

"It's not just a question of productivity," Gautschi said, pointing to Digital's new support organization aimed at content users. "We have an interoperable solution for a production environment."

Meanwhile, Apple said it will give content pros lots of reasons to stay on the Mac. At the expo, Apple will highlight the release of QuickTime 3.0 and other announcements aimed at publishing users.

According to Jeff Martin, Apple senior director of worldwide design and publishing markets, interim CEO Steve Jobs met this month with key vendors to shore up relations and win support for "Apple-enabling" technologies such as ColorSync and Apple-events scripting. At the show, several third-party developers are expected to reaffirm their support for the Mac, including Adobe Systems Inc. and Macromedia Inc.

In addition, Martin said, Apple will tune upcoming Mac OS releases specifically for publishing and multimedia applications.

"PC vendors are offering a desktop but not a real work flow," Martin said, pointing to the use of Apple-events scripting in prepress work flows and using XPress and its Mac-centric XTension architecture as an example. He said Apple also intends to extend the capabilities of work flows by tightly integrating Apple-events scripting into its WebObjects Internet development environment.

In addition, Martin identified several other recent Apple initiatives that address the concerns of content creators, including the midrange G3 systems and the new online Apple Store, which he said makes it easier for users to configure their machines.

Topics: Apple, Hardware, Operating Systems, Processors, Servers, Software

About

David Morgenstern has covered the Mac market and other technology segments for 20 years. In the recent past, he founded Ziff-Davis' Storage Supersite, served as news editor for Ziff Davis Internet and held several executive editorial positions at eWEEK. In the 1990s, David was editor of Ziff Davis' award-winning MacWEEK news publication a... Full Bio

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