Apple seeks new market share with Arabic version of OSX.2

Apple Middle East hopes to further boost its growing market share when it releases the full Arabic version of its new OSX.2 "Jaguar" operating system.

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By  David Cass Published  October 15, 2002

Apple Middle East hopes to further boost its growing market share when it releases the full Arabicised version of its new OSX.2 "Jaguar" operating system.

It is being developed by a team at Arab Business Machine (ABM) who represent Apple in the region.

The world-first sneak preview at GITEX shows the Arabic fonts already rendering beautifully smoothed by Jaguar's Quartz Extreme graphics system.

"It will be a fully Arabic operating system, including numerals," explains ABM's Product Development Manager, Ghassan Bendali.

"And it's easy to reboot back to English language at any time."

Jaguar represents a major step forward for Apple, with its stable, UNIX core allowing easy networking with Windows systems.

ABM are also launching three other Arabic tools at GITEX: ArabiX, Textra Freehand and Textra Illustrator.

ArabiX floats a window for Arabic text input above any non-Arabicised application, which can then be cut and paste where desired.

Textra Freehand and Textra Illustrator are plug-ins for the leading graphics applications from Macromedia and Adobe, both of whom gave full cooperation to the Arabic project.

Unfortunately, Microsoft has no current plans to Arabicise its highly successful Office X suite of Mac programs .

But ABM is in advanced talks with a rival office software developer to Arabicise their Mac product and expects good news on this soon.

According to Bendali, Apple Middle East has been expanding rapidly outside its traditional niche market of creative and education.

Bendali gives three reasons for the recent strong growth: firstly, that Apple products have significantly dropped in price in recent years.

"Secondly is because they’re much more mainstream now - you can easily find compatible products and accessories in most computer stores," he says.

Third is the fact that ABM's strong initiatives in the education sector are bearing fruit, popularising Apple products amongst the vital youth demographic.

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