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<b>Another one bites the dust...

Another one bites the dust...

Due to its failure to reach an agreement with Apple, Motorola has announced that it will discontinue its StarMax line of Mac OS compatibles by the end of this year (as reported in MacWEEK and other news sources). It will never ship the PowerPC 750 based system that was shown at Macworld Expo in Boston last August. In doing so, Motorola joins Power Computing's exit from the clone market. The difference is that Apple obviously has not purchased Motorola's assets. In fact, Motorola will still be selling the hardware needed to make Mac clones to other companies, such as POWERtools, who will continue to make clones (as stated in a recent press release from Victor Wong of POWERtools).

Also see Motorola's FAQ page on this subject.

Other articles (such as reported in InfoWorld and San Jose Mercury News) suggest that the AIM (Apple-IBM-Motorola) alliance, formed in 1991 largely to bring CHRP machines to market, is all but dead - as IBM and Motorola rethink their PPC processor plans for the future. CHRP machines from manufacturers other than Apple will now likely never see the light of day.

Meanwhile, Steve Jobs and Ric Ford had a conversation the other day (as reported on MacInTouch). While these clone matters remained a point of disagreement, Ric was relieved that Steve categorically stated Apple's intent to continue to market Mac OS systems running on PowerPC machines - dispelling speculation that Apple was planning a wholesale move to Intel-based Rhapsody machines.

Editorial note: Make no mistake. This marks tremendous change in the Apple universe. In fact, the changes are getting so frequent and furious these days that I feel like I am developing a serious case of motion sickness. Apple asserts that these changes are necessary to ensure its return to profitability and its very survival. Perhaps so. Still, this is not the sort of news to make you stand up and cheer. I only hope that six months from now, we can look back on this and see it as a major step towards Apple's recovery and not as a major blunder on its path to self-destruction.