IBM exits Mac OS licensing arena; and more thoughts on Apple's policies

IBM exits Mac OS licensing arena; and more thoughts on Apple's policies


To no one's surprise at this point, as covered in a article from Macworld: "IBM Microelectronics has decided not to pursue the Mac OS business, given Apple's refusal to certify new technologies such as the PowerPC 750 and Common Hardware Reference Platform and Apple's decision not to honor its Mac OS 8 pricing agreements made in June."

Frankly, I continue to have trouble deciding who and what to believe here. This quote from the San Jose Mercury News captures the essence of the dilemma: "In an interview last week, Jobs said Apple had been unsuccessful in getting the clone vendors to agree to the higher fees. But the clone makers, including Motorola, said they had agreed to pay the higher fees -- up to 10 times higher, sources close to two clone companies said. But it was clear Apple wanted out."

Henry Norr, in the latest issue of MacWEEK, offers a similar view: "Defenders of the anti-licensing policy fall back on one key syllogism: If Apple doesn't return to profitability soon, it won't survive; licensing was preventing it from returning to profitability; therefore licensing had to go, whatever the cost. If I could buy the logic, I'd have at least some sympathy for the conclusion." However, he goes on to quote figures showing that the total income of all clone makers amounted to only 3% of what Apple lost over the same period.

If there is a compelling reason for Apple's reversal on licensing clones, Apple has yet to make it clear. It is under no obligation to explain itself. But it would seem to be in its interest to do so.

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