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Apple Plays with Fire: Shortage of Software May Occur, Mac Clones May Arrive

Given that software designers will still have to program their applications so that they could run under Mac OS operating system, developers who have been creating software for Mac OS X and IBM PowerPC processors will have to recompile their products to run on Intel’s Pentium chips, which may leave initial buyers of Intel-based Apple computers without a good choice of software.

Photo by PC Watch web-site

“More than the software more than the hardware, the soul of the Mac is the OS,” Steve Jobs says.

In fact, there are very substantial short-term difficulties Apple may face with its strategy shift:

  • Loads of software needs to be remade quickly, as emulation is usually not efficient at all;
  • Hardly a lot of people would like to buy a last PowerPC-based Apple;
  • Computer makers may create Mac clones;
  • Mac OS X may be pirated for usage on the PC, despite of Apple's claim that its OS will not operate on non-Mac computers.

While the list itself is relatively short, the absence of Apple’s operating system on other’s computers is crucial for Apple to keep selling its own personal computers. It is clear that from a hardware standpoint Apple computers will not be different from Dell’s boxes in two years time. Hence, everything that Apple can offer its customers will be a set of an operating system and apps, which may appear to be better than Windows and supporting applications.

Photo by ASCII24 web-site

While clones are a major threat for Apple, it does not necessarily mean that the company does not want to make a yet another clone-approach attempt. HP currently sells iPod players by Apple under its own brand-name and it does not seem that they are unsuccessful with this type of business. Provided that Apple’s hardware will be aligned with what the industry uses, providing the same level of availability and flexibility, third-party computer makers or resellers may enter Mac business, especially in case Macs will get cheaper and faster with Intel inside.

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