Analyst: Dell Could File Anti-Competitive Suit Against Apple

Writing for InfoWorld, Ephraim Schwartz this week published a column in which he talked to Insight 64 analyst Nathan Brookwood. Mr. Brookwood explained that "Apple may open itself for a lawsuit if a PC vendor requests an OEM agreement from Apple for its operating system.

"If Dell wanted to offer one of their boxes running Mac software they could of course just buy the packaged OS. However, if they wanted to purchase OS X on an OEM basis and were turned down, Brookwood believes this could be grounds for the suit." Mr. Schwartz added that the suit could claim that since Apple has 100% of the Mac hardware market, it is then being anti-competitive by not allowing another vendor to offer its OS.

Mr. Brookwood also explained that since Apple is using the Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI), rather than the BIOS used in the PC world for years, Windows will be incapable of running on it. In addition, since Mac OS X required EFI, it wonit install on a garden variety x86 machine.

"These different firmware environments will separate MacOS and Windows environments almost as effectively as instruction set architecture did when Macintosh software ran only on PowerPC chips," Mr. Brookwood said. He added that a conversation with "an Apple tech" revealed that "there are other things hidden in there which would preclude running OS X on a PC," even if the inability to boot on the foreign OS is fixed.