Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Apple Sues Psystar: I Guess Some Things Are Truly Inevitable

Computerworld.com reports today that Hell has not frozen over after all; Apple is still the petty and litigious monolith we know and love.

All Apple had to do was nothing. There was no way Psystar was going to actually bite into Apple's sales. The kind of people who would buy an off-the-shelf hackintosh know they are doing it at their own risk and that Apple isn't liable for their user experience. Apple was even getting a slice of the sales as Psystar was selling boxed OS X with each preload.

The only good reason I can see for Apple going through with this is to deter other clone makers. Still, I don't think they needed to do it. Even if a dozen more Psystars cropped up I can't see it actually hurting Apple--so long as they followed Psystar's lead of buying the software from Apple. Rather, it would increase the installed base of their OS and probably some of their apps.

If Dell or Toshiba started doing what Psystar is doing it would be another matter. But they aren't. And they won't. And they wouldn't, even if Psystar moved 20,000 OS X computers in 2008.

All Apple needed to do was nothing. Sit there, let the kids at Psystar have their fun and send a few quiet memos to the grown-ups at Panasonic, Lenovo and Sony reminding them to not follow suit. It wouldn't have hurt them at all.

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