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Psystar Offers $399 "OpenMac" Computer

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the dead-before-it-even-got-started dept.

Desktops (Apple) 615

mytrip writes to tell us that Psystar has announced a new line of Intel-based computers that promise to run an unmodified version of Mac OS X "Leopard". Unfortunately almost immediately after the launch their website went down and as of this story remains unaccessible. "Astute readers may well hear this news and ask themselves if it doesn't sound like a Mac clone, something whose time came -- during Gil Amelio's tenure at Apple -- and went shortly after current CEO Steve Jobs assumed the helm at the company. [...] It definitely defies the EULA for Mac OS X, which specifies that the purchaser of a legal copy of Leopard is entitled to install the operating system on an Apple-branded computer. If you buy the $399 OpenMac, you can check the EULA yourself if you also buy the pre-install option, as the company includes a retail copy of Leopard with your purchase."

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No wonder Apple wants to stop Psystar (5, Insightful)

ccguy (1116865) | more than 6 years ago | (#23068980)

I'm sure it's gonna take Apple seconds to upgrade their OS so that it refuses to work on these things.

..but if they do, public perception of Leopard might go from 'just works' to 'upgrades may be fatal'. So no wonder they may want these units to not ship at all even if technically it would be trivial to render them into regular PCs.

BTW, how hard would it to hack this "EFI V8 emulator" into any PC that uses the same parts?

Re:No wonder Apple wants to stop Psystar (4, Insightful)

clf8 (93379) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069056)

Not sure why public perception would be like that, since the vast majority would actually own a mac and upgrades truly would just work.

Psystar has already stated that they had to modify the OS to get it to run. No big deal, but it's THEIR responsibility to make things work again if an Apple upgrade breaks things (maliciously or not).

Re:No wonder Apple wants to stop Psystar (1)

jmauro (32523) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069104)

It'd also be their problem when Apple sues them into thr ground for license violations. And probably all their customers as well.

Re:No wonder Apple wants to stop Psystar (5, Insightful)

Joe U (443617) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069260)

Courts really do frown upon lopsided unsigned pre-purchase contracts.

Basically, it wouldn't be an issue if the agreement was on the box for everyone to see. It probably wouldn't be an issue if Apple made you read and sign the agreement before buying a copy. But go to Best Buy, purchase a copy of osx, open it up, read the agreement, box it back up and then try and return it. Good luck.

Apple really might not like the outcome of a case like this.

Re:No wonder Apple wants to stop Psystar (2, Informative)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069404)

Courts really do frown upon lopsided unsigned pre-purchase contracts.
Sources, please? The only case I know of on the subject decided that shrink-wrap licenses are enforceable [bitlaw.com] .

Re:No wonder Apple wants to stop Psystar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23069524)

Post a link to a case in recent (last year or two) history, and we'll go from there.

Otherwise, you are little more than a fear-mongering liar.

Re:No wonder Apple wants to stop Psystar (3, Interesting)

CajunArson (465943) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069556)

Apple will win this case without any problems whatsoever and (if you were to print out the decisions) probably more than a ton of case law on Apple's side. The license is perfectly clear, not even close to being unconscionable, 100% enforceable, ans Psystar knows this. Apple probably has not bothered suing home enthusiasts who mod the software by hand since a. it is a waste of money going after individuals who are not
making money; b. there is little to no chance of it causing problems with Apple brand perception. However, as soon as this goes from a wacky and semi-functional side-project into a money making business.

    The funny thing is for all the people who think Psystar is somehow great, after doing this (assuming it's not just a prank) there is probably a GREATER chance that the hobbyists will get sued in the future since more publicity makes this more of a threat to Apple's image.

Re:No wonder Apple wants to stop Psystar (3, Informative)

ldierk (1270930) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069186)

Psystar has already stated that they had to modify the OS to get it to run.
Alothough the article states:

that the company claims will run an unmodified version of Mac OS X 10.5 "Leopard."

Re:No wonder Apple wants to stop Psystar (2, Interesting)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069460)

vanilla kernal on a hackintosh is really easy if the hardware specs are right... so I'm not sure why they had to modify the OS - maybe they just needed the EFI emulator, which starts up before OSX? *shrugs*

Re:No wonder Apple wants to stop Psystar (2, Interesting)

ccguy (1116865) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069354)

Not sure why public perception would be like that, since the vast majority would actually own a mac and upgrades truly would just work.
Yes, but pissed off people make more noise than happy customers. Some would rather rant in a blog and submit links everywhere than admit that their purchase wasn't that clever.

Re:No wonder Apple wants to stop Psystar (4, Funny)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069506)

Yes, but pissed off people make more noise than happy customers.
Never met a mac fan, have you?

Re:No wonder Apple wants to stop Psystar (1)

zurtle (785688) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069510)

I hear Roland rumbling in the distance...

Re:No wonder Apple wants to stop Psystar (1, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069096)

I'm sure it's gonna take Apple seconds to upgrade their OS so that it refuses to work on these things.

Nope, they didn't even have to do that because the Reality Distortion Field [wikipedia.org] is so all powerfull. Note FTFA

Psystar announced Monday OpenMac, an Intel-based computer built from industry-standard parts that the company claims will run an unmodified version of Mac OS X 10.5 "Leopard." The company achieves this by using a EFI V8 emulator that it said tricks a Leopard installer CD into thinking the OpenMac is a genuine Mac. Shortly after making its announcement, the company's Web site went down, and it remains inaccessible as of this writing. (emphasis mine)
.

Pretty impressive. Steve doesn't even need lawyers.

Feature list (2, Interesting)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069422)

the computer this compares to is the imac not the powermac. on that basis:
faster CPU: 1.8-2 Ghz versus 2.2 Hhz
more memory in base model: 1Gb versus 2
bigger hard drive in base mode: 80gb versus 200gb

I note that places like mac-mall already slightly discount the price of macs and give memory upgrades so the memory comparison is irrelevant.

what you give up:
size: the mac is teeny weenie. this thing is a full sized box

quiet: this is not really known, but it's a fair guess that you don't get a quiet fan on a budget machine.

other costly items:
software: buy a copy of leopard $125
other missing: bluetooth and wifi. not clear on GB ethernet or firewire.

thus this thing is not very welcome in the living room, nor even on your desktop. since it will go under the desk this means lots of coords and down on your knees crawling under the desk.

The main drawback is no software update. which is of course what you really are paying for when you buy the OS. having all your apple apps staying secure automatically is peace of mind. Their website says that software update will occasionaly be unsafe to use. One can bet this will quickly become defacto true.

other things: no apple support. this is really good service. if you have computer problems apple is very good to you.

$399 + 125, does not really seem like much of a bargain.

conversely this sort of shows that the "apple tax" may be a myth.

Re:Feature list (1)

Angostura (703910) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069582)

No iLife either. I assume you meant Mac Mini when you wrote iMac, by the way.

"includes a retail copy of Leopard..." (3, Funny)

Theatetus (521747) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069626)

If TFA is right, the $399 includes Leopard.

And, as I keep pointing out whenever I hear this "bundling is great when Apple does it" argument: the whole point is I don't want half of the crap that a mac makes me pay for, anyways.

Re:No wonder Apple wants to stop Psystar (1)

michrech (468134) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069634)

This [netkas.org] and this [insanelymac.com] will get you started.

I'm using the following parts:

Ultra Wizard mid-tower (free after $40 rebate, no shipping, from Frys)
Thermaltake 500w "Modular" power supply
Intel [newegg.com] "Bad Axe 2"
Intel [newegg.com] E4500 (Allendale) C2D 2.2ghz processor
2GB G.Skill [newegg.com] DDR
80gb Seagate SATA HDD
IDE CD-RW/DVD-RW (LiteOn or AOpen, I forget, doesn't matter)
nVidia 8600gts PCIe video

Works great with OSX, though the machine spends most of its time in XP (Can't play the games I play in OSX, natively).

Mmm.... (0, Offtopic)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069014)

Why does this Apple-hardware-only provision of the EULA pertain to OSX but not to Safari?

Re:Mmm.... (0, Troll)

joeytmann (664434) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069150)

The almighty Jobs said it should be so, so it shall.

Re:Mmm.... (3, Interesting)

MBCook (132727) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069162)

Because Apple said so. They are allowed to put whatever restrictions in their license they want, as long as they are legal. They can put some really weird things in that and have each product have conflicting requirements.

The question here is: is that particular restriction legal (and thus valid) or illegal (and thus can be ignored)

Re:Mmm.... (2, Interesting)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069420)

the EULA for safari says 'only on apple branded hardware'
the EULA for OSX says 'only on apple branded hardware'

I don't see the difference EITHER... and apple is actively distributing safari to anyone with itunes, which includes a LOT of PCs.

Re:Mmm.... (1)

christurkel (520220) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069532)

They fixed the EULA for Safari. I believe it was a couple of weeks ago.

Re:Mmm.... (1)

exley (221867) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069564)

This has already been discussed [slashdot.org] .

Re:Mmm.... (2, Informative)

vought (160908) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069446)

Why does this Apple-hardware-only provision of the EULA pertain to OSX but not to Safari?
I'm going to take a shot in the dark here, but I think it's probably because Apple makes Safari for Windows which runs on non Apple-branded computers.

OS X, on the other hand, is tied to hardware sales so Apple doesn't have to support the vast and sometimes flaky hardware of the greater PC world. And also so they can make more money selling hardware.

Re:Mmm.... (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069536)

I think the flakiness almost always comes in drivers. Apple doesn't want 1000 companies writing drivers for the hardware they make for Apple clones, because they wouldn't be able to fully ensure that all 1000 worked reliably.

But I'm forgetting that the main point is, as others point out, to use the OS to sell hardware with a large markup.

Website Slow... (2)

s0litaire (1205168) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069082)

Just been on to the website. It's up but Very very slow... Apple will probably Kill this dead but if i did buy a Mac it would be something like an 'OpenMac' just so that i know i can stick it to Jobs and Co :D lol. Wonder if they will go to court and test the EULA?? (Has an EULA been defended in court yet??)

Re:Website Slow... (1)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069112)

all the previous buyers are choking bandwidth downloading Vista drivers....

Re:Website Slow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23069374)

iLAWYER works quick like O/C G6 tower

EULA's (5, Insightful)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069102)

So are they good and enforcable this week, or evil and unenforceable? Seeing as this pertains to Apple it's probably a coin toss. The fanbois will all chime in with how it's such a good thing that Apple restricts what hardware one can run OS X on, and how this company should be shut down. If this were about some MS EULA there would be a firestorm about how EULA's are bogus anyways and unenforceble.

If I buy OS X I'll damn well run it on any machine I want. In fact, one of my two OS X machines is *not* Appple Branded. That's right, it's a Hackintosh. Sue me, Jobs.

Re:EULA's (4, Insightful)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069166)

Jobs doesn't care about your home-brew Hackintosh. He does care about Brand X selling hackintoshes, however.

Re:EULA's (4, Insightful)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069212)

I understand that. My point as about EULA's and about the fact that if Apple wants to restrict OS X to Apple only hardware then they should require proof of Mac ownership in order to buy a copy. They do not. If anyone can buy one then anyone should be able to install it on any computer. That goes for little shops that decide to sell hardware to run it on.

I know why Jobs cares. He is every bit as much a wannabe monopolist as is Gates. He loves total control and complete product lock down. I don't hate Apple, like I said I have a Mac. What I hate is the hypocrisy exhibited by zealots.

Re:EULA's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23069356)

I know why Jobs cares. He is every bit as much a wannabe monopolist as is Gates. He loves total control and complete product lock down.
+1 absolutely-right-even-though-fanbois-hate-hearing-it.

Re:EULA's (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069406)

My point as about EULA's and about the fact that if Apple wants to restrict OS X to Apple only hardware then they should require proof of Mac ownership in order to buy a copy. They do not. If anyone can buy one then anyone should be able to install it on any computer.

Part of a civilized society is that you can use contracts (aka, EULA) as opposed to physical measures (aka, proof of ownership) to lower transaction costs.

King Steve (1)

lastchance_000 (847415) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069456)

Steve just wants control so he can ensure that you get an 'insanely great' product. He's a benevolent dictator, you see.

Re:EULA's (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23069514)

He is every bit as much a wannabe monopolist as is Gates. He loves total control and complete product lock down.

Those two are practically opposites. He's not a wannabe monopolist -- he's a control freak, which virtually precludes being a monopolist. Does anybody doubt that if Apple made Mac OS run on clone PCs, they'd take over Microsoft's position in a year? But Steve doesn't do this. He wants to control his products, not have a monopoly.

I'm not making a call on which is better to be than the other, but I don't see how you can reasonably claim he's both.

Re:EULA's (4, Funny)

ForumTroll (900233) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069552)

Does anybody doubt that if Apple made Mac OS run on clone PCs, they'd take over Microsoft's position in a year?
Yes.

Re:EULA's (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23069632)

The only real difference between Microsoft and Apple:

Microsoft will come up to you, shake your hand, and tell you that they have that will work for you. And they'll tell you that they're going to bend you over & give it to you up the ass, and you choose to buy Microsoft (or not buy Microsoft).

Apple will come up to you, shake your hand, and welcome you to the wonderful world of Apple. They'll make you feel good about yourself, they'll make you feel damn near loved and they'll show you how easy your needs are satisfied on Apple. They'll make the sale, cause you want to buy from a company that loves you afterall, and you'll become an instant fanboi. Then, when you least expect it, an Apple rep will come into your house, bend you over & give it to you up the ass.

I'm no fan of either Microsoft or Apple, but at least Microsoft is honest about the anal rape.

Re:EULA's (0, Redundant)

vil3nr0b (930195) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069192)

I know...mod me down fanboys, but how can you restrict hardware from running your software. These same fanboys will cry about Microsoft and yet charge people exhorbitant amounts of money for hardware that is second rate at best throughout the years and they still don't have a viable gaming machine. Get off of it Jobs and keep making money selling cute accessories filled with DRM and bloatware. Stop worrying about every user not willing to shell out 2k for subpar hardware.

Re:EULA's (1)

Lacota (695046) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069222)

Whats with the hostility? I don't get it, I own macs and PCs, and use them for different things. Being a hater is no better then a fanboi :P

Re:EULA's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23069240)

I've always found it interesting how people shrug off anything Apple does with either "they are not a monopoly" or "to preserve the user experience". You don't have to abuse a monopoly to be a douchebag.

Re:EULA's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23069286)

If I buy OS X I'll damn well run it on any machine I want.

Come on... did you really buy it or did you just grab the torrent. Even if you did buy it, did you really buy the OS or a license to the OS? Did you buy the single-user license or the family pack? If you bought the single-user then you really are rebellious!!!

The consumer is not always right. Run linux if you want to hack the shit out of something. Run OSX if you want to get work done. I really do hate how everyone wants everything for free and no matter what they will complain.

Run it on any machine you want. (0)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069452)

Not legally you wont.

Re:Run it on any machine you want. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23069586)

Yes you will. Breaking a contract is not illegal. It is a tort, and it can result in being sued, but it's not illegal.

OpenMac website... (3, Funny)

downix (84795) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069128)

I imagine it now...
Webmaster: We just put up the site!
Technician: Oh no, the site just went down!
Webmaster: Did Apple slap us with a S&D letter?
Technician: No, someone posted our link on Slashdot!

Re:OpenMac website... (5, Funny)

CompMD (522020) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069288)

In English, the word "cease" does not start with the letter "S."

Re:OpenMac website... (1, Informative)

blantonl (784786) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069328)

In English, the word "slashdot" does start with the letter "S."

Re:OpenMac website... (1)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069478)

In /., the word does not start with "S" it starts with "/".

Re:OpenMac website... (1)

blantonl (784786) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069594)

I think you meant "\/".

Don't forget to escape your slashes.

Re:OpenMac website... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23069392)

The site was down long before it made it to Slashdot - it collapsed very early this morning.

  I had nothing to do with that !

This is /. (4, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069130)

I predict 100 posts from people saying "Apple can do whatever they damn well want with their OS!" from the very same people who scream bloody murder if MS so much as includes a media player with their OS.

Re:This is /. (2, Insightful)

downix (84795) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069168)

Likely, and they'll be right. Apple makes computers. Microsoft doesn't. World of difference.

Re:This is /. (2, Interesting)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069216)

So what does Apple care if you use their OS on a PC?

Re:This is /. (1)

the_B0fh (208483) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069336)

Main thing? The OS is used to sell the hardware.

Second thing? Support issues. Now they are going to have to field support calls for non-Apple supported hardware.

Re:This is /. (2, Interesting)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069448)

Second thing? Support issues. Now they are going to have to field support calls for non-Apple supported hardware.
No they don't. While the legality of not allowing the OS on other hardware is questionable, it's perfectly legal to not provide support for anything but Apple hardware.

Re:This is /. (1)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069398)

So what does Apple care if you use their OS on a PC?

Perhaps Apple wants a uniform and "good" user experience and does not want people to start complaining about how poorly OS X performs while neglecting to mention they were trying to run it on something with less power than a TI-84 calculator?

Part of the "Apple Experience" is having the software set up for your specific hardware and not the eleventy billion possible setups of a windows box.

Re:This is /. (1)

neumayr (819083) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069402)

A lot of their income is through hardware sales, so they don't want any competition there.
Making their software run only on their hardware is one way to make there be no competition. Was a lot easier when they were still using PowerPC, not omnipresent PC hardware.
Now they only have an (uproven?) clause in their EULA and some bound-to-be-broken firmware lock to stop cloners.

Re:This is /. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23069248)

Huh? Why should Apple, when they are more restrictive than Microsoft in what they allow users to do with their software, get a free pass?

Re:This is /. (4, Interesting)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069334)

Apple makes computers. Microsoft doesn't. World of difference.

In other words, all Microsoft has to do is open a hardware division of PCs they build that run Windows and they instantly have the moral high ground on more or less everything?

I doubt anyone would agree with that, but if that's not what you're saying, then I can't understand how what you are saying would make any sense.

Re:This is /. (3, Interesting)

joeytmann (664434) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069306)

Very good point, so MS "forces" IE/MediaPlayer/Whathaveyou on you, Apple "forces" you to their hardware. Which is worse?

Re:This is /. (0, Troll)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069378)

Not that I'm defending Apple here, but as you seem to be the latest in a long time of severely brain damaged mental retards with functioning vocal chords but with little or no evidence of higher brain function, the difference being that at 10% of the market (at best) Apple isn't in a monopoly situation, and thus is not constrained in the same way as far as market behavior as Microsoft.

And you moderators, mod me down if you like, but these fuzzy-brained Apple bashers truly are the most moronic denizens of this place. I'm assuming these guys eat glue and shove pencils up their noses while making odd braying sounds, getting erections while watching Tom & Jerry cartoons and try to breast feed off their stuffed animals.

Re:This is /. (1)

joeytmann (664434) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069442)

So if you are a success you aren't allowed to cheat. I like that, but if you aren't a huge success cheat, all you want? I think someone else needs to develop some higher brain functions.....

Oh and by the way, I bet the MS bashers out populate the Apple bashers here on lovely /.

Re:This is /. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23069458)

heh. you hate us because we are right, and the self rightous hypocritical morons that dominate slashdot are wrong.

Re:This is /. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23069568)

And your idiot comments are helping things how?

Re:This is /. (1)

Tenebrousedge (1226584) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069432)

I like slashdot because of that. We can be absurdly hypocritical, and make snarky comments about it, all at the same time! I think that this has to do with there being actual thinking people posting here, as opposed to other parts of the internet who really do promote only one viewpoint. Now, if we examine your comment, are you (1) pointing out a valid problem with the general consensus of posts here (2) attacking a strawman as some form of preemptive retribution (my favorite kind!), (3) CowboyNeal, or (4) one or more of the above?

That's all slashdot, and it's all good. Except where it results in me getting modded into oblivion. Then it's unjust and the moderation system is broken :)

Re:This is /. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23069466)

Hmmm...

The problem with bundling was never that MS offered you their program -- it was that, as with IE, that even if you wanted to use another browser, you really couldn't because they welded theirs so tightly into the OS for no other purpose than to force you to use it. And it worked enough that much of the 90s/early2000s some sites/services were IE only.... even Windows Update today.

And they were hoping to leverage that monopoly into something more substantial (control of the web).

So it's quite different from your analogy. If you want a Unix, you can run Linux or a BSD. And OS X doesn't force you to run Safari... so I don't really know what you analogy has to do with anything.

I predict an non-insightful post (1, Troll)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069590)

Getting modded as insightful for making the point that Apple is acting like Microsoft. The post will be non-insightful because it will completely ignore the fact that Microsoft is a convicted monopolist.

Let me repeat that: the situations are different because Microsoft is a convicted monopolist.

Let me phrase it another way, in deference to your apparent inability to understand the implications of that fact:

Apple ISN'T under government restrictions because of past CRIMINAL behavior. Microsoft IS.

Tell me slashdot (-1, Troll)

JamesRose (1062530) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069132)

Where's the company? Where's it now? Oh thats right, when it was first reported days ago the site suddenly disappeared. So now slashdot isn't just reporting an event that has passed, all it has is rumours. Their website stopped responding a while ago now. !News

Re:Tell me slashdot (1)

metalcup (897029) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069298)

The site is back up. And the 'openmac' is available for sale on their products page. So I think you were perhaps a little impatient. /. effect, after all!

Not the first (4, Interesting)

MBCook (132727) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069134)

These aren't the first people to try something like this. People used to post instructions on buying various 3rd party PPC boards to build your own Mac.

The interesting part of this is that they have vowed to challenge Apple's EULA in court if (he he he, "if") they get sued. The outcome of that battle will be interesting. I want to say I'm on Apple's side on this one (they should get to say "only on Macs"), but a big part of me hates all the crazy restrictions in EULAs and I'm sure if Apple wasn't in a minority position I'd be crying foul over that clause as monopolistic.

The somewhat sad part is that this could satisfy quite a bit of the complains I've seen on /. and other places asking for an upgradeable Mac that costs less than the Mac Pro. Yet the hobbled the default configuration with integrated graphics. I also enjoy the bits I've read about this where they recommend AGAINST installing OS X updates until they say it's OK because it could easily hose the system.

All and all, while I don't expect this to go anywhere, it will be amusing to watch.

Re:Not the first (1)

kalidasa (577403) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069326)

Let Apple force them to put a big disclaimer on their site: "Apple Inc. will not support, and does not advise, the installation of its software on our computers. Use at your own risk. All support will be provided by [us]." If that doesn't happen, Apple will be forced to move to an "upgrade" model where you have to have an official Macintosh hardware disk to install an OS upgrade.

Re:Not the first (3, Informative)

Life2Short (593815) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069418)

Not only are others trying to do this now, there are also plenty of examples from Apple's past that illustrate how dangerous such a product would be to Apple's bottom line. Whether it's Franklin Apple II's, the Brazilian early Mac clones, or Apple's own licensing fiasco in the early PowerPC days, it's clear that Apple must be very protective or take a serious punch to profits. Remember Power Computing? In the licensing days of Apple, before Jobs returned and pole-axed the licenses, Power Computing was really starting to hurt Apple. They were releasing faster hardware earlier than Apple, and even their primitive marketing efforts (who remembers, "Let's kick Intel's Ass" with the Sluggo cartoon?) were getting the best of Apple. They were really starting to carve out their own share of Apple's customers before Jobs pulled the plug.

Website is fine. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23069148)

Web site works fine. Quit copying from the macobserver.com and do your own homework.

Reality check (2, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069170)

This is just reality calling Steve. Macs are PC clones now. Pretty, overpriced PC clones. Nobody as stopped cloned hardware before in the computing world for any length of time, Steve's reality distortion field has actually succeeded better than any realistic observer would have expected, but if this attempt fails more will follow.

Why? Follow the money. Macs carry anywhere between a 25% (the optimistic assertions from the Mac faithful) to 100% surcharge on the hardware compared to the prices for generic crap. That means there is enough margin for even good quality clones to undercut Apple's pricing. The big vendors have dominated the Windows PC world with their OEM pricing deals and at the same time would be terrified of tangling with Apple's legal goons. That leaves an opportunity for small offshore builders and where there is an opportunity for profit the Asian factories will sell products.

Re:Reality check (3, Informative)

diamondsw (685967) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069400)

Profit margins are about 25% depending on the product line. This is according to actual financial figures. You know, profit reports and such. Things that have to be correct and accurate for legal purposes or they're in trouble with the SEC for misleading stockholders. Real data, instead of you pulling shit out of your ass.

Macs are not more expensive; they're just less flexible. True, you can't get a Mac with slots for less than a Mac Pro. You can't get a Mac laptop with a 7-inch screen and ultra low processor/memory/drive for $400. But for what they do sell - Mac Mini, iMac, Mac Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro - they're similar, generally only varying by a few bucks here and there (except Apple's memory is damn expensive for some reason). This little dance has been done a billion times, and will be done a billion times again.

Re:Reality check (3, Insightful)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069566)

Macs are not more expensive; they're just less flexible.

If you are talking about internal upgrade ability, then only really the MacPros are genuinely upgradeable. The MacBooks are no less expandable than you average portable and the desktops are targeted towards a market that is more comfortable connecting a cable, than opening up their computer. For all the rest USB and Firewire offer most of the expandability that people want.

Re:Reality check (5, Interesting)

netwiz (33291) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069518)

The catch with the "Mac Tax" is that while you can't configure a Mac to have less than the shipping hardware (integrated camera, gigabit ethernet, do-it-yourself RAM, firewire, etc.), when pricing against equivalent hardware, they usually are cost-equal or a hair less. In the case of the Mac Pro, the difference is almost 25% given the CPU horsepower with which the system ships. At release, it was impossible to find a four-way workstation within $1000 of Apple's hardware.

This isn't to say Apple's the value leader, quite the opposite. Their surcharge on disk and RAM borders on userous; the video choices, while current at release, are updated slowly and tend not to support the more advanced configurations (SLI). That said, I'll take Apple's build quality over almost anything else, and for me at least, OSX significantly improves my workflow over Windows. YMMV.

Apple's hardware stands on its own (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23069554)

Apple's hardware stands on its own as a good value. From here [pcworld.com] :

The fastest Windows Vista notebook we've tested this year (through 10/25/07) is a Mac. Try that again: The fastest Windows Vista notebook we've tested this year--or for that matter, ever--is a Mac. Not a Dell, not a Toshiba, not even an Alienware. The $2419 (plus the price of a copy of Windows Vista, of course) MacBook Pro's PC WorldBench 6 Beta 2 score of 88 beats Gateway's E-265M by a single point, but the MacBook's score is far more impressive simply because Apple couldn't care less whether you run Windows.
As can be seen from their quarterly reports, Apple's hardware business these days is mostly laptops, and their laptop offerings are far and away the best on the market, and competitively priced, too. Their OS getting pirated does not change that.

RAM gouging (1)

copponex (13876) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069558)

Mac Pros are overpriced, everyone knows. But Apple is seriously doing themselves harm on RAM pricing.

To add 8GB on a Mac Pro Quad Core from Apple, it's $1500. From anyone else, it's $250. And people are making noise on how they're ready for the enterprise market? Please. It's getting to the point where Adobe could sell the software AND the computer if it were running on Linux for less money than a Mac Pro flush with RAM. Seems like dangerous territory to me.

Re:Reality check (4, Insightful)

vought (160908) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069608)

Why should Steve listen to you, or anyone who advocates Mac cloning?

The last time Apple tried it, the move almost cost the company its life. Power Computing and UMAX moved in on the high end and cannibalised Apple's most lucrative sales of Power Macs (and cannibalised is the right word; Apple did all the engineering for PCC, while the Austin firm just built boxes).

Power and Motorola also moved in on the bottom end (which is where Apple wanted them to sell anyway), but it was the PowerTower Pros that really hurt Apple's business and licensing program.

There's an error in the submission, too. There was no Apple "cloning" program. None of the Mac OS Licensees designed their own boards until well into the program (two years), and they all used "Old World" architecture. The licensing program actually started under Spindler, not Amelio.

If Apple licensed the OS for non-Apple PCs, it'd be the same story all over again, albeit less severe, as Apple has diversified in the past several years. Dell (or whoever) would race Apple to the bottom on prices, and Apple's R+D budget would be cut short. Macs wouldn't "just work" anymore, and someone at Apple would be stuck writing drivers for every piece of nonstandard hardware junk the licensees wanted to install to get the price down.

If a $300.00 premium every few years when I buy a new Mac is the cost of avoiding these kinds of headaches, I'm happy to pay it.

But... (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069172)

Does it run Windows?

M$ should learn from Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23069202)

No wonder people are now saying M$ time is up. M$ should just says "all M$ software can only run directly on hardware or other M$ branded software" in the EULA. Then, it will kill wine, VMWare ... without violating and anti trust law or consumer law.

EULA (2, Interesting)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069208)

It definitely defies the EULA for Mac OS X, which specifies that the purchaser of a legal copy of Leopard is entitled to install the operating system on an Apple-branded computer.

And the first-sale doctrine states that the purchaser of a legal copy of Leopard is entitled to install it wherever he wants, EULA notwithstanding.

Re:EULA (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23069464)

the problem is, you can't purchase anything but an upgrade copy of Mac OS. The hardware is your license key to the full copy (think of it as a very large dongle). You can't purchase a "full" legal copy of Leopard without buying a Mac.

This makes upgrading fairly painless because the upgrade software assumes you must have a valid license because it is designed to only run on hardware that came with a valid license (no searching for previous version product keys).

Re:EULA (1, Insightful)

Chaos Incarnate (772793) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069520)

First sale doctrine says you're free to do whatever you want with the physical disc; it doesn't say anything about the licensed content therein.

Too bad ... (1)

yvesdandoy (44789) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069300)

it's SO ugly !!

Stores already do this... (3, Informative)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069340)

There are two independent computer shops near my place which will put together a hackintosh for you. They won't install the OS, but they'll build a computer that is fully compatible with os X and sell you a copy of osx too...

So... for me, this isn't news, really.

EXCELLENT!! (2, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069350)

I've been wanting to replace my Franklin Ace!

"Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them in summer school".

What is EULA worth... (1)

Spy Handler (822350) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069370)

It would become interesting if this small company has enough guts to stand up to Apple and face them in court.... then we will find out if, legally speaking, software company EULA is worth the paper it's written on.

"By breaking the seal on this CD-ROM you agree that all rights regarding the use of this Software belong to US; that YOU have no rights; that you are only LICENSED for use on ONE computer, which cannot be anything other than Brand XXX model ZZZ computer; you agree to never make a copy of this Software ever; nor decompile nor modify said Software in ANY WAY; and if you do, your we will take your firstborn and eat it for lunch; this agreement shall be valid and binding in pertetuity and may not be revoked except at the whim of XXX Corp"

EULA flipflop (2, Interesting)

Umuri (897961) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069382)

Alright, to everyone posting the sarcastic comments wondering whether slashdot is Pro EULA or Anti EULA this week because it's apple and not microsoft, lets try to spell out things that hopefully everyone can agree on.

1. EULAs are pretty much unenforcable in what littel court cases have involved them to any degree.

2. Apple has every right to say that they won't support or vouch for the stability software that isn't running on hardware they approve of.

Beyond that, you can argue how you wish. However that's pretty much what this eula thing boils down to.

Apple makes it a point to ensure stability in their operating system, sometimes at the purported sacrifice of flexible code for hardware they don't sell. But if people want to try to get it working on other hardware, i really don't think apple will mind. If they do, the only reason i could think of it is they're worried about their image as the "cool" and "hip" computers getting tied in with people's hacked together junker computers running MacOS.

Apple cares about image, and it's image is "just works". They use an eula to spell it out, albeit in a nonbinding way.

! $399 if you want OSX as well.. (1)

kernowyon (1257174) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069384)

The basic machine is $399.99, but for the Leopard install and disks it costs another $155 according to their website. Also not mentioned in the summary is the hard drive - 250GB 7200rpm SATA drive. There are a few other options (for extra cash of course) - RAM upgrade to 4GB for $100, 2.66GHz processor for $90 etc

Gonna Fire Up the Clones (1)

CompMD (522020) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069430)

For the sake of nostalgia, I'm going to play with my Power Computing PowerCenter Pro 210 and Motorola Starmax 4000/160 tonight. Even though I have a 420MHz G3 CPU in the PowerCenter, I'm not brave enough to attempt to install OS X on it yet.

$400 for a Mac (1, Funny)

onkelonkel (560274) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069440)

Seems a little overpriced. /ducks

Filling a chronic void in the Mac marketplace (5, Informative)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069444)

Apple has for YEARS flat-out *refused* to build a Mac of this type - a normal headless box. They come out with the Mac Mini, which many said was the same thing, but it uses laptop memory and harddrives, which are more expensive per MB/GB, and the thing isn't even upgradable. The Mac Pro is a Xeon workstation, and uses memory to match, and starts at, what, $2k or so? C'mon!

And here's what's really sad for Apple and their shareholders -- the profit margins at what Apple would likely price these things at would likely be much higher than those for iMacs and Mac Minis. Normal 3.5" HDs and regular DDR2 DIMMs are much less expensive than the laptop and workstation-class hardware.

This is a gaping hole in their product lineup, and it's been there as long as I can remember. It's no wonder someone wants to fill that hole. It's just too bad that Apple is going to wipe them out of existence by the end of the week for doing what Apple should've done ten years ago.

Of course, Apple knows all this. Selling machines with built-in displays and non-upgradable machines with limited storage is great for Apple's bottomline: it forces people to upgrade when non-replaceable parts break and non-upgradable machines are too slow to handle modern tasks. But it's also screwing the customer. Fortunately, Jobs' Reality Distortion Field overrides people's common sense (and lack of knowledge about computer hardware in general) so that they FEEL good about their purchase.

Fair Use (1)

Pinckney (1098477) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069468)

Installing OS X on arbitrary hardware may be fair use, just as reverse engineering for interoperability is fair use, regardless of a product's EULA. IANAL.

Psystar? (1)

Fear the Clam (230933) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069470)

Seriously? Could they possibly sound more ghetto? Sure there isn't room for a "cyber" in there somewhere?

PC_EFI is not new. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23069500)

PC_EFI is a bootloader that's been around in the OSx86 community for some time now. Version 8 allows for GPT partition booting and a host of other features, including the ability to wrap OS X's early graphical booting to a card with a VGA BIOS instead.

These guys are just stealing work contributed to OSx86, throwing it on a standard PC, and trying to sell it. That's very shady, if you ask me.

BTW: OS X 10.5 boots on *many* different motherboards and *many* different configurations, if the kernel and kernel extensions support it (SSE3, PCI-E, etc). PC_EFI is purely a bootloader that emulates some EFI things so a stock Macintosh kernel thinks it's booting on a Mac. It has nothing to do with the hardware, there's plenty of kernel extensions and drivers floating around that support quite a fair chunk of hardware.

-DN

It's About Time... (2, Insightful)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069596)

It's about time the legality of some of Apple's claims and actions are tested in the legal system. Apple gets away with a lot, some of which is questionable?

(I.e. once you sell an operating system, are you really allowed to restrict it to your hardware? Ford can't restrict their cars to only running on Ford gas, and only being repaired with Genuine Ford Parts, for example.)

Could Apple legally say that no other O/S than OS-X is allowed to be run on their computers - just to ensure that you have to buy the O/S from them?

mac fanboys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23069628)

I'd like to see some of those mac fanboys try and defend this whilst staying fashionable
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