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$399 Headless Mac Clone vows to battle Apple

Apple is as fanatical about protecting its brand as Microsoft is about promoting Vista as a first class OS; And when an unknown computer company comes with a concept that could undermine its reputation, Apple turns to a Saber-toothed Tiger (pun intended).

Back in 1995, Apple started an official Macintosh clone program which ended abruptly when Steve Jobs rejoined the company; Motorola, Umax and Radius were just a few of those Mac Cloners which did a decent job but ultimately undermined Apple's control on the Mac platform.

But a new startup, Psystar, a Miami-based reseller of Voice-over-Internet services, wants to end Apple's monopoly on the Mac platform by selling a PC "capable of running unmodified OS X Leopard kernels"

Their most expensive computer which is capable of running the OS X Leopard Kernel is the $999.99 OpenPro but there's a $399.99 version which comes with a base configuration which exceeds similar Apple configurations.

However, Psystar stance is directly in direct violation of Apple's End User License agreement which specifically forbids OS installations by third parties, something that Psystar openly offers on their website as an add-on.You can expect the world to be divided between Apple fanatics who do not want anyone to touch clone their favourite brand and others who would welcome any move to reduce the Microsoft-like vice-grip that Apple has on the Mac market.

There's already a similar movement in the hacking community called the OSx86 which aims at running the Mac OS X OS on non-Apple PCs running x86 processors and Apple has been particularly quiet on the subject partly because Apple wouldn't want to give more exposure to the project

($399.99 OpenMac System, Courtesy of Psystar)

($999.99 OpenPro System, Courtesy of Psystar)

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.