Additional Thoughts on the OpenMac Announcement.

Update to yesterday’s big Mac story. So, apparently the Psystards (come on, they handed me that one) have vowed to fight Apple in court for their “right” to sell generic PC’s with OS X installed. Amazingly, the blogokleinbottle response has actually been somewhat intelligent, but that’s a rant for another day. What I want to focus on here is a few reasons why Psystar winning a judgement against the clause in the OS X license agreement barring the installation of the OS on non-Apple hardware is a very bad thing.

  1. Should Apple’s restrictions on hardware installation be struck down, I guarantee there would be immediatechallengesto the GPL; especially GPLv3, with it’s anti hardware DRM provisions.
  2. Currently Apple doesn’t force any sort of activation scheme ala Windows. Instead they trust their users to abide by the terms that they agreed to in thelicenseagreement. In fact, Apple pretty much turns a blind eye to all manner of personal violations of the agreement as long as they don’t affect the bottom line. Once a third party starts making money off of selling OS X “compatible” boxes, I expect product activation to appear in 10.6 as the latest.
  3. It gets worse. Every Mac currently shipping has a TPM Module that, currently, does fuck all. That module could easily be used to tie OS X installs to legitimate Apple hardware, should Apple feel the need to do so.

The bottom line is that Apple has, so far, been fairly tolerant of OS X on generic PC hackers. That situation might drastically change once someone starts fucking with their revenue stream.