Apple's acquisition of Next Software received a mixed response in the channel as small resellers expressed concern that the lack of backwards compatibility will erode Apple's traditional customer base.
Resellers involved with systems integration and selling into corporate markets were upbeat, although others were cautious.
One dealer, who asked to remain anonymous, said Apple was indicating its disregard for the consumer market. He said: 'Resellers on the consumer side have been left in the dark. We don't know what's going on from one moment to the next.'
But Sol Hoch, managing director of Network Computer Consultants, said: 'I'm only too glad to have (Next chairman and Apple founder) Steve Jobs back in line. He's giving them the opportunity to integrate System 8 with what Next has to offer.' He did not foresee problems with the fact that the Next operating system would not initially run Macintosh applications.
'The fact that Windows NT wouldn't run on a Mac didn't stop Soft Windows bringing out a compatibility package,' he said.
Kashif Merchant, MD of Micro Anvika, agreed the acquisition was a cause for celebration. 'There will always be problems with backward compatibility,' he said, 'but we have to look forward. When the common hardware reference platform comes into being, we will be at an advantage, because you will be able to run four operating systems instead of three.'
Apple CEO Gil Amelio is expected to provide details of the integration between Next and Apple at Mac World this week.
Apple this week said that it expected to return a $150 million loss for its Q1, ended December, on turnover down 10 per cent at about $2 billion.
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