Judge Rejects Psystar's Antitrust Claims Against Apple

from the not-looking-good-for-psystar dept

Back when Apple first sued Psystar, we were afraid that the smaller company wouldn't have much of a legal leg to stand on, even if it claimed antitrust violations by Apple -- which it did. However, the judge in the case is apparently unconvinced, dismissing Psystar's counterclaims, noting that Psystar did not do a very good job establishing that Apple has a monopoly, noting that the relevant market is not just the Macintosh operating system. Psystar can file an amended complaint, but it seems unlikely that the judge is going to buy any antitrust claims. That means the lawsuit, assuming it continues, will probably focus on the enforceability of certain end user license agreements, which could be more interesting anyway.


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  1.  
    identicon
    Cloksin, Nov 19th, 2008 @ 5:16am

    This falls into the same category as the gaming industry's attempts to stiffle second hand sales, in that they are trying to stop something that ultimately would be good for the company. Apple's sales would skyrocket if they allowed theit OS to be sold seperatley and used on third party hardware. This would be a good thing for everybody since it would allow Apple to take a larger cut of the Microsoft pie, and maybe force Microsoft to start developing and releasing OS's that don't have so many problems.

     

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  2.  
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    silentsteel (profile), Nov 19th, 2008 @ 6:00am

    But Apple is not in business to sell software

    Most people seem to forget that Apple is, first and foremost, a hardware company. Mac OSX is simply the icing on the cake for the hardware experience. What that experience is, exactly, I do not know; I refuse to drink the Kool-aid. I support some macs some of my extended family has purchased, and I see an over-priced, locked in system, with an OS that is optimized for Apple hardware. IMHO, if you move the system off the Apple hardware you have a dressed-up Ubuntu Linux, i. e. most things work, most of the time.
    Disclaimer: I use various Linux distributions exclusively at home.

     

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  3.  
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    Redmond O'Hanlon, Nov 19th, 2008 @ 6:04am

    wtf

    "force Microsoft to start developing and releasing OS's that don't have so many problems"

    I know its techdirt, but really, what is the point of this comment.

    lets see another OS that will work with as many different apps and hardware configs as an MS OS.

    And dont BS me with any Linux flavours (which is free if your time has no value, or you dream in code)

    As for Apple to get back on topic, the T&Cs do clearly state for Apple Hardware, its their IP, and they make a large %age of their $s for hardware and people willing to pay top dollar for pretty looking PCs (personal computers, before anyone gets their knickers in a twist)

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 19th, 2008 @ 6:23am

    how apple makes its money is irrelevant (as far as Psystar's cases goes), Psystar is saying Apple is unlawfully tying its hardware to its software.

    As for mikes comments personally im not sure, if OSX or any other OS from apple was used on non Apple hardare then:
    1- price of Mac PCs will certainly drop (similarly to when IBM compatible cam out).
    2- More People would use Mac OS (probably) would it be as trouble free as Mac users say it is? never owned a mac so ill have to stick to what I hear) I don't know and frankly i doubt it.
    3- would it help Apple? not sure on one side it would open a new market or at least increase Apples market share, but if those Macs with non mac hardware start being unstable it could either help show that Apple with Apple hardware is the way to go or it could show that Apple computers aren't all that after all.
    4-Plus if Apple software becomes available to non apple hardware then Apple would be able to keep such margins on there products.

    with all that said its no wonder that apple is fighting so hard to keep its system closed.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 19th, 2008 @ 6:26am

    Re: small correction

    4-Plus if Apple software becomes available to non apple hardware then Apple would be able to lower margins on there products.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 19th, 2008 @ 6:27am

    Re: Re: Again :(

    4-Plus if Apple software becomes available to non apple hardware then Apple would have to lower margins on there products.

     

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  7.  
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    hegemon13, Nov 19th, 2008 @ 6:41am

    Re: But Apple is not in business to sell software

    Which is exactly why this IS antitrust. The may not have a monopoly, but they are still practicing unfair trade. They are creating an artificial dependence between two lines of business so that sales of one boosts the other without consumer choice. Is that not EXACTLY what Microsoft got slapped down for?

     

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  8.  
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    hegemon13, Nov 19th, 2008 @ 6:52am

    Re: wtf

    "which is free if your time has no value, or you dream in code"

    Or if you enjoy tinkering and learning new things. Although, in truth, I had to learn very little to install Ubuntu on my laptop. Surprisingly, everything worked right off the bat. In daily usage, there are definitely differences, but I have not yet had to do any configuration by command-line. That said, it didn't go so smoothly on my cousin's computer. It took over four hours to load his. On the other hand, I have reloaded Windows on his system twice since then, but the Linux installation (which he uses daily) is still going strong.

    Don't get me wrong, though. Windows is definitely an easier user experience, and Linux is never going to replace it for the average home user. With netbooks, Linux may expand it's market share, but it will never be on the level of OSX or Windows.

    To your initial point, you're right about the flexibility of Windows. The fact is, XP really doesn't have many problems, no more the OSX. I still have avoided Vista because I want my hardware horsepower going to my apps, no to my OS. So, you are right that Windows is a solid OS, but you were as ridiculous and fanboyish as the poster you responded to in your response.

    Last, I don't care what is in the T&Cs. In-the-box T&Cs should not override the inherent right of first sale, nor should Apple be allowed to use artificial restrictions to force the sale of a separate product line.

     

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  9.  
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    hegemon13, Nov 19th, 2008 @ 6:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Again :(

    Fourth time's a charm:

    4-Plus, if Apple software becomes available to non apple hardware then Apple would have to lower margins on *their* products.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward #42, Nov 19th, 2008 @ 7:03am

    Re: But Apple is not in business to sell software

    Seriously, stop using that argument. It's like old gum that's lost its flavor. The whole point of this problem is that Apple is clinging desperately to their hardware, while refusing to admit that the real money is in software licensing. It always has been, and it always will be. The R&D costs are so high for a company that tries to do both, it's no wonder Macs cost so much. If Apple would just license their software for third-party use, and setup a hardware certification program, it would be better for all parties involved. It would force Apple to knock down their ridiculous profit margins on their hardware, while simultaneously increasing their profits due to licensing sales. They would improve their reputation while most likely breaking even or increase their overall profits.

    And btw, I also don't appreciate the comment about forcing Microsoft to make OS's without so many problems. Do you honestly think somebody at Microsoft is sitting behind a desk in a big office saying "hey, let's not bother to make our OS run good, because people will buy it anyway?" Microsoft has made mistakes, I'll give you that. They had to backpedal on most of the major new features that were supposed to be in Vista, and actually started over from scratch halfway through the development, because they realized they had bit off more than they could chew. That's why Vista was rushed to market with so many problems, because from the point they started over, they didn't have enough development time left to do it right, and the release was already very, very late.

    Now they're fixing a lot of the problems in Windows 7, and adding the features that were supposed to be in Vista. And quite honestly, Vista isn't nearly as bad as you might think. And just remember, Mac OS X has had plenty of issues of its own.

     

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  11.  
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    Penemue, Nov 19th, 2008 @ 7:10am

    Which is exactly why this IS antitrust. The may not have a monopoly, but they are still practicing unfair trade. They are creating an artificial dependence between two lines of business so that sales of one boosts the other without consumer choice. Is that not EXACTLY what Microsoft got slapped down for?


    Microsoft got slapped down because it was judged that their overwhelming market share gave them power over the application market which they used to the detriment of other application vendors. Apple won't need to worry about this kind of anti-trust suit (in this field) until they can wield that kind of power. They ARE facing this kind of anti-trust suit in Europe over iTunes, which they are being accused of using to leverage the sale of iPods; mostly amusing because that was the intention all along.

     

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  12.  
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    Redmond O'Hanlon, Nov 19th, 2008 @ 7:10am

    Re: Re: wtf

    I think we're on the same page :-)

     

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  13.  
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    Douglas Gresham, Nov 19th, 2008 @ 7:27am

    Re: wtf

    I'm an XP and Ubuntu user, and Ubuntu is much much easier to get up-and-running and to configure than any flavour of Windows is, and is compatible out-of-the-box with much more hardware than Windows is (in my experience). The differentiator is that because Windows is the dominant force, vendors and OEMs put effort into compatibility and drivers and whatnot for Windows and not for Linux (and the Linux community's fragmentation doesn't help on that front either). Linux competing with that is kind of a chicken-and-egg problem.

    That's a major advantage when you supply hardware and software together, as Apple do - you just don't have to deal with that messiness, and it should be easier to really polish that end-user experience.

     

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  14.  
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    TDR, Nov 19th, 2008 @ 7:38am

    To the Ubuntu users, I've a question: I've tried using it myself before, and Linux Mint which is based off of it, but I've never gotten it to run right. The newer versions can't find my video drivers and just dump me into a command line prompt, and the older versions give me the infamous "random freeze" glitch. The machine's a refurbished Gateway dual-core with 1GB of RAM and an ATI Radeon X850 video card. Any ideas?

    Oh and it'd be nice if OSX would be available on other hardware, if only to force Apple to lower the prices of the Macs. I use one at work and they're great machines, but they do have a steep price tag. Admittedly, the long term cost is usually less because they don't normally require as much maintenance as a PC and don't get as many virusus and such (and before anyone says anything, it wouldn't matter if more people used them, they'd still be as secure as they are now - the underlying architechture is inherently more secure than the x86 architecture upon which Windows is based).

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 19th, 2008 @ 7:42am

    Pystar is trying to weaken OSX - They are probably funded by MS

    I think most of the forum is missing the value for the customer (end-consumer) that is gained from controlling both the software and hardware for an given computer platform. Not only can Apple ensure that it's operating system is compatible with the the installed hardware, they also can make sure the suppliers are delivering products that fall within certain quality speficications. This provides the customer with stable hardware and proven software drivers which ultimately lead to fewer system crashes. Installing OS X on non-Apple hardware increases the likelihood of system crashes due to faulty hardware, driver problems and incompatibilities. This weakens the value of OS X because it introduces external factors which increase customer dissatisfaction. Granted the same can be said for IBM's original PC, but then again at the time IBM truely had a monopoly on the desktop personal computer. Apple faces an enormous amount of competition and has only acheived a small fraction of the desktop computer market. A monopoly can not exist if the company has such a small portion of the relative market.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 19th, 2008 @ 7:56am

    Re:

    "Apple to take a larger cut of the Microsoft pie, and maybe force Microsoft to start developing and releasing OS's that don't have so many problems"

    While this may be true, it ignores the other side. It would open Apple up to all the problems that MS has had to face over the years, supporting hardware it has no control over. If Apple ever releases their OS for third party use, I think we will see that it is not as perfect as it looks in a controlled environment.

     

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  17.  
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    nasch, Nov 19th, 2008 @ 9:18am

    Re:

    They're both running on x86 architecture. It's above that level where they differ.

     

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  18.  
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    B, Nov 19th, 2008 @ 10:38am

    Re:

    It is foolish to think that if OSX gets a larger user base that they would be as secure as they are now. One advantage the Mac platform has is the small target for Malware writers. These guys look for the biggest opportunity to spread their crap. Right now with Windows dominant all the readily available tools for the bad guys are on Windows. If that swung the other way then they would switch fast. Look at how quickly the iPhone was hacked. It's just a matter of motivation.

     

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  19.  
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    TDR, Nov 19th, 2008 @ 11:45am

    As I said, the underlying architecture of Macs and linux systems is different and much more difficult to penetrate, so they'd still have a high level of security even if their market share grew much larger than it is now. File storage is also handled differently, thus why on Macs and linux you don't need to defrag, disk scan or any other traditional maintenance task you'd do on a PC.

     

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  20.  
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    rawstylah, Nov 19th, 2008 @ 12:08pm

    huh?

    A hardware company that writes and patents their own software to run the said hardware, owns that software. Period. Hacking and installing OSX on a regular pc is in my opinion stealing. It's the same as if you were to install a bootleg copy of Windows ~ on the same machine.

    Every successful company has a leg up on their competition. User-friendly OS X is Apple's. Anti-Trust this or that is just whining about the fact.

    You guys talking about Linux and Windows as your preferred OSes, great. Run them on non-mac machines. If Joe and Betty Public had to populate their own code, no one would buy computers except the relatively-few code nerds.

    What's next... people bitching that Apple won't let them run their iPod/iPhone software on their crappy smart phones?





    Im just messin with ya.

     

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