Linux advocate calls for Apple to destroy Microsoft by selling Mac OS X for all PCs

“I’m a Linux advocate. I always want Linux to win. But, I refuse to lie to myself when it comes to Apple’s potential with Mac OS X,” Tom Adelstein writes for LXer.com. “OS X for Intel would change the PC landscape like no other operating system has or could. Apple should open-source their operating system, port Openoffice.org to Aqua and bundle it for Intel PC’s. Offer it for $199 for a home edition and $299 for a professional edition and the world will say goodbye to Windows for good.”

“Why? OS X is a stable and secure platform and offers the proprietary multi-media applications lacking in Linux. Reports of OS X for Intel indicate it performs well, has a great interface and provides a better overall experience than Windows. Some say the experience is vastly improved,” Adelstein writes. “With Microsoft Vista borrowing heavily from the OS X look and feel, why wouldn’t someone want the original?”

“Apple could continue to bundle OS X with their hardware and they would increase their hardware sales. Continue to offer high-end hardware solutions and Apple won’t be able to keep up with demand. People will consider the value of OS X and purchase Apple hardware justifying the premium with the $300 software savings and the value of higher end hardware,” Adelstein writes. “Make OEM deals that force the existing PC vendors to pay top prices for OS X. They’ll pay you simply because they cannot afford to pass up the opportunity they would lose otherwise.”

Adelstein writes, “Mac users have as much devotion to their computers as Linux users. Not much separates the two communities. You cannot say the same for Microsoft. People use Windows begrudingly. They use Microsoft products because they have to use them. Give them an alternative and they switch.”

“Last week’s rejection of Steve Job’s offer to provide China with software for the MIT Children’s Notebook should have opened Steve’s eyes. Even with the superior interface and the special applications, China chose to stay with Linux. It makes one wonder why Steve won’t ride the horse in the direction it’s going,” Adelstein writes. “Mr. Jobs, the whole world is watching. Indeed history is watching. Give us what we want and you will have the loyalty of a planet. Stay with your current plan and you may pick up a few points in market share and that’s all. What have you got to lose?”

Full article here.

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Apple might realize more bang for the buck if they keep Mac OS X only on Macs, but allow Intel-based Mac hardware to run other operating systems. What do you think? Would the average Best Buy computer buyer buy his Gateway and then also shell out for Mac OS X? Would they even know about Mac OS X? They certainly don’t right now. Do you think Adelstein has a good idea or not?

Is the day is coming where you will be able to run Mac OS X and all of the Mac applications, Linux applications, and Windows applications at native speeds on a single personal computer? Does Steve Jobs have this “ultimate computer” in mind, but sold only by Apple?

The ability to run Windows and Mac OS X only on Apple Macs could drastically alter the personal computing landscape. Apple doesn’t need to license Mac OS X to other vendors. Other vendors will need to figure out a way to compete with Apple Macs that can run Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux flavors. We don’t see how other vendors will be able to compete with Apple, especially if users can run Windows in a protected Mac OS X environment with no performance hit.

This idea doesn’t kill Microsoft right away (eventually it will, though, as users compare Mac OS X to Windows and end up using Windows less and less until they realize that they don’t need Windows at all), but Dell, HP, Gateway, Acer, etc. wouldn’t fare every well pretty much immediately. You think Mac market share is growing rapidly now? Just wait. This could quickly become a case of “license Mac OS X or die” for the Dells of the world. But, what if Steve Jobs doesn’t feel like licensing Mac OS X? Checkmate.

If this is the idea for which Jobs is setting the table, then educating the public wouldn’t be hard. It would be a simple message, “Run everything on a Mac or only some things on any other PC.” Then tell them about iChat, iMovie, iDVD, Mac OS X, GarageBand, Mail, Safari, Final Cut, and many other Mac-only applications that they’d be missing if they bought that Dell. It would seem to be a tougher sell to try to get people to buy Mac OS X for their PCs. They don’t understand why they would be better off with a Mac now, so how would Apple sell them a shrink-wrapped copy of Mac OS X? What do you think?

(Would developers stop writing Mac OS X applications if Apple’s Intel-based Macs can also run Windows applications at native speeds? As Jason Snell wrote for Macworld back in June, “Mac users are Mac users because they want to run software in the Mac interface. The large software companies that publish programs on the Mac understand that, and so do the small Mac developers who are making the coolest OS X apps around. I’d tell you that the middle-range developers with a flagging commitment to the Mac would be the ones most worth worrying about, but honestly, the Mac OS X transition already shook most of them out of the Mac market.”

Related articles:
Will future Intel-based Apple Macs offer multiple OS worlds via virtualization? – November 16, 2005
Apple patent application designed to prevent Mac OS X from running on non-Apple hardware – November 09, 2005
How Apple can win the OS war – October 19, 2005
Intel’s built-in virtualization tech could be one way to run Windows on Intel-based Apple Macs
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
Will developers stop writing Mac applications if Apple ‘Macintel’ computers can run Windows? – June 08, 2005
Windows users who try Apple’s Mac OS X Tiger might not want to go back – June 07, 2005
Microsoft: The safest way to run Windows is on your Mac – October 08, 2004

70 Comments

  1. Before everybody gets started

    Apple makes it’s profit from selling hardware, Mac OS X is what does this. Seperate Mac OS X from the hardware and Apple dies,

    (1) from with a OS price war with Microsoft and

    (2) Because for every copy of Mac OS X on another hardware type means one less hardware sale for Apple.

    So this Linux advocate can go screw himself, they have to get their sh*t together and offer a easy to use desktop version of Linux packed with free software. But they are all to busy playing supergeeks and forgetting 99% of people don’t give a rat’s a$$ as long as it works and they can go out and party tonight.

    So until Linux fans get their act together, they will lose to those who do.

    Don’t ask Apple to commit suicide to try to kill M$, sorry, won’t happen.

  2. Just the ability to run microosoft’s enterprise email client, Outlook, is going to make buying an Apple intel powerbook worth the investment for white collar professionals trapped in the Wintel workplace monopoly. Up to now you could do anything on a Mac except run Outlook, and read your corporate email. Come January, corporate hell will freeze and you will not need to touch that p.o.s. dell anymore — just get an extra ethernet cable for your Mac and you are going to be free from viruses, and able to run all windows apps, plus Linux and Cocoa apps on your new intel Mac. Short that Dell stock and go long AAPL. See you at $100/share.

  3. Who says Steve isn’t already planning this? When video on iPods was ready, he released it, but not till it was ready with all the pieces in place.
    OS X for Intel is not ready for prime time, yet. Foot dragging software companies like Adobe need to release software for it first, then Apple can dictate to the PC box makers what the minimum hardware requirements will be for customers to have a satisfactory experience with OS X. (and be picky about which box makers they choose in order to be confident they will go after new markets and not just cannibalize Apple’s market like PowerComputing did.)

  4. From Macbidoulle..

    We’ve been hesitating a long time before putting these findings online, but since plenty of sites have published articles about the installation of OSX X86 on branded PCs without facing censorship, here they are:

    I just wanted to tell you about a hack I experimented on my PC (I didn’t really know what to do with it since I bought a Power Mac). It was surprisingly simple:
    I installed OSX86 and then Darwine. These are both simple operations. Now if I double-click on “Notepad.exe”, it just runs !
    This is how it works:
    Now that OSX runs on Intel (or even on AMD as far as I’m concerned…), it is possible to run WINE – a soft coming from the Linux world and whose aim is to provide a Windows environment – WITHOUT emulation. Thus an application such as Notepad.exe, which is compiled for ’86 CPUs, can be run as long as the calls to Windows services are supported (opening a window, a menu, managing the mouse…). An obvious exemple is Microsoft Office (the Windows version – Microsoft hasn’t compiled it for a Linux environment, of course…), which runs with Linux thanks to CrossOffice, a commercial version of Wine.
    Same story for OS X in a few months. DARWINE is the OS X86 port of Wine. The fact that I could make my “Mac-Intel” notepad-compatible with basic versions of DARWINE in 10 minutes means that, within a few months, most small Windows applications which have no equivalent on OS X will be runable without emulation, that is: with speed.
    The more I think about it, the more it seems to me that the Intel transition will have big consequences on Windows market share and that Apple is well aware of it. From there, we could even suppose that the transition has nothing to do with problems about the PowerPCs, but is indeed a way to implement a hegemoneous system able to run OSX, Windows and Linux application.
    To tell the truth, this concept is sure sexier than having to set a MacIntel on DualBoot. It opens wide horizons for those who have to stick to Windows because of some specific soft. Some will argue that this would mark the end of the develoment of native OSX applications. But indeed, it would be such a relief not to have to bother wether or not such app exists on OSX… At the end of the day, this whole business might even be more a threat for Micrsosoft than for Apple.
    PS: We won’t provide information about how to install these softs on a PC for an obvious reason: it’s illegal. So please don’t ask…

  5. “Seperate Mac OS X from the hardware and Apple dies”

    What are you smoking? Microsoft sells windows and seems to do pretty ok with it’s profits from that, don’t you think? Why would it be any different for Apple? On top of that, Apple’s hardware will always sell, because it is really quality stuff. Even if Apple’s hardware sales take a hit, the amount of money they will make by licensing OS X would DWARF previous profits.

  6. Would developers stop writing Mac OS X applications if Apple’s Intel-based Macs can also run Windows applications at native speeds?

    Yes, I believe some developers will stop writing Mac OS X applications, unless Apple release:

    1) Mac OS X will run Windows XP under “classic WinAPI” window (like Mac Classic). Then provide Windows developer with Silicon API, improved version of WinAPI which allows their application to run native on OSX. Any Windows applications using new Vista API will not run in classic WinAPI window.

    2) Provide Silicon API and Cocoa for Windows XP and Vista. This will allow the developers to write once and run on both platform.

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