Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 5th Oct 2009 21:45 UTC, submitted by JayDee
Hardware, Embedded Systems Just when you thought you saw it all. So, we all know about Psystar, the two lawsuits between them and Apple, and all the other stuff that's been regurgitated about ten million times on OSNews alone. Well, that little company has taken its business to the next level - by announcing an OEM licensing program.
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You would not like the vertical model if you lived and worked in it. I am one of the few still reading about tech who can remember it. Back in those days, everything was vendor specific. The young today cannot really imagine it.

You bought from IBM and the Bunch, DEC or Control Data or similar companies, and nothing, nothing worked except what you got from your vendor. Well, dumb terminals could be obtained from third parties, and there was a good if smallish business in 3270 cluster controllers and emulators.

The result was not simply hardware restriction. You were also dramatically restricted in applications. Companies spent forever developing their own in house applications. I know it sounds insane, but you did not just buy an accounting package off the shelf back then. And then, once you had got the thing working, of course the last thing you were going to do was try to move it to a different vendor.

There is no way that world would ever have permitted what we have now (apart from Apple): a world in which you buy your hardware, which is cost and technology improved by constant competition and innovation, and a plethora of software for every purpose. That world vanished because as a whole, it could not compete with the model of independent OS, apps and hardware.

I would add that people who talk about Apple having some special quality because it 'makes' the hardware and the OS are talking through their hats.

OSX relates to hardware just like Windows and Linux do: through the use of DRIVERS. Apple does not make components - graphics cards, printes, sound cards, disk drives, motherboards. All it does it the same thing Dell does, it gets some Far Eastern OEM to assemble standard stuff into boxes. Once in those boxes, OSX relates to them no better and no worse and no differently than Linux or Windows. It just uses the drivers. Some of which may be written by Apple, just as some are written by MS, and some of which may be written by the vendors. There is no difference in terms of integration.

The only difference is the number of drivers available, which is rather larger in the case of Linux and Windows.

The other aspect is applications. And here we have exactly the same thing in OSX, Windows or Linux. The applications are running on the OS in exactly the same way, they are mostly written in the same languages. No one system is any better worse or different. Its a matter of using the right compiler and IDE.

The vertical model is dead. The vertical model was an early stage thing, where hardware was so specific and determining that it was the only way to get things working, and where the OS was so individual that apps were highly OS specific.

Right now however, the world of the vertical model has gone, even for Apple. What we have now is one vendor attempting to restrict where you buy your hardware by legal means. That, folks, is not the vertical model. The vertical model was the result of real differences in hardware. It was not just IBM or Burroughs saying, I know my OS will run on any old box, but I am insisting you buy that any old box from me. It was the result of the OS simply not running on other boxes, because they were technically different.

Do not mistake what we have now in Apple for a vertical model. The Apple business model is not that. Contrary to the party line, it is simply a matter of business practice, marketing and contract. It is only to do with where you buy your standard components. It has nothing to do with the technology and everything to do with Apple's desire to get margin on everything you do with your machine.

Which is fine, but its not a vertical model in any sense in which Dell does not have a vertical model.

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