Apple Discontinues PowerPC Macintoshes

In a surprise move, Apple Computer announced today that it has discontinued its new line of PowerPC Macintoshes, which utilize the new PowerPC architecture developed jointly with IBM and Motorola.

An Apple spokesman said the official reason for the discontinuation was, "We have received an enormous number of complaints and demands for refunds from irate customers. Initially, the reaction to the PowerPCs was very positive, as users found that their software ran more quickly than on older machines. However, since the PowerPCs were released on March 14, more and more native software has become available which runs much faster on the PowerPCs. Angry customers have called and complained that the speed of the native software was simply too much for them to handle. We have decided that the simplest and best solution to the problem is to discontinue manufacture of Macintoshes with the PowerPC chip."

Unofficially, many experts claimed that Apple had little choice but to end production of the PowerPCs, due to litigation against the company on several fronts.

Last Friday, March 29, a class action lawsuit was filed against Apple on behalf of victims and families of victims who suffered injuries as a result of the faster Macintoshes. Several heart attacks, two of them fatal, are alleged to have been among the injuries.

Microsoft CEO William Gates filed suit against Apple alleging that the faster Macintoshes disrupted the operation of Microsoft software, which was designed to run on slow machines. According to Mr. Gates, "We design our software so it runs slowly enough during critical tasks for our users to have a coffee break. Now they're lucky if they can fit in a bathroom break. Ack!"

Finally, in anticipation of the rollout of Power Macintoshes, Amiga, IBM, Motorola and a number of other smaller computer manufacturers filed an anti-trust suit against Apple in federal court on February 30. The suit alleges an attempt at achieving a monopoly in the personal computer market by marketing blazingly fast and easy to use machines.

Apple contends that all of these suits are without merit. As for the future of its Macintosh computers, Apple says it has plans to "keep our customers happy by providing slower, less powerful machines. We are currently seeking to license the Pentium architecture from Intel."

An 800 number has been set up by Apple for customers who have questions or complaints about the Power Macintoshes. The number is 1-800-APRLFOL.

--Matt Bernhardt

Washington Apple Pi IFAQ