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Apple VP says Mac OS X won't run on other PCs

post #1 of 104
Thread Starter 
Forthcoming versions of Mac OS X will not run on Intel-based machines sold by other PC manufactures, according to a high-level Apple executive.

The question of whether Intel support in the Mac OS X would allow it to run on machines manufactured by other PC makers has been a burning one in the minds of several Mac users ever since Apple announced plans to transition to Intel chips.

Answering questions for reporters following Steve Jobs' keynote presentation at the World Wide Developers Conference on Monday, Apple vice president Phil Schiller said the company does not plan to let users run Mac OS X on other computer makers' hardware.

"We will not allow running Mac OS X on anything other than an Apple Mac," he said.

On the other hand, Schiller said Apple won't intentionally stop users from trying to run Microsoft's Windows operating system on the forthcoming Intel-based Macs, although there will be no official support from Apple on that front.

"That doesn't preclude someone from running [Windows] on a Mac. They probably will," he said.

Apple's recently announced transition to Intel initially sparked concerns over how the company could remain profitable if its Mac OS X operating system could be run on competitors' hardware products.

Despite its growing array of digital lifestyle and productivity software applications, Apple is still strongly considered a hardware-driven company that generates the majority of its revenues from computer hardware-related sales.

However, Macs often fetch a higher average selling price than most PC brands. Given the option, most consumers would likely purchase competitive hardware at cheaper prices if they were afforded the opportunity to run Mac OS X on those systems.

It's believed that Apple will likely add a specialized chip to the motherboard of its Intel-based systems that the Mac OS X must first detect prior to booting. Either that or the company will contract a proprietary motherboard chipset from Intel that will perform a similar function.
post #2 of 104
give it 6 weeks after the first consumer intel mac ships and the hack will be done
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post #3 of 104
Hack? It's called VirtualPC. Microsoft owns and makes it. I predict VirtualPC for Mac Intel will ship the same day as the first Intel based Mac, no hackery involved.

Microsoft sells OS and app software. VPC allows them to sell a Windows licence, the VPC license, and whatever MS written Windows software users (legally) run. From that angle, this is a big win for MS, as they won't need(?) to jump through as many hoops to provide Wintel PC emulation on the Mac. They better just hope Windows under VPC doesn't turn out to be faster than Windows running on a native PC.

- Jasen.
post #4 of 104
Um,

I think a_greer is saying give it 6 weeks and you will be able to run OS X on your crappy dell or homebuilt PC.

I disagree. I think there will be a custom mobo with custom chipset(s). An emulator? perhaps but remember the apple legal dogs? I am sure that they have the lawsuit written already and are just waiting to fill in the blank where the name goes.
post #5 of 104
Good to have this stated more clearly by Apple. A lot of people misunderstood that.

One of the main blocks to putting OS X on a non-Apple box will be that it wasn't designed for that, and will need some--probably LOTS--of hacking and tinkering. Some will get it to work--on a limited set of hardware--and instructions for that will be available no doubt, with a small but active community of pirates wasting their time keeping it going.

But OS X on generic PCs won't be simple, it won't be universal, it won't be supported, it won't meet the stated reqs for most Mac SOFTWARE (so that too will be unsupported), it won't be advertised or sold, it won't be a reviewed product, it won't be possible on every machine, and it won't be legal... and therefore it won't be for the average computer shopper, that's for sure.

Apple selling OS X to any old PC out there sounds good at first... poor Microsoft! But don't forget massive ongoing cost to develop and debug OS X and all their apps from the lowest to the highest so they run on the full chaotic array of unpredictable Wintel hardware. Don't forget massive support costs to deal with those products after the sale. Don't forget how much more complex--and thus less reliable and harder to improve--parts of OS X would have to become. Don't forget that Apple would lose the ability to design the OS and apps and hardware as an integrated system. And don't forget that Apple would be asking all their developers to face those same complexity and support issues.

Not happening any time soon. But the POTENTIAL of it does give Apple some leverage of Microsoft that it never had before. I wouldn't worry about MS killing off Mac office...
post #6 of 104
I'm running OpenDarwin 8.0.1 (corresponds to Tiger) just fine on my Xeon machine here -- full hardware support and everything. From the looks of the drivers on the CD, the new Apple macs are going to be bog-standard ICH6-based machines (there's an i915 graphics driver, and it doesn't really work on non-ICH systems). They have drivers for AC97 sound, ACPI power management, etc.

Because OpenDarwin exists, I imagine they will have a very hard time locking down the OS. They simply can't keep it from booting -- it already does. The only thing I could imagine them doing is making Aqua only run in the presence of a hardware key of some kind, but the presence of this chip could presumably be faked fairly easily with an obligingly created kext.

I strongly suspect that Apple will merely not *support* OS X on non-Apple hardware, since it has a pretty good chance of not running anyway -- the kernel was built to only run on Pentium 4s (it requires SSE2, so it *might* work on some Athlons), only really boots on ICH4 and newer Intel chipsets, has support for only three kinds of graphics card, supports exactly one family of audio chipset, etc. Aside from my machine (where it works perfectly) I've been very hard-pressed to find another where it will even boot.

Another possibility is that they're using EFI instead of PC-BIOS (which I'm sure Intel would love...). Does anyone know anything about this?
post #7 of 104
If I recall correctly the current Mac OS X license agreement states that you agree to only run it on Apple hardware. I wonder if they added this because they knew they were coming out with the Intel Macs

Macaddict16
post #8 of 104
I know Intel has denied any unannounced hardware DRM in their near-future chips, but this seems like the "perfect" use for it.
post #9 of 104
Quote:
Originally posted by nagromme

Not happening any time soon. But the POTENTIAL of it does give Apple some leverage of Microsoft that it never had before. I wouldn't worry about MS killing off Mac office...

The truth of it is, the larger Apple's market share gets, the more MSFT is going to NEED that Office-Mac income. I don't think they'd kill it just because Apple hit 10 %. They'd be shooting themselves in the foot, and they just went with an open file format for future versions anyway, didn't they? iWork would be brought up to strength quickly, and it will have done Microsoft almost no good to kill Office for the Mac.

Do what you will, but harm none.

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Do what you will, but harm none.

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post #10 of 104
Quote:
give it 6 weeks after the first consumer intel mac ships and the hack will be done

Hmm... I'll give it 6 days. Even that is too long.
post #11 of 104
Well the developer systems are shipping soon. It won't be long before one of those copies is on the net.

And even at retail next year it won't be long before the OS is cracked and available for download. I would be happy to buy a copy of the OS but if Apple is going to attempt to restict it to only run on thier hardware I will use other means to acquire a working copy.

And it won't be difficult to run on other hardware. It will support optical drives, hard drives, Nvidia and ATI video cards. What more do you want? Hardware manufacturers will have drivers for it and we will have it running on a PC.
post #12 of 104
I think that it is quite possible that this is only the first step into a larger transition for Apple.

Some thoughts:

1. The move to Intel is a necessary one for performance, supply and (possibly) cost reasons. Duh.

2. Apple has outsourced the following functions:

- manufacturing
- CPU development (NOTE: They weren't properly in the CPU business...but the effectively were with all the work they needed to do with IBM and Motorola/Freescale)

3. I expect the next outsourcing move will be motherboard design.

4. The first three things could combine to enable Apple to deliver even less expensive boxes with healthy margins. Becoming that much more competitive with the mainstream PC business.

At that point, it is really only a remaining question:

Is Apple willing and able to support OS X on non-Apple boxes?

If so, transition stage #2 could be licensing specific vendors (HP?) to begin with, where the machine specs can still be more carefully defined and controlled. This will be critical to OS X reliability and "it just works-ness". It is also a good way to test the waters. See how well things would sell. If it goes well, add Dell...between Dell and HP you can reach 80% of the market.

Finally, it is important to realize that selling hardware and OS together accomplishes two things:

1. Much better reliability...more supportable.
2. A governor for OS piracy.
post #13 of 104
Quote:
Originally posted by archer75
but if Apple is going to attempt to restict it to only run on thier hardware I will use other means to acquire a working copy.

Why do you want to do this?
post #14 of 104
You would have thought they would have learned something from Microsoft who still doesnt have to bother with making computers. Apple is Stupid for wanting to push hardware. Stupid is as stupid does and 3% of the market has shown who is and who isnt stupid. OSX is superior but Apple still wants to push hardware. Most people can do what they need on their PC. Apple needs to wake up.
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post #15 of 104
Quote:
Originally posted by Aurora
You would have thought they would have learned something from Microsoft who still doesnt have to bother with making computers.

Not exactly true.

Quote:
Originally posted by Aurora
Apple is Stupid for wanting to push hardware.

A bit harsh and untrue.

It is a different business strategy, and one that has not garnered as much business as MSFT/Dell/Intel...but "stupid" is wrong.

Apple is still a very profitable and successful company.

There are problems with the "disintegrated platform" strategy as well.
post #16 of 104
well, if someone found a way to get mac os x running on an xbox, i am SURE someone will get it running on cheap-o dell boxes, as proof of concept if nothing else.
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When you're lovers in a dangerous time,
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Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight.
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-...
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post #17 of 104
Quote:
Originally posted by archer75
I would be happy to buy a copy of the OS but if Apple is going to attempt to restict it to only run on thier hardware I will use other means to acquire a working copy.

So... if you only want PART of a product, ethics don't matter? You're happy to steal that part?
post #18 of 104
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
Not exactly true.



A bit harsh and untrue.

It is a different business strategy, and one that has not garnered as much business as MSFT/Dell/Intel...but "stupid" is wrong.

Apple is still a very profitable and successful company.

There are problems with the "disintegrated platform" strategy as well.

Console's arent computers. Apple has the best software on the planet but,,,,,,,,,it only runs on Macs. 97% of new sales on the planet uses something else then Mac. Do the Marketshare math. Apple if it has to keep making hardware then do so but by not marketing your great software because you want to sell that hardware to 3% of the planet isnt only stupid it almost sounds ignorant.
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post #19 of 104
Quote:
Originally posted by Aurora
Console's arent computers.

Yes they are. And so are these.

Quote:
Originally posted by Aurora
Do the Marketshare math.

I know the numbers, and I didn't dispute them.

Quote:
Originally posted by Aurora
but by not marketing your great software because you want to sell that hardware to 3% of the planet isnt only stupid it almost sounds ignorant.

Well first you seem ed to have "stupid" and "ignorant" swapped and probably mis-using "ignorant"...now...

It is simply a different strategy.

Apple has decided that they want to sell something that works better and is easier to support by virtue of the fully integrated nature of the solution.

The stupidity of the strategy should be considered from two perspectives:

1. Are you able to be profitable (and sufficiently profitable to continue operating) with it?

2. Are you after all of the marbles or content with only some of the marbles?

By your reasoning, any company that sells a (comparatively) niche product/service is "stupid". I would say that this perspective is itself stupid...simply due to the fact that there are tons of companies that do just this and are quite successful and profitable.
post #20 of 104
Quote:
Originally posted by Aurora
You would have thought they would have learned something from Microsoft who still doesnt have to bother with making computers. Apple is Stupid for wanting to push hardware. Stupid is as stupid does and 3% of the market has shown who is and who isnt stupid. OSX is superior but Apple still wants to push hardware. Most people can do what they need on their PC. Apple needs to wake up.

Apple works because the hardware doesn't clash with software. The lack of conflicts and the ease of use assigned to things just working is because Apple make the hardware - it's that simple.
post #21 of 104
Apple has money thanks to the Pods but then they tasted marketshare dominance again with those pods it stired the company if you get my drift. Chasing after your fanclub isnt great philosophy when 97% of the world is elsewhere. Apple's marketshare in computers has painted them into a who cares corner. IBM = who cares about 3% and the rest will be Intel History. Apple has a great product known as OSX but they refuse to go sell the dam thing! Go Figure.
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post #22 of 104
Quote:
Originally posted by Aurora
Apple has money thanks to the Pods

If what you are implying here is that all of Apple's profit is coming from iPod, then I think you must be quite wrong. Because if that were true, why wouldn't Apple dump the (Mac) hardware and just sell the OS? Because they are making $ on it.

You are arguing they could make more money. Fine. Possibly. Possibly not.

( BTW...I actually think that's where Apple is going...just selling the OS...but doing it in one leap would likely be suicidal at this point. )
post #23 of 104
THIS IS REVOLUTIONARY!!!!

:-))

Expect near-100% Mac OS X market share very soon!!!

Once Mac OS X runs on any PC box, Windows and Linux will fade away in months!!!

Near 100% MacTel soon!!! WinTel dead soon!!! Linux dead soon!!!
post #24 of 104
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
( BTW...I actually think that's where Apple is going...just selling the OS...but doing it in one leap would likely be suicidal at this point. )

NO WAY! Apple makes money on the hardware not the software (which is subsidised). Apple will not want to have to support all kinds of machines which have varying issues. Cheap computers do not provide a good experience - that's why Apple stopped the clones. It's possible that Apple could licence OS X for Sony but not for all manufacturers. That would be suicidal!
post #25 of 104
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
If what you are implying here is that all of Apple's profit is coming from iPod, then I think you must be quite wrong. Because if that were true, why wouldn't Apple dump the (Mac) hardware and just sell the OS? Because they are making $ on it.

You are arguing they could make more money. Fine. Possibly. Possibly not.

( BTW...I actually think that's where Apple is going...just selling the OS...but doing it in one leap would likely be suicidal at this point. )

Dont spin my words, the bulk of apples profits didnt come from computers.
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post #26 of 104
Quote:
Originally posted by MacCrazy
NO WAY! Apple makes money on the hardware not the software (which is subsidised).

Well, they make money on both.

Quote:
Originally posted by MacCrazy
Apple will not want to have to support all kinds of machines which have varying issues.

Possibly, but this could be largely mitigated by creating an "OS X Hardware Specification" for licensees (Sony, Lenevo, HP, Dell) to conform to.

Quote:
Originally posted by MacCrazy
Cheap computers do not provide a good experience - that's why Apple stopped the clones.

Actually, that's not why.

Apple executed its "clone" strategy poorly. It has learned much (and the world has changed much) since then.
post #27 of 104
Quote:
Originally posted by Aurora
Dont spin my words, the bulk of apples profits didnt come from computers.

I wasn't. Then why didn't they kill the hardware?
post #28 of 104
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
Well, they make money on both.

OS X is subsidised by the hardware. To sell Mac OS X for PCs they would have to charge a lot more for it.
post #29 of 104
Quote:
Originally posted by Aurora
You would have thought they would have learned something from Microsoft who still doesnt have to bother with making computers. Apple is Stupid for wanting to push hardware. Stupid is as stupid does and 3% of the market has shown who is and who isnt stupid.

Microsoft is successful because of volume. As you point out only 3% to MS ~90%. Apple did try this for a while but it lost too much money. Apple found that it need the hardware sales to maintain profitability. Also the R&D for making the OS portable on all combinations of chips and hardware is cost prohibitive. If you can think of a way around these problems I would love to hear it. BTW using stupid with out supporting evidence makes your argument weaker not stronger.
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post #30 of 104
Quote:
Originally posted by Aurora
Dont spin my words, the bulk of apples profits didnt come from computers.

Hi Aurora

Are you sure of this? http://images.apple.com/pr/pdf/q205data_sum.pdf

This income statement from the last quarterly report states that even though iPods have 5 times unit sales as cpu's, Macs still bring in more money and you know that the margin on Macs is bigger than on iPods now that the Shuffle has cut that a bit for music players.

Apple will still be a hardware company! Apple has Ives and Ives doesn't do operating systems. Macs will always be the best VALUE and Intel chips are the only way to make this happen (evidently, and unfortunately) in the mid-term. And hacks won't change that either. The 5% who buy Macs now will still do so in 5 years even if others come on board with the change to Intel. The race to hack will just make the geeks that much more into Macs than they are now.

The big things to consider to me are:
1. The Asian market that is worried about a Microsoft controlled world and China which has the power to fight MS if necessary. We are talking now that the big battle is not with MS now in the US and Europe, it is going to be in Asia and that battle won't happen for 5 more years at which point Apple wants to be ready.
2. MS is putting big money into consoles and I'm sure does view them as the future for the living room, so this means that the OS wars will add others to the mix beyond the PC OS's.
3. Apple will CONTINUE to develop OSX cross-platform and who here doesn't think they have Leopard planned for PPC and Xbox and PS3, etc. OSX will lead secret multiple lives from here on out! And if IBM gets its act together, a future switch back in 10 years will be even easier than the switch now.
4. MS and Apple may seem to be switching roles - one from pure software to both and the other from both to just software, but Apple will never be merely software. Bob Cringley made a good argument for iTunes to run off other platforms beyond the iPod, but that won't be necessary for awhile.
5. Look to the iPod to see how Apple can play both the hardware and software games and do well in both. So what if Apple hardware in 3 years is still just the 5% installed base. That is still money in the bank.
6. More and more it is the iApps and the proApps that will drive software products and it will drive hardware sales. Creatives will still buy Macs on Intel because Adobe and FCP and Shake and friends will still run better on them and they will only cost $100 more per unit than the Dell (hopefully).
7. MS is going to have to spend so much time fighting Firefox for the browser wars and Adobe and Apple for the creative wars and Linux and hopefully Apple for the IT wars and Sony for the console wars, that the PC OS wars will seem more and more irrelevant.

In other words, Apple has thrived at <5% market and out R&D'd MS and that will only continue.
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post #31 of 104
Quote:
Originally posted by AquaMac
Microsoft is successful because of volume. As you point out only 3% to MS ~90%. Apple did try this for a while but it lost too much money. Apple found that it need the hardware sales to maintain profitability. Also the R&D for making the OS portable on all combinations of chips and hardware is cost prohibitive. If you can think of a way around these problems I would love to hear it. BTW using stupid with out supporting evidence makes your argument weaker not stronger.

Example.... I have a product that folks would love but i will only sell this product with a bag of potatoes. 97% of the world has potatoes so how much of my product do you think i will sell? This is a very simplified but accurate analogy of Apples problem. They have a great product but they want to sell you some hardware along with it. Im not saying stop the hardware, iam saying stop ignoring 97% of the planet. Yes i have used Macs for Decades They do a great job styling their machine but the real value is the OS. why not sell that OS to everyone? Rant over.....
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post #32 of 104
Quote:
Originally posted by Aurora
Example.... I have a product that folks would love but i will only sell this product with a bag of potatoes. 97% of the world has potatoes so how much of my product do you think i will sell? This is a very simplified but accurate analogy of Apples problem. They have a great product but they want to sell you some hardware along with it. Im not saying stop the hardware, iam saying stop ignoring 97% of the planet. Yes i have used Macs for Decades They do a great job styling their machine but the real value is the OS. why not sell that OS to everyone? Rant over.....

I think in 5 years they may just do that. But they don't need to yet. Apple isn't losing market share now and it is gaining. So why throw out the baby with the bathwater. At some point Dell and MS will start to lose momentum and market share and especially in the developing countries there is plenty of time to sell the OS if necessary. In 5 years I bet if they sell the OS to Dell or HP or Sony, then they will probably bump around at 5% and still be the 6th biggest computer maker and still make huge profits.

Anything else, any other wholesale sellout of the hardware market would be just stupid. I'll buy my potatoes from Apple and they will be the best.
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post #33 of 104
Quote:
Originally posted by MacGregor
I think in 5 years they may just do that. But they don't need to yet. Apple isn't losing market share now and it is gaining. So why throw out the baby with the bathwater. At some point Dell and MS will start to lose momentum and market share and especially in the developing countries there is plenty of time to sell the OS if necessary. In 5 years I bet if they sell the OS to Dell or HP or Sony, then they will probably bump around at 5% and still be the 6th biggest computer maker and still make huge profits.

Anything else, any other wholesale sellout of the hardware market would be just stupid. I'll buy my potatoes from Apple and they will be the best.

I would have agreed with you before the Intel thing but now they might as well just do it.
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post #34 of 104
Quote:
Originally posted by Aurora
I would have agreed with you before the Intel thing but now they might as well just do it.

I think they will. Just one step at a time. First make sure that OS X-intel is rock solid and all of the apps are there.
post #35 of 104
Apple does not compete against Linux for future IT sales. Apple and Linux compete against Microsoft for future IT sales.

Let's be clear. Linux and BSD based OS X will cooperate much better for the Fortune 100 and 500. They still have to compete against SUN, HP and IBM. This doesn't even include the Federal Markets.

The big question will be if Apple is really serious about helping taking out Microsoft and its Enterprise solutions, and be satisfied with a solid marketshare, but not a leading marketshare.

It's much more realistic to envision 5 or 6 major players with near equal marketshare than the dominant one (MSFT) leaving the scraps to the UNIX vendors which includes OS X and Linux.

Microsoft knows Linux is eating heavily into its Enterprise Server Revenues.

Linux isn't going to be a big player in the gaming console arena.

Apple isn't going to be a big player in the gaming console arena.

The content creation and enterprise software development arenas is where Apple wants to grow. Content creation includes more than Artists. It includes all forms of media content, from the News to Hollywood.

Either way Intel has to step up and support both Apple and Linux or see AMD embrace them with future open arms.
post #36 of 104
Quote:
Originally posted by MacCrazy
OS X is subsidised by the hardware. To sell Mac OS X for PCs they would have to charge a lot more for it.

Not really. No. Gross margins on software products are much higher.

Let's examine the current OS X...Tiger...$129...Let's say Apple only actually gets about $80 on average per copy. They have sold 2 million so far...$160M in revenue. I'm guessing that they have paid for the development of Tiger at this point...after this it will be almost pure profit.
post #37 of 104
Quote:
Originally posted by mdriftmeyer
It's much more realistic to envision 5 or 6 major players with near equal marketshare

I think that 2-6 is realistic here. If you look at other markets (where "compatibility" is less problemenatic admittedly) you see anywhere from 2-6 "major" (and really only about 3) players:

Soft Drinks: Coke & Pepsi
Cars: GM, Ford, Toyota, Daimler-Chrysler, Nissan, Honda
TV: ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox
Newspapers in any big city...2...3 max.
Computers: HP, Dell, Lenevo(IBM), Sony
Airlines: United, American, Delta

Why not OSes?

My examples are probably in need of some tweaks, but you get the point.

But, then, we may be getting a bit ahead of ourselves here.

post #38 of 104
Quote:
Originally posted by Aurora
Example.... I have a product that folks would love but i will only sell this product with a bag of potatoes. 97% of the world has potatoes so how much of my product do you think i will sell? This is a very simplified but accurate analogy of Apples problem. They have a great product but they want to sell you some hardware along with it. Im not saying stop the hardware, iam saying stop ignoring 97% of the planet. Yes i have used Macs for Decades They do a great job styling their machine but the real value is the OS. why not sell that OS to everyone? Rant over.....

But if the potatoes have bad bruises, go off quickly, don't taste good and are difficult to peel they would look for a new supplier when they run out. This is the current switcher market.
post #39 of 104
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
I think that 2-6 is realistic here. If you look at other markets (where "compatibility" is less problemenatic admittedly) you see anywhere from 2-6 "major" (and really only about 3) players:

Soft Drinks: Coke & Pepsi
Cars: GM, Ford, Toyota, Daimler-Chrysler, Nissan, Honda
TV: ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox
Newspapers in any big city...2...3 max.
Computers: HP, Dell, Lenevo(IBM), Sony
Airlines: United, American, Delta

Why not OSes?

My examples are probably in need of some tweaks, but you get the point.

But, then, we may be getting a bit ahead of ourselves here.


unlike all other examples changing operating system is not easy. The OS ties you in and makes it difficult to go elsewhere.
post #40 of 104
Quote:
Originally posted by MacCrazy
unlike all other examples changing operating system is not easy. The OS ties you in and makes it difficult to go elsewhere.

Right, I know that. Barriers to entry and all of that. But if Apple can get some momentum going...it becomes more realistic me-thinks.

What would be truly interesting would be "Yellow Box" seeing the light of day. Providing something like Xcode for Windows...creating a situation where developers could reate Windows applications using Xcode...and...oh by the way...your applications have a secret "alternate identity"...they could also be built for OS X.

Balmer, for all of his primate-like antics, is right...it is about "Developers! Developers! Developers!"...or at least "Applications! Applications! Applications!"...which are brought to us by "Developers! Developers! Developers!"
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