Motorola bows out of Mac OS licensing

Motorola Computer Group said today it has halted its foray into Mac OS licensing.The company said it will discontinue its Mac OS-compatible business, following Apple's moves to limit cloners to older board designs and processors.

Motorola Computer Group said today it has halted its foray into Mac OS licensing.

The company said it will discontinue its Mac OS-compatible business, following Apple's moves to limit cloners to older board designs and processors. Motorola said will continue to sell its StarMax line of compatibles through the end of the year.

Joe Guglielmi, vice president and general manager of the Tempe, Ariz.-based Motorola Computer Group, said the company's cloning operation was "no longer a viable business." He said Motorola will concentrate its resources on emerging opportunities and on strengthening the company's profitable embedded and technical systems business.

Guglielmi said the company will not ship the StarMax 6000 - a high-performance system based the PowerPC 750 processor - it unveiled at the Macworld Expo in August.

The company also said it will offer current and new customers a year of free phone support; previously it provided 90 days of phone support.

Motorola would not comment on its relations with OEM buyers of its current Tanzania-based logic boards. However, sources said the company will continue to supply systems "as long as there's demand."

Meanwhile, the IBM Microelectronics Division of East Fishkill, N.Y., and Motorola RISC Microprocessor Division of Austin, Texas, recently said the two companies will boost the marketing of the PowerPC chip for embedded applications.

"It's not a shift away from the desktop," said Pam Olsen, spokeswoman for IBM's Microelectronics division, adding that IBM would continue to develop PowerPC processors for Mac systems. Olsen said the two companies want to extend the PowerPC and "make it more embedded-friendly."