A Cube Is A Qube Is A Cube, And NeXT’s Still Came First

In what strikes us as an attention gaining marketing move, Cobalt Computer is threatening a law suit over the industrial design of the new Power Mac G4 Cube. A story first reported at ZDNet hints that the computer maker might go after Apple for their latest desktop offering. A little background shows that Cobalt ships a product called the Cobalt Qube, a bright blue 7" box that functions as a Linux server. The Cobalt product has been on the market for over a year, and the company feels threatened by the newly released Apple G4 Cube.

As ridiculous as this sounds, it becomes more so when one digs deep into the nostalgia file and dredges up memories of Steve Jobsi OTHER other company, NeXT. NeXT was shipping the NeXT Cube, running the underpinnings of the future Mac OS X, NeXT, in the late i80s. The product, cleverly enough, was called the NeXT Cube. Then, perhaps just as cleverly, Cobalt called their cube shaped product the Cobalt Qube, only to be followed by Appleis G4 Cube.

Other companies have also taken a stab, rather successfully we might add, using the catchy word "cube" to name their products. Altec Lansing, a company that still makes totally rockini speakers, has a line tiny box shaped speakers called PowerCube. And there is an entire company called C-Cube that does digital video and audio compression, and another computer company called I Cube that provides high bandwidth solutions.

Cobalt has not officially, yet, taken the case to court. Stay tuned for more information when it becomes available.

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