In the last couple months we’ve seen PC manufacturer Psystar offer Mac OS X Leopard with their PC. Apple has sued due to the fact they are not installing on Apple-labeled-hardware. So will DiscCloud have any better chance by taking the OS off the machine?
DiscCloud is an appliance that houses the Leopard virtualization software. The appliance runs a Virtual Machine using VMWare Server. You will be able to run Leopard on any x86 system.
The company says their process is 100% Apple license compliant. You don’t even need to buy their appliance – All you need is the client application and a VMWare Server. Once installed the company says you will be able to set up a Mac work group in only 5 minutes.
This is an interesting idea and could bring Apple one step closer to being a competitor in the office. However, it could also mean a drop ain expensive $2500 Power Macs. There have been other ways to make a virtual Mac. PearPC was able to emulate a G3, however that would mean you could only run 10.4 at slow speed. It would be good for simple process only.
DiscCloud.ning.com has step by step installation instructions. It also has Demos you can install and test.
I am not sure how DiscCloud can claim 100% license compliance. The only EULA Apple has for Leopard says you cannot run Apple Software on any non-Apple-labeled computer. It also says you may not make the Apple Software available over a network where is could be used by multiple computers at the same time. The Mac OS X Server has an option to allow virtualization, but once again, Server must be on an Apple labeled computer.
Whether it’s true or not, one thing is for sure – there are companies really trying to get Apple to the masses. On machine or in Cloud: It doesn’t matter. People want the alternative.
It really also regurgitates the question: Should Apple lift their license requirement of “Apple-labeled” machines? Apple doesn’t need to support non-Apple-labeled machines and they can control small companies wanting to install and sell Apple software by adding something in the EULA stating they can control businesses who create software or processes that allow users to install and run OS X on any x86 machine. Basically, businesses would have to be licensed to sell their wares with Apple software on it.
Of course history tells us that Apple has tried to work with other companies and decided to pull any affiliation. They have been stingy with their hardware and software. There are some who agree with the decision – they can support it better if they control it better.
If DiscCloud is compliant like they say, we can definitely see a change in corporate computing. However, I would guess this software might not be compliant simply because you don’t need Apple hardware to install or run. It does tell Apple once again that people are demanding their product in the office and in the home. The best way to do that legally? Go buy an Apple Mac.