Apple closed at 26-7/8 today on the Nasdaq index, up 1-1/4 points. The increase was rare good news for Apple, whose stock has fallen 52 percent since hitting a high of 49-3/8 last June. IBM's stock, however, fell 1-1/8 points to 105-7/8.
The agreement announced yesterday, which CNET reported early last month, allows IBM to sublicense the Mac OS to other vendors, thereby making IBM the single supplier to hardware companies for both licensing PowerPC processors and the operating system. The license includes rights to the current System 7.5 and the coming System 8, code-named Copland. Previously, hardware companies would have to negotiate separately with Apple and IBM to license the OS and microprocessors.
IBM's deal mirrors an agreement announced in February between Apple and Motorola, which co-developed the PowerPC with Apple and IBM. Neither licensee plans to manufacture Mac clones themselves.
Separately, two hardware component vendors have announced new offerings aimed at Mac clone manufacturers. VLSI Technology will support the PowerPC platform in its Gold Eagle logic boards, a move that will allow system manufacturers to build cheaper Mac OS clones, according to the company. FirmWorks of Mountain View, California, meanwhile delivered its Power Firmware, a product that will let OEMs build systems that can boot multiple operating systems, including the Mac OS and Windows NT.
IBM ready to license Mac OS