Not everyone runs MacOS X on Apple hardware.

After much bad press about Apple’s hardware failing including causing two instances of minor burns to people handling the machines, Apple has issued a recall on a bunch of bad batteries in their customer’s iBooks. Mike Pinkerton mentions a colleague’s Apple iBook battery won’t be recalled and asks

The odd thing is that all the tech notes tell you that to find the serial number on an iBook, you have to pry open the machine and look under the keyboard (ok, pry is exaggerating, but you get my drift). In reality, all you have to do is look in the System Profiler app; the serial number is listed on the main Hardware tab. I copied and pasted and it validated the serial number as an affected model, so I know it’s correct. Why wouldn’t Apple’s detailed tech notes mention this very simple alternative?

It would be a good idea to accomodate those that can get the serial number in software, just as Pinkerton says. However, not everyone using an Apple iBook runs MacOS X. Some run MacOS 9, some run free software operating systems including OpenBSD and GNU/Linux which have been ported to run on PPC hardware.

Bad batteries are a hardware issue; bad batteries will adversely affect all users regardless of operating system. If the hardware is warrantied without exception to one’s OS (as it should be), it makes sense to give directions that all iBook users can use, not just those running MacOS X. It would be unwise to exclusively list the software method for determining one’s serial number because this method would be vastly different in OSes and not available in some OSes.