|Expo rallies NeXT market for a big year, new products|
by Dan Lavin
San Francisco: Today's opening of NeXTWORLD Expo marks the first international gathering of users, dealers and distributors, and third-party developers that make up the burgeoning NeXT market.
Thousands of attendees from all states and numerous foreign countries Ð some from as far away as Russia, France, and Australia Ð will first hear NeXT CEO Steve Jobs's keynote address introducing a barrage of much-anticipated new products. Then they will choose from over 40 conference sessions and browse the wares of 70 exhibitors.
For some, the Expo represents a Woodstock of computerdom. Gianfranco Pocecai, a NeXT user at the University of Milan, Italy, said he started packing his bags the minute he heard about the show. "Of course I must be there," he said.
For those who have taken the plunge into the NeXT market, the high level of interest in the Expo is one more indication that, for the NeXT platform, the time may finally have come. "We've been overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response to the show," said Jeannine Barnard, associate publisher of NeXTWORLD magazine. For Jobs, Expo is "a great way to kick off what will be a super- successful 1992."
And what about 1992? NeXT is expected to debut new products for delivery throughout the first half of the year (see NeXTWORLD, Spring 1992). These announcements include:
- Faster versions of the NeXTstation Turbo and Turbo Color, as well as new, faster configurations of the NeXTcube.
- NeXTstep '486, a shrinkwrapped version of the operating system for Intel '486 machines.
- NeXTstep 3.0, complete with 3DKit, AppKit, and improved international support.
- A high-resolution color printer that breaks the $4000 mark for color PostScript printing.
- The NeXT CD-ROM Drive, sounding the death knell for the optical disk.
|Likewise, third-party exhibitors cover the spectrum of the NeXT market, and new product announcements are expected from more than a dozen companies (see "Expo highlights and fun facts" on pages 2 and 3). "Expo is the kind of deadline that you need to get software out the door," said Andy Stone, founder of Stone Design, which is introducing the flat-file database DataPhile. "All of my customers will be there." |
With NeXT users arriving from all over the world for Expo, the first NeXTWORLD Expo promises to be a memorable event. "Expo will be one of the great episodes in NeXT history, as important as the original Davies Hall introduction of the Cube," said Stone.