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May 21, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:27pm

APPLE KEEPS CLONE MAKERS WAITING OVER MAC OS 8 TERMS

By CBR Staff Writer

Apple Computer Inc still hasn’t wrapped up new Mac OS licensing agreements with IBM Corp and third party Macintosh-compatible builders. It says the negotiations, which will be completed between now and the release of Mac OS 8 in July, are clouding many Macintosh industry issues, including the latest kerfuffle over the availability of Common Hardware Reference Platform- compliant (CHRP) Macintosh software and hardware designs. Apple – which isn’t building CHRP systems itself – has promised Mac OS 8 will be CHRP-compatible – but says that all matters relating to the design and availability its CHRP technologies, including the CHRP-based ROM designs which are central to this new squabble, are part and parcel of the license negotiations. The net result, Apple expects, will be new Mac OS licensing arrangements plus the lessening of what it describes as its burden of supporting the Mac cloners. It currently licenses both hardware and software designs to companies such as Umax Computer Corp and Power Computing Corp, but says that in future it expects to only license software. When, after reporting huge financial losses earlier this year, Apple proposed raising its MacOS license fees by as much as ten times to fend off the challenge posed by aggressive Macintosh compatible builders such as Umax and Power, IBM – which licenses Mac OS on Apple’s behalf to Mac cloners such as Akia Electric Co Ltd and Tatung Co – reportedly put its foot down and insisted Apple reach an agreement with its partners that would insure no Mac clone businesses would be put at risk. While it wants a fair price for Mac OS, its crown jewels, Apple admits its original demands were completely at odds with what it now expects to be paid.

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