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. “Does Dvorak ACTUALLY have a brain and has he ACTUALLY USED Mac OS X?”

    It doesn’t matter, the anti-Mac brain block is too etched into his psyche

    (and his ego too large) for him to ever acknowledge OS X supremacy.

    MDN magic word “given” – Dvorak has “given” his will to M$

    He probably wishes Windows had no competition at all,

    can you imagine how bad it would be then?

  2. “I assume that…Microsoft has coders in its skunk works tearing into OS X looking for deep flaws that it can exploit and publicize.”

    You can also safely assume that Microsoft have coders in their “innovation center” next door to the skunk works, taking OS X apart and “borrowing” what they can to try to salvage Vista… Frankenstein’s monster…

  3. first off mac os x can’t be open source. no way because OS itself is very expensive investment, Apple has throw a lot of money to develop. now everybody knows mac os x is the best OS in the planet. plus it is major desicive fact for apple last destiny. so they will hold it tight. however nobody think the scenario which MS will be faced with difficult situation just like mid-90s what Apple used to be. it is possible. MS has suffered from development of windows vista which even is delayed more now. they’re finally out of idea and end up with what they paid for which copied mac os x. you never know how IT world will be changed. MS is not forever. someday they will be small or split up or windows will be passed behind the history.

    by the way, for public open source idea seems to be good but it’s not helping Apple at all. mac os x is different from linux since they both have been each way to be developed.

    if you use mac os x, you will never go back to windows. it’s true. I hope that Drovak(?) will have a chance to meet mac in real life (just don’t talk about mac without experience, stupid head!)

  4. This must be one of the most dumb Dvorak pieces ever, and that means a lot…
    MDN’s take is also utter crap.
    What a load of crap, actually, this entry in MDN’s slow Monday…

    OS X is already open-source, at least Darwin is. Besides, there’s tons of open source under OS X (Apache, MySQL, etc.)

    This is just torlling for hits, a moron that knows nothing (and never did) and MDN falling for his trap, what a load of fscking crap…

    Gives us some substance, not that bulshit…

  5. RE: ” 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 publiciz”

    Dvorak, you must be kidding.

    From your vast storehouse of technical knowledge, please just tell me how MS software engineers could possibly accomplish that when they can’t get Vista out on time, and have thousands of viruses on the various flavors of existing Windows operation systems.

    You would love OSX to be Open Source so that the MS software engineers could to a “cut and paste” to create the next Windows.

    And you think that someone smart enough to create OSX is going to bite on that one?

    Tell me what I am missing here. Awaiting your response…………..

  6. What’s this “Mac users are going to switch to Windows!” misguided bullshit that I’ve been reading from Dvorak and Enderle lately? What are they basing that assumption on? Do they really think we Mac users haven’t been exposed to Windows, don’t know what the fsck it is, and when we finally see it for the very first time, we’ll all see the light and switch?

    Umm, guys, if we wanted to use Windows, we would have bought a PC with Windows and a bag of chips from the 7-11. The fact that we use Macs means that we don’t WANT to use Windows, we have gone out of our way NOT to use Windows, because WE DON’T LIKE WINDOWS. So why on earth would we “switch” to it just because the Mac can now boot into it?

    Are Linux users “switching” to Windows just because their beige homebuilt towers and their super-l33t blacklight Dellianwares can boot into Windows?

    People who use something other than Windows do so because they made a CHOICE not to use something better. The ability to run Windows isn’t something new to us. We could always run it if we wanted to, on pretty much any piece of junk we
    found in alley. We’ve seen it. We’ve used it. We know it. It’s that ugly, unstable OS that never changes. Boy I can’t wait to drop OS X for that!

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