is back at the negotiating table with
for a deal to license
Apple's MacOS, sources said today.
This time, sources say, the deal would not mean that IBM would
directly manufacture Mac clones. Instead, the agreement would simply make it
easier for IBM to promote the manufacture of such systems by other third-party vendors by sublicensing
the operating system along with the PowerPC chips required to make Mac
clones. Currently, clone makers are required to license the OS from Apple
and then negotiate a second license for PowerPC chips from IBM or Motorola. Motorola signed a
deal with Apple in February.
Apple officials declined to comment on the deal, but sources said the ink is almost dry.
While many Apple observers were rooting for IBM to become a Mac
clone maker and immediately expand the supply of Mac systems, this more
indirect vote of support might still lend credibility and convenience to
Apple's licensing program. The company has signed several licensing deals,
but none so far with a major U.S. PC vendor.
Still, the deal with IBM by itself can't rescue Apple from its financial
Two weeks ago, Apple announced that it expects a loss of about $700 million
for the current quarter, attributing the loss to overstocked inventory and
courts big names for MacOS
licenses Mac OS
for sale, IBM mum on Apple buy