Rumours are flying around Silicon Valley that Apple will end its feud with clonemaker Power Computing by either buying its Mac OS licence back, or launching a bid for the whole company.
Last week Power?s president, and outspoken Apple critic, Joel Kocher resigned citing "irreconcilable differences with the rest of the board of directors on how to handle stalled licensing talks with Apple" (see Newswire August 18). Now a further four senior executives have quit.
Apple has still not licensed Mac OS 8 to any of its clone vendors and came in for strong criticism at the recent Mac World show, led by Kocher.
Apple admitted in its latest statement to the US Securities and Exchange Commission that it is actively considering ending all licensing deals with clone manufacturers. "The benefits to the company from licensing the Mac OS to third parties may be more than offset by the disadvantages of competing with them. [Apple] is currently in discussions concerning the nature of such licensing arrangements going forward, including whether or not to extend such arrangements," it noted in its filing.
Power has been the most outspoken of the clone manufacturers in the current dispute. It is believed that Apple?s reluctance to deal with the clonemakers is being led by acting chief executive Steve Jobs. During his keynote adddress at Macworld, Power supplied audience members with placards to hold up which read: "We demand choice."
Another Silicon Valley rumour suggests that Jobs actually approached Power about a possible buyout before the Macworld show. Apple is said to be interested in acquiring the company's distribution infrastructure, which would allow it to sell MacOS direct to customers. It might also use Power as a subsidiary company to produce Intel-based servers running NT without ?corrupting? the main Mac product line.
Power officially denies these rumours, although a further four senior executives have now left: Janet Rubio, director of marketing programmes, Jim Hindmarch, vice president of manufacturing, Ronald Meredith, director of business operations planning, and John Elle, VP of product marketing.
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