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Psystar Changes OpenMac to Open Computer -- Web Site Back Up

Psystar Changes OpenMac to Open Computer -- Web Site Back Up

by , 4:30 AM EDT, April 15th, 2008

Psystar has changed the name of its OpenMac computer to Open Computer, and the Web site is once again accessible after having been offline for most of Monday, April 14th. The company announced a computer it calls Mac-compatible on Monday under the name of OpenMac, but has since changed the name to Open Computer: The Apple Alternative.

The company is still pitching Open Computer directly at potential Mac OS X users who want to buy their hardware at a lower price than Apple charges. Psystar extensively compares its product, which starts at US$399, to Apple's Mac mini, which starts at $599, those said comparisons never mention issues such as size.

Open Computer, being a tower, has room for slots and storage bays that can be filled with a better video card, bigger, faster hard drives, FireWire, or several other options. Psystar also stresses that it has a faster processor, more RAM, and a DVD +/- burner that it says is the equivalent of Apple's SuperDrive.

"The Open Computer is a PC that works just like a Mac with Apple's latest operating system OS X 10.5 a.k.a. Leopard, the company said on its Open Computer Web page. "With the Open Computer you can run OS X natively as if you had purchased an expensive Apple computer except that, while paying less, you receive more."

With the site going down almost immediately after OpenMac was first announced, there was much Internet-based speculation as to why, with arguments centering around the cause being either too much traffic or Apple's lawyers. For its part, Apple has not yet commented publicly on the issue, and Psystar's Web site is back up, and functioning...with the slight difference of a name change on the controversial product.

In the past, Apple has zealously protected both its brand and its intellectual property rights. The company has sued at least two companies that made computers fashioned after the original iMac, as well as digital media device makers that tried to copy the iPod.

In this case, form isn't likely to be an issue, and the new name of Open Computer also steers clear of Apple's trademarks. What's still at issue, however, is Apple's EULA, which specifies that users are only allowed to install Mac OS X on Apple-branded hardware, a stipulation that Psystar has said is irrelevant and anti-competitive.

"What if Honda said that, after you buy their car, you could only drive it on the roads they said you could?" a company spokesperson told InformationWeek. Adding, "What if Microsoft said you could only install Windows on Dell computers?"

The spokesperson told InformationWeek that his company would fight Apple over the EULA if necessary. "We aren't breaking any laws," he reasoned.

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