“In the months since Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced the Mac was making the seismic shift from PowerPC to Intel processors, the murmurs about the possible resurrection of the clones programme have been getting louder – but will the talk come to anything? The clones programme, whereby Apple licensed the Mac operating system to PC manufacturers to load on non-Apple hardware in return for a royalty on each computer sold, was abandoned in 1997 with the ‘second coming’ of Steve Jobs,” Seb Janacek writes for Silicon.com.
“Apple has flatly denied that the imminent shift to Intel chips heralds a longer term strategy to license its operating system to PC manufacturers,” Janacek writes. “Adding further spice to the speculation, Steve Jobs claimed earlier this year that three major PC manufactures had already approached him regarding the licensing of the Apple OS. Global PC market leader Dell is almost certain to have been one of them. The company’s chairman Michael Dell admitted this summer that he would be interested in selling PCs loaded with OS X.”
Janacek writes, “Advocates of a new clone programme claim the case is compelling and believe it affords the company the opportunity to renew hostilities in the OS wars at a time when Microsoft is relatively weak. Ten years on from the launch of Windows 95, Microsoft’s operating system is hamstrung by an ever-growing body of negative publicity about its system security problems and the enormous malware threat posed by a global army of virus writers. With OS X, Apple has delivered an operating system is usable, attractive to consumers and above all stable and secure. Each new iteration of the cat-themed OS has won new fans and advocates.
While security experts claim a genuine OS X virus is a possibility, they also admit it’s a very remote one given the robustness of the operating system’s Unix core.”
Janacek writes, “When it finally arrives, Vista is likely to offer an ‘OS X experience’ for PC users. In the same way that Windows 95 was the first version of Windows which came close to emulating the spirit of the Mac OS, Vista will no doubt woo consumers with its OS X-esque translucent windows. Many interface features appear so similar to OS X as to make little difference to most PC owners anyway.”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Imagine that Apple licensed Mac OS X to Sony or HP in some way that would work for Apple and the licensee. While large business buyers would continue with Windows (the average IT guys we’ve met at large companies discount Apple completely except for the “art department”), such buyers would also have a main leg of their anti-Mac argument kicked out from under them. Mac OS X would no longer be available from a single hardware vendor.
For the consumer market, it’s important to remember that many people turn over their PCs every few years. While there is some amount of “lock-in” due to Windows-only software applications, the vast majority of users just use what came bundled on their PC appliance. This majority uses a PC to do basic things: surf the Web, send email, do their budget, some word processing, calendars, and, for the more advanced average users: manage and edit digital photos, organize and play music and maybe edit home movies.
We are very confident in stating that for the large majority of personal computer users, the Mac OS X platform would be vastly superior for their needs. They’ve bought the wrong platform with Windows, plain and simple; they just don’t know it or know what to do about it, yet. Sometimes we stand in Best Buy and watch them carting cardboard-boxed Windows machines to the register and we want to cry out to them, “What are you doing to yourself?! Please, put that back, we’ll help you!” It’s actually anguishing. Yeah, we know, we’re cult members who’ve drunk the Kool-Aid in 55-gallon drum allotments. Still, if you see someone hurting themselves, even if they don’t know they’re doing it, isn’t it natural to want to help them? Oh, the grief we could save if we could somehow stand in the Windows box aisles of every Best Buy, CompUSA, Circuit City, etc. all day and night! But, we digress.
Our point is that the “OS war” never ended, contrary to what pro-Microsoft sources want the world to believe. Apple and the Mac are still here, still way out in front, leading the way by a large margin, and growing unit sales and market share. It wouldn’t take much to get Joe and Jane Average to buy a Mac the next time their Windows PC slows to a crawl trying to run 550 adware and spyware apps simultaneously. The question, as always: what’s the most effective way to shake them awake and get them to realize that there is a much better way?
Is it cloning? Mac advertising? iPod’s Halo Effect? Word of mouth? Some combination of these and/or other ideas? What do you think?
Related MacDailyNews articles:
How Apple can win the OS war – October 19, 2005
Michael Dell say’s he’d be happy to sell Apple’s Mac OS X if Steve Jobs decides to license – June 16, 2005
Intel-based Macs running both Mac OS X and Windows will be good for Apple – June 10, 2005
Why buy a Dell when Apple ‘Macintel’ computers will run both Mac OS X and Windows? – June 08, 2005
Windows users who try Apple’s Mac OS X Tiger might not want to go back – June 07, 2005