Power Computing is to upstage Apple by launching new machines pre-loaded with Mac OS 8 before the troubled vendor, according to US sources.
The clone manufacturer will launch its Power PC-based computers at Macworld Expo in Boston at the beginning of August, pre-loaded with Mac OS 8 on the hard drive, at the same time as Apple launches its Mach 5-based Power PC chip. One US source claimed the full range of Apple machines would not be available with OS 8 until November. Power Computing will sidestep Apple by licensing the operating system from IBM.
The move comes as Apple admitted that it does not know when it will ship Mac OS 8 in the UK. One US analyst said: ?It?s possible that for some ranges, UK customers may be offered the chance to buy a clone fully installed with OS 8 before the Apple machines even reach the shores.? Apple UK was not available for comment.
Last week it emerged that Apple had signed reduced operating system licensing fees following months of legal wrangles with clone manufacturers. At the same time, Power Computing revealed that in future it would sub-license the operating system from IBM to reduce its dependence on Apple.
Resellers are enthusiastic about the faster machines Apple will release over the coming months. The vendor is set to debut a Power Macintosh that runs at speeds of up to 350MHz at Macworld. Jonathan Cole, chairman of direct marketer Computer Warehouse, which supplies an own-brand clone, said faster machines would fuel demand in the market.
?By the end of the year we will have our own-brand Mac clone running at 266MHz. The PC market won?t be able to get near to the Mac market on speed. It?s a huge boost for Mac makers.?
Roger Whittle, managing director of Jigsaw Systems, said: ?There?s huge demand from Apple?s installed base, and new interest from some customers who might not have thought to buy Apple in the past.?
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