Dvorak: Apple needs to make Mac OS X open-source

“A cloud is rising over Mac OS X and its future unless Apple makes its boldest move ever: turning OS X into an open-source project. That would make the battle between OS X and Linux the most interesting one on the computer scene. With all attention turned in that direction, there would be nothing Microsoft could do to stem a reversal of its fortunes,” John Dvorak writes for PC Magazine. Boot camp is a “carefully orchestrated test-marketing scheme” that’s divided into three steps, according to Dvorak:

Step 1: Testing for level of interest – Will it sell more Macs?
Step 2: Determining functionality without risk – Does Windows work on a Mac without Apple’s support?
Step 3: Blowback analysis – Is the reaction from the Mac community and others positive or negative?

Dvorak writes, “So far, everything seems to be going well except for the blowback, which seems to be mixed but mostly positive. Much of the positive reaction, though, seems to stem from the mistaken supposition that having Windows on a Mac will make OS X look better by comparison, so people will flock to OS X. This is a dubious and dangerous conclusion for Mac heads to draw.”

Dvorak writes, “If the Windows test keeps going the way it’s going, the results may indicate that Mac users are more likely to shift to Windows than we used to think. But what will happen to Mac OS X? I suspect that the testing of Windows on a Mac might be duplicated in reverse, with a similar test of the Mac OS X running on a conventional PC… [If] Microsoft perceives this as a threat to its business… Microsoft’s stance alone may prevent any universal acceptance of OS X on the desktop from ever happening. In fact, I assume that as this is being written, Microsoft has coders in its skunk works tearing into OS X looking for deep flaws that it can exploit and publicize. Don’t think otherwise. It only makes sense that they’d do this. Thus a cloud is rising over OS X and its future unless Apple makes its boldest move ever: turning OS X into an open-source project.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple needs to give away free Macs to people who turn in their Dells, HPs, Gateways, etc. Apple has billions and billions of dollars to finance such a move. That would eliminate the cloud rising over Apple’s future and it would be Apple’s boldest move ever: even bolder than making Mac OS X open-source. Do that and there would be nothing Microsoft could do to stem a reversal of its fortunes. Also, Apple should turn the company cafeteria into a roller derby rink and start a worldwide league with teams and merchandise and concessions and everything! That would be really, really cool, huh, John?

Hey, we can throw stuff all around to see what sticks, too!

On a serious note, believe it or not, Dvorak’s not completely and totally nuts: if Microsoft ever does feel threatened, expect them to play some really, really, really dirty pool. Imagine if Apple took the Darwine route (run Windows apps on a Mac without Windows) with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard – forget about sweaty dancing, chair throwing, and f-bombs, Ballmer’s bald head would pop right off like a Dandelion. Even if, after some time with both operating systems, people just determine for themselves that they want Mac OS X to boot over Windows, then realize they can do without Windows altogether and start telling their friends, the sirens will start blaring in Redmond. Mediocresoft won’t concede too much more share without a nasty fight. We expect Mafiasoft’s first step would be to motivate their willing accomplices in the press to begin a real smear campaign of Apple and the Mac. As Dvorak suggests, they’ll try much worse if and when that tactic fails. We hope Apple’s prepared.

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Related article:
Dvorak: Will Apple ditch Mac OS X for Microsoft’s Windows? – February 16, 2006
Dvorak: Steve Jobs eventually intends for Apple’s Mac OS X to run on any x86 PC – August 09, 2005
Dvorak: Mac OS X is already better than Windows, Vista may be end of line for Microsoft’s dominance – July 26, 2005
Dvorak: Microsoft should shutter the company – July 13, 2004


  1. Dvorak saying that’s what Apple should do is about all the motivation Apple needs to not even consider it…

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  2. I hate slow news days. Between Dvorak and his clones boot camp has been beaten to a pulp with third grade hypothesis. Why when Apple has made most of it’s money in the last 9 years by thinking different, would it concede to a company that stabbed them in the back. Dvorak, maybe you’re one of those in the media we need to be aware of?

  3. He is an idiot.

    Microsoft is a software company. As far as they are considered, more Boot Camp Mac sales = More XP sales.

    This is not an issue about war or threat to or from MS.

    Users who buy a MacIntel in order to have the “backup” option of running XP are unlikely to ever give up XP entirely. Therefore, Microsoft does NOT lose. Virtual PC is a money pit for them. If Apple bears the expense of development of virtualization (in Leopard, and possibly with an acquisition of Parallels, Inc), then Microsoft gets to sell XP to Mac users without any other development costs for platform migration.

    It’s a total win for Microsoft. All you people who think that MSFT is going to wage war are idiots.

  4. IF, IF, IF…

    More wild speculation from a very vocal

    and notorious Mac hater. Typical Dvorak

    doom and gloom. Apple will not lose market

    share, nowhere to go but up! even if they make

    no gains, Apple is still a healthy outfit, even with

    no iPods. They survived the mid 90’s, and have

    a much better product now in hardware and software.

    Dvorak has predicted Apple’s imminent demise

    handfuls of times. He has a bad record in his

    “prophecies”, yet people still read his swill.

    He makes me shudder.

  5. Does this guy really BELIEVE this drivel he’s spewing?

    Man… I know several people who bought the intel Macs, with the idea of using bootcamp to help them “transition” and once they got OS X booted up, they never looked back. They were surprised everything just “worked” and one even said he was in “nirvana” when he hooked a printer up holding the driver disc in his hand only to realize it worked better on the Mac WITHOUT loading the factory drivers then it ever did on his windows box. None of the folks I know who’ve switched have even seriously thought about windows since the transition.

    Anyone who buys a mac and adds windows via boot camp and stays in windows is simply a glutton for punishment.

    “MDN Magic Word”=actually

    As in… Does Dvorak ACTUALLY have a brain and has he ACTUALLY USED Mac OS X?

  6. That’s it. I just dumped This Week in Tech from my weekly podcasts. Dvork is a complete ass. I encourage everyone else to dump TWIT if you are still listening to this podcasst. The guys at TWIT should dump this guy, but he has taken over the show minutes and it will be hard to get rid of a blowhard like him. Diggnation kicks their butt anyway.

  7. Dvorak: ever hear of Darwin?

    MDN’s take:
    if Microsoft ever does feel threatened, expect them to play some really, really, really dirty pool.

    MS is still figuring out how to put their cue stick together (Vista).

    MS can try to play as dirty as they want; every major world government is closely watching their every move. MS’s only revenge option is to chalk up their cue & win through good straight shooting, something that’s very alien to them.

    Somehow it’s easy to picture cool, smooth Jobs shutting out bald, fat Ballmer in a pool match any day. =)

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