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Mac Clone Maker Psystar Files For Bankruptcy

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the taking-the-pressure-off dept.

The Courts 366

StikyPad was one of several readers letting us know that Psystar has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. We've discussed the Mac clone maker's battles with Apple extensively. The company apparently has over $250,000US in debt, and states that it cannot turn a profit in the current economy. "The Chapter 11 filing will temporarily suspend Apple's copyright infringement suit against Psystar, which is currently before the US District Court of Northern California. But once the bankruptcy protection is sorted out, the copyright case will resume." And PC Mag is reporting that, on the other side of the Atlantic, two new clone companies are just getting started. Like PsyStar, FreedomPC and RussianMac promise to deliver PCs with OS X preloaded.

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Sorry guys, but... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28100429)

Windows just isn't ready for the desktop yet. It may be ready for the coasters that you nerds use to sit your colas on, but the average computer user isn't going to spend hours in the dos cli configuring irq numbers and io addresses, dealing with constant crashes and manually installing networking support just so they can get a workable graphic interface to check their mail with, especially not when they already have a free alternative that works perfectly well and is backed by major corporations like Redhat and Canonical, as opposed to Windows which is only supported by Microsoft. The last thing I want is a chair-flinging gorilla (haha) providing me my OS.

Re:Sorry guys, but... (5, Funny)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 5 years ago | (#28100491)

get a workable graphic interface to check their mail with

Okay, you get on that pronto. I'll create a GUI interface using Visual Basic ... see if I can track an IP address.

Re:Sorry guys, but... (4, Funny)

piripiri (1476949) | more than 5 years ago | (#28100721)

Okay, you get on that pronto. I'll create a GUI interface using Visual Basic ... see if I can track an IP address.

Actually that made me smile... FYI: source [youtube.com]

Re:Sorry guys, but... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28100947)

Funniest part is that some people have actually made such programs in VB as a form of parody. This [imageshack.us] is probably my favorite.

Re:Sorry guys, but... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28100951)

Motherfucker.

Re:Sorry guys, but... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28101175)

I couldn't seem to find the option to moderate this "+1: Me Too" so "Funny" will have to suffice.

>_

Re:Sorry guys, but... (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28101011)

^-- Goatse link
Cheers,
Cpt. Obvious

Re:Sorry guys, but... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28101103)

CAUTION! OP contains a GOATSE Link!

CAUTION! OP contains a GOATSE Link!

CAUTION! OP contains a GOATSE Link!

Re:Sorry guys, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28100655)

Fantastic. Someone mod this +0 Funny

steve jobs is greedy (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28100463)

aids

Re:steve jobs is greedy (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28100503)

If there's anything to be learned from Psystar's fiasco, it's that

Being GAY,
Dosen't pay!

Now,now, nothing to see here move along. (1)

Darkinspiration (901976) | more than 5 years ago | (#28100471)

No really raise your hand who didn't see that coming from a lightyear away.

Re:Now,now, nothing to see here move along. (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#28100779)

I dunno. The "Apple suing them in the face" problem was a pretty serious one, and is probably what did them in in the end; but their business model is by no means a certain failure.

PC assembly is a fairly low margin business; but there are plenty of companies, large and small, that make a living at it. Psystar had the advantage of massive word-of-mouth and R&D done for them by the hackintosh enthusiasts. Were it not for the legal trouble, I would assume that (barring specific incompetence) they could have carried on for a fair while.

Re:Now,now, nothing to see here move along. (4, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 5 years ago | (#28100933)

I dunno. The "Apple suing them in the face" problem was a pretty serious one, and is probably what did them in in the end; but their business model is by no means a certain failure.

I don't understand this opinion. So let's say in the best case, most realistic scenario Pystar and these other companies get the relevant provisions of Apple's OS X licensing declared unenforceable and they are removed from the license. They are now in the business of competing with Apple to sell hardware, while having to buy the OS from Apple. If they become moderately successful, what is there to stop Apple from no longer selling boxed copies of their OS and thus killing them?

Seriously. Selling boxed copies of OS X is a small part of Apple's business. They could switch to online distribution for upgrades and use DRM to prevent them from installing. End result, Pystar and their ilk die and Apple's customers are inconvenienced with DRM. Gee, thanks guys.

Or, Apple could go a more drastic route. They could simply ditch selling new versions of OS X and provide them free of charge to all Mac owners. It would barely dent their profits and lower their support and development costs considerably. Or they could take a middle road and sell a yearly service like their ".mac" service and include in that service upgrades to the OS and network services like e-mail, but provide no other upgrade path for individual licensors. Either way Pystar dies and Apple moves on without worrying about being undercut.

The way I see it, if Pystar and the like succeed, all they do is drive Apple to change policy enough to kill them. Any business model built upon being successful but not too successful lest the company you rely entirely upon kill you, is a doomed business model.

Re:Now,now, nothing to see here move along. (2, Interesting)

jimicus (737525) | more than 5 years ago | (#28101133)

Or Apple could take advantage of the TPM chip that's been present in Macs since almost immediately after they moved to the x86 platform.

Re:Now,now, nothing to see here move along. (1)

DriedClexler (814907) | more than 5 years ago | (#28100893)

Well, I thought they were going to get a bailout...

In Soviet Russia... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28100475)

In Soviet Russia Macs clone you!

fair enough, (1)

the_fat_kid (1094399) | more than 5 years ago | (#28100527)

I for one welcome our new cloned overlords...

Microsoft: (1, Interesting)

Akido37 (1473009) | more than 5 years ago | (#28100479)

It's funny - a company like Microsoft has built its entire fortune on the idea of licensing software rather than selling it.

You'd expect them to be supporting Apple in this lawsuit to enforce their EULA... yet they're not...

Hm.

Re:Microsoft: (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 5 years ago | (#28100967)

microsoft is only interested in helping one company and that company is microsoft

Re:Microsoft: (2, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | more than 5 years ago | (#28101297)

They've also built their fortune on making an OS you can install across x86 hardware (and even some other platforms).

It's not so much the EULA as a whole that's in question here as much as it is a specific clause of the EULA - the clause that states the OS may only be installed on a specific manufacturer's hardware. That is not Microsoft's business model so they would have absolutely no interest in helping their arch enemy protect it.

$250 K ? Must be a typo (4, Insightful)

mbone (558574) | more than 5 years ago | (#28100489)

The company apparently has over $250,000US in debt.

That must be a typo - could they mean $ 250 million USD ? Most companies would not
choke on $ 250,000 worth of debt.

Re:$250 K ? Must be a typo (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 5 years ago | (#28100515)

No shit. Isn't that the average underwater position for most homeowners in Florida and Arizona?

Re:$250 K ? Must be a typo (5, Insightful)

harryandthehenderson (1559721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28100561)

That must be a typo - could they mean $ 250 million USD ?

It's not a typo.

Most companies would not choke on $ 250,000 worth of debt.

Most large corporations might not choke on that much debt, but they don't constitute most businesses. Considering that Psystar probably has little to no revenue coming in and no real future it's not surprising that they will just cut their losses without taking on more debt.

Re:$250 K ? Must be a typo (5, Interesting)

rsborg (111459) | more than 5 years ago | (#28100589)

That must be a typo - could they mean $ 250 million USD ? Most companies would not choke on $ 250,000 worth of debt.

Unless they wanted to choke... as stated earlier, an important side-effect of bankruptcy is the disruption of all outstanding litigation... Maybe Apple was getting too close to finding the money behind PsyStar?

Re:$250 K ? Must be a typo (1, Informative)

harryandthehenderson (1559721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28100791)

Maybe Apple was getting too close to finding the money behind PsyStar?

If that were the case why would they go into bankruptcy which will force them to disclose that information publicly? Did you even think this stupid post through before you posted it?

Re:$250 K ? Must be a typo (5, Interesting)

rjhubs (929158) | more than 5 years ago | (#28101213)

While I agree with the mods that the parent could definitely use some tact and probably deserves the moderation. The point raised is valid. The mystery money behind Psystar will be revealed in the bankruptcy hearings as anyone that has given Psystar money would be considered a creditor. As a creditor you have a vested interest in reclaiming as you can of Psystars remaining assets in court. Their identity can only remain secret if they decide not to reclaim any of their losses and not participate in the bankruptcy hearings. Also, GPs point is invalidated in the summary, whicg indicated Apple's lawsuit will resume one bankruptcy is over. So anything that was going to be revealed from that can still be revealed.

Mod Parent Interesting (4, Insightful)

mpapet (761907) | more than 5 years ago | (#28100799)

This is a point worth considering. A similarly important point, where is the money coming from for the non-U.S.clones?

The most simple explanation is $250,000 in debt happens very quickly once the lawyers bills start hitting the books

Re:$250 K ? Must be a typo (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#28100823)

That is very insightful. If I had mod points, I'd mod it up.

Re:$250 K ? Must be a typo (1, Informative)

harryandthehenderson (1559721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28100917)

It's not insightful at all unless you're completely clueless about how a bankruptcy happens. One of the obligations of filing for bankruptcy involves the fact that you have to disclose information on people who have invested in your company. Filing for bankruptcy would do just the opposite of them being able to hide such information from Apple.

Re:$250 K ? Must be a typo (4, Informative)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#28101059)

They're filing chapter 11 bankruptcy, which means they cancel all debts and continue operations with a clean slate. Once (if) they emerge from bankruptcy, the lawsuit resumes. I wonder how their lawyers feel about being stiffed?

Re:$250 K ? Must be a typo (1)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 5 years ago | (#28101289)

Unless they wanted to choke... as stated earlier, an important side-effect of bankruptcy is the disruption of all outstanding litigation... Maybe Apple was getting too close to finding the money behind PsyStar?

Ooh, conspiracy theory. Of course, Apple had requested the freezing of assets, and the blocking of sales, and were granted. So Psystar had no income, and was pouring money down the sink on legal fees. If Apple (or its fanboys) felt that there was "someone nefarious behind the money", they should perhaps have considered bankrupting Psystar as a possible outcome, much akin to shooting oneself in the foot.

I don't think there was anyone big behind Psystar. That's why they went bankrupt with $250,000 in debt, not the (claimed by some) millions upon millions in bankrolling from [MSFT/IBM/Dick Cheney/The Boogeyman] that was speculated on.

Re:$250 K ? Must be a typo (1)

_ivy_ivy_ (1081273) | more than 5 years ago | (#28100599)

The company apparently has over $250,000US in debt.

That must be a typo - could they mean $ 250 million USD ? Most companies would not choke on $ 250,000 worth of debt.

They will if no one is willing to give them any more money.

Re:$250 K ? Must be a typo (2, Insightful)

Sandbags (964742) | more than 5 years ago | (#28100605)

250K in debt, assets frozen, and sales blocked by court order, how does a bank expect them to pay? ...and who would invest in a company about to be ass raped by Apple lawyers?

Re:$250 K ? Must be a typo (2, Insightful)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 5 years ago | (#28100741)

The same people who would invest in a company about to be ass raped by IBM's lawyers?

Re:$250 K ? Must be a typo (2, Funny)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#28101067)

who would invest in a company about to be ass raped by Apple lawyers?

The makers of Preparation-H. And the makers of icepacks and those weird donuts pregnant people sit on due to "flare-ups".

Got to support demand for your products somehow.

On a related note, did you know that prep-H is great for removing dark circles under the eyes after a late night of WoW? (Protip for a subset of slashdotters)

Re:$250 K ? Must be a typo (4, Funny)

iYk6 (1425255) | more than 5 years ago | (#28101151)

On a related note, did you know that prep-H is great for removing dark circles under the eyes after a late night of WoW? (Protip for a subset of slashdotters)

You mean the subset that are concerned about their appearance?

Re:$250 K ? Must be a typo (3, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#28100675)

Well it depends, doesn't it? Even if they only have $5K in debt, but have practically no income, can't get credit, and have no assets to speak of, then they're bound to go belly-up sooner or later. It's really a question of when the bank turns off the credit, and this credit crunch isn't really over.

If I owe a bank $250 K, I have a problem . . . (4, Insightful)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 5 years ago | (#28100739)

. . . if I owe a bank $250 million, the bank has a problem.

Re:If I owe a bank $250 K, I have a problem . . . (4, Funny)

Verdatum (1257828) | more than 5 years ago | (#28101239)

. . . if I owe a bank $250 million, the chinese have a problem.

Fixed that for ya.

Why? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28100505)

Why would anyone want to run Mac OS on unsupported hardware? It's going to be unstable, missing features, and chances are that getting updates from Apple to install with or without hosing your installation is going to be a bitch.

If you want OS X that bad why not just buy a Mac?

Re:Why? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28100591)

It's going to be unstable, missing features, and chances are that getting updates from Apple to install with or without hosing your installation is going to be a bitch.
 
The first two are false, the second one is half-true - OS point releases tend to fuck up the install, but things like iTunes/Safari updates are A-OK.

If you want OS X that bad why not just buy a Mac?

Because they're over-priced with nothing to really justify it other than the OS.

Re:Why? (1)

rudy_wayne (414635) | more than 5 years ago | (#28101143)

If you want OS X that bad why not just buy a Mac?

Because they're over-priced with nothing to really justify it other than the OS.

That's the problem with Psystar's business model. You're buying a generic run-of-the-mill PC with a hacked version of OSX installed. What exactly is the attraction here? Is OSX really that great compared to other operating systems? I don't think so, and obviously most other people agree. The fact that they are filing for bankruptcy with only $250,000 in debt tells me there isn't a very big market for their product. After all, any 3l33t Hax0r can download a hacked copy of OSX from usenet and get it running on their PC.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28100609)

Obviously you have not heard of Pystar yet...

Re:Why? (4, Insightful)

Tiger4 (840741) | more than 5 years ago | (#28100693)

Depends on how unsupported it is.

Macs use commercial hardware like everyone else does. They aren't so customized in every detail that they are in all ways incompatible. That was one of the reasons for coming to x86 and the PCI motherboard. Better support options.

As long as the hardware has been vetted for Mac, it doesn't have come from Mac.

because OSX is good, Apple hardware not so much (3, Insightful)

acomj (20611) | more than 5 years ago | (#28100703)

Basically it boils down to this (As a prepare to build my hackintosh, parts in the mail),

I can get a great tower computer with lots of expandability for $1100 (Includes the cost of the OS). To get an equally expandable tower from apple (with room for more than 1 hard drive) would cost me $2500. The larger and growing larger hole in the mac lineup is the tower. as an apple investor I find it inexcusable.

For me its this or a windows box, both have the tools for my photography and programming.

.

Re:because OSX is good, Apple hardware not so much (2, Insightful)

lazorz (1544583) | more than 5 years ago | (#28100861)

Acomj pretty much nailed it. Looking at the hardware line-up, the machine I built when i7 came out was ~$1400 without a video card on the first day of release (overpriced). I leave out the video card since the rest of the components are either the same or equivalent with the exception of my video card. An equivalent Mac Pro is ~$2400 now (4 months after i7 release, i.e. cheaper) assuming $2500 less the price of the video card.

Re:because OSX is good, Apple hardware not so much (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28101129)

You do realize all mac pro's support 4 HD's.. they have for over a year.

Re:because OSX is good, Apple hardware not so much (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28101187)

You're slightly off track. The pro mac does not offer the same expansion as PC builder expect. OK, you can bung in more RAM (needs heat sink on ICs), and you have 4 nice drive caddies. But try to upgrade the video card and you are in a world of pain. Firstly the slot has been made non-standard, you can't buy an apple video card and just drop it into the slot, it has to match your year of pro mac. And to run salt in, apple using EFI means all the same-slot video card, i.e. hundreds of them on the shelves will not work. You have to have an apple bastardised version that has double ROM, one for EFI and one for BIOS. Whoo hoo!

Now try replacing the main drive and do an OS install. Not going to happen. OS X is locked to the hardware and even though you buy $LATEST_VERSION of OS X, it will not install like a virgin install as you've been used to for 20 years on EVERY OTHER FSCKING SYSTEM.

Re:because OSX is good, Apple hardware not so much (2, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#28101269)

Well in fairness, there's nothing wrong with the hardware Apple offers, and it's not even that terribly overpriced. It's just-- like you said-- there's a hole in their lineup. It would be nice if they offered an expandable mid-range tower.

But then, part of the problem there is that they don't really care to let people expand. That's my theory. It's not so much that they want to force you to buy a new machine, but if you can upgrade your sound card and video card, suddenly Apple has to support an endless number of various configurations.

That's fine when it's a pro-level machine and the customer is paying that premium anyway, and the expansion cards are pro-level hardware from manufacturers working directly with Apple. But I don't think Apple particularly wants to have every minor hardware company releasing bargain-bin video cards which Apple will then be forced to support.

Re:Why? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28100745)

Why would anyone want to run Mac OS on unsupported hardware? It's going to be unstable, missing features, and chances are that getting updates from Apple to install with or without hosing your installation is going to be a bitch.

If you want OS X that bad why not just buy a Mac?

They don't want to leave their Microsoft experience behind?

Re:Why? (1)

rabbot81 (1557023) | more than 5 years ago | (#28100803)

Agreed. I like PsyStar in principle, and it's appealing to my sensibilities, but it seems like they didn't really do much about the diciest part of the Hackintosh proposition, which is working with a completely unsupported OS.

I refuse to worry about every software update potentially breaking my machines, compatibility issues, and so forth, which is why I'm writing this from an ancient Quicksilver G4 rather than shiny new Intel hardware.

If that stuff didn't phase me, though, I'd certainly have no issue assembling working hardware on my own. It would be nice to see PsyStar or whatever vendor break the licensing open in court, but for now I'm not sure I understand why they're necessary.

Re:Why? (1)

rxan (1424721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28101309)

If you want OS X that bad why not just buy a Mac?

Because the hardware is (unnecessarily) so expensive. People recognize that the hardware does not contribute to the Mac experience, and want to make one themselves (or have one made for them) to save some cash.

If you want OS X that bad why not just buy a hackintosh?

Desperate Times (4, Funny)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | more than 5 years ago | (#28100509)

Clearly they only have one chance left to survive. They must clone Steve Jobs!

And now litigation stops w/Apple (5, Insightful)

goffster (1104287) | more than 5 years ago | (#28100511)

Until out of chapter 11.

Re:And now litigation stops w/Apple (1)

goffster (1104287) | more than 5 years ago | (#28100531)

Which means.........

We do not get to see the dark hand behind Psystar

Re:And now litigation stops w/Apple (3, Interesting)

Sandbags (964742) | more than 5 years ago | (#28100621)

actually, the bankruptcy filing will releav exactly who is funding them. In the pending court case, the investors could be protected, but in SEC investigations, and in bank records that are required to be made public durring a bankruptcy, this has to come to light.

Re:And now litigation stops w/Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28100769)

I wouldn't bank on it--couldn't they just hide it as an anonymous donation, or through some proxy donor?

Re:And now litigation stops w/Apple (2, Funny)

harryandthehenderson (1559721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28100843)

Sure, if they wanted the judge to deny their bankruptcy they would do something stupid like that.

Re:And now litigation stops w/Apple (1)

Sandbags (964742) | more than 5 years ago | (#28100873)

Even if they had made such a donation, without the hopes of a return on their investment, such a donation would be required to be documented. There are limits to such donations by US law (what i don;t know, but I know the SEC limits such "meddling"

Re:And now litigation stops w/Apple (3, Funny)

Scragglykat (1185337) | more than 5 years ago | (#28100829)

Soon, the dark lord controlling Psystar, revealed shall be. mmmm.

Re:And now litigation stops w/Apple (1)

yyr (1289270) | more than 5 years ago | (#28100659)

Which means.........

We do not get to see the dark hand behind Psystar

"I'll get you next time, Gadget... next time..."

Re:And now litigation stops w/Apple (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28100795)

Why does it have to be a dark hand? Are white people not capable of evil?

All fun and games till Apple goes trusted (1)

rsborg (111459) | more than 5 years ago | (#28100525)

Once Apple introduces chip-level DRM, all of this goes away.
I think it's only a matter of time, if these kind of companies keep cropping up.
Think: PA Semi.

Re:All fun and games till Apple goes trusted (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#28100831)

No need to think PA Semi. Your basic TPM, as shipped on basically every business-class x86 motherboard in the last few years, would fit the bill, no fancy tricks required.

Re:All fun and games till Apple goes trusted (4, Interesting)

Sandbags (964742) | more than 5 years ago | (#28100849)

Apple has promised there will not be chip level lockdowns in OS X, or any future apple OS. their OS runs on commodoty hardware, they only license it to run on Apple Brnaded systems (currently). It;s been rumored for years that Apple is partnering with dozens of vendors and plans to release an OS X approved spec and sell OS X on shelves opposite Windows (likely on a price tier competitive to Home Premium, but including iLife).

Apple has not released OS X for open systems for 1 primary reason: they don;t want to support your junk kit, and they don;t want to get the blame for OS X having stability issues. If manufacturers are allowed to be held to the same wishy washy standards as micsoft, then not only would OS X be seen to be just as unstable, but it would likely be sold on many systems that don't really meet the minimum specs of iLife, and would provide a lack-luster performance.

The hardware market has been shrinking (unified drivers, fewer verndors, better driver certification, open standards). In a couple of years, especially once dedicated GPUs become the norm across all systems, and when comodoty $500 PCs have significant specs, I expect to see Apple come pre-configured, OEM, on select systems, but by that point, Apple hardware should also be slightly more in line price-wise (on several systems, Apple is actually currently cheaper than the competition, especially in the pro and server lines, but on the low end there's still a premium for the design and software).

Maybe If They'd Tried To Develop Their Own IP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28100533)

...instead of repurposing other peoples', they'd still be in business. That would have required some actual thought and skill and creativity, though, so I guess Psystar was boned either way. No big loss.

Re:Maybe If They'd Tried To Develop Their Own IP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28100631)

What do IP Addresses have to do with this? Or were you perhaps referring to Imaginary Property?

RussianMac FTW (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28100539)

Let's see Apple try to sue them. Jobs will get whacked on the way to the Moscow courthouse.

Re:RussianMac FTW (1)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 5 years ago | (#28101087)

They don't even have to bother with the EULA deal, they just sue them over trademark infringement. I'm sure putting "Mac" in your name makes you a prime candidate.

Too bad (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 5 years ago | (#28100549)

This is a shame, as I was really anticipating the upcoming release of the PsyBook Wheel [theonion.com]

The question is: how come (4, Interesting)

guruevi (827432) | more than 5 years ago | (#28100569)

That is the biggest question. They couldn't undercut Apple in the market segment which could mean that Apple's are well priced for what they have to offer? Too little people interested in non-Apple Mac products which could mean that they didn't offer the same service as Apple does or their products were of lower quality? Or did their management just drink all profits that should've been used to expand the company and pay for in-house lawyers?

Re:The question is: how come (2, Interesting)

harryandthehenderson (1559721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28100615)

Or did their management just drink all profits that should've been used to expand the company and pay for in-house lawyers?

Don't you actually have to sell something to make a profit? Has anyone actual obtained proof that Psystar actually shipped any products?

Re:The question is: how come (5, Informative)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#28101121)

Don't you actually have to sell something to make a profit? Has anyone actual obtained proof that Psystar actually shipped any products?

They shipped. What sort of proof do you want? The relevant forums are full of people who received them talking about them. Then there are the blogs of people who got them. The news coverage. The review sites... pretty much all confirm they were shipping (until the court ordered to stop).

I mean, at this stage, asking for proof psystar actually shipped any products is on par with asking for proof Alienware ever shipped anything before being bought out by dell.

Re:The question is: how come (4, Interesting)

Ohio Calvinist (895750) | more than 5 years ago | (#28100877)

I think the problem was that to the average consumer they were pretty obscure, had no retail presense, or brand-recognition, or brand-loyalty. For the informed, I'm sure a lot were fearful that if Apple won, the company would fold and support would disappear or an Apple update would cause system instability or worse. In addition, there are true apple "fans" that appreciate the products/service/support/buying experience. For the well informed, it isn't "overly" hard to build a Hackintosh if you're capable of following directions and have some initative, and can be done on hardware many have lying around. I think the first group and loyalists are by-and-large the vast majority... except maybe on /.

Re:The question is: how come (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 5 years ago | (#28100935)

I think ultimately, the problem is, while the clones are indeed cheaper, they aren't cheap enough for the hassle... at least to the average folks interested in "Apple compatible hardware". Say maybe I save $150 of the price of the same/similar spec'd Mac at Whatever Superstore. Then I have to wait for it to be built and shipped, and Id wager that this company isn't too quick about such things. You also have nowhere (especially now) to get warranty work done. You have to rely on PsyStar for patches. If I really wanted a Mac, the money saved just isn't worth the trouble.

Re:The question is: how come (1)

Tiger4 (840741) | more than 5 years ago | (#28101027)

Considering how well the big brains in management have handled the rest of the economy, I think I'll take Option C.

Re:The question is: how come (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#28101203)

Well surely people aren't generally disposed to buy products for which they can't get official support, and those who are disposed to do so would probably be just as happy to build their own systems from parts anyway. So Psystar was already working in the niche market of "people who want to run OSX, have no problem being unsupported by Apple, but don't want to put together their own hackintosh."

Once they're in that market, they still have to provide a good quality computer at a good price. I never saw a Psystar computer in person, but I read a review that said seemed cheap and were really loud.

So when you put it all together, I don't know what the precise causes were, but I'm not at all surprised that Psystar isn't doing well enough financially to hold up to an all-out legal battle with Apple.

Steve Jobs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28100575)

I am Steve Jobs and I am here to ask you a question:
Is a man not entitled to his own computer?

No, says the man in Washington; it belongs to the poor.
No, says the man in the Vatican; it belongs to God.
No, says the man in Moscow; it belongs to everyone.

I rejected those answers. Instead, I chose something different. I chose the impossible. I chose...

Apple.

Re:Steve Jobs (1)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 5 years ago | (#28100805)

While I appriciate the reference, I must point out that in point of fact, Apple would completely go against the spirit of Rapture, and thus Andrew Ryan wouldn't stand for it.

Rapture was all about unbound advancements and collaberation. Apple's insular policies would have them kneecapped before they even started.

Who Bankrolled Psystar? (1, Interesting)

Deus777 (535407) | more than 5 years ago | (#28100641)

The article mentions the question of who provided funding for Psystar and that the answers should come out in the bankruptcy. It will be interesting to see if the Microsoft, etc. conspiracy rumors around Psystar are validated.

It occurs to me that Apple is facing a problem with these clone makers that is similar to the problem the content industries are facing with piracy. Some fraction (obviously not all) of people who pirate content do it because they want the content but can't get it the way that they want (on the device of their choice, for example). People who buy from the Apple clone makers have a similar motivation. They want OS X, but Apple won't provide it on the type of computer that they want.

I can't help but wonder if the solution for Apple and the content industries is similar. Give people willing to pay for your product what they want. I'm not suggesting that Apple should support OS X on random PCs, nor that they should sanction the clone manufacturers, but that they should expand their line of hardware to offer more choices to consumers instead of trying to force people into the few options Apple currently provides. That might take some support away from the clone makers and make Apple more money as well. Certainly they're not going to make much money suing these companies into the ground.

Re:Who Bankrolled Psystar? (3, Insightful)

harryandthehenderson (1559721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28100761)

It will be interesting to see if the Microsoft, etc. conspiracy rumors around Psystar are validated.

Why would Microsoft be funding Psystar? How would weakening the effectiveness of software EULAs help Microsoft?

Re:Who Bankrolled Psystar? (1)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 5 years ago | (#28101123)

AND helping more people to switch to OSX.

Re:Who Bankrolled Psystar? (1)

robinstar1574 (1472559) | more than 5 years ago | (#28100869)

umm... this seems stupid. Why dosn't apple just do it like microsoft? Thats one of the veeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeery few good ideas from microsoft: selling licensed copies of windows that isn't pre-installed.

Re:Who Bankrolled Psystar? (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 5 years ago | (#28100995)

Ahh, but what about the market segment of:

People who want a computer with all the bells and whistles* but the ability to say "I got the cheapest {Y} that {X} offers?" If they actually offer the machines without all the bells and whistles, they might lose some of those people.

Mac clone companies (2, Interesting)

C_Kode (102755) | more than 5 years ago | (#28100759)

Mac clone companies will never make it. Macs are over priced, but people pay that premium because they want an Apple product. Apple and it's products are in line with the Fashion industry. They are stylish to have.

To have a clone Mac is like someone buying a watch (or hand bag) off the street vendors in New York, except you don't even get the Mac logo that tells everyone how cool you are because you own a Mac. :D

Re:Mac clone companies (1)

Omniscient Lurker (1504701) | more than 5 years ago | (#28100863)

Don't diss the street vendors. I got over $200 worth of audio crap for about $16 a few years ago, got some free stuff if I brought friends to buy the $16 deal.

Re:Mac clone companies (4, Informative)

SilverHatHacker (1381259) | more than 5 years ago | (#28100927)

Macs are over priced, but people pay that premium because they want an Apple product.

Or, they just want to use OS X and have barely any other legal option.

Re:Mac clone companies (3, Insightful)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 5 years ago | (#28100977)

Mac clone companies will never make it. Macs are over priced, but people pay that premium because they want an Apple product.

You must have missed the clone companies in the 1990s.......they were eating Apple's lunch.

Re:Mac clone companies (2, Informative)

confused one (671304) | more than 5 years ago | (#28101097)

Yeah, but Apple computers tended to be crap at the time. It was easy to do better, which some of the clones were... Shades of Compaq vs. IBM back in the early days.

Re:Mac clone companies (4, Insightful)

eltonito (910528) | more than 5 years ago | (#28101307)

"Macs are over priced, but people pay that premium because they want an Apple product."

Your statement seems to contradict itself. If something were overpriced then it would cost more than the market would pay for it, slowly leading to the demise of the manufacturer. But as you note, Apple products seem sell reasonably well, even at a perceived price premium. That would lead me to conclude that, from a market perspective, their products are not truly overpriced.

If a company offers a product that the market percieves as superior, people will pay more for it. This applies to everything from dairy products to automobiles to consumer electronics. The fact that Apple is able to sell products for a reasonable profit isn't really much of an argument against them or their products.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to drive my over-priced Honda home and watch my trendy, over-priced and fashionable Sony HDTV. (no, not really)

Meh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28100837)

This is likely a ploy to now turn around and sue apple for damages in an anti trust lawsuit...

I somehow doubt this is the end.

PowerPC clones anyone? (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 5 years ago | (#28100875)

Maybe it's just me, but I don't see anything exciting about another x86 box that is hacked to run OS X86. A PowerPC machine, on the other hand, would be nice even without the Mac bit.

Re:PowerPC clones anyone? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28100997)

PowerPC, on the other hand, is all but dead. It exists only in embedded applications today, and in AS/400 systems (and maybe some low end RS6ks. Yes, I know both are renamed now; I don't care.) Probably the majority of PPCs actually running in the USA are now in video game consoles, especially if you count individual cores :)

Re:PowerPC clones anyone? (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#28101233)

I was going to recommend the efika [genesi-usa.com] , but it looks the PPC version was discontinued, replaced by ARM.

Know what's going to happen if this keeps up? (1)

DdJ (10790) | more than 5 years ago | (#28100891)

Know what's going to happen if Apple can't stop people from selling clones with MacOS on them?

Maybe they'll leave the Intel platform entirely. Maybe they'll switch to ARM, maybe to some other chip.

Or, maybe they'll make sure MacOS requires some sort of "trusted computing platform" nonsense laced throughout the entire software stack, so that it's really impossible to run the software directly on a system without hardware support for DRM (which would mean running it on a VM that emulated that would be a clear case of circumvention as the DMCA discusses).

But they're not going to tolerate this, and if they can't stop it legally, they'll stop it by some other mechanism.

Re:Know what's going to happen if this keeps up? (2, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | more than 5 years ago | (#28100975)

Or they simply won't sell retail copies of OS X, which is how Psystar was doing this.

Which will leave only the people who are violating their copyrights, something far more easily pursued (if they sell in Europe, the US, or Japan.)

And once again Apple shows everyone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28100957)

If they can't beat their competitors in the marketplace, they'll sue them into oblivion.

All of these companpies will fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28101253)

Apple customer and/or people with interest in OSX fall into these categories

Creative professionals who use Apple because clone PC manufacturers products are an amalgamate of lowest bidder parts and software and they perform as such

Wealthy elitist pricks who will pay any price for something to differentiate themselves from the underclass

and then you have the geeks who want to make a Hackintosh for.. well this is slashdot i dont need to explain that one but i think its useful to mention these guys can sniff out there own hardware is skip paying the middle man

suffice to say there are no markets for companies

and yet still at the end of the day actual useable Hackintosh boxes are few and far between I've seen them have serious problems like incompatable power management that can fry hardware

Does anyone agree that Hackintosh cheapens the experience though? I lust for the day i have a Octo-core PowerMac with 16gigs of ram 16terrabytes of RAID and Logic Studio 8 at my beck and call

Nothing of value was lost... (4, Interesting)

idiot900 (166952) | more than 5 years ago | (#28101305)

You can build a Hackintosh yourself. Bootloaders and such are out there - you can run Leopard on a regular PC, as long as you are careful to only use supported components. Amazingly enough, Apple has been remarkably nonchalant about this. So why do they have such a big problem with Psystar?

Running OSX on a white-box PC takes technical know-how and a willingness to put up with some level of brokenness. This is the polar opposite of 99.9% of Mac buyers, who want their computer to just work - that's why they bought a Mac in the first place. So Hackintoshes do not meaningfully decrease Mac sales - indeed, they might even (very) slightly increase Mac sales because they get people invested in the Mac ecosystem. (Once you've wrangled with getting OSX to run on your white-box PC, only to have to do it again for the next point update, the convenience of a real Mac starts looking like a pretty darn good upgrade.)

The problem with Psystar is that they were promising to make their white-box Mac clones easy to maintain, thus destroying the selling point of a real Mac.

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