In discussing Mac cloner Psystar back in April, Jason O’Grady waxed nostalgic about Power Computing, the most flamboyant of the Mac cloners during the short-lived period of Mac OS licensees. As you can see from the company’s promotional campaign back then, times have changed a bit.
I too was reminded of Power Computing after reading an Engadget post noting that Psystar is reportedly working on a Mac-compatible notebook because Power Computing was on the verge of releasing is PowerBook competitor before Apple bought it out and shut it down. (By the way, I bought a PowerWave 604/150 back in that era. It was loud, too.)
The paradox a decade later is that, in adopting more standardized hardware, Apple made Macs much easier to clone technically than in an age when that was part of its revenue strategy. There can’t be any question that Apple wants Psystar to stop promoting its PCs as Mac-compatible, but its hulking Open Computer isn’t directly competitive with the Mac mini or iMac. It is arguably what many refer to as “the mythical midrange Mac tower.”
On the other hand, Apple certainly has been on a roll with the MacBooks, and with its latest configurations starting at $1299, there’s plenty of room to undercut. I suspect that whatever negotiations are taking place between Apple and Psystar will kick into a higher gear if Psystar is indeed close to releasing an “open notebook.”