It seems that everybody in the tech world is talking about Psystar and their $399 Mac clone, but nobody, however, seems to know much, if anything, about the company itself.
Why is that; what exactly is going on here? I have a theory, and it's just that, a theory, and, as theories goes, well, it's a pretty far fetched one, but you never know, it could be true?
Just what is this ridiculous theory of mine?
Simple: that Apple is behind the whole thing!
Yes, you heard me right! But why would Apple be behind Psystar and what evidence would support my wild theory? Well, with all of the trouble with Vista that Microsoft is having these days, coupled with all of the interest in OS X, I am just saying that maybe, just maybe, Apple is testing the waters to see what kind of interest there might be in licensing OS X to other PC OEM's, that's all.
Now for evidence, I will simply point out these two points, as flimsy as they are:
ONE: Apple has remained mysteriously quiet on the whole affair - too quiet! I mean, think about it - Apple is a sue happy company, one that is more than willing to sue the city of New York for it's "Big Apple" campaign that features a logo that resembles Apple's own, the way a Mercedees SL 550 resembles one of those tiny, little Smart cars of theirs! So, why the silence on a company that clearly violating Apple's EULA?
TWO: As pointed out in an article by the Gaurdian's Charles Arthur:
"The Psystar site talks a lot. OK. The site was registered in 2000, according to whois, but what's odd is that searches on Google and on Live.com don't turn up anything about the company before this week. Zip. Zero. Nada.
I called the Miami Chamber of Commerces and its Better Business Bureau. They've never heard of it."
Now both of these are just interesting points, not, of course, any type of proof. It gets more interesting, however, when the Guardian points out this bit of weirdness:
"And then we thought we'd look closer at the location they're in. And that's where things got really strange.
The address had changed completely."
But that's not all folks, as Charles goes on to add:
"OK, that's got to be the weirdest thing I've ever seen in years of covering technology. The first address, on Google Maps, looks like your average row of suburban houses.
The second - new! - one looks far more office-y, or at least industrial.
But you know what's most interesting? Apple's complete silence on this. It hasn't said a word. I suspect that it's waiting to see if anything emerges from this. It hasn't stopped the Mac world working itself into a lather, poring over EULAs and talking about EFIs; it's just nobody seems to have bothered to pick up a phone and call."
Yes, as Charles put it, this has got to be "the weirdest thing," and it makes me think that Psystar is nothing more than a dummy corporation that is acting on behalf of Apple to test the waters, so to speak.
After all, let's not forget that Dell, IBM (at the time), HP, and I believe one other major PC OEM, have already begged Steve Jobs, in the recent past, to license OS X to them. How do I know? Simple: because his greatness said so! I remember it so well. We all know how Michael Dell feels about OS X, don't we? Well, I, for one, sure do. I remember him, in a video interview, talk about how happy he would be to build a, Dell based, OS X machine for the interviewer, just as soon as Apple would allow him to!
Yet another statement by Jobs comes to mind that makes me wonder even more about all of this. That is the statement that Mr. Jobs gave to Walt Mossberg, when Walt interviewed both Jobs and Gates together just last year. In that interview, Steve told Walt, and very candidly, that he considers Apple to be more like Microsoft - a software company, rather than a hardware company! Yes, there you have it, Jobs himself had admitted that Apple really was a software company, and just like Microsoft!
Naturally, even though Jobs considers Apple a software company, first and foremost, it still, however, is a hardware company, even if it be one only secondarily. Apple has to protect it's hardware division, of course, as it's much too valuable to just abandon nilly-willy. But when you think about the fact that Microsoft probably makes considerably more on sales of Vista than Apple does on hardware, well, then my "wild n crazy" theory is not all that crazy, now is it?
After all, I remember reading several sources saying that Apple could always let other's build cheap Mac clones - as they would tend to get people addicted to the Mac, and thus, leaving them to wonder just how much more of a better experience that a Apple branded Mac would be - because frankly, even though Dell and others might be able to build a cheaper Mac, they, in my opinion, could never build one that is as beautiful or as functional. Only Apple does and could build such a machine.
Also, remember: that cheap pc box's bring in very little, if any, real profit, so why not let others build them? It would, however, free up Apple to really start bringing home the real bacon with it's OS sales!
So, in the end, whether a person buys an ugly, less enjoyable Mac clone, or they buy a more beautiful, functional and elegant one from Apple, it's Apple that still gets the sale - and a lot, lot more sales than they ever could have gotten from Apple's efforts alone.
If my crazy and wild 2 cents of a theory is correct, then all I will say is that the days of Microsoft's Windows dominance is about to come to an end, and rather quickly, because Windows users are looking, if not down right begging, for an alternative to Windows and all of the hassles that Windows brings with it. Frankly, as great as the potential for Linux is, it just doesn't cut the mustard as a desktop now - and, most likely, never will!
So, that leaves only one real alternative - OS X, be it in the form of a clone, or from Apple itself.
And that's my 2 cents 4 this, Wednesday, April 16, 2008.
Foot note: Philip, in his blog, "FixYourThinking," also has a very interesting theory, on this subject, that you can read here.
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