Psystar quits with Mac OS X and teams up with Linux

Mac clone maker Psystar is retrenching after succumbing to a barrage of copyright litigation brought by Apple, abandoning its Mac offerings in favor of a move toward Linux systems.

The company said it has given up in the last battle in its prolonged fight with Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), removing a software product that assisted in installing Mac OS X on a PC.

In addition to selling generic PCs with Mac OS X installed, Psystar had released a software product called Rebel EFI that would examine a bare-bones system, determine if Mac OS X would install properly, and recommend third-party drivers if they were available.

The product got mostly poor reviews, and was slammed for its high price ($90, with an introductory price of $50).

Because Rebel EFI came out after Psystar had begun selling its "Hackintosh" PCs, it was not included in Apple’s copyright infringement filing. Apple trounced Psystar on the copyright violations, but Rebel EFI was excluded because of the timing of the litigation.

When Psystar announced it would comply with the permanent injunction barring it from selling any more Hackintosh systems, it initially said it wanted to wait for a judge’s ruling on whether Rebel EFI would be covered as well. In the days since, Psystar seems to have decided it’s gambled enough. On Dec. 22 it posted a notice saying that it would suspend sales of Rebel EFI and go back to selling PC clones without Mac OS X.

"In the coming days, we will again be offering complete systems but at discounted prices as they will be bundled with your choice of Linux operating system," the note read.

But the company isn’t giving up on Rebel EFI just yet. "Also worth mentioning are new flavors of our wildly popular Rebel EFI software product (pending court for release). These include editions tailored to specific off-the-shelf hardware including the Dell 9 Mini and HP Mini netbooks."

The Linux systems aren’t on the Psystar online store yet. The only thing left for sale are T-shirts poking fun at the company’s legal travails. Apple, meanwhile, is persisting, asking that the case be moved from Florida, where Psystar is based, and adjudicated in Northern California from now on.


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