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Notes: Xserve G5, McDonald's, IBM, and the government

Xserve G5
One of the earliest adopters of the Xserve G5 is reporting that his Xserve G5 has finally shipped. "I received notification that my G5 XServe was shipped out FedEx Friday March 19th, and I should be receiving it on Tuesday, Mar 23rd."

"I ordered my [Xserve] G5 almost before the applause died down when they were announced in January, so hopefully mine should be one of the first ones going out."

McDonald's Snubs Apple?
Meanwhile, McDonald's had been in talks with Apple to launch marketing deal around the company's iTunes Music Store, but just recently switched plans after a last-minute pitch from Sony, reports the LA Times.

According to the publication's sources, McDonald's is expected to commit about $30 million to advertise the program in the U.S. and beef up the launch of Sony Connect, which will charge 99 cents per song when it starts up this spring.

"In exchange, sources said McDonald's will be able to buy some tunes from Sony Connect at unspecified discounts. The fast-food giant plans to give customers free songs when they buy certain menu items; customers will receive codes they can redeem online for downloads."

One LA Times sources familiar with the deal believes that the fast-food company would probably give away more than 100 million Sony Connect songs in the U.S. The deal is rumored to go public sometime this week.

IBM seeking third party motherboard makers?
Reporting from CeBIT, Inquirer sources claim that two motherboard makers were approached at the show by IBM reps to consider possible designs supporting the Power PC platform.

Ex-PowerPC consortium member, Motorola, once experimented with pushing third party motherboards through its distributor channel, but hefty price tags marred any potential for success.

Government expressing interest in Mac OS X
In the most recent issue of Federal Computing Week Apple's director of Mac OS X product marketing, Ken Bereskin, cites growing government interest in Mac OS X Panther. "

"We've had tremendous interest from federal, state and local governments because of the security of a Unix foundation," Bereskin told FCW. "Every aspect of the OS has been enhanced, from the drivers to the kernel."

FCW speculates that Panther's FileVault 128-bit real-time encryption could be of particular interest to federal customers.