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Who"s davidlian?

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davidlian is an ultra-geeky chinese dude that works for a technology PR agency. He loves fiddling with techno-toys, plays Warhammer 40K, and shoots pictures wherever he goes. Here, he rants about PR, Technology and anything else. Don't expect balance and un-biased, he ain't no journalist. Anything said on this blog are solely davidlian's personal views. Don't confuse them with company mantra, client's views or views of any organisation he may be part of.

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Friday, April 18, 2008

Is an open Mac a Mac?

Thanks to the job, I've been too busy to post these past couple of days. Hope you've not stopped reading?

While I was out of action, there was a pretty interesting story that came thru the regular tech news channels about a company that offered customers to build a PC that could run Apple's Leopard (OS X) operating system. Essentially a Mac that's not a Mac.


Psystar's Open Computers can be ordered with Mac OSX Leopard pre-installed


Of course, the question that's being bandied around is whether or not the End User License Agreement (EULA) which states that Leopard could not be installed on any machine except a Mac, would hold up in court.

Personally, the more important question is - if I could get a PC with Leopard installed that wasn't made by Apple, would I? The answer for me was yes.

Don't get me wrong, there are a great many things I love about Windows Vista (especially that I can play so many games on it) but if I had to dream up the ideal personal laptop that I could carry around and do web-surfing and the occasional document editing, it'd be an Eee PC with Leopard installed (yeah, impossible currently, but why not in the future?)

What I really want is for Macs to be cheaper (and for it to come in the size of the Eee PC, the Macbook Air has too big a footprint). And for Macs to become cheaper, someone else needs to have the chance to manufacture them (so competition in the Mac niche market exists) as well.

But, if anyone could just bang together some hardware and sell it to you with the Mac OS pre-installed, wouldn't you then just call that a PC? And wouldn't the Mac OS, instead of being this integrated part of the Apple experience, be just another OS competing against Windows and Linux for your attention? Could this be the future for the Mac? It could.

Just like the PC, a separation between the Mac OS and the Mac hardware would mean a new and open market for third-parties who could come in create their own "packages" of hardware and software. Like the PC, this would mean cheaper Mac OS systems. Like the PC, this could mean more market share for the Mac.

Do I want a cheaper Mac? Yes.

For this reason alone, I'm hoping that regardless of whatever happens over in the US with Psystar, some third-party manufacturer in Taiwan, China or even here, picks up on this (Psystar's) idea and we start seeing the oMac (Open Mac) in LowYat Plaza.

5 comments:

Lawrenz L said...

one of the reason why mac os are more stable than windows is because all the hardware is controlled by apple, windows on the other hand accept all kind of hardwares.

Besides, currently people have already installed leopard on the non-apple machine and it works. If this open mac does get into the market, i think we will see a lot of complaint in the future saying mac os hang and bla bla bla..

Do i want a cheaper mac ? Yes thank you..

Justin Koh said...

Being an Apple/Mac fanboy, using OS X (or any other Mac OS) other than from an Apple computer is not a Mac user.

Anyway, the legality of Hackintosh has always been a debate among the IT community.

I remember reading OS X's EULA and it mentioned something about it's illegal to have OS X on a computer without the Apple logo. So technically, if your cloned PC has an Apple logo, it's legal.

It's some kinda loophole lah.

By the way, I use a MacBook, iPhone (the one you've seen), iPod Touch, iPod shuffle 2nd gen 1GB and an iPod Video 30GB....ehhehe.....super fanboy here....

Oh yeah, I write for www.mymacbuzz.com as well. It's Malaysia's premier Apple news site. Although not as good as TUAW but we're doing alright...hehe..

calgraden said...

Yes, I wanted a cheaper mac too, but Apple also need to improve the life of their Mac products, because the mac-book that i used before has been hard disc drive death for twice in three years, dvd drive can't function well in second year...

Toner said...

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davidlian said...

@lawrenz: But now that apple has shifted onto an Intel platform that's basically the same as a PC's, it makes it much easier to install Mac OS on any non Mac machine.

@Justin: Don't get your point. :)

@calgraden: Yes, I agree.

@Toner: Yes, I love my blog too. It's fine.