Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Courts Government Businesses News Apple

Mac Clone Maker Psystar Files For Bankruptcy 366

Posted by kdawson
from the taking-the-pressure-off dept.
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.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Mac Clone Maker Psystar Files For Bankruptcy

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @03:37PM (#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.

    • by oldspewey (1303305) on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @03:41PM (#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.

  • Microsoft: (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Akido37 (1473009)
    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.
    • by FudRucker (866063)
      microsoft is only interested in helping one company and that company is microsoft
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Xest (935314)

      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.

  • by mbone (558574) on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @03:41PM (#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.

    • No shit. Isn't that the average underwater position for most homeowners in Florida and Arizona?
    • by harryandthehenderson (1559721) on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @03:45PM (#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.

      • by JSBiff (87824) on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @05:28PM (#28101851) Journal

        What kind of an idiot CEO decides with a very small company and almost no capital, to lock horns with one of the largest companies out their with a very. . . let's say 'speculative' business proposition at best? I suppose, maybe, if you're going to test the waters, perhaps doing it as a small company with no assets might actually be very cunning, because if you lose, Apple really isn't able to take anything. . .but at the same time, without sufficient funds, there's little chance you can survive the legal battles you first have to face in order to try to attain a ruling from the Courts that your business doesn't actually infringe their copyrights.

        (I mean, if I pay Apple for Mac OS X, in order to put it on a different computer, I fail to see how that has infringed their *COPY* rights - the copy is legal; they shouldn't have any say in what I do with that copy or what hardware I run it on, once the copy is licensed, but. . . it was obvious Apple would try to stop them with a lawsuit, and they'd have to fight the total GARBAGE law known as the DMCA,, before they could ever get to the point of, hopefully, getting a ruling that they weren't infringing).

        • by alvinrod (889928) on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @06:20PM (#28102443)

          If you're blowing through venture capital (i.e. not your own money.) the entire time, why not take on as many lawsuits as possible and ride the gravy train for as long as you can continue to do so? Hell, give yourself a nice bonus for being so brave as to challenge such a large and established corporation. After all, if you're successful, think of all the money that you'll be able to pull in with your new (and booming) business that can't be touched*.

          I don't know if that's the case, but there are some [wikipedia.org] good examples of where this has happened.

          * Or so they would like to think. [slashdot.org] 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF presents a reasonable argument as to why they were screwed even if they won.

    • by rsborg (111459) on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @03:47PM (#28100589) Homepage

      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?

      • by mpapet (761907) on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @04:02PM (#28100799) Homepage

        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

      • by erroneus (253617)

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

      • by larry bagina (561269) on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @04:22PM (#28101059) Journal
        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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Sandbags (964742)

      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: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by characterZer0 (138196)

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

        • by faedle (114018) on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @04:50PM (#28101383) Homepage Journal

          From a purely non-techy viewpoint, the arguments are a lot less clear and can be spun a myriad of ways in the SCO v. Linux debacle.

          However, the Apple v. Psystar is much more clear-cut. It also helps that Apple themselves defined much of the legal territory they are going to depend upon down the road when they sued Franklin Computer et. al. back in the Apple ][ clone days.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Red Flayer (890720)

        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)

    • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @03:53PM (#28100675) Homepage

      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.

    • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @03:58PM (#28100739)

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

  • Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @03:42PM (#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? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Tiger4 (840741) on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @03:55PM (#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.

    • 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: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by lazorz (1544583)
        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: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by nine-times (778537)

        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 endles

      • by nsayer (86181) <nsayer&kfu,com> on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @04:48PM (#28101349) Homepage

        I'm an Apple investor too, and I'm not so appalled.

        The differences between, say, the iMac and Mac Pro:

        1. > 4GB of RAM
        2. > 2 CPU cores, and they're faster
        3. PCIe slots
        4. 4 internal hard drives
        5. Up to 2 internal optical drives

        Now, I'm sure this is going to be controversial, but I'll pose the question anyway:

        What would you really want to use those PCIe slots for that you couldn't find reasonably equivalent functionality via USB or Firewire? Bonus points if there are mac drivers available.

        If the answer includes Gigabit Ethernet (note that we'd be talking about a *second* GigE port, since the iMac comes with one), Fiber Channel or RAID, then doesn't that imply that you'd be better served by either the Mac Pro or an XServe anyway?

        What else is on the list?

        SCSI? Really?

        Fusion powered 3d graphics card? Are gamers really clambering to run awesome 3D games under OS X?

        TV tuners and video capture? There are plenty of those for USB, FW or Ethernet.

        What I'm saying is that the "mid tower" you describe *likely* doesn't differ significantly from the iMac except for not having a built-in display, those PCIe slots and extra optical and internal drive bays - and in the case of the optical and/or hard drive bays, FW800 is an alternative. And I am honestly struggling to think of why those PCIe slots are missed.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by bnenning (58349)

          What I'm saying is that the "mid tower" you describe *likely* doesn't differ significantly from the iMac

          The main difference is that it could be much cheaper with the same profit margin. The problem with the iMac and AIO desktops in general is that they're more expensive than buying the equivalent pieces individually, so if you don't place a large positive value on the integration then it's not a good deal.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Mspangler (770054)

          "What would you really want to use those PCIe slots for that you couldn't find reasonably equivalent functionality via USB or Firewire? Bonus points if there are mac drivers available."

          Future-proofing. Case in point, USB 3. Any slotless-Mac you buy right now will obsolete once the first USB 3 only peripheral ships.

          Which means you have to buy a new computer, which is good for Apple, but not for the owner of the Mac with no slot.

          And note that I'm responding on 2002 G4 Quicksilver, which came with USB 1, and w

      • I can certainly understand that you want an expandable machine, and want to run OS X, and want it to be under $1500 -- those are pretty reasonable desires from a power-user computer owner. But I'm not sure you outrage is justified as an investor -- Apple seems to be doing pretty well selling non-expandable machines in the mid-range, and they have been for years. If Apple was primarily in the market for budget-oriented power-users it would be silly to not offer a cheaper tower, but they're not, and it's probably not a great business strategy for them to try; there's a very real chance it would hurt their sales and confuse their marketing in the other, well-established, successful market segments where the currently operate.

      • Sunset (Score:3, Insightful)

        by westlake (615356)

        The larger and growing larger hole in the mac lineup is the tower. as an apple investor I find it inexcusable.

        The tower is in its last days as a mass market product. Too much space. Too much power. Too much weight.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Bassman59 (519820)

          The tower is in its last days as a mass market product. Too much space. Too much power. Too much weight.

          I agree totally. My most recent purchase was a 20" Core2 Duo iMac in January. I have towers and rack-mount chassis that I never opened. I used to buy into the notion that I needed all of the extra drive bays and PCI slots and the big power supply, until I realized that I never installed more hard disks or PCI devices.

          The iMac takes up minimal space on my desk, and I have some FireWire hard disks for things like audio projects, the Time Machine backup and my iTunes library.

          Sure, I suppose those FireWire hard

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      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? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Sloppy (14984) on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @04:50PM (#28101369) Homepage Journal

      Why would anyone want to run Mac OS on unsupported hardware? It's going to be unstable, missing features...

      It never ceases to amaze me that so many people (and so many of them are Apple fans!) think that Mac OS is an unportable piece of shit. It isn't.

      When it comes to device independence, Mac OS (both classic and X) is right up there with Linux and *BSD. Sure, all the device drivers haven't actually been written but it's pretty damn clear that most of Mac OS functionality has been separated from the drivers.

      Back in the 90s I ran Mac OS 7.x as a task on my Amiga, and it wasn't unstable at all. A Mac emulator was pretty much really just a collection of virtual drivers (drivers from MacOS' point of view, and OS calls from AmigaOS's point of view). It not only worked, but it worked well.

      And the existence of modern x86 Hackintoshes shows that Apple didn't somehow get incredibly inept and start hard-coding specific Mac-hardware-du-juor dependence when they made OS X. Just how incompetent do people think Apple's programmers are? Do you think they're going to tell Steve, "no, you can't release any new Mac models, because we didn't make the OS portable enough that we can get it running on your new toy by writing a few drivers"?!

      Give it a rest on the stupid, inane, and naive comments that hardware diversity is somehow related to OSes being flaky or broken. That's not how any of today's OSes work (even That One Exception (you know who) can't legitimately blame their flakiness on hardware diversity).

      If anything, I've found that the more general you make things, the better they tend to work. And that's not some great insight; it's something everyone knows, including Mac OS X's developers.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by wintermute000 (928348)

      You've never run a good hackintosh before have you?

      With a fixed hardware base to test any updates on before distributing etc. its a pretty slick experience, in fact slicker than some hit and giggle linux distros. As long as you wait for someone to work out how to do the next major update you're fine.

      Dell mini 9, fully hackintoshed, everything working including BT, two finger scroll, sleep and built in WWAN (3G).

  • by CopaceticOpus (965603) on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @03:42PM (#28100509)

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

  • by goffster (1104287) on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @03:42PM (#28100511)

    Until out of chapter 11.

  • 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.

    • 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.
    • by Sandbags (964742) on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @04:06PM (#28100849) Journal

      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).

      • by Chyeld (713439) <chyeld AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @04:50PM (#28101375)

        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.

        Lets do ignore that the last time they allowed clones, they got their lunch eaten.

        I agree, stability would be an excellent reason. But the pure truth of the matter is, even with the change to Intel, Mac's are priced more on brand name than the cost of the parts that go into them.

        Apple can't compete against a company that can produce cheaper products because Apple considers one of it's strengths to be it's "Designer Computer" status.

        Apple will never (in it's current incarnation and under Steve) allow anyone but Apple sell Apple computers. Period. They can talk all they want about how in the future we'll have jetpacks and a "Dell Mac" on every desk. But when it comes down to the brass tacks, it'll never happen and they certainly are not basing their business plans on the idea that it could.

  • This is a shame, as I was really anticipating the upcoming release of the PsyBook Wheel [theonion.com]
  • by guruevi (827432) <evi AT smokingcube DOT be> on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @03:46PM (#28100569) Homepage

    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: (Score:2, Interesting)

      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?

      • by vux984 (928602) on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @04:26PM (#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.

    • by Ohio Calvinist (895750) on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @04:08PM (#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 /.
    • 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 rea
    • by Tiger4 (840741)

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

  • Mac clone companies (Score:3, Interesting)

    by C_Kode (102755) on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @03:59PM (#28100759) Journal

    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: (Score:3, Informative)

      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.

    • by Vinegar Joe (998110) on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @04:16PM (#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: (Score:3, Informative)

        by confused one (671304)
        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: (Score:3, Informative)

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

        Unfortunately 90% of the Mac clones sold were junk that used Apple's valuable brand to make the sale then devalued it when the machine broke after a few months or crashed constantly. The only really decent clone maker was Power Computing, which Apple actually acquired.

        Mac clones were a bust for Apple and not sustainable in the long term given the very broken desktop OS market, which persists to this day. Until that market is restored to something close to competitive, Apple would be idiotic to try and buil

    • by eltonito (910528) on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @04:44PM (#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)

  • 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.
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      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 :)

  • 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 clea

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Microlith (54737)

      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.)

  • by idiot900 (166952) * on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @04:44PM (#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.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Psyborgue (699890)
      It also means that people might blame OSX for quirks in the hardware compatablity. That is something Apple, a company very much concerned about reputation, does not want. As long as Apple controls both the hardware and software, they are able to eliminate a large portion of things that can go wrong and thus nothing threatens people's perception of the "mac experience".
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      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?

      Apple jealously guards their brand. They work hard in support and towards reliability and packaging such that they are consistently rated top in the industry by their customers. OS X is Apple's crown jewels and is strongly associated with Apple's brand.

      So some computer geek hacks a machine to run OS X, even in violation of the license. Why would Apple care? A geek knows it is going to have issues that aren't Apple's fault and taking individuals to court just gives them negative publicity for an issue that i

That does not compute.

Working...