Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 20th May 2009 13:27 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems Hot on the heels of the Russians, we have another clone maker popping up, this time in fish & chips country: Freedom PC. "Powerful and versatile, environmentally friendly yet inexpensive computer systems compatible with any and all of the main operating systems: Mac OS X, Linux or Windows. So YOU can decide which one to use for what YOU want to do. And we give you a choice of models, too - from the low priced and good looking office machine, the ideal choice for business, to the high powered, sleek, gaming media centre. All, with the operating system of your choice pre-installed - or none at all - at prices accessible to all." They offer various models pre-installed with Windows, Linux, or Mac OS X.
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werfu
Member since:
2005-09-15

The point to Mac are that many people are filled up with Windows sucking donkey and dont have time for tuning Linux. Mac OS X just work. No assle, intuitive UI, nice well-integrated eye candies. Take an average Windows user, put it onto Mac for a year and then ask him if he'd like to go back to Windows. I know many people that have done the switch and never they'd want to switch back to Windows.

The problem with clones, is they break the advantage of Macs. If the integrator haven't done his job well enough, they wont just work out of the box and the people will have to tune them.

In a sense, Mac OS X has to be preconfigured first than will be usable for a long time. It's about the same you could do with a Ubuntu you'd fine tune for your mom than you disable system updates to lock the softwares in their current status. Windows simply can't get the cut with this... How many times have I seen systems getting clunky and slow over time simply because Windows haven't been reinstalled.

Reply Parent Score: 3

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

The problem with clones, is they break the advantage of Macs. If the integrator haven't done his job well enough, they wont just work out of the box and the people will have to tune them.


Well, if they are so bad, then what does Apple have to fear? People will still buy Macs, right? Since they are so much superior and totally worth the money, right? What's the problem for Apple? What is Apple so afraid of, if these clones are so bad as everyone says they are?

The answer is, of course, that if given actual bloody choice, people will buy cheap, because they simply don't care about computers in the way that we do.

And that's the problem for Apple. Right now, there's a demographic that puts up with Apple's limited hardware choice, buying machines that are simply not the right fit for them i.e. they would be happier with the infamous xMac, since that means they can keep their screen.

And clone makers offer xMacs. And as soon as this has been declared completely legal (as I'm relatively sure it will be), Apple will be in a world of trouble.

Just like last time.

Reply Parent Score: 3

digitaleon Member since:
2006-01-22

Just like last time.

Not quite. When I look back, I perceive two stark differences between the situation now and the situation 12 - 15 years ago.

1. The Apple brand is considerably stronger now. I believe this is more due to their recent non-Macintosh work: iPods, iTunes Stores, iPhones, changes to online stores, Retail store efforts (even though these are largely U.S. centric so far), various software, more 'vertical integration', and so on. I like to think of this as the true 'halo effect' (i.e. in raising the profile of their Macintosh lines, independent of whether it drives sales of those of not).

Like you, I live outside of the U.S., and I recall it being quite difficult to find Macintoshes at anything other than dedicated resellers 12 - 15 years ago. Now, they're fairly easy to find... along with iPods, iPhones, iTunes Music Store gift cards, and so forth. Apple have also managed to significantly increase traffic to their online sites, including their online stores, over time.

No doubt the cloners are selling a product which can run Mac OS X well, has a price/performance advantage, and certainly has a market ready and waiting. But without Apple's blessing (which the cloners had last time, and which I don't see Apple conferring in the near future), it's debatable whether these advantages alone will draw enough customers away from Apple to cause significant changes to their business model or pricing.

As you would be only too well aware, the history of computing is littered with those who had good products at good prices and yet failed to take off.

2. The Operating System question has been solved. I don't think it's a stretch to say Mac OS X is much better regarded and much more popular than System 7 was, and Apple aren't looking to replace Mac OS X (as they were System 7 then).

I recall this factor did limit the appeal of Macintoshes generally the last time around - regardless of whether it was Apple selling them or cloners - which defeated the purpose of the program, since it couldn't generate significant sales in markets not already interested. Ironically, these clones may in fact succeed, for those (few) cases where the brand strength isn't an issue, since the appeal of Mac OS X is essentially what the market for the cloners is built upon.



All of that said, as a long-time Macintosh user, I do agree with the rest of your post and would be very happy to see some changes in mentality of Apple the company. Wait and see, I guess.

Edited 2009-05-20 20:20 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

OSGuy Member since:
2006-01-01

Well, if they are so bad, then what does Apple have to fear? People will still buy Macs, right? Since they are so much superior and totally worth the money, right? What's the problem for Apple? What is Apple so afraid of, if these clones are so bad as everyone says they are?


The answer is simple Thom: "Money, Power" but there is more to this....

1. Image & Reputation. If someome who doesn't know anything about Macs gets one of these clones and they don't work that well as an orignal Mac, the average user would think it's the OS and this will create bad image & reputation to Apple.

2. EULA

3. Money, lost sales

4. Because they can

Anyway, I don't see Apple winning on this one. They will eventually run out of money if they go after every one of them.

There is a cure. They can create better DRM that requires activation and without the authentic DRM chip, you won't be able to activate your copy.

Edited 2009-05-21 09:17 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

Liquidator Member since:
2007-03-04

Ok, this is really subjective. I disagree with the above.

Reply Parent Score: 2

BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

How many times have I seen systems getting clunky and slow over time simply because Windows haven't been reinstalled.


Stop using that old win98 cd to installs, and you'd probably stop seeing that.

Windows hasn't really done that in years, unless you spend all your time downloading and installing/uninstalling software. If that's all you do with your computer, Linux or OS X would also suffer.

Reply Parent Score: 3

thavith_osn Member since:
2005-07-11

Actually, Windows does get much slower the more you use it. I have to use it at work. As a programmer, I have 2k, 2k3, XP, Vista and more recently 7. (not sure about 7 yet or 2k (as I hardly use that one)) but all the others "slow down" over time with the exception of Vista as much as it was already pitifully slow to begin with and hard to gauge how much slower it is (7 seems so much nicer than Vista).

But you are right, I also have OS X (10.5.7 now) running on 2 systems and both of them aren't nearly as "zippy" as they once were. On one of them I ran iDefrag (from a boot disk) which cleaned up the drive completely, but didn't speed the machine up any. I don't run extensions to the OS or anything like that, I'm not running Time Machine either. I will do a complete restore when Snowy comes out.

Having said all that though, all the machines I use are "usable", esp. Vista if you turn off effects etc...

If anyone knows anyway of speeding up Leopard, please let me know...

Reply Parent Score: 2

bannor99 Member since:
2005-09-15

Keep telling yourself that. I can't speak for OSX but
while Windows became much better starting with Win 2000,
it's still prone to the slowdown effect, which I've never seen in the Linux distros I've used over the last decade, and I've beaten the stuffing out of them.

Reply Parent Score: 2

bert64 Member since:
2007-04-23

"How many times have I seen systems getting clunky and slow over time simply because Windows haven't been reinstalled.


Stop using that old win98 cd to installs, and you'd probably stop seeing that.

Windows hasn't really done that in years, unless you spend all your time downloading and installing/uninstalling software. If that's all you do with your computer, Linux or OS X would also suffer.
"

Windows still does that, but to a lesser extent than it used to in the 9x days...
It also gets slower as you install service packs, compare a non service packed xp box to a fully up to date one (but don't put it online).

Linux doesn't suffer from this for a number of reasons...

Configs are stored as individual text files, not a single database, so they are just ignored when not used and don't have to be loaded/parsed (tho they do occupy some space)...
If you use the package manager, then apps can be removed cleanly, uninstall scripts for windows vary massively in how thorough they are..
Normal users cannot write outside their homedir, so you get far less instances of files cropping up in unexpected places...

Reply Parent Score: 1