Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Maui designer
pulls software
off the market

CherryOS had gained
nationwide attention

The Maui-built computer operating system CherryOS, which grabbed headlines -- and fierce criticism -- by claiming to allow Windows-based computers to speedily run Apple's Macintosh operating system, has been pulled off the market.

CherryOS designer Arben Kryeziu said he is no longer selling the $49.95 "emulator" product and shut down the www.cherryos.com Web site. Kryeziu also said he has left Maui X-Stream Inc., the Lahaina-based software company that began distributing CherryOS in October.

Immediately following the product's launch, the company was blasted by online news stories and bloggers who disputed the product's claims of fast speed and alleged that much of the CherryOS programming code was identical to that in the free program PearPC. The complaints -- and 300,000 daily hits on its Web site -- forced Maui X-Stream to delay release of the product.

The product was relaunched in March, reigniting the criticism.

PearPC's makers threatened legal action against Maui X-Stream, but Kryeziu denied that litigation caused him to pull the product.

"I didn't see the need to compete with PearPC," he said. "Within four weeks they improved their performance and basically showed me that one person cannot compete with a huge development group."

Kryeziu announced on the CherryOS Web site in early April that the operating system would be released as free open-source software on May 1 "due to overwhelming demand."

"That was the plan," Kryeziu said.

However, "the software had too many issues," he said. "The time which it needed was way beyond the possibilities that we had, and so it's like, OK, there are too many bugs. How much time does it take to fix them? The competition fixed their emulator."

Kryeziu had initially planned to launch CherryOS as a commercial product but did not feel it could compete against an open-source system that would be available for free.

"I'd rather ... back up, give the PearPC people the credit and let them move forward," he said.

Kryeziu stopped working for the company April 22. He and his wife, Crystal, a former Web developer with Maui X-Stream, are freelancing for the time being.

CherryOS was a victim of promising more than it could deliver, said James Kerr, president and chief executive of computer repair company SuperGeeks.

"I think the computing world is like any other industry. You have people wanting to develop things and having a great idea and working on them, and then you have people that can actually deliver a product that works and can make people happy," Kerr said. "In this case, I don't actually know what happened (behind the scenes). I was surprised it received so much attention.

"For we consumers, you know, we need to separate the hype from the fact."

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