In another setback to Mac clone vendors, Apple Computer has sent its third-party licensees a letter saying it will not evaluate or certify any CHRP (Common Hardware Reference Protocol)-based Mac OS systems until further notice.
The company has still not licensed Mac OS 8 to any of the clone vendors.
In its quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission last week, Apple indicated it is considering ending its licensing relationships with the cloners.
"The benefits to the company from licensing the Mac OS to third parties may be more than offset by the disadvantages of competing with them. [Apple] is currently in discussions concerning the nature of such licensing arrangements going forward, including whether or not to extend such arrangements," according to the filing.
On a Mac "rumor" Web site Tuesday, speculation that Apple was planning to buy clone vendor Power Computing was the lead news story. Mike Rosenfelt, director of marketing for Power Computing, said there was no truth to the story.
Meanwhile late Tuesday, Power Computing announced that its president and chief operating officer, Joel Kocher, was resigning over "irreconcilable differences" regarding the Mac licensing controversy.
At the recent MacWorld Expo in Boston, several Apple executives said they need to do what is both "good for the Macintosh ecosystem" and adds shareholder value, when asked about the future of licensing.
Steve Jobs avoided the issue during his keynote at the event, despite audience members holding up signs which read "We demand choice," which were provided by Power Computing, the most vocal of the cloners.
CHRP enables users to boot either Mac OS 8 or Windows NT 4.0 natively, and Motorola Computer Group is the first clone vendor to schedule shipment of a CHRP-based system.
Microsoft pulled out of delivering a CHRP-based version of NT last year, although Motorola said it has been running NT 4.0 on its new StarMax system.