Update2: looks like they might be legit after all.
This Gizmodo exclusive video appears to show a Psystar box running OS X Leopard. Regardless, as many comments on that video point out any hobbyist with the desire and a copy of Leopard can build their own so-called “hackintosh” system. This thanks to the OSX86 Project.
I still think if you’re going to go Mac you should buy a real box from Apple. Their software isn’t the major departure many think it is. Their hardware is pretty good though, and the software does have many advantages over a Windows Vista system.
Still, for the power user the need to customize and control the system is the number one requirement and neither Microsoft nor Apple can provide that. Linux, FreeBSD, and the like, do just that. Computer users have been led to believe “oh, this software is broken, I must suffer as a result.” That’s diametrically opposed to the whole point of computers in the first place.
Update: By all accounts the company “Psystar” looks to be a hoax/sham. I never linked to them, or suggested they were a reputable company, but as always be skeptical of any business that doesn’t have a reputation. That said, the post (unedited) remains below and Psystar works fine as a hypothetical company for the purposes of the discussion. I’ve struck their name for effect.
Debate the aesthetics all you want, but I’d argue that Windows and Linux are, for the purposes of personal computing, close substitutes to Mac OS X. They can run a personal computer. They can connect you to the Internet. They can run a basic suite of productivity applications.
You may prefer Mac OS X for a variety of reasons, but Apple’s requirement that you can only run Mac OS X on Apple hardware doesn’t prevent you from using a personal computer. If the only other substitutes were Palm OS phones or AIX servers, maybe you would have a beef.
Psystar selling? Hardware. They are technically selling you a copy of Leopard too, but you could just as easily buy that from Apple directly.
Their product is designed to fill a particular need: to provide you with a computer that will run a specific piece of software. That software is Apple’s OSX Leopard in this case.
Unless you are supposing that Linux and Windows are (a) Apple products and (b) capable of running OSX the argument is dry.
The claim of monopoly regards the fact that you can only legally run OSX on Apple-branded hardware.
Of course, I think Apple is stupid for licensing their software in that way. They can license not to support non-brand hardware, but trying to justify legally that someone cannot do with their own property as they choose (with obviously reasonable bounds) is absurd.
If I want to buy an iPhone, hack it to run over a landline, just so I can brag about having the only wired iPhone on earth, that’s my damn business. If Apple sells me the phone and I’m not violating any FCC mandate or other law, it’s mine to do as I will.
Psystar has the right to sell these computers. I’m not convinced they should be selling them with hacked-to-run-on-beige Leopard. It seems to be more reasonable for them to provide the hardware, the software, and the know-how (including, for example, a linux disc to facilitate the beigification). The direct sale amounts to distribution which has hairier legal entanglements.