(c) 1998 Andrew C. Stone. All Rights Reserved.

      The war of which Operating System will dominate the desktop at the dawn of the third millenium is already over, and the victor is not necessarily the Goliath with whom the Justice Department is currently mincing semantics. Granted, there is a preponderance of Windows 95 seats out there. But guess what? The war is over not because Microsoft won. The war was cancelled on account of "It just does not matter" anymore, especially for forward thinking developers and users.

      The game's rules changed in midstream with the advent of Apple's Yellow Box. Yellow Box cannot be adequately described as "just an operating system", although Rhapsody is an instance of YB as a complete operating system, user desktop, and an easy to use development environment (which runs not only on the optimized Power PC architecture but also runs on "off the shelf" PC clones). Like the great Yogi Patanjali's description of Ultimate Reality in terms of negatives, "Neti, Neti" (Neither This nor That), Yellow Box seems to defy simple attempts to categorize it. It's a meta-operating system because it also runs on existing OS's like Windows 95 and Windows NT.

      For many of the world's work force, the decision of which OS to use is not in their hands. The same entrenched thinking that held "You can never be fired for buying IBM" holds now that you cannot be fired for buying into the WINTEL world. With Yellow Box, even these jobs are secure!

      The two biggest winners of the OS war are the developer and the end user who take advantage of Yellow Box. To developers, Yellow Box means a universal market for their software, with no extra cross platform effort. The exact same source code that was compiled to build
Create(tm) on Rhapsody, compiled to build Create for Yellow Box for Windows. For users, it means access to their favorite programs whether they are at home on their Mac or at work on their PC. Yellow Box uses the same file formats so you can move between operating systems seamlessly.

      Even if Windows dominates the world, then there are that many more potential Yellow Box users. If end users can transcend the years of PC marketing and try the advanced look and feel of Rhapsody, then they will be rewarded with an even richer, more integrated Yellow Box experience.

      Finally, for the rest of us Macintosh users, we shall have our cake and eat it too. According to Jordan Dea-Matteson, Senior Partnership & Technology Solutions Manager of Apple Developer Relations, Rhapsody PPC users will be getting a '
virtual Macintosh' in the upcoming Rhapsody Release reputed to be available around the time of WWDC in just a few short weeks. If Apple has this technology in hand, how long before Rhapsody can run any operating system in the same virtual manner? This is why the Operating System war is over, it just does not matter anymore.