We will be launching two additional services to help with delivery of PC/OS. PC/OS Custom Image and PC/OpenCube. PC/OS Custom Image is a software build service. Customers can send us copies of software they want installed on PC/OS and we will create custom ISO images. These images will be based on OpenWorkstation or OpenDesktop. The service will also be available for scenarios of OpenCore and OpenServer System. If you dont want to go through the expense of having your staff do custom images we will do it for one flat rate. There are a few caveats. If you have any proprietary software applications you must provide proof of licensing. If you do not provide proof of licensing that specific application will not be installed into the image. Pricing is still being decided but so far we have come up with the following pricing.
$150.00 per desktop image. If you want an image for developers, its $150.00 if you want an image for the business unit for example that relies on a totally separate set of applications its $150.00 your total would be $300.00. These images allow you to remove applications as well.
$180.00 per server or open core image. These are for server oriented tasks and once again if you want a server build for web servers, $180.00 if you want a server image for database its $180.00 so your cost would be $320.00.
These prices are not set in stone and may increase. We are trialing this out now and depending on complexity and time we will adjust these according to that. This service will launch publicly in mid March.
They say the best kept secret is one only you know, well one secret I will let out now is that I do custom PC builds. We will formally call these PC/OpenCube and PC/OpenBriq. The OpenCube is a PC based on the Shuttle case design, they will come with a 64 bit processor but not to worry if you have 32 bit applications that you rely on you can install PC/OS 32 bit and it will run accordingly. The PC/OpenBriq is a server, also based on the smaller Shuttle case design and designed for, well server usage. This will allow customers to know that any system they buy will work with PC/OS and we will also test Ubuntu, Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux although PC/OS will be the only OS to ship on these systems. On the PowerPC systems I will be preinstalling Yellowdog Linux. I know what you are asking, PowerPC? yes, PowerPC. There are a lot of usage scenarios for the PowerPC processor and there is an OpenCube being used right now that is PowerPC based. While not official yet, I will work with Fixstars and see if we cant come to a support agreement for these systems. All these systems will be built as ordered. We will provide a parts list and you choose the components that you want. The bare bones basic system comes out to about $553.62 cents that includes shipping, tack on $200.00 for labor and you will have a machine thats well tested and can stand the test of time. This service will launch hopefully begining May 1st but no later than July 1st. right now we are designing the site and prepping the price lists. Here are a couple of questions I have had from the 3 customers that use PC/OpenCube now so this will clarify any questions you may have.
1) Will we preinstall Windows?
A) No, we are testing the systems with Windows 7 to make sure that you can install Windows should you want to.
2) Will these systems be Hackintosh compatible?
A) We dont know. I personally do not like breaking other companies EULA's and will not assist you in doing so. If you send your system in for service and you have modded it to run Mac OS X leopard, we will delete the drive and reinstall PC/OS. Unlike some other companies I don't want Apples lawyers attentions. If Psystar wins their case and the judge rules Apples EULA invalid thats a different story but something tells me that wont happen.
3. ) Will you install Windows for customers.
A) Yes, the customer will have to provide the install media and license keys. We will not install pirated versions of Windows so don't ask. if you send us a system for service and you have a pirated version of Windows XP/Vista or 7 we will wipe the drive.
4) Will you preinstall AmigaOS or MorphOS on the PowerPC version?
A) AmigaOS no, MorphOS at the customers request but again they must provide the media. I have no desire to deal with Amiga Inc. the PowerPC box has the SAM board so it will boot and install both, but you have to deal with the Amiga/Hyperion mess in regards to AmigaOS.
5) How will these systems differ from standard off the shelf hardware?
A) Well, we are pushing for a 5 year hardware refresh which is better than the 3 year most hardware manufacturers force on users. When you hit the refresh time instead of having to buy a brand new system we will offer upgrade kits and will upgrade the system for you for a labor fee. Secondly, we beat up the computer. Unlike other hardware manufacturers who test by turning on the PC for 15 minutes, we will have a 3 day testing period, hardware will be stressed and any faulty parts will be replaced so you have the peace of mind that this hardware purchase is of the upmost quality and will perform as you would expect.
6) How will we pay for the systems?
A) Credit Card or PayPal. There will be no credit lines extended yet, and components will have a warranty. In the case of shipping you pay the shipping, we don't.
So there you have it, these services will extend the reach of PC/OS and will benefit our users, our partners, and our company. We will, as always, work on these initiatives hard. Also with the systems you get 2 free upgrades of OpenWorkstation. So stay tuned and when these systems become available you will be the first to know.