Well, that was predictable, really.

A small startup in Florida decides to go make Mac clones, and surprise, surprise, Apple starts legal proceedings and unleashes the might of its superior Army of Litigious Immortals.

Well, we all know how that one is going to end, right? Apple is a multi billion dollar technology company with tons of money at its disposal for protracted litigation. In the most likely scenario, poor little Psystar will back down, turn its tail between its legs and cease and desist.

Read the rest of this story on ZDNet Tech Broiler.

4 Responses to We… ARE PSYSTAR!!!!

  1. slkinsey says:

    Interesting. But I think this misses a few important points:

    First, Apple is fundamentally not a software company (although I know that a lot of people see them that way). Apple is a hardware company. That’s how they make their money. They make kickass software to run on their hardware because it helps them to sell more hardware. The money they make selling their OS and assorted software pales in comparison to the money they make selling their hardware. And the money they might stand to make on an “install anywhere” OS doesn’t come close to the money they would lose in hardware sales.

    Second, a big part of what makes Apple’s OS work so well is that they know exactly what hardware it will be running on. If they were to allow non-Apple hardware to run their OS, many of the things that make OS X “just work” would stop working so well, as manufacturers made bargain (or super-premium) machines using components not anticipated by Apple’s OS. And if the OS had to be modified to run over these non-Apple machines (which I assume would be the case), there is even further opportunity for clusterfuckage. The next thing you know, OS X is just as buggy and unreliable as Windows.

    Third, your premise that “hackers everywhere will start figuring this out and the cat will be out of the bag, so Apple should go ahead and start porting its OS” seems flawed at best. In the absolute worst-case scenario, an extremely limited number of techies and hackers might try to do this. And these small numbers aren’t exactly going to hurt Apple’s business model. After all, the iPhone OS has more people on the web than Linux! What would hurt Apple’s business model, however, would be letting a company sell knockoff machines with a hacked version of the OS.

  2. Sam:

    Your arguments are sound in the old “bare metal” world of running operating systems on hardware. Significant pain points will keep hackintoshery to the serious geeks who can do it because they can — that is until they can significantly remove the pain points and take the Psystar process and automate it somehow that any end user can do on a Sunday morning after bagels and coffee.

    However, the whole second half of my article explains why the entire kashering of the Mac hardware platform and pain points of hackintoshery is totally invalidated in the age of virtualization.

    In virtualization, the OS always thinks its talking to the same hardware. Move the OS image to another machine running different hardware underneath but running the same hypervisor, and there are no affinity issues to stop it from firing up on another system as if nothing had happened.

    Trust me when I tell you this is my area of expertise. Read up on Type 1 Hypervisors on Wikipedia and you’ll understand this better.


  3. slkinsey says:

    Given the fact that the vast majority of computer users never install a new operating system, I don’t think that installing a virtualized version of the Mac OS will ever be something that the typical user does on Sunday morning over a bagel and coffee.

    What you seem to be missing is just how profoundly different you are from 99.9% of computer users. I mean, the vast majority of computer users can’t even install any software at all. The number of people who would install a hacked/virtualized Mac OS onto a non-Apple machine simply will never be large enough to hurt their profitability. What would hurt their profitability is if a company started selling “Hackintosh” computers with the hacked/virtualized Mac OS pre-installed. Well… that’s why Apple has a legal department with deep pockets. That’s why they crushed Psystar and that’s why they’ll crush the next company to try something like it.

    A few hundred hackers aren’t a concern to them. And, let’s just say that I’ll start worrying about people installing the Mac OS over Hypervisor on non-Apple machines right around the time that we start seeing all those open source competitiors for the iPod and iPhone eroding Apple’s profitability.

  4. Spoken like a true Mac bigot. I still love you though :)

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