Monday, June 1, 2009

Mac Clones: Quo Enters the Ring - Will They Be the Last?

Well, here we go again, another day and another Mac clone maker decides to go head-to-head with the behemoth from Cupertino.

This time it's a company called Quo based in Los Angeles that thinks it can do what Apple doesn't want them to - build cheaper priced Mac clones.

Quo goes farther than any other Mac would be cloner however. That's because Quo, unlike the rest, is planning on opening a real honest-to-goodness brick and mortar store, a store in Los Angeles in which anyone can simply come in, and then walk out with a perfectly working Hackintosh, OS X installed with the works. Quo also claims that they are going to be following Apple closely, matching them in customer sussport and in the build quality of their machines. That remains to be seen however, especially if Apple legal gets ahold of them.

Now that Psystar has declared bankruptcy, you would think that this is the last thing that anyone in their right mind would want to do, but strangely enough, Quo isn't alone as it comes on the heel of yet another would be Mac cloner, RussiaMac. Obviously this company is based in Russia, and it is already building and shipping Mac portable clones. They join HyperMegaNet, a Germany company which entered the ring earlier in the year.

The question is: is the cat out of the bag and can Apple stop it if it is?

Surely Apple knew that once they went Intel there was no going back, and that cloners were going to do everything in their power to make a buck off of Apple's elegant OS. In fact, according to Apple, it has evidence that makes it believes that there are indeed some deep pockets behind Psystar, and that it isn't acting alone. Personally, I'm beginning to believe them.

For one thing, it's strange, really strange that Psystar, altough in bankruptcy, is still happily selling Mac clones on their web site to anyone foolish enough to buy one. Psystar, naturally, claims that their is no such conspiracy to steal Apple's intellectual property. Also strange is the fact that Psystar offered such a weak response to Apple's discovery motion and the fact that they also bizarrely claimed that Apple didn't even own the copyright for Mac OS X. Now, for one thing, that has got to get one's suspicions up somewhat, doesn't it?

I'm beginning to suspect that Psystar's bankruptcy fillings were more to do with protecting it's 'deep pockets' then that of protecting itself. I could be wrong of course, but the more I think about it, the more convinced that Apple's assertion that there are others behind Psystar rings true.

The question is: who is really behind Psystar, Quo and the others? Are they all related in some way to each other and those very same deep pockets that Apple allegedly believes is behind Psystar? That I don't know, but I do know that something is beginning to smell a little fishy here.

Some believe that Dell, for one reason or other, may be the deep pocket behind Psystar, or maybe HP, or Lenovo, and maybe even their all in cahoots together - who knows? One thing that I do know, is that I sincerely doubt if it is, as some believe, Microsoft. The reason is simple: they would never promote the idea of OS X on generic Intel computers because it would drastically diminish Windows presence on those very same machines! I think that Microsoft would prefer to do what they have always done in the past - simply copy Apple ideas and features and then claim them as their own. Windows 7 is a prime example of that, from it's reinforced Taskbar, to the idea of running legacy apps, like Mac OS Classic apps in OS X, within a virtual copy of XP.

I don't have a bloody clue as to who is behind Psystar, Quo, HyperMegaNet, etc., or if they are all connected in some way. All I do know is that Steve Jobs claimed that the five biggest PC makers all begged him, several times in the past, to license OS X to them, but as we all know that is something that he simply refused to do and, no doubt, something he would never do unless it was over his dead body! Whoever this deep pocket is, be it a single source or a combination of several, I wish I knew. The mystery is killing me. To me, this is beginning to read like a soap opera, only one that has a lot more potential bucks behind it than any of the television variety.

So, now that Quo has entered the ring to eventually do battle against Apple in it's fight to fend off Mac clones, can we reasonably expect them to be the last? No way - and not by a long shot. I have the sneaky feeling that Apple's war on Mac cloners is far from over, and that in actual fact - it may only be beginning.

And that's my 2 cents 4 this Monday, June 01, 2009

Quo logo via: Quo computers

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