PC box assemblers like Dell and others wish Apple would license Mac OS X

“Apple has a significant opportunity to trump Vista as the desktop OS—if only it would stop insisting on being the sole hardware supplier for the operating system,” Jim Louderback writes for PC Magazine.

Louderback writes, “”The new version of OS X is also impressive. After a recent tour, I found myself constantly asking, ‘When will Vista do that?'”

“It’s not wishful thinking. I’ve talked with top execs from two of the top ten PC makers recently, and both said they’d be more than happy to sell PCs running OS X. One was Michael Dell, who promised to start selling OS X-based machines as soon as Apple opened the doors. The other will remain nameless, but went even further, claiming he’d chuck Windows out of the building in a New York minute, and deliver a 100% OS X lineup. If only Apple would let him,” Louderback writes.

“I wonder whether Apple realizes how much Windows angst is out in the market… Now is the time for Apple to do OS licensing right. And they should go further than just licensing the OS to PC vendors. Why not let the alpha geeks build their own OS X machines too? Will the next PC I buy (or build) actually run OS X 10.5? I’m tempted to pick up a Mac Pro today, as the pricing is pretty good for such a powerful machine. I’d still run Vista on it—at least at first,” Louderback writes.

Louderback writes, “I’m not sure the company’s own ego will allow itself to embrace the opportunity. But—Apple, are you listening?—now is the time to seize the day.”

Full article, in which Louderback makes easily-avoidable mistakes (“Infinity Loop” instead of Infinite Loop” for Apple’s corporate address) and inserts random statements without explanation (“I’m still not sold on OS X as an alternative to Vista”), here.

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

MacDailyNews Take: Apple is doing just fine executing its “Embrace and Extinguish” plan. There’s no need to save Dell et al with Mac OS X licensing. You want Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux running natively on one machine? Get a Mac.

[UPDATE: 12:55pm EDT: Corrected easily-avoidable error “its” in “Take.” Thanks, Grammar Nazi.]

Related articles:
Microsoft tries to get box assemblers to design Windows PCs as Apple-like ‘objects of pure desire’ – July 27, 2006
Chicago Tribune writer: Will Apple’s Jobs offer Mac OS X to Michael Dell? – April 17, 2006
Should Apple just go all the way and license Mac OS X to Dell, HP, Lenovo, others? – April 07, 2006
Dude, you got a Dell? What are you, stupid? Only Apple Macs run both Mac OS X and Windows! – April 05, 2006
Fortune columnist doubts Apple CEO Jobs will let Michael Dell sell OS X anytime soon – June 23, 2005
Analyst: ‘If Dell really wanted to sell Mac OS X hardware, it could sue Apple’ – June 16, 2005
Michael Dell say’s he’d be happy to sell Apple’s Mac OS X if Steve Jobs decides to license – June 16, 2005
Microsoft and Dell must have a lot of bricks lying around today – June 07, 2005
Apple passes Dell in market value – May 02, 2006


  1. Note to Dell and others: If you want to brand the stuff, become like Foxconn. You MAKE Apple’s hardware for Apple, and share in the profits. That is the only way you are going to get in on it.

  2. Apple’s difference is its controlling the whole prcocess – OS and hardware. Allowing assemblers to build machines would eventually produce the quagmire that MicroSoft finds itself in…”thing just don’t simply work” like they do on apple because drivers and such need to be tweaked etc.

    Not to mention…why would apple license when they can simply sell to the same person that Dell want s to sell to but directly…therefore making the money on the OS and the hardware?

    Apple’s plan is coming together. Great products noww with a growing retail presence. They still maintiain the upscale brand but have successfully pierced the “price myth”…and now poor Michael Dell is beside himself wondering how he can win?

  3. Licensing OS X is the worst thing Apple could ever do… Thank God, they won’t!

    Licensing the Mac OS in the nineties is what nearly drove Apple to the dirt. The first thing Steve Jobs did when he returned to Apple as CEO was to kill off the OEM vendors and vowed to never license the Mac OS again..

    What people don’t understand is that Apple is NOT a software company and they are NOT a hardware company, THEY ARE BOTH, a systems company if you will..

    Mac/OSX, iPod/iTunes, complete end to end experience, they control the whole widget and that’s why Apple products “just work.”

    To license OSX would be to kill the best thing Apple has going for it. There would be no more “just works” slogans. There would be driver, hardware and compatiblitiy issues galore, much like Dell and Microsoft face. Support costs would go through the roof. Etc.. etc… Apple would also be giving up the major advantage of selling the only computer systems in the world that are capable of running both OSX and Windows…

    Licensing OSX would be an all around bad idea.

  4. Apple is a hardware company. This has been explained to death.
    If they licensed the OS it would destroy the company since they make
    a comparitively low margin on the OS. Five licenses for $199?
    Louderback just doesn’t get it.

  5. Apple is a hardware company. This has been explained to death


    As I explained in my above post, I disagree with this statement… Apple is a “systems” company, hardware and software combined.. That’s what makes them so unique and is the very reason they have survived so long in the face of the 800lb gorilla known as Microsoft…

    If Apple was just a hardware company, they would have been gone long ago. It’s the complete end to end user experience of flawlessly combining hardware and software solutions that has made Apple what it is today..

    The Mac without OSX would be nothing.. The iPod without iTunes would be just a fancy looking player..

  6. This does pose an interesting question… would we all lose interest in Apple/OSX if it had a market share comparable to MS Windoze?

    As a share holder in Apple, I’d love to see them license there OSX. I was just thinking about this as I flew thru 3 Airports on Monday – each gate agent at 3 different airports, in 3 different regions of the country, were using DELL boxes… I love to see Apple/OSX have that kinda presence one day.

  7. Louderback is a tool on top of being a spaz.

    It’s pointless to try and have other companies be hardware manufacturers for an Apple OS. The design constraints would be so tight, in order to ensure that the OS worked as well with their hardware as it does with Apple’s that everyone would essentially be making the same box. What’s the point?

    People seem to be unable to grasp the idea of the whole widget.

    You dont walk into a Ford dealership and ask to have a Toyota engine installed. Why does every part of the computer HAVE to be spearate.

  8. The funniest thing about that article was at the end, they hired “Think Secret” to write a Apple Rumors article for them every other week. Just like PC’s … always behind a bit, ThinkSecret is no longer the king of rumor sites, they can’t get anything right anymore, just like PCMag. LOL!!

  9. Jim Louderback writes as if Apple is only in the OS business. He completely overlooks the fact that they make much more money with their computers.

    Moreover, if Apple licenses OS X, then Macs will loose their advantage of being the only computers that can use all OS’s. This advantage will be more apparent when the results for the September and the December quarters come out.

  10. If “wishes” and “buts” were candy and nuts, then every day would be a Merry Christmas. Dell et al should be salivating for Vista rather than OS X. These guys hooked their wagons to Microsoft so they should just learn to deal with it.

  11. As a share holder in Apple, I’d love to see them license there OSX

    Why? Apple makes a hell of a lot more money selling a $1200 computer than they do selling a $129 software license.

    And now that Macs can dual boot Windows, they have the ultimate advantage of being the only company capable of selling computers that can do this.. The marketshare will increase, it’s a long slow process, but it’s happening.

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