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4/22/2008
02:36 PM
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Mac Clone Maker Psystar Faces Order Backlog

The company also announced plans to give its Mac clones built-in wireless capabilities.

A Florida-based system integrator has been receiving so many orders for its unauthorized Mac clone that it's now warning customers that orders won't be fulfilled until 10 to 12 days after they're received.

Psystar, in a note on its Web site Tuesday, said the delays were due to the "wave of orders" it's received for its Open Computer system -- which offers Apple's OS X 10.5 Leopard operating system as a pre-installed option.

Also on Tuesday, Psystar announced that it plans to give its Mac clones built-in wireless capabilities. "Expect to see an internal wireless network card as an option on the Open Computers by the end of the week," Psystar said.

Psystar added that it has moved into a new, larger production facility in Doral, Fl. The company was formerly based in Miami.

Despite legal questions surrounding its Mac clone, Psystar appears intent on expanding its product line.

Last week, the company introduced a new system called OpenPro. It's a beefed up version of its Open Computer clone. The company claims it will ship either with a choice of pre-installed operating systems that includes Ubuntu Linux 8.04, Windows Vista, Windows XP or Apple's 'Leopard.'

Ubuntu is free. Vista or XP costs an extra $150, while Leopard costs an additional $155, according to Psystar's Web site.

Psystar claims its Mac clones cost about one-quarter of what Apple branded systems go for. The company charges that Apple marks up the cost of the hardware on which its operating systems ride by as much as 80%.

One version of Psystar's Open Computer features Apple's Leopard OS X 10.5 operating system ported onto generic PC hardware that includes an Intel Core2Duo processor at 2.66 GHz, a 250 GB hard drive and an Nvidia GeForce 8600 GT graphics card.

The system is priced at $804.99. A similar, Apple-branded computer would cost more than $2,000.

The problem: Apple's end user license agreement expressly forbids installation or sales of its operating systems on third-party hardware.

Psystar changed the name of its Mac clone from OpenMac to Open Computer last week--perhaps in response to anticipated legal pressure from Apple. "The name "Open" has been selected to reflect the fact that ANY consumer operating system can be installed and run on it," said Psystar.

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