Originally Posted by Quadra 610
The last time Apple licensed out OS X, it was disastrous for the company.
There is no way you can compete against Windows on price, unless you differentiate yourself substantially. OS/2 falied (despite being a nice OS), as well as others, for precisely this reason. There's a good reason OS X is tied to Apple hardware, and it isn't just to command a higher price.
Frankly, the last thing anyone in their right mind would want is for Apple to let go of their Macs/OS X business model. Apple succeeds spectacularly with Macs and OS X precisely because it's a closed, controlled ecosystem. Anything else (or anything less), and OS X becomes a Windows clone. And who the hell would want that?? The whole reason behind Apple's business model when it comes to Macs (and their resulting success) is that OS X is tied to Apple's hardware. This is the reason customer satisfaction rates are so high, year after year. This is the reason the also-rans of the industry aspire to render their products more "Mac-like" in every way possible.
This "freely use computing hardware the way they want" notion lives and dies in small corners of the internet, and in the even smaller corners in which Apple fan sites live, fuelled mainly by the geek/tech-enthusiast minority that (wrongly) thinks it knows whats best for everyone else. In fact, Apple seems to know best. Period. Hackintoshes and mucking around with the OS and wailing about "freeing" it is alright for that small segment of Apple's user base (a segment which in the grand scheme of things is inconsequential anyway), but it would be a monumental disservice to the average user.
Apple succeeds because of these specific differentiations. It's a coveted business model that others only wish they could emulate successfully. We're at the point now, where if the average user has $1000+ to spend (and apparently, plenty of them do!) a Mac will be near or at the very top of their list. That's quite an accomplishment. It's the reason Ballmer ends up looking stupid, flustered, and tongue-tied at press conferences, especially when he's in a room-full of Macs.
And by the way, the last thing Apple's numbers, record Mac sales, and dominance of consumer mindshare and opinion would suggest is for Apple to free its OS. There's simply no demand for that and no reason to do so.
When did they license OS X?
If you are referring to 8 and 9, those Systems ran on completely different hardware than x86, if I remember correctly. That is not the same situation, and Steve wasn't around.
What I envision for OS X and what you are mentally stumbling on is that the hardware does not make any difference now. They are the same thing, and this is proven by Windows running on Macs. The game has changed since the mid-90's when Apple thought their sh*t didn't stink, and they didn't have the reputation to carry them through a Motorola to IBM transition. Exactly the way Ballmer acts now is how Apple acted then. Too much crap for sale, literally, and no innovation.
Microsoft then was run by the best business man on the planet, Bill Gates. He might not know sh*t about coding, but he knew how to sell.
I think that this Unix based OS would thrive on anything you put it on, that's my opinion. And I also happen to think that it would outsell Windows given the opportunity. Microsoft fails because they are spread too thin, with all their different things going on they don't know where to stop nor what to focus on.
"And who the hell would want that?? " I wouldn't mind since you asked. You see, the innovation is only in the actual case designs now. Where I want to see Apple head, and I think they are going there (shrinkin profit margins on hardware have already begun, mind you), is to move away from "ground-breaking battery design" and into some thing like this:
1) OS x.7 utilizes as many cores as you can throw at it.
Scientists and governments buy OS X and no need to change your hardware, yippie!
2) Upgrade you existing Windows Servers guys, it's time for server X.7 and cut your resource needs by 1000%.
It's an IT revolution, yay!
3) Outsource the hardware, and make Lenovo build it, or Asus.
The hardware is going to become moot, it's simply too expensive to keep it up.
4) Whatever else, really, I don't know, don't really care. There are some things better than drilled out aluminum prettyness, one of those is called cash money.
The point of the above bullets is that these things are only possible if OS X is licensed to something outside of a consumer line, free from Apple's teenager minded hardware. Like the mini, was just bring your monitor keyboard etc. This could be: here's your business class, NASA approved server, faster than any other, for $999.
It's not just about you mom and dad liking Apple's OS. It's about business, and enterprises buy more PC's than anyone. But they won't spend that kind of money on a cool looking toy. Apple could penetrate, although this is not their current model. Doesn't mean they cannot change, just look at the revolution they started circa 1999. Maybe they will get out of hardware, maybe not.