Research Systems Inc. (RSI) is abandoning the Mac platform. According to an
online announcement, as of Oct. 8, the company is “discontinuing support for several platforms in order to focus on our core competency platforms, which have the greatest market share.”
The decision was dictated in large part by the limited number of customers RSI has using their products on these platforms “as well as the external economic conditions that require all companies to make prudent business decisions,” the company said.
Although IDL 5.5 will support Mac OS 9, RSI has no plans for Mac OS X support. In March the company announced plans to rewrite IDL, its Interactive Data Language. It would have been the product’s first major overhaul since the original Mac version debuted in 1993. IDL is designed to enable in-depth data analysis through “industry-leading visualization.” It’s used by analysts and engineers around the globe.
“Both companies offer world class solutions and we feel IDL on Mac OS X will enable our customers to solve their problems and achieve their goals faster and easier than before,” Mike Scally, CEO of Research Systems, said in March. “Mac OS X brings the speed, stability and power of Unix to IDL’s Macintosh users. In combination with the G4 processor with Velocity Engine and hardware OpenGL support on cutting edge graphic accelerators, IDL on Mac OS X is a best-of-class scientific visualization application.”
Plans were for the Mac OS X port to be based on IDL and include a fully native reimplementation of IDL for Mac OS X using the Cocoa frameworks. The goal was for it to provide increased performance and stability with plans to support the Aqua interface, multi-processing and extensive Velocity Engine integration. Alas, none of this is to be.
“We had planned to completely rewrite IDL for Mac OS X, but after careful review of our Macintosh customer base, it has become clear that our software maintenance fees and predicted sales for Mac OS X would not cover the costs associated with this effort,” RSI said. (Thanks to MacCentral reader, James Carchedi, for the heads-up on this announcement.)