Apple has ended one of its licensing feuds by buying clonemaker Power Computing for $100 million in stock.
But the repercussions of the move are set to raise further issues, including where the acquisition of Apple's most troublesome OEM leaves other Mac OS licensees including IBM, Umax and Motorola.
Steve Jobs, acting head of Apple - who is said to want to end licensing of the Mac OS altogether - said: ?We look forward to learning from their experience and welcoming their customers back into the Apple family.?
And Steven Kahng, founder of Power - who arranged for the departure two weeks ago of Joel Kocher, his second in command and outspoken Apple critic - hailed the move. He said: ?We believe that in our small way, we have helped to make the Macintosh stronger, and that the spirit of Power will live on.?
Kocher was ditched by Kahng two weeks ago because he objected strongly to Apple?s dithering over licensing strategy, and its failure to make clear the terms and conditions of licensing the new generations of the Mac OS to Power. But Apple?s acquisition will leave Motorola, Umax and IBM with serious questions about the terms they get from the merged organisation.
Sukh Rayat, general manager of distributor Flashpoint, which at one point attempted to sell Motorola motherboards complete with Mac OS, said: ?They?ve got money now from Microsoft to buy things. Apple has gone back to branded machines and that leaves the clone market in a small niche.?
Jobs and Apple will now have to decide whether or not to continue with Power Computing?s selling model, which is largely direct.
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