Apple Computer has admitted it has not agreed terms with any Macintosh clone manufacturers to put the Mac OS 8, launched yesterday, on their machines.
Despite a positive reaction to the newly launched operating system from users and analysts, who expect it to give Apple's sales figures a desperately needed boost, Apple will miss out on a potentially large source of licensing revenue if it cannot agree terms with cloners.
Earlier this month, Power Computing revealed it has a dispute with Apple over licensing terms for Mac OS 8 and Rhapsody, the code name for the next generation OS, which is now under development (see VNU Newswire, 30 June).
Guerrina De Luca, marketing director at Apple, admitted: "Cloners will not ship OS 8 until contracts are signed. We hope to announce something as soon as possible."
Apple may also have secretly negotiated commission payments with Internet service providers (ISPs) to be included in Mac OS 8, which includes a simple Internet access button. This guides even the novice user through Internet access and allows the customer to choose a local ISP from a list.
When asked if Apple makes a commission when Mac OS 8 users join an ISP, Peter Lowe, Mac OS 8 product manager, said Apple "makes no comment on its relationship with partners". The ISP choice service is only offered in the US and Japan for the time being. Avi Tevanian, senior vice president of software engineering at Microsoft, said: "We are working to provide the ISP service in Europe."
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