Software wants to be free…

By Doug Gaff

…to run on the hardware of your choice. Or so Psystar wants you to believe about the Leopard OS. In case you haven’t been following this story, Psystar has created a Mac computer clone and is selling them pre-installed with Leopard (or Ubuntu, XP, Vista, or nothing). It’s called an Open Computer. According to Apple, this is a violation of Leopard’s EULA. I don’t use a Mac, and while I am occasionally wowed by these bright and shiny objects, I prefer to be voluntarily water-boarded by Vista. So this particular offer doesn’t appeal to me.

However,
I do find it both comical and a little scary. In the Operating System
space, be it host OS’s or real-time OS’s, the name of the game is
running on as many platforms as your customers can dream up. Wind
River’s operating systems have been doing this from the beginning. Like
many others, we affectionately call this our "Matrix of Pain". PC
vendors are no exception, of course. In fact, many of the critical
problems people run into with Vista and Linux have to do with hardware
driver problems (or non-existence) and not the OS’s themselves. Apple
is certainly lucky to have such a small set of platforms to support.

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