In an unexpected turnabout, Apple Inc. today announced that it will license Mac OS X to all comers beginning on Monday.
Steve Jobs has long asserted that Apple has nothing to gain from licensing the Mac OS, and one of his first moves after returning to power at Apple was killing off the clone program. But since Apple’s move to Intel CPUs and the rise of so-called Hackintosh computers, cloning the Mac is simpler than it’s ever been.
Apple has been plagued by companies trying to turn a profit by selling PCs specifically designed to run Mac OS X that ship with the Mac OS installed, most notably Psystar. Although this violated the EULA (End User License Agreement), Psystar is fighting in court for the right to do as it pleases with copies of OS X it purchases.
An unidentified party at Apple concluded that Apple could save a boatload in legal fees, possibly increase profits, and probably kill off the fledgling Hackintosh vendors by licensing the Mac OS. That’s right, by licensing the Mac OS.
Details are sketchy at present, but sources indicate that licensed clone makers will have to agree to shoulder 100% of support costs, relieving Apple of any liability whatsoever in that department. But the biggest obstacle is going to be price – to assure that cloners won’t be able to undercut Apple on price, Apple will charge cloners $299 per unit to include Mac OS X with their hardware.
Further, this price will be retroactive, requiring Psystar and other existing to pay the $299 license fee for every computer they’ve already sold with Mac OS X installed as a condition for receiving a license.
Nobody at Psystar was available to comment on this, but we have heard reports that Steve Jobs has been laughing more than usual this week.
– Anne Onymus
Keywords: #therumormill #anneonymus #psystar #macclones
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