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Inside Power Computing

Friday, August 29, 1997 by Dave Winer.

A company has been going out of business in the last few weeks. The company is called Power Computing. Will we shed tears for Power? It's worth a look.

Before Apple attacked, Power had the high ground, better products, their machine worked better, and so did the company.

Power was a true competitor. Quality and performance at a good price, with a smile on their face.

I wrote about Power Computing, fondly:

Their T-shirts are incredible. A picture of a tough determined punkish little kid, an old-fashioned one, saying "Let's Kick Intel's Butt!" Yeah! Why not? They claim to have the fastest desktop computer in the world, a 225 megahertz MacOS system. I want one! They say "We're fighting back for the Mac." Ye-hi! Me too.

See What If... What If!, 8/12/96, for more glowing praise.

The story from the web Permalink to The story from the web

The Mac is the most webbed platform out there. So many people who use Macs have websites, really good ones. There are over a dozen great sites devoted to all aspects of Macintosh gossip. I keep finding out about new ones.

So the story has been coming out this week, covered so thoroughly, and it's such an interesting story! So many back-channels and back-stabs, new ways for information to flow and blood too (at least corporate blood).

One company is devastated at the hands of another. One company afraid. Another company brave. The attack comes. They have no cojones. They try to compromise with the fear and everyone quits.

The story from inside Permalink to The story from inside

From an unattributed Power Computing insider:

Here's the story yet to be told of the boardroom stand-off between Joel Kocher and Steve Kahng before Joel's abrupt departure.

As the BusinessWeek article states, Power had hired a high-powered law firm to evaluate the Power case against Apple. Many, including Kocher and most of the executive staff, felt that Power had an air-tight case against Apple for breach of contract.

Apple and Power's negotiations are very well documented in the S1 filing, as you've noticed.

So Joel wanted to fight Apple in court and in the media over their about-face on licensing. Kahng didn't want a protracted and expensive legal battle.

Joel sealed up the support of the executive team and gave the board an ultimatum: fight Apple or we all leave. The board sided with Kahng, and Kocher, true to his word left, taking all but a handful of the executive staff with him.

So today at Power people are leaving in droves. So many levels of managers are gone that many are left wondering who they report to.

And now at Power when people blame Steve for killing licensing, often they mean Steve Kahng, not Jobs, for his refusal to fight.

A chilling wind Permalink to A chilling wind

What does this make me think of?

A large customer base that chose not to buy an Apple product will have to turn to Apple for support.

A promise broken, by the people who own Power Computing, to their customers.

Even if your eyes don't get misty over the fate of the Mac users of the world, think about it this way. The customer is always right.


He's gone Permalink to He's gone

Gone is the little guy fighting back for the Mac!

Unless all the gossip is wrong, it's time to kiss Power goodbye.

We'll see...


© Copyright 1994-2004 Dave Winer. Last update: 2/5/07; 10:50:05 AM Pacific. "There's no time like now."