“In the computer industry, some ideas come around again and again. With the industry a-buzz that IBM might be willing to ditch its $11 billion desktop and laptop PC business for a paltry $1 billion to $2 billion, some people are beginning to murmur, half in jest that this might actually be a precursor to Big Blue’s acquisition of Apple Computer,” Computer Business Review Online writes. “If IBM had the Personal Computer to do all over again, there seems little doubt that it would not have been stupid enough to outsource the core chip and software architecture to Intel Corp and to rely on a tiny company then called MicroSoft for the operating system on its PC line.”
Computer Business Review Online writes, “No, if IBM had it to do all over again, it would have created something very much like Apple [Macintosh]. Apple machines are a high-priced variant of a pervasive idea (a desktop or a laptop) that has elegance, style, and a lot of very clever engineering. The IBM mainframe, the IBM System/38 and AS/400, and the Digital VAX, and the Sun Microsystems workstation had exactly the same attributes in their eras (and retain these features). To this day, all of these platforms are beloved despite the bashing and battering they take from competitive products. They have an almost cult status. If IBM could make money selling iPods, iMacs, Power Macs, and even Xserves – and there is a possibility that IBM could do this – then it is something worth consideration.”
MacDailyNews Note: Macs are not “high-priced.” Everything in this article about Apple seems to have been written by someone just thawed from a deep freeze that began circa 1995. You’ll have to update the Apple info in your heads as you read. The Apple understanding is so old, that at this rate, the article’s writer will probably portray Steve Jobs as a hot-headed, egotistical liability. Still, the article is interesting, just full of older, outdated beliefs about Apple – like the writer forgot about them in 1995 and then, poof, finds that Apple’s back and they have to write about them today!
Computer Business Review Online writes., “The main reason that IBM could make money making these machines is simple: the spread between what it costs IBM to make a Power processor for Apple and the price it charges Apple is profit that could fall to IBM’s bottom line if such a merger or acquisition could be accomplished. This is probably not a lot of money – at best probably a couple hundred bucks per chip at the rate of a about 2 million a year. Call it $400 million. Is that much profit worth a merger with a company you would probably have to spend at least $35 billion on and put Steve Jobs on the board of directors and as an acting senior vice president?”
“Maybe such a merger makes sense for other reasons. For one thing, IBM wants and needs to boost the demand for Power chips and Linux needs a better front end than Gnome or KDE. Mac OS X is essentially FreeBSD Unix with the MacOS graphical user interface from years gone by grafted on top. It is a very good system, and arguably the best Mac operating system Apple ever put on the market,” Computer Business Review Online writes. “Apple Macs are as secure as Unix, and they run Microsoft Office. This is, in many ways, an ideal platform for commercial computing.”
MacDailyNews Note: Obviously, the Mac OS X GUI is quite different in some respects from the original Mac OS, but in very general terms the description works for this article’s purpose. We have to wonder how long Macs would run Microsoft Office if Apple and IBM teamed up in some way. Microsoft would probably “discover” that their Mac Business Unit was suddenly “no longer profitable” or “worth the effort.”
“IBM has the reach to make Apple pervasive; Apple has the means to make IBM cool… Then, of course, there is the Steve Jobs problem. But if IBM can survive and thrive with Lou Gerstner at the helm for the better part of a decade, it knows how to deal with Apple culture and a hot-headed, egotistical executive like Jobs. And if he got out of hand, IBM’s chairman and CEO, Sam Palmisano, could do what John Scully did back at Apple two decades ago: tell Jobs to go get a new job. He always does something cool whenever he gets fired, whether it is Next Computer or Pixar,” Computer Business Review Online writes.
Full article here.