Apple looked set for a much-needed boost on Monday as it announced a licensing deal which will let Motorola build Mac clones for resale to assemblers and third-party PC companies.
The agreement will allow dealers, OEMs and others to sub-license the Mac OS from Motorola, and applies to version 7.5.x of the Mac OS and to Apple's next release. This makes Motorola the first licencee to sub-license the Mac OS for motherboards.
Joe Guglielmi, VP and general manager of Motorola Computer Group, welcomed the move. 'We applaud Apple for its open vision. This agreement will allow more individuals access to the platform. We are excited about the opportunity to sub-license the technology to OEMs,' he said.
Gil Amelio, Apple CEO, echoed the sentiments. 'This should result in a significant growth of the Mac OS platform,' he said.
There is no firm date for the production of the first motherboards and systems, but Phil Spivey, sales manager for the UK and international distribution group at Motorola, said the channel will benefit.
'We'd look to push this through our existing channel and grow new channels. It gives both small and large UK assemblers the chance to sell Mac systems without necessarily committing to volume.' Spivey said that the deal meant a broadening of the Mac market for dealers, assemblers and users. He said it had already signed a deal with Chinese firm Panda to sell its existing systems which it would extend to Mac OS systems.
Until recently, Apple had only licensed the Mac OS to a handful of mostly US firms including Power Computing and Pioneer. Last week it extended the licence to Acorn and Olivetti (see Page 10).
J Motorola said last week it would ship the Microsoft Internet Information Server with its Power PC-based Power Stack systems.
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