I know it's Microsoft that has the reputation for being computer monopolists. But all they supply to the affair is the Operating System and a free browser, after all. You can run it on any computer you like, or one that has enough horsepower to render Vista, anyway. You want a monopoly? Apple is a vertically integrated competitor killer. Psystar, a small manufacturer from Miami thought you'd like to get what is essentially Mac Mini performance, but with twice the memory, at half the price.
Persuading a generic PC to run OS X isn’t that hard to do. Ever since Apple (AAPL) switched from PowerPC to Intel, hackers in the OSx86 movement have been playing cat-and-mouse with Cupertino, writing a series of patches and emulators to get around the Mac’s Extensible Firmware Interface (EMI) and other built-in barriers to cloning.
But the $399 Mac compatible computer that hit the market this week is another matter. It’s a cease-and-desist order waiting to happen.
The manufacturer is a small, Miami-based reseller of Voice-over-Internet, security and networking systems called Psystar. Its website invites you to order a PC “capable of running unmodified OS X Leopard kernels”
The Apple boards instantly exploded with Apple fans gleefully urging Steve Jobs to sue Psystar back to the stone age, and let them continue to enjoy paying twice as much for less in peace. Everyone seems mystified that anyone would even try to make a Leopard compatible computer and risking the wrath of Apple. I have an alternate theory. Psystar wants to be sued over this. Then they can go in front of a judge and speak the monopoly word. "Security by obscurity", the saying goes.Perhaps the flip side of that is once you're big enough to sue everybody, that means you're big enough to be sued by everybody, too.