Vol. 1, Issue 25, November 4, 2003
Apple to Release iTunes for OS2/Warp, Says IBM
IBM has apparently leaked information suggesting that Apple is in the process of developing a version of its wildly popular iTunes music downloading software for the OS2/Warp operating system.
"Well, as you know this is strictly off the record," said IBM spokesman Carl Baker at a press conference convened last Friday. "But we anticipate an OS/2 version of the software will be available by the Christmas holiday season."
Industry analysts were somewhat surprised, since a notice on IBM's Program Withdrawal section lists dozens of OS/2 program packages that IBM has withdrawn, including dozens of packages of OS/2 Warp and upgrades in various languages. However, IBM refuted reports that it was phasing out its OS/2 operating system, saying the company is merely changing the manner in which it distributes its software.
"We're really excited about this, and feel that OS/2 is at a turning point now that so many people are actively seeking alternatives to Microsoft," Baker said. "The iTunes software could be just the thing to help tip things in our favor and build momentum."
Apple and IBM have an extensive working relationship; it was IBM which collaborated with Apple to develop the recently unveiled 64-bit PowerPC G5 processor that has given Apple's computers the edge, for the moment, in speed over its rivals. However, while Apple affirmed its commitment to partnering with IBM on hardware development, it could not confirm the statements made by IBM regarding an OS/2 version of iTunes.
"Did they really say that?" said Apple product development manager Barry Weinberg. "For OS2? Well, I would not venture to contradict our partners at IBM in a public setting at this time." However, Weinberg did confirm that Apple has no plans to release such a version before the 2003 holiday season.
"They didn't say which Christmas holiday season, did they now," Weinberg pointed out.
The number of people actively using IBM's operating system is difficult to establish. However, research suggests that the total could be in the dozens, or even hundreds, worldwide.
"IBM is definitely still a player in the operating system market," Baker insisted firmly. "You'll see. When the OS/2 iTunes comes out, lots of people will be flocking to us. You'll see."
Neither Apple nor IBM's stock was significantly affected by the announcement.