Apple Licenses the Mac OS to IBM, Expands Licensing Opportunities with Broad Sub-Licensing Agreement
Cupertino, California--May 6, 1996--To further its commitment to making the benefits of the Apple Macintosh platform available to a broader number of customers, Apple today announced that it has licensed the Mac OS to International Business Machines Corporation,(IBM). The IBM agreement, in addition to a licensing agreement with Motorola announced last February, is aimed, through open licensing, at expanding the Macintosh platform market by offering customers additional sources and wider choices for Mac OS-based systems.
The first of its kind, the broad licensing agreement allows IBM to sub-license the Mac OS to any systems manufacturer building systems with IBM PowerPC microprocessors. As a result, IBM and its sub-licensees will now be able to develop and ship the Mac OS with a wide variety of hardware systems, based on the current Power Macintosh architecture or on the PowerPC Platform specification (CHRP). This agreement further solidifies the Mac OS as an open platform which will be supported by a variety of component and system vendors. Although IBM will be able to sub-license the Mac OS without requiring licensees to sign an agreement with Apple, Apple will certify all systems sold with the Mac OS to ensure compatibility.
"IBM has long been a strategic Apple partner, and has the global, technical and marketing strength to propel the Macintosh platform to a new, expanded role," said Lamar Potts, vice president of OS and technology licensing, Apple Computer, Inc. "This much-anticipated agreement instantly opens up business opportunities for computer manufacturers worldwide."
"The Mac OS is renowned for its ease of use and consumer appeal," said Michael J. Attardo, general manager, IBM microelectronics division "With IBM's worldwide reach and our relationships with systems manufacturers, we're committed to proliferating the Mac OS and building upon the success of the PowerPC platform. Apple has been our valued partner in defining the PowerPC chip and PowerPC Platform, and today we join forces to enable the industry for Mac OS."
IBM intends to sign sub-licensing agreements for the Mac OS with Datatech Enterprises Co., LTD (DTK) and Tatung Co., both manufacturers of a range of computer equipment (see separate announcement from IBM, released today).
The licensing agreement includes versions 7.5.X of the Mac OS, access to the next major release of the Mac OS, and access to the 16 local language versions of the Mac OS that Apple has so far approved for licensing (U.S. English, UK English, Italian, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Dutch, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese and Japanese.)
Mac OS Licensing: A Two-Phase Strategy
Since committing to licensing the Mac OS in September 1994, Apple has been implementing a two-phase strategy to reach its licensing goals. In the first phase, Apple focused it efforts on a relatively small number of licensees, in order to provide them with the level of technical support they needed to successfully implement Apple's proprietary hardware design.
Apple is moving into the second phase of its licensing strategy, made possible by the PowerPC Platform (CHRP), a hardware architecture that supports a variety of operating environments including the Mac OS, Windows NT, and AIX among others. This open, publicly available reference architecture, which leverages industry standard component designs, allows an open and flexible licensing model (The CHRP is a set of specifications that defines a unified personal computer architecture and brings the combined advantages of the Power Macintosh platform and the standard PC environment to both system vendors and users).
Recognizing the important role that licensing plays in Apple's global strategies, the Licensing Group, headed by vice president of OS & Technology Licensing Lamar Potts, now reports to Chief Administrative Officer George Scalise.
Apple Computer, Inc., a recognized innovator in the information industry and leader in multimedia technologies, creates powerful solutions based on easy-to-use personal computers, servers, peripherals, software, personal digital assistants and Internet content. Headquartered in Cupertino, California, Apple develops, manufactures, licenses and markets solutions, products, technologies and services for business, education, consumer, entertainment, scientific and engineering and government customers in over 140 countries.
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