Michael Dell say’s he’d be happy to sell Apple’s Mac OS X if Steve Jobs decides to license

“For the first time, a PC player publicly welcomes the notion of selling machines loaded with Apple’s software,” David Kirkpatrick reports for Fortune. “I’ve mentioned several times in the past few months that executives from several PC companies have told me of their interest in Apple’s Mac OS X operating system. Sadly my sources would not let me attribute these assertions; PC executives are pretty leery of offending Microsoft, which holds enormous power over their businesses. So, many readers have challenged me on this point.”

Kirkpatrick reports, “But Dell (the company) has for several years fearlessly—and lucratively—sold servers loaded with Linux, the operating system Microsoft reviles and dreads. And as the industry’s top dog it wields more bargaining power with Microsoft than other PC-makers. So I emailed Michael Dell, now the company’s chairman, and asked if he’d be interested in the Mac OS, assuming that Apple CEO Steve Jobs ever decides to license it to PC companies. (For now, Jobs says he won’t.)”

“‘If Apple decides to open the Mac OS to others, we would be happy to offer it to our customers,’ Dell wrote in an email. It’s the first time any PC industry executive has openly shown enthusiasm for selling machines with Apple’s software. Though that’s all Dell would say for the record, I suspect his interest is not unknown to Jobs. So, as I said in this column last week (and in an article in the new issue of FORTUNE), the ball is in Jobs’ court,” Kirkpatrick reports.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Dell saying, “If Apple decides to open the Mac OS to others, we would be happy to offer it to our customers” certainly sounds better than “sell the company and give the money back to the shareholders.”

It also shows fear.

This would go a long way to answering the question we asked via headline last week, “Why buy a Dell when Apple ‘Macintel’ computers will run both Mac OS X and Windows?

Let’s face it, everybody knows that Windows can’t match Mac OS X and the stripped-down “Longhorn” Windows XP SP3 holds no promise, either. Microsoft’s Windows illusion has been shattered among those in-the-know and that reality is currently in the process of filtering down to the masses. There is a better way. Mac OS X offers the world a stable, secure, well-designed, fun, and simply better operating system than it’s slumming along with right now. If Jobs licensed Mac OS X to Dell, would you buy a Dell? Perhaps not, but would your company?

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  1. PS Oh and we also have this version of Apple Office running…check it out….this will be part of the free public beta. Like it?

  2. Remember that “stevenote” where they had the large target over michael dell and steve said “we’re coming for you, baby”?

    Remember that microsoft isn’t the target…Dell is. That keynote moment is beginning to make more sense now.

  3. There was a time when Michael Dull sold iPods… but it only lasted for a short while…

    For him to actually want to sell machines running OSX is such a bizarre thought !

    MW= about … as in .. “It’s all about the Benjamins”

  4. Microsoft won’t pull Office from the Mac. Remember, before there was Windows, there was Office (or at least what would become Office).

    Bill Gates is probably well aware that the dominant position Microsoft has enjoyed over the past 10 years can’t last forever. Apple will never “destroy” Microsoft, if that’s what people are hoping, but they may begin to erode that dominance. In the end, Microsoft will need its other ventures (Office, Xbox) as its core Windows market begins to decline.

    And whether you love them or hate them, love Apple or hate Apple, the reality is that Windows has nowhere to go but down. Microsoft will never capture that last 8%, and it would probably be even worse for them if they did.

  5. “Personally I think Apple will now have a bargaining chip answer to MS. “What was that? You are threatening to drop Office, again? Ok, do that, and we will release the next version of OS X for any PC as a public beta…. free. We’ll survive off the iPod sales until we gain a significant marketshare.”

    Then why don’t Apple do that, regardless of the Office thing? If it would be that easy to get a fat chunk of the market, one would expect them to, well, simply go ahead and do exactly that?

    I’m all for it, mind you ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  6. There’s is a fundamental difference between 1996/97 and 2006: the hardware Apple sells nowadays is cost-competitive and extremely well-designed while the Performas of 1996 sucked and the PowerMacs were drab. Licensing a MacOS-X version, or rather allowing people to install MacOS X on Intel-based computers, will bring MacOS to the corporate world. They readily switch to Linux already because it is hardware-compatible. A huge after market will develop where people will develop compatibility packages to run MacOS on various hardware configurations. This be done by the open source community at no costs for Apple. MacOS X is open source, and they will love to port the system to any given hardware setup.
    Once people get hooked on MacOS at work, the cool factor of the Macintosh will kick in. Apple has the fastest growing brand right now and is in a unique position to first penetrate the installed base with the MacOS and then reap the rewards of hardware sales based on their superior design and functionality.
    Producing the operating system will not cost a dime more than it does already, but hardware sales could be in the double digit range right where HP and other premium PC brands are. Besides, the corporate world would purchase MacOS licences to protect themselves against litigation.
    The iPod has shown that Apple can thrive in a market where it is not protected simply by offering superior hardware-software combinations. S.J. is probably convinced that Apple can sell computers even if the MacOS runs on other hardware, too.
    This is why the developer kits have been seeded: to get people to adapt OS-X to the installed Intel base without paying for it.
    The whole thing will kill Linux, though, because a great number of open source developers will flock towards the MacOS once hardware compatibility is given.

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