Is Boot Camp a baby step toward Apple selling Windows machines?

“Boot Camp is for those people who need to occasionally run programs or access services that are unavailable on the Mac. Apple isn’t selling or bundling Windows, and Boot Camp offers only dual-boot capability: You can start up the Mac in either Mac OS X or Windows, but not both,” Jeff Carlson writes for The Seattle Times. “So is this a baby step toward Apple selling Windows machines? Not likely. Apple’s computers are beautiful and induce envy in even the staunchest Windows lover, but day to day you don’t operate a computer, per se, just as you don’t go home and eat a table for dinner.”

“Even given Apple’s engineering feats, it’s Mac OS X that delivers the Macintosh experience,” Carlson writes. “Okay, if Mac OS X is so wonderful, why not forget hardware and license Mac OS X to computer makers, and thereby out-Microsoft Microsoft?”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Sketchtrain” for the heads up.]

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Related articles:
Should Apple just go all the way and license Mac OS X to Dell, HP, Lenovo, others? – April 07, 2006
Dvorak: Will Apple ditch Mac OS X for Microsoft’s Windows? – February 16, 2006

36 Comments

  1. Why? Because the money for Apple is in the gorgeous hardware they make. In this case, the OS is an accesory. An excelent one, but an accesory.

    MW: our, like in “The OS is our choice”

  2. “Okay, if Mac OS X is so wonderful, why not forget hardware and license Mac OS X to computer makers, and thereby out-Microsoft Microsoft?”

    Because then OS X would become the trainwreck that Winblows XP is.

  3. Why? Because the money for Apple is in the gorgeous hardware they make. In this case, the OS is an accesory. An excelent one, but an accesory.
    MW: our, like in “The OS is our choice”

    I also believed in that mantra, but unfortunately that’s not the case anymore. Apple is nowhere as dependent as it once was on hardware sales. It can now generate revenues from iPod sales (another kind of hardware), ITMS, Software, and soon, movies and tv shows, so it is morphing into a computer-related entertainment company.
    Steve wants to dethrone Billy Boy too, so expect to see a licensed version of OS X around 2008.
    Boot Camp is the first step, the final one is Mac OS X volume licensing for authorized pc manufacturers. I believe HP will be the first one.
    Old school Apple is dead.

  4. Interesting story. Even more interesting if you read the original posting.

    But running OS X on the cheapest piece of crap hardware could be a problem. If you do not control the hardware, can you be sure that the OS will run as smooth?

    If I were Apple, I would consider transitioning but would go — v e r y — slow. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

    N.

  5. PPC,
    I doubt Apple will ever license their OS. See my above post for the reason why.

    Basically, tying the OS to the hardware makes for a better end-user experience and makes Apple a more “nimble” company when it comes to product cycle, including OS updates (witness Micro$haft$ problems getting an update to XP out the door – 5 years and counting!)

  6. It’s a baby step toward everyone ELSE selling a whole lot fewer Windows machines ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

    The Mac is a system of hardware and software designed TOGETHER. No change to that magic is in sight.

  7. I could see Apple eventually licensing OS X to a specific manufacturer (like Sony) with specific hardward specifications. Although, I think the better option would be for Apple to eventually create more models with more price breaks. If they can offer multiple choices at multiple pricing options, there would be no need to license OS X to anyone.

  8. Apple is a unique company (in a myriad of ways) in that they build the whole computer. I refer to them as a computer company instead of a hardware company (a la Dell) or a software company (a la Microsoft). I’d argue that the software is more important to the Mac experience, but the hardware is a necessary part of that. If nothing else, I’ve learned to never say never where Steve Jobs is concerned, but if they were to license the Mac OS again, I think they’d do it with some very select partners, or perhaps the way they did the iPod + HP. They would certainly also strictly control the pricing so that their licensees wouldn’t eat their lunch like the first time. I don’t think they’ll do it though. With Boot Camp in place, they are the only computer maker that can dual boot the two biggest OSs in the world. Why should they share that. It’s kind of how they refuse to license FairPlay to other music services. They own the iPod. Why share it?

  9. OSX will not be available for generic PCs for a long time if ever.

    The selling point of Apple’s Macs will be that they can run anything, OSX, Linux and Windows if you must.

    Virtualisation will be the next big thing. Running up another operating system just like you’d run an application. Bootcamp is the first step down that road.

    Steve, I’m still waiting for the 17″ Macbook Pro. Pull your finger out!!!

  10. OS X will get licensed or get hacked. Either way it will be on many PCs. The real issues involve considerations such as how many PCs it’s ultimately installed on, how well, how soon and whether or not that installation process involves monetization, ongoing support and quality controls. Apple will participate dramatically in resolving all those questions, I believe.

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