“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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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