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Power Computing Corporation was a short-lived manufacturer of Macintosh-compatible computers. Much of its management, including president and chief operating officer Joel Kocher, had previously worked at Dell. Like Dell, it followed a direct, build-to-order sales model.


PCC PowerTower Pro

The PowerTower Pro ran classic Mac OS on the PowerPC 604e.

Founded by Steve Kahng in Austin, Texas with $13 million, Power Computing entered the market in 1995 with a series of machines based on the PowerPC 601 microprocessor. In all, PowerComputing released 8 different lines of Mac-compatible computers from 1995 to 1997. The computers were generally less expensive than competing offerings from Apple Computer and often were faster. Its quarterly sales grew from $21.5 million in its first quarter to a peak of $98.5 million in Q4 1996.


PCC PowerCenter Pro

The PowerCenter Pro was certified for BeOS.

BeOS ready

As Apple's fortunes fell, Power Computing's fell as well. Power Computing announced a license with Be, Inc. to license their BeOS operating system for its computers. Apple started demanding higher royalties from Power and other clone makers. This combined with inventory problems to cause Power Computing to sustain heavy operating losses during most of 1997, after two years of explosive growth. In an effort to reduce its dependence on Mac clone sales, Power Computing announced plans in the summer of 1997 to release a line of PC compatible computers as well.[1][2]

After Steve Jobs returned to Apple, he announced an end to the Macintosh clone business. Apple bought Power Computing's Mac license and related assets in September 1997 for $100 million in Apple stock.[3][4] By the end of 2021, that stock would have been worth over $100 billion.[5] Following the sale, Power Computing was hit with lawsuits from its suppliers and exited the PC clone business after only a month. The company went out of business soon after.[6]


  1. Power Computing Announces Deal With Be, Los Angeles Times. 1996-11-27.
  2. Power Computing to Be, CNET. 1996-11-26.
  3. Apple purchases Power Computing, CNET. 1997-09-02.
  4. We lost our license for speeding, Power Computing. Archived 1998-07-05.
  5. Apple - 40 Year Stock Price History | AAPL, MacroTrends. Accessed 2020-04-24.
  6. Power Computing Corp. Out of Business by Peter H. Lewis, The New York Times. 1998-01-30.

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