Apple Computer has finally admitted that their new operating system--code- named "Rhapsody"--will be developed for Intel-based PCs as well as PowerPC Macintoshes. Avie Tenanian, Apple's head of system software engineering, made the announcement in a MacUser interview this week. Apple will distribute copies of NeXT's OpenStep--which uses the core APIs that will be built into Rhapsody--for Windows NT only to developers this week at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC).

In a related story, Apple CEO Gil Amelio talked about Rhapsody last week and let slip a detail about the dual-purpose nature of the OS. As you may know, Rhapsody has two main components: the so-called "yellow box" that hosts the new OpenStep portion of the OS. A "blue box" component hosts the Mac OS-compatible code. Amelio mentioned that the yellow box will likely be called Concert when the operating system ships next year. Developers who write to the Concert APIs will be able to port software to Intel CPUs without rewriting, he said. Concert will sit on top of Windows 95 or NT when it is ported to Intel. The Windows 95 port will be shown at WWDC.

"By having access to the Concert API we can--and you can, Mr. Developer --address 100 percent of the market," Amelio said, adding that "when we're done...we'll have done the most wonderful thing in the world--we've made Windows invisible."