Attack Computer Wiz

A Security & Technology Weblog

Question: What would you call Microsoft if they only allowed their operating systems to be installed on Microsoft branded hardware and made that hardware/software available only from Microsoft branded stores.

Answer: Apple.

In a move that surprised no one, Apple is suing Psystar for violating its copyright. Psystar began selling ‘white box’ hardware with Apple’s OS X pre loaded earlier this year. Apple alleges that Psystar is selling a modified version of its OS X, providing unauthorized patches, misappropriating Apple’s ‘proprietary’ software, and selling (in their words) “…a poor product that is advertised and promoted in a manner that falsely and unfairly implies an affiliation with Apple.”

This to me is absurd. How has Apple gotten away with this for so long? Allowing the installation their OS only on their hardware, available only from their stores, at a price they see fit to charge. Let’s try this analogy; You purchase a phone that I sell my my store. But in order to use it you have to purchase a service plan that I control. Hey lets go one step further… You have to purchase that service plan from a single carrier that only I specify. And just for giggles, I am going to throw in a two year contract. Let’s call it the mPhone :)

Let us hope that Psystar wins this battle and Apple is forced to allow the sale of its operating systems on third party equipment, thus forcing them to fairly complete in a free market across hardware platforms from independent third parties, just like everyone else!

I grabbed a screen shot just in case they lose, see it here.

user Posted by Mike Wright

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  1. Anonymous  

    Umm your comments are ludicrous at best.

    Is Ford going to have to be forced to sell their cars with GM engines? No of course not because Ford make a competing product.

    Why is Apple not getting in trouble by forcing people to use Mac OS X only on Macs? Because Apple MAKES the hardware AND the software.

    Microsoft got in trouble not because they are on most computers but because of HOW they got to be on most computers. They bullied computer manufacturers into selling only machines with Windows on them because they said that if they didn't they wouldn't sell them OEM licenses of Windows.

    Psystar haven't got a show in hell of winning this because they broke the terms of a legal document they ACCEPTED.

  2. Mike  

    Thanks for your comments...
    However Apple does not make the hardware. They purchase it, control it, and sell it to the end user (hence the fact they use Intel cpu’s, ATI video, etc.). So, your analogy of Ford vs. Chevy is flawed. It would be like Ford saying that you can only buy gas from their gas stations. Microsoft made the computer manufactures what they are today. It was not until recent years that open source operating systems were even usable (to a typical user) so what were you going to run in 1998 if it was not for Microsoft? And lastly you are exactly right about the license. Which is what I feel is the problem. If I buy it… I own it... I should be able to use it on any machine I want.

  3. Anonymous  

    Sorry but this is wrong.

    Apple designs everything. Yes the chips they buy because they don't make their own but the motherboards and busses Apple makes themselves.

    What you say is true for Dell, IBM/Lenovo, HP etc but not for Apple.

    Have you seen a board off the shelf that will fit into a Mac Mini case? NOPE. That's because there isn't one and why? Because Apple designed it. As such my analogy is 100% fitting. Design is the first part of a product coming into existence.

    Do you really think that Ford cars are actually Ford cars? No, they're manufactured at the Mazda plant in Korea. However, Fords are designed by Ford and thus they can be called Ford despite much of their parts are interchangeable with Mazdas.

    It is no different to Apple designing the motherboards and control circuits but using NVidia and Intel parts.

    Nothing today is truly what they claim they are but they are different enough to warrant the branding.

    Microsoft changed the world by controlling it. NeXt was the most powerful desktop operating system at the time Microsoft shafted Apple and stole it's OS to make Win95 . Microsoft used Office as the leverage to get people to accept Windows and then was in a position to say to people if you want Windows at the cheaper OEM cost then you need to stop selling machines with any other operating system on them. As such NeXt couldn't get much market share despite being the better OS.

    It took Apple to save NeXt which in turn made it Mac OS X.

    Microsoft got where it is because of bullying people into selling its OS. Apple got where it is today by making innovative products. True they haven't made anything new but they have bought these technologies to the masses by making simple to use interfaces. A machine is only as good as the software running it and Windows is far from a great OS.

    As regards your "If I buy it I own it" comment this has been time and time again to be proven incorrect with software. This argument has been thrown out of court on so many occasions it's not funny. Software is not a tangible product but it is necessary to allow a user to interact with the computer. Without software you've got a nice heavy paperweight. Software is very much like music and video. You don't own either but you license it so that you can use it. Under the license you are not allowed to copy that data or reverse engineer it or whatever without express permission.

    Software licenses are like a lease agreement on a car. You can use the car but you are limited in what you can do with that car under the terms of the lease agreement. You can't for example on sell the car while under that agreement. You don't own the vehicle you just own the right to use it.

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