The Rumor Mill

Stealth Macs Coming Soon

- 2000.01.14

1/14/2K: Apple is preparing to break the mold again, this time working with a case manufacturer to repackage Power Macs for the Wintel workplace.

After seeing the attention to detail in the MegaCase G-Mac (see The Rumor Mill, 1/4/2000), Apple approached MegaCase to create some "more beige" case designs for the Sawtooth motherboard.

But that's not all - there's a third party to this agreement, Orange Micro. Instead of relying on software emulation and slow Windows performance, the new DOS Compatible Power Macs will have an Orange Micro PC-on-a-PCI-card installed, letting them run Windows applications at Pentium III speeds.

This will, of course, provide Mac owners with the best of both worlds: the power of the G4, the ease of use of the Mac OS, and more stable Windows hardware than any Wintel cloner makes.

The core concept behind the new machines: Apple's reentry into the Wintel workplace by providing a Windows machine with no compromise. It's a risky prospect, which is part of the reason Apple is bringing in two partners.

The reason Apple refers to these as "stealth" Macs is quite simple: the cases will look like run-of-the-mill Wintel clone boxes. There will be no colorful plastics - not even an Apple logo. To anyone glancing at them, they won't seem any different from all the beige boxes in the company.

But the user will know the difference.

Every stealth Mac will be built to order by MegaCase. Apple will process orders via The Apple Store. The computers will be available with or without an OS on the PC side, giving users the choice among many flavors of Windows, Linux, BeOS, and other operating systems available on Intel-standard hardware.

The stealth Mac will probably be announced at Seybold Boston (Feb. 7-11), along with some or all of the already anticipated new models.

 - Anne Onymus

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