Details of Apple licensing clampdown emerge

Details of Apple's clampdown on MacOS licensing were emerging yesterday, with one news source predicting a $100m buyout of cloner Power Computing's MacOS license and reworked deals with other major clone vendors. People who recently bought clones and have expected a low-priced upgrade to the new Macintosh operating system within a month of buying a Mac computer have already had an unpleasant surprise - the deal is officially off.

Details of Apple's clampdown on MacOS licensing were emerging yesterday, with one news source predicting a $100m buyout of cloner Power Computing's MacOS license and reworked deals with other major clone vendors. People who recently bought clones and have expected a low-priced upgrade to the new Macintosh operating system within a month of buying a Mac computer have already had an unpleasant surprise - the deal is officially off.

Ric Ford's Macintouch news service says the Power Computing report "matches what other sources have told us". His source predicted that Power would announce its withdrawl from the Mac clone market on Tuesday, US time (Monday was Labour Day in the US). Part of the $100m would be distributed to its shareholders. Power is said to be preparing a new line of Intel-based laptops, to be announced next week.

The source also said the "buyout" for another clone vendor, Umax, would be to manufacture some machines for Apple, and that Motorola had worked out its own deal to continue manufacture. Letters to Macintouch from unnamed Motorola staff, said that while the StarMax clone line has become a rare "hit" for Motorla Computer Division, feeling towards Apple was souring within the company.

Meanwhile, Apple has announced a change in its program, Mac OS Up-To-Date. Previously, the program has given people who purchased computers - Apple brand-name computers or Apple clones - a right to upgrade to a new operating system (OS) for only US$10 if Apple released a new OS within 30 days of the purchase. People who bought clones are no longer eligible to upgrade to Mac OS 8 for the discounted price.

Apple said it would fill Mac OS upgrade orders from Mac clone buyers who sent them by Aug. 1. Those customers will receive the system for the lower price; all other orders will be returned. People who bought Mac clones but who are no longer eligble for the low-priced upgrade are being told to consult the manufacturer for instructions on how to obtain the upgrade.

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