|If Compaq had as you say reverse engineered anything then they would have gotten their asses sued. That is illegal. Without a publically available interface they would have had a hard time proving they did not reverse engineer everything. But with the publically available API they could simply say they coded their own implementation.
Reverse Engineering is not illegal. IBM actually published the assembly code to their BIOS to attempt to prevent people from cloning it, since that work published meant it was protected by copyright. Compaq had to be very careful to hire clean room engineers that never looked at that code. Here, a quote from a site about this:
|Compaq, on the other hand, was the first "PC clone" company. It's a term that sounds rather quaint today. At the time, though, Compaq sent a shudder through the industry. Compaq reverse-engineered the IBM PC BIOS without ever looking at the BIOS code. That was harder than you might think, because IBM actually published the assembly code for the PC BIOS in its technical reference manuals. Compaq was able to prove that its engineers never looked at the code or disassembled the original BIOS to come up with their own.
They had some engineers look at the code (not illegal), describe how it worked with no actual examples (not illegal), then that description was passed by a lawyer to ensure nothing violated the copyright. From there, it was passed on to another engineer who signed a contract stating they had never seen the BIOS code. That engineer used the description to build something similar (not illegal). Like it or not, you owe all your appreciation of the PC industry to Compaq, not IBM. Had Compaq not done what they did, the PC industry would be as closed as the Apple side of things.
Yep, including Atari
|Has any manufacturer to date managed to produce a Mac compatible?
. The problem with making a 100% compatible Apple machine is the usage of not only the Apple ROM, but also Apple designed chipsets. Hardware reverse engineering is much more difficult to do in a quick amount of time, so most companies don't attempt it. But non Apple Mac machines exist, as did a few non Apple Apple II compatibles.
|And btw chastizing IBM in any way does not vindicate your point or lessen the charges Apple have to answer.
Thus far, I have countered your one incorrect Apple statement about iTunes and the iPod. I did miss the price one, but I see nothing else you have brought up that demands an answer or correction. Most of it has been correction of your view of PC history.
Price wise, Apple systems are a lot more competitive then people give them credit. Sure, Apple doesn't play a lot in the low end PC range (but they are more with the Mac Mini). But non competiting in one mostly unprofitable part of the market doesn't make their machines expensive. Dollar for dollar, G5 workstations crank out some awesome power compared to identicially priced workstations from Dell and others. Go beyond x86 workstations, and the G5s look downright cheep. Priced out an Itanium workstation lately?
Desktops, well you have the entry level Mac Mini now at $500, then the eMac and iMac above that. I will admit here that Apple has not been the best at lowering prices on the iMacs when LCD prices fall, but the machines they build are much more likely to live on at your parents house then some cheep $300 eMachine. Thankfully Apple does not use crippled versions of processors to reach lower prices, like the Ceneron found in most sub $500 PCs.
In the laptop area, they are also decently competitive. They don't however play in the desktop 12 pound market. Where they do compete, they do very well. Find me a PC laptop on the market at the $1000 price point with non integrated video, CD-RW and 256MB of ram. The entry level iBook is a great value, even before you look at the software it comes with. Most PCs in that range are likely to have crippled useless crap for anything beyond web browsing and e-mail.