Originally Posted by TenoBell
All of Apple's software is based on an open source or open standard. Windows is the complete opposite in that all of its software is based on proprietary standards that can use open software. Here is a list of examples.
UNIX - Windows NT
Webkit - Trident
H.264 - Windows Media Video (VC1)
AAC - Windows Media Audio
PDF - XML
JPEG - Windows Media Photo
To be fair, UNIX isn't really a standard, and "UNIX" certification of Unix-like OSs isn't exactly the most important thing to IT, and "WMP" is being considered by the JPEG group to be adopted as JPEG XR, VC-1 is also an open standard that competes with H.264.
Originally Posted by TenoBell
An easy one word answer to this: Linux
Open Source isn't a total utopia. It does have its drawbacks. Their are many advantages to the singular vision.
Webkit is open source, Safari isn't.
H.264 and AAC are open standards, but Quicktime isn't.
Linux isn't an answer at all, I assume you're pointing out the different distributions. The mainstream distributions use a recent verison of the kernel from kernel.org, the faster distributions (I'm talking about release-cycles) are rewarded with more users (Ubuntu, Fedora, openSUSE) while the slower distributions (Debian, Gentoo) are slower and usually have other distributions pull their packages from them (Ubuntu pulls from Debian unstable).
I never claimed it was a utopia, but it would still help Apple immensely to have a larger number of developers for the core OS and the core frameworks, as well as help their customers, and other benefits I already outlined (if they pulled off a transition correctly). Your arguments are also too simple, Apple wouldn't lose any advantage with an open source Safari, it would still be the default browser on the computers they sell, and the most complicated part of a web browser is arguably the rendering engine, just pointing out that Safari isn't open source doesn't mean it would utterly suck if it were. H.264 and AAC are open standards, not open source, they still have patents on them that the licensors collect through the MPEG group that the licensees have to pay if they wish to use those, not the same as open source, and the Quicktime Container is in fact an open standard (MPEG-4 Part 12 if I remember correctly, I assume you mean the container format?) used as the base for the the MP4 container (MPEG-4 Part 14, again if I remember correctly). The Quicktime framework and Player implementations though are neither open standards or open source.
Oh and speaking of H.264 and AAC, Apple could distinguish their machines from others by licensing and providing those codecs, and adding more fonts, professional wallpaper, etc. Stuff they do already, only well, without open sourcing their frameworks, GUI, and developer tools (developer tools, another potential differentiator, hell Apple could even start licensing it for a fee, an open source Cocoa would mean others could build their own tools anyway).