Steve Jobs wanted Dell to license Mac OS

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Comments

  • Reply 41 of 51
    AppleZulu said:
    AppleZulu said:
    Not a single person here is complaining that Intel is allowing manufacturers of computers to use their chips to build computers that run different operating systems.

    But I have a feeling everyone will complain about me when I suggest here that Apple should do what Intel has always done, successfully, which is sell their CPU chips to PC and mobile device manufacturers. To be clear, I'm suggesting that Apple consider selling its Mx and Ax chips to other companies who want to build their own mobile and desktop devices which run their preferred OS. On the downside this would hurt sales of Apple's devices, but on the upside it would give Apple a cut from the sale of many/most non-Apple devices. Which way means more profit for Apple? I don't know, but Intel has done quite well for itself doing this.
    Why would anyone complain about what Intel does with their chips? That’s their business model. Intel doesn’t make operating systems. They don’t even make computers. They make processor chips. If they didn’t sell them to computer manufacturers, they’d go out of business. 

    Apple does make computers and operating systems. They design both together. That’s the whole point. That is their business model. The “shock value” of the article above is entirely about Steve Jobs making an early offer to license his operating system, because soon after that he firmly eschewed that concept and reset Apple on its course of designing computers and operating systems as a closed unit. 

    Apple started making Ax chips for iOS and now Mx chips for Macs because they wanted to further enhance their ability to design hardware and software together from stem to stern, without depending on others’ pipelines and timelines. That’s the whole point. That’s their business model. 

    They don’t need income from selling surplus chips any more than they need income from selling surplus chargers or earbuds to be packaged with others’ gear. 

    Selling Ax or Mx chips to other computer manufacturers would result in others making requests or demands for the design of those chips, which undermines the whole point of their decision to make silicon in-house. 

    They won’t do that because it’s another daft idea in a long tradition of people posting here things that Apple should do that fall under the rubric of “tell us you don’t understand Apple’s business model without saying you don’t understand Apple’s business model.”
    Completely agree. But in this case I’d add that the two [?] posters here advocating for Apple selling Silicon are ass-backwards and missing the point of this news, which is old news, really, Jobs’ exploration of this angle ca. 1997-1999 is well-known.

    On the other hand, I’m just going to put this out there…

    After the transition to Apple Silicon is complete and Intel Macs are no more, Apple could, if it wanted to, license macOS for Intel on PCs. That’s the takeaway here — if it made enough business sense for Jobs to pursue it then, even though he couldn’t get the absurdly favorable terms he wanted and Apple ultimately went a different direction and made history doing so, it might make business sense again tomorrow, now that Macs will stand apart within the industry in a way they never have before. It might be time to invade the PC space and challenge Windows on its own turf.

    I’m not sure if Apple would have much to lose, and I don’t think it would require a huge investment, which means they could always just pull the plug. I don’t think there’s any question that Apple is in a much stronger position now than they were in 1999, so maybe now they can get the terms Jobs was trying to get then. The big sticking point seems to have been that Jobs wanted to retain Apple's ability to just pull the plug. Maybe now Apple is in a strong enough position for, say, HP, to make that concession and partner with Apple to produce a dual-boot PC that runs both macOS and Windows.
    This makes no sense whatsoever. Apple is making its own silicon in order to more tightly integrate the development of the hardware and the software. Mx processors allow Apple to plan their design pipeline more years into the future so that MacOS can demand and expect exactly what the processor can deliver. MacOS is no longer dependent on Intel's development timeline, and Apple no longer has to deal with compromises in processor design that were made to meet the demands of other PC makers and WindowsOS design. This is the whole reason Apple is switching over to its own silicon. Critical to this entire concept is that the integration of hardware and OS design means both are able to limit unnecessary variables that must be anticipated in their design. Mx processors only have to meet the needs of MacOS (and iPadOS). MacOS only has to address the architecture of Mx processors. Neither has to be bloated to accommodate unanticipated outside variables.

    The idea of licensing future versions of macOS to run on intel PCs throws away that entire concept of integrated design efficiencies. This is quadruply the case because of the divergence in processor architecture between the Mx ARM processors and Intel's design. Apple's Mx chips aren't an intel clone. They weren't made just to avoid paying Intel their profit margin. It's an entirely different chip.

    This is, yet again, one more example of “tell us you don’t understand Apple’s business model without saying you don’t understand Apple’s business model.”
    No, and thanks but no thanks for your condescension at the end. I’m just having some fun with historical facts, but you don’t seem to grasp the most basic concept here — NeXTSTEP/OS X/macOS has, fundamentally, from the beginning, been capable of walking and chewing gum at the same time. It’s doing it right now, just like it did in 1993 when Andy Grove and Steve Jobs were trying to get Dell to see the light, as witnessed in this very thread by someone directly involved.

    You have the benefit of hindsight, but you are mistaking that point of view for foresight. Apple could maintain both architectures, without compromising their “integrated design efficiencies” (as you put it) for Macintosh and iDevices. I’m not saying they will, but they could. They could even take on another architecture. Indeed, it would be profoundly short-sighted not to maintain that basic capability, because nothing is forever. That’s the whole point of OS X, the foundation of everything Apple has achieved to date. It would be malpractice to abandon it. That flexibility allowed them to support ARM without a lot of fuss, back when the iPhone was in development, let alone the M1, precisely because support for RISC architectures was already part of the equation.
    edited October 7 watto_cobra
  • Reply 42 of 51
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 1,273member
    AppleZulu said:
    AppleZulu said:
    Not a single person here is complaining that Intel is allowing manufacturers of computers to use their chips to build computers that run different operating systems.

    But I have a feeling everyone will complain about me when I suggest here that Apple should do what Intel has always done, successfully, which is sell their CPU chips to PC and mobile device manufacturers. To be clear, I'm suggesting that Apple consider selling its Mx and Ax chips to other companies who want to build their own mobile and desktop devices which run their preferred OS. On the downside this would hurt sales of Apple's devices, but on the upside it would give Apple a cut from the sale of many/most non-Apple devices. Which way means more profit for Apple? I don't know, but Intel has done quite well for itself doing this.
    Why would anyone complain about what Intel does with their chips? That’s their business model. Intel doesn’t make operating systems. They don’t even make computers. They make processor chips. If they didn’t sell them to computer manufacturers, they’d go out of business. 

    Apple does make computers and operating systems. They design both together. That’s the whole point. That is their business model. The “shock value” of the article above is entirely about Steve Jobs making an early offer to license his operating system, because soon after that he firmly eschewed that concept and reset Apple on its course of designing computers and operating systems as a closed unit. 

    Apple started making Ax chips for iOS and now Mx chips for Macs because they wanted to further enhance their ability to design hardware and software together from stem to stern, without depending on others’ pipelines and timelines. That’s the whole point. That’s their business model. 

    They don’t need income from selling surplus chips any more than they need income from selling surplus chargers or earbuds to be packaged with others’ gear. 

    Selling Ax or Mx chips to other computer manufacturers would result in others making requests or demands for the design of those chips, which undermines the whole point of their decision to make silicon in-house. 

    They won’t do that because it’s another daft idea in a long tradition of people posting here things that Apple should do that fall under the rubric of “tell us you don’t understand Apple’s business model without saying you don’t understand Apple’s business model.”
    Completely agree. But in this case I’d add that the two [?] posters here advocating for Apple selling Silicon are ass-backwards and missing the point of this news, which is old news, really, Jobs’ exploration of this angle ca. 1997-1999 is well-known.

    On the other hand, I’m just going to put this out there…

    After the transition to Apple Silicon is complete and Intel Macs are no more, Apple could, if it wanted to, license macOS for Intel on PCs. That’s the takeaway here — if it made enough business sense for Jobs to pursue it then, even though he couldn’t get the absurdly favorable terms he wanted and Apple ultimately went a different direction and made history doing so, it might make business sense again tomorrow, now that Macs will stand apart within the industry in a way they never have before. It might be time to invade the PC space and challenge Windows on its own turf.

    I’m not sure if Apple would have much to lose, and I don’t think it would require a huge investment, which means they could always just pull the plug. I don’t think there’s any question that Apple is in a much stronger position now than they were in 1999, so maybe now they can get the terms Jobs was trying to get then. The big sticking point seems to have been that Jobs wanted to retain Apple's ability to just pull the plug. Maybe now Apple is in a strong enough position for, say, HP, to make that concession and partner with Apple to produce a dual-boot PC that runs both macOS and Windows.
    This makes no sense whatsoever. Apple is making its own silicon in order to more tightly integrate the development of the hardware and the software. Mx processors allow Apple to plan their design pipeline more years into the future so that MacOS can demand and expect exactly what the processor can deliver. MacOS is no longer dependent on Intel's development timeline, and Apple no longer has to deal with compromises in processor design that were made to meet the demands of other PC makers and WindowsOS design. This is the whole reason Apple is switching over to its own silicon. Critical to this entire concept is that the integration of hardware and OS design means both are able to limit unnecessary variables that must be anticipated in their design. Mx processors only have to meet the needs of MacOS (and iPadOS). MacOS only has to address the architecture of Mx processors. Neither has to be bloated to accommodate unanticipated outside variables.

    The idea of licensing future versions of macOS to run on intel PCs throws away that entire concept of integrated design efficiencies. This is quadruply the case because of the divergence in processor architecture between the Mx ARM processors and Intel's design. Apple's Mx chips aren't an intel clone. They weren't made just to avoid paying Intel their profit margin. It's an entirely different chip.

    This is, yet again, one more example of “tell us you don’t understand Apple’s business model without saying you don’t understand Apple’s business model.”
    No, and thanks but no thanks for your condescension at the end. I’m just having some fun with historical facts, but you don’t seem to grasp the most basic concept here — NeXTSTEP/OS X/macOS has, fundamentally, from the beginning, been capable of walking and chewing gum at the same time. It’s doing it right now, just like it did in 1993 when Andy Grove and Steve Jobs were trying to get Dell to see the light, as witnessed in this very thread by someone directly involved.

    You have the benefit of hindsight, but you are mistaking that point of view for foresight. Apple could maintain both architectures, without compromising their “integrated design efficiencies” (as you put it) for Macintosh and iDevices. I’m not saying they will, but they could. They could even take on another architecture. Indeed, it would be profoundly short-sighted not to maintain that basic capability, because nothing is forever. That’s the whole point of OS X, the foundation of everything Apple has achieved to date. It would be malpractice to abandon it. That flexibility allowed them to support ARM without a lot of fuss, back when the iPhone was in development, let alone the M1, precisely because support for RISC architectures was already part of the equation.
    If you believe the decision to stop licensing macOS for clones wasn't an intentional move to fully control the hardware/software development process, you're missing the point. I apologize if I seemed condescending, but you did "completely agree" with my prior post and then make a suggestion that runs completely counter to the thing you just completely agreed with. Jobs didn't drop MacOS licensing and move to integrated hardware/software development without foresight and only realize later, 'hey, that's turned out to be a good idea!' It is a fundamental premise upon which Apple's business model has been based since Jobs returned. When the last Intel mac hits the 'vintage' list, Apple will have little motivation to continue supporting Intel compatibility. 

    The example atop this thread was Jobs offering a laughably bad deal to Dell. If Dell took it, Apple would get free money from Dell for a little while until they decided to unilaterally end the licensing agreement. If Dell didn't take it, Jobs would be (and was) just fine with that, so he could quickly amputate the clone market and focus on integrated in-house design, which was clearly his intent even as he made the one-sided offer to Dell. Nothing is forever, you're right, and moving processor design in-house is insurance against exactly that, in the form of Intel moving in some other direction (or maybe disappearing altogether) in a way that kneecaps Apple's plans. That risk is far greater than Apple suddenly needing to return to intel processors instead of their own. Maintaining Intel compatibility deep into Apple's pipeline is probably not a high priority.
    edited October 7 fastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 43 of 51
    AppleZulu said:
    AppleZulu said:
    AppleZulu said:
    Not a single person here is complaining that Intel is allowing manufacturers of computers to use their chips to build computers that run different operating systems.

    But I have a feeling everyone will complain about me when I suggest here that Apple should do what Intel has always done, successfully, which is sell their CPU chips to PC and mobile device manufacturers. To be clear, I'm suggesting that Apple consider selling its Mx and Ax chips to other companies who want to build their own mobile and desktop devices which run their preferred OS. On the downside this would hurt sales of Apple's devices, but on the upside it would give Apple a cut from the sale of many/most non-Apple devices. Which way means more profit for Apple? I don't know, but Intel has done quite well for itself doing this.
    Why would anyone complain about what Intel does with their chips? That’s their business model. Intel doesn’t make operating systems. They don’t even make computers. They make processor chips. If they didn’t sell them to computer manufacturers, they’d go out of business. 

    Apple does make computers and operating systems. They design both together. That’s the whole point. That is their business model. The “shock value” of the article above is entirely about Steve Jobs making an early offer to license his operating system, because soon after that he firmly eschewed that concept and reset Apple on its course of designing computers and operating systems as a closed unit. 

    Apple started making Ax chips for iOS and now Mx chips for Macs because they wanted to further enhance their ability to design hardware and software together from stem to stern, without depending on others’ pipelines and timelines. That’s the whole point. That’s their business model. 

    They don’t need income from selling surplus chips any more than they need income from selling surplus chargers or earbuds to be packaged with others’ gear. 

    Selling Ax or Mx chips to other computer manufacturers would result in others making requests or demands for the design of those chips, which undermines the whole point of their decision to make silicon in-house. 

    They won’t do that because it’s another daft idea in a long tradition of people posting here things that Apple should do that fall under the rubric of “tell us you don’t understand Apple’s business model without saying you don’t understand Apple’s business model.”
    Completely agree. But in this case I’d add that the two [?] posters here advocating for Apple selling Silicon are ass-backwards and missing the point of this news, which is old news, really, Jobs’ exploration of this angle ca. 1997-1999 is well-known.

    On the other hand, I’m just going to put this out there…

    After the transition to Apple Silicon is complete and Intel Macs are no more, Apple could, if it wanted to, license macOS for Intel on PCs. That’s the takeaway here — if it made enough business sense for Jobs to pursue it then, even though he couldn’t get the absurdly favorable terms he wanted and Apple ultimately went a different direction and made history doing so, it might make business sense again tomorrow, now that Macs will stand apart within the industry in a way they never have before. It might be time to invade the PC space and challenge Windows on its own turf.

    I’m not sure if Apple would have much to lose, and I don’t think it would require a huge investment, which means they could always just pull the plug. I don’t think there’s any question that Apple is in a much stronger position now than they were in 1999, so maybe now they can get the terms Jobs was trying to get then. The big sticking point seems to have been that Jobs wanted to retain Apple's ability to just pull the plug. Maybe now Apple is in a strong enough position for, say, HP, to make that concession and partner with Apple to produce a dual-boot PC that runs both macOS and Windows.
    This makes no sense whatsoever. Apple is making its own silicon in order to more tightly integrate the development of the hardware and the software. Mx processors allow Apple to plan their design pipeline more years into the future so that MacOS can demand and expect exactly what the processor can deliver. MacOS is no longer dependent on Intel's development timeline, and Apple no longer has to deal with compromises in processor design that were made to meet the demands of other PC makers and WindowsOS design. This is the whole reason Apple is switching over to its own silicon. Critical to this entire concept is that the integration of hardware and OS design means both are able to limit unnecessary variables that must be anticipated in their design. Mx processors only have to meet the needs of MacOS (and iPadOS). MacOS only has to address the architecture of Mx processors. Neither has to be bloated to accommodate unanticipated outside variables.

    The idea of licensing future versions of macOS to run on intel PCs throws away that entire concept of integrated design efficiencies. This is quadruply the case because of the divergence in processor architecture between the Mx ARM processors and Intel's design. Apple's Mx chips aren't an intel clone. They weren't made just to avoid paying Intel their profit margin. It's an entirely different chip.

    This is, yet again, one more example of “tell us you don’t understand Apple’s business model without saying you don’t understand Apple’s business model.”
    No, and thanks but no thanks for your condescension at the end. I’m just having some fun with historical facts, but you don’t seem to grasp the most basic concept here — NeXTSTEP/OS X/macOS has, fundamentally, from the beginning, been capable of walking and chewing gum at the same time. It’s doing it right now, just like it did in 1993 when Andy Grove and Steve Jobs were trying to get Dell to see the light, as witnessed in this very thread by someone directly involved.

    You have the benefit of hindsight, but you are mistaking that point of view for foresight. Apple could maintain both architectures, without compromising their “integrated design efficiencies” (as you put it) for Macintosh and iDevices. I’m not saying they will, but they could. They could even take on another architecture. Indeed, it would be profoundly short-sighted not to maintain that basic capability, because nothing is forever. That’s the whole point of OS X, the foundation of everything Apple has achieved to date. It would be malpractice to abandon it. That flexibility allowed them to support ARM without a lot of fuss, back when the iPhone was in development, let alone the M1, precisely because support for RISC architectures was already part of the equation.
    If you believe the decision to stop licensing macOS for clones wasn't an intentional move to fully control the hardware/software development process, you're missing the point. I apologize if I seemed condescending, but you did "completely agree" with my prior post and then make a suggestion that runs completely counter to the thing you just completely agreed with. Jobs didn't drop MacOS licensing and move to integrated hardware/software development without foresight and only realize later, 'hey, that's turned out to be a good idea!' It is a fundamental premise upon which Apple's business model has been based since Jobs returned. When the last Intel mac hits the 'vintage' list, Apple will have little motivation to continue supporting Intel compatibility. 

    The example atop this thread was Jobs offering a laughably bad deal to Dell. If Dell took it, Apple would get free money from Dell for a little while until they decided to unilaterally end the licensing agreement. If Dell didn't take it, Jobs would be (and was) just fine with that, so he could quickly amputate the clone market and focus on integrated in-house design, which was clearly his intent even as he made the one-sided offer to Dell. Nothing is forever, you're right, and moving processor design in-house is insurance against exactly that, in the form of Intel moving in some other direction (or maybe disappearing altogether) in a way that kneecaps Apple's plans. That risk is far greater than Apple suddenly needing to return to intel processors instead of their own. Maintaining Intel compatibility deep into Apple's pipeline is probably not a high priority.
    Well, I was agreeing with your dismissal of the idea that Apple would consider marketing Apple Silicon, which doesn’t make sense on any level. And, for what it’s worth, I get what you’re saying. It’s not difficult to understand.

    I think, to begin with, you’re reading too much into the clone experience. I mean, yes, Apple learned some hard lessons from it, and the decision to cut them off from OS 8 was necessary and strategic. But it’s not the same thing as what Jobs was trying to do with NeXT and what he brought to Apple with OS X. He wasn’t talking about Mac clones with Dell and, more seriously, Compaq (ongoing talks as late as 1999), he was taking about something different, a vision that eventually came to fruition in 2006. I don’t see what is so hard to understand about that. A Macintosh clone didn’t just run System 7, it also needed ROM from Apple to do so. The dual-boot Intel Macs running OS X were something completely different. 

    It’s also a mistake to dismiss the PC overtures as some kind of genius 3-D chess tactic to position Apple for the future. Huh? It’s not like the dual-boot Dell or Compaq machines in question would have been running OS 8 or even Rhapsody. They would have been running OS X, so the earliest they would have appeared was 2000 or 2001. 

    Finally, editing to add that I’m not saying I know how it would have worked, or even that I know what I’m talking about. I imagine he it would have been something like the current transition, but without Rosetta 2. So if you were running OS X on an Intel machine, you would be limited to native Cocoa applications. If you needed to run Carbon apps (let alone older stuff), you would need a Mac. One immediate effect that would certainly have been felt in our alternate history is increased motivation for developers to transition to Cocoa sooner rather than later. 
    edited October 8 watto_cobra
  • Reply 44 of 51
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 5,837member
    I was part of the 1993 discussions. Andy Grove and Steve Jobs were good friends. I was told that Andy encouraged the NeXT/Dell discussion. See Steve demoing NeXTSTEP 3.0 on Dell DGX my team developed: https://youtu.be/_GwlvZcXig8?t=6270 

    This is the best part of that video, where Jobs rips on the Mac: https://youtu.be/_GwlvZcXig8?t=2073s
    edited October 8 watto_cobra
  • Reply 45 of 51
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 5,837member
    Not a single person here is complaining that Intel is allowing manufacturers of computers to use their chips to build computers that run different operating systems.

    But I have a feeling everyone will complain about me when I suggest here that Apple should do what Intel has always done, successfully, which is sell their CPU chips to PC and mobile device manufacturers. To be clear, I'm suggesting that Apple consider selling its Mx and Ax chips to other companies who want to build their own mobile and desktop devices which run their preferred OS. On the downside this would hurt sales of Apple's devices, but on the upside it would give Apple a cut from the sale of many/most non-Apple devices. Which way means more profit for Apple? I don't know, but Intel has done quite well for itself doing this.
    Apple doesn't make their Mx and Ax chips, TSMC makes them, and Apple pays TSMC for them. What are they going to do, resell them at a markup? That's ridiculous. People "complain about" you because your ideas are, quite frankly, nuts.
    muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 46 of 51
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 5,837member

    After the transition to Apple Silicon is complete and Intel Macs are no more, Apple could, if it wanted to, license macOS for Intel on PCs. That’s the takeaway here — if it made enough business sense for Jobs to pursue it then, even though he couldn’t get the absurdly favorable terms he wanted and Apple ultimately went a different direction and made history doing so, it might make business sense again tomorrow, now that Macs will stand apart within the industry in a way they never have before. It might be time to invade the PC space and challenge Windows on its own turf.
    Wow. This is also ridiculous. Of course they'd have much to lose — they'd have to continue maintaining macOS for Intel third party PC manufacturers with no quality control over those products. This dilutes the Apple brand and perception of the Mac experience. They also cannibalize their own Mac sales for what, a few bucks a box when they could've sold a $600-5000 or more Mac? This is like people who think Apple changed the charging ports to make money off of third party MFi cable sales. Not how they operate, at all. They want to own the whole stack. Apple Silicon is one of the largest nails in that coffin. There's zero benefit to licensing Mac for third party PCs. Zero.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 47 of 51
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 1,273member
    AppleZulu said:
    AppleZulu said:
    AppleZulu said:
    Not a single person here is complaining that Intel is allowing manufacturers of computers to use their chips to build computers that run different operating systems.

    But I have a feeling everyone will complain about me when I suggest here that Apple should do what Intel has always done, successfully, which is sell their CPU chips to PC and mobile device manufacturers. To be clear, I'm suggesting that Apple consider selling its Mx and Ax chips to other companies who want to build their own mobile and desktop devices which run their preferred OS. On the downside this would hurt sales of Apple's devices, but on the upside it would give Apple a cut from the sale of many/most non-Apple devices. Which way means more profit for Apple? I don't know, but Intel has done quite well for itself doing this.
    Why would anyone complain about what Intel does with their chips? That’s their business model. Intel doesn’t make operating systems. They don’t even make computers. They make processor chips. If they didn’t sell them to computer manufacturers, they’d go out of business. 

    Apple does make computers and operating systems. They design both together. That’s the whole point. That is their business model. The “shock value” of the article above is entirely about Steve Jobs making an early offer to license his operating system, because soon after that he firmly eschewed that concept and reset Apple on its course of designing computers and operating systems as a closed unit. 

    Apple started making Ax chips for iOS and now Mx chips for Macs because they wanted to further enhance their ability to design hardware and software together from stem to stern, without depending on others’ pipelines and timelines. That’s the whole point. That’s their business model. 

    They don’t need income from selling surplus chips any more than they need income from selling surplus chargers or earbuds to be packaged with others’ gear. 

    Selling Ax or Mx chips to other computer manufacturers would result in others making requests or demands for the design of those chips, which undermines the whole point of their decision to make silicon in-house. 

    They won’t do that because it’s another daft idea in a long tradition of people posting here things that Apple should do that fall under the rubric of “tell us you don’t understand Apple’s business model without saying you don’t understand Apple’s business model.”
    Completely agree. But in this case I’d add that the two [?] posters here advocating for Apple selling Silicon are ass-backwards and missing the point of this news, which is old news, really, Jobs’ exploration of this angle ca. 1997-1999 is well-known.

    On the other hand, I’m just going to put this out there…

    After the transition to Apple Silicon is complete and Intel Macs are no more, Apple could, if it wanted to, license macOS for Intel on PCs. That’s the takeaway here — if it made enough business sense for Jobs to pursue it then, even though he couldn’t get the absurdly favorable terms he wanted and Apple ultimately went a different direction and made history doing so, it might make business sense again tomorrow, now that Macs will stand apart within the industry in a way they never have before. It might be time to invade the PC space and challenge Windows on its own turf.

    I’m not sure if Apple would have much to lose, and I don’t think it would require a huge investment, which means they could always just pull the plug. I don’t think there’s any question that Apple is in a much stronger position now than they were in 1999, so maybe now they can get the terms Jobs was trying to get then. The big sticking point seems to have been that Jobs wanted to retain Apple's ability to just pull the plug. Maybe now Apple is in a strong enough position for, say, HP, to make that concession and partner with Apple to produce a dual-boot PC that runs both macOS and Windows.
    This makes no sense whatsoever. Apple is making its own silicon in order to more tightly integrate the development of the hardware and the software. Mx processors allow Apple to plan their design pipeline more years into the future so that MacOS can demand and expect exactly what the processor can deliver. MacOS is no longer dependent on Intel's development timeline, and Apple no longer has to deal with compromises in processor design that were made to meet the demands of other PC makers and WindowsOS design. This is the whole reason Apple is switching over to its own silicon. Critical to this entire concept is that the integration of hardware and OS design means both are able to limit unnecessary variables that must be anticipated in their design. Mx processors only have to meet the needs of MacOS (and iPadOS). MacOS only has to address the architecture of Mx processors. Neither has to be bloated to accommodate unanticipated outside variables.

    The idea of licensing future versions of macOS to run on intel PCs throws away that entire concept of integrated design efficiencies. This is quadruply the case because of the divergence in processor architecture between the Mx ARM processors and Intel's design. Apple's Mx chips aren't an intel clone. They weren't made just to avoid paying Intel their profit margin. It's an entirely different chip.

    This is, yet again, one more example of “tell us you don’t understand Apple’s business model without saying you don’t understand Apple’s business model.”
    No, and thanks but no thanks for your condescension at the end. I’m just having some fun with historical facts, but you don’t seem to grasp the most basic concept here — NeXTSTEP/OS X/macOS has, fundamentally, from the beginning, been capable of walking and chewing gum at the same time. It’s doing it right now, just like it did in 1993 when Andy Grove and Steve Jobs were trying to get Dell to see the light, as witnessed in this very thread by someone directly involved.

    You have the benefit of hindsight, but you are mistaking that point of view for foresight. Apple could maintain both architectures, without compromising their “integrated design efficiencies” (as you put it) for Macintosh and iDevices. I’m not saying they will, but they could. They could even take on another architecture. Indeed, it would be profoundly short-sighted not to maintain that basic capability, because nothing is forever. That’s the whole point of OS X, the foundation of everything Apple has achieved to date. It would be malpractice to abandon it. That flexibility allowed them to support ARM without a lot of fuss, back when the iPhone was in development, let alone the M1, precisely because support for RISC architectures was already part of the equation.
    If you believe the decision to stop licensing macOS for clones wasn't an intentional move to fully control the hardware/software development process, you're missing the point. I apologize if I seemed condescending, but you did "completely agree" with my prior post and then make a suggestion that runs completely counter to the thing you just completely agreed with. Jobs didn't drop MacOS licensing and move to integrated hardware/software development without foresight and only realize later, 'hey, that's turned out to be a good idea!' It is a fundamental premise upon which Apple's business model has been based since Jobs returned. When the last Intel mac hits the 'vintage' list, Apple will have little motivation to continue supporting Intel compatibility. 

    The example atop this thread was Jobs offering a laughably bad deal to Dell. If Dell took it, Apple would get free money from Dell for a little while until they decided to unilaterally end the licensing agreement. If Dell didn't take it, Jobs would be (and was) just fine with that, so he could quickly amputate the clone market and focus on integrated in-house design, which was clearly his intent even as he made the one-sided offer to Dell. Nothing is forever, you're right, and moving processor design in-house is insurance against exactly that, in the form of Intel moving in some other direction (or maybe disappearing altogether) in a way that kneecaps Apple's plans. That risk is far greater than Apple suddenly needing to return to intel processors instead of their own. Maintaining Intel compatibility deep into Apple's pipeline is probably not a high priority.
    Well, I was agreeing with your dismissal of the idea that Apple would consider marketing Apple Silicon, which doesn’t make sense on any level. And, for what it’s worth, I get what you’re saying. It’s not difficult to understand.

    I think, to begin with, you’re reading too much into the clone experience. I mean, yes, Apple learned some hard lessons from it, and the decision to cut them off from OS 8 was necessary and strategic. But it’s not the same thing as what Jobs was trying to do with NeXT and what he brought to Apple with OS X. He wasn’t talking about Mac clones with Dell and, more seriously, Compaq (ongoing talks as late as 1999), he was taking about something different, a vision that eventually came to fruition in 2006. I don’t see what is so hard to understand about that. A Macintosh clone didn’t just run System 7, it also needed ROM from Apple to do so. The dual-boot Intel Macs running OS X were something completely different. 

    It’s also a mistake to dismiss the PC overtures as some kind of genius 3-D chess tactic to position Apple for the future. Huh? It’s not like the dual-boot Dell or Compaq machines in question would have been running OS 8 or even Rhapsody. They would have been running OS X, so the earliest they would have appeared was 2000 or 2001. 

    Finally, editing to add that I’m not saying I know how it would have worked, or even that I know what I’m talking about. I imagine he it would have been something like the current transition, but without Rosetta 2. So if you were running OS X on an Intel machine, you would be limited to native Cocoa applications. If you needed to run Carbon apps (let alone older stuff), you would need a Mac. One immediate effect that would certainly have been felt in our alternate history is increased motivation for developers to transition to Cocoa sooner rather than later. 
    It wasn't a 3-D chess tactic. It was a pretty transparent 'this is my I-don't-really-want-to-sell-it price.' It was a Dell-gives-Apple-free-money-for-zero-committment-from-Apple deal. That's not 3-D chess. That's offering someone a deal they will refuse. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 48 of 51

    After the transition to Apple Silicon is complete and Intel Macs are no more, Apple could, if it wanted to, license macOS for Intel on PCs. That’s the takeaway here — if it made enough business sense for Jobs to pursue it then, even though he couldn’t get the absurdly favorable terms he wanted and Apple ultimately went a different direction and made history doing so, it might make business sense again tomorrow, now that Macs will stand apart within the industry in a way they never have before. It might be time to invade the PC space and challenge Windows on its own turf.
    Wow. This is also ridiculous. Of course they'd have much to lose — they'd have to continue maintaining macOS for Intel third party PC manufacturers with no quality control over those products. This dilutes the Apple brand and perception of the Mac experience. They also cannibalize their own Mac sales for what, a few bucks a box when they could've sold a $600-5000 or more Mac? This is like people who think Apple changed the charging ports to make money off of third party MFi cable sales. Not how they operate, at all. They want to own the whole stack. Apple Silicon is one of the largest nails in that coffin. There's zero benefit to licensing Mac for third party PCs. Zero.
    You folks are no fun at all! Seriously! Taking 1990s Jobs’ and Apple’s actions at face value and trying to understand what they had in mind isn’t a total waste of time. For one thing, it gives a better perspective on how we got here. It shakes up some of the myths about how this all came to be. And while it’s not likely, I don’t think it’s nuts to try to imagine what a macOS licensing initiative might look like. Apple has that capability. Jobs made sure of that. Shit happens. Governmental actions and/or regulations, for one. Legal challenges. Your “zero benefit” could turn into its opposite with a stroke of a pen.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 49 of 51
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 1,273member

    After the transition to Apple Silicon is complete and Intel Macs are no more, Apple could, if it wanted to, license macOS for Intel on PCs. That’s the takeaway here — if it made enough business sense for Jobs to pursue it then, even though he couldn’t get the absurdly favorable terms he wanted and Apple ultimately went a different direction and made history doing so, it might make business sense again tomorrow, now that Macs will stand apart within the industry in a way they never have before. It might be time to invade the PC space and challenge Windows on its own turf.
    Wow. This is also ridiculous. Of course they'd have much to lose — they'd have to continue maintaining macOS for Intel third party PC manufacturers with no quality control over those products. This dilutes the Apple brand and perception of the Mac experience. They also cannibalize their own Mac sales for what, a few bucks a box when they could've sold a $600-5000 or more Mac? This is like people who think Apple changed the charging ports to make money off of third party MFi cable sales. Not how they operate, at all. They want to own the whole stack. Apple Silicon is one of the largest nails in that coffin. There's zero benefit to licensing Mac for third party PCs. Zero.
    You folks are no fun at all! Seriously! Taking 1990s Jobs’ and Apple’s actions at face value and trying to understand what they had in mind isn’t a total waste of time. For one thing, it gives a better perspective on how we got here. It shakes up some of the myths about how this all came to be. And while it’s not likely, I don’t think it’s nuts to try to imagine what a macOS licensing initiative might look like. Apple has that capability. Jobs made sure of that. Shit happens. Governmental actions and/or regulations, for one. Legal challenges. Your “zero benefit” could turn into its opposite with a stroke of a pen.
    Steve Jobs' actions back then lead directly to where Apple is now. When he returned from exile, he saw a failing Apple Inc with management that was unimaginatively drifting into becoming a smaller, less competitive version of Microsoft. 

    Licensing the OS doesn't only cede quality control of the hardware, it cedes control of the endless combinations of bells and whistles hardware manufacturers and even consumers might choose to stick into the box. This in turn forces the OS to bloat and increases the likelihood that installed hardware and applications will conflict and crash the system, or almost worse, create odd quirks and force makeshift workarounds. That was and still is the Windows experience.

    Apple's it just works ethos and reputation is tied directly to eliminating all those variables by designing the OS and hardware together and not licensing either thing to outside entities. The list of devices and configurations of those devices that are supported by the current version of macOS is finite, and incredibly short, compared to what Windows is expected to accomplish. That's why it just works.

    There is little chance that Apple would give that up just to score low-end profits from third-party vendors making clones that would be by definition inferior to Apple's own devices designed in tandem with the OS. "Zero benefit" is pretty much correct.
    fastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 50 of 51
    thttht Posts: 4,130member
    Ah, the 1990s. It was always interesting how major PC vendors didn't ship non MS Windows machines. NeXTSTEP, OS/2, BeOS, Linux were all trying to get major PC vendors to ship their OS preloaded. Hmm, Solaris/x86 was a thing too, wasn't it? The variety was like 2009 through 2013 with smartphones. And as I recall, not one major PC vendor shipped a non-Windows OS. Turned out MS was going to withhold Windows licenses if they did. Wonder if Jobs knew that.

    Anyways, Jobs made the right decision to cancel the Mac OS licensing program as I don't think any business can be successful as solely an operating system vendor. Any company that is successful with an OS dominates in another market that can fund, buttress and produce network effects for the sale of the operating system. MS Office effectively sold MS Windows in those days. With ActiveDirectory whatever it was called, it further increased MS's network effect. ActiveX put all competing OS into the ground. ActiveX also put consumers into the ground, but never mind that I guess. Same thing with Android. Android would not be the success it is today if Google's dominance in search wasn't there. If it wasn't there, they couldn't offer Android for "free". And if Android wasn't free, there might be nice sized niches for Windows Mobile, Symbian, webOS today.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 51 of 51
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 5,837member

    After the transition to Apple Silicon is complete and Intel Macs are no more, Apple could, if it wanted to, license macOS for Intel on PCs. That’s the takeaway here — if it made enough business sense for Jobs to pursue it then, even though he couldn’t get the absurdly favorable terms he wanted and Apple ultimately went a different direction and made history doing so, it might make business sense again tomorrow, now that Macs will stand apart within the industry in a way they never have before. It might be time to invade the PC space and challenge Windows on its own turf.
    Wow. This is also ridiculous. Of course they'd have much to lose — they'd have to continue maintaining macOS for Intel third party PC manufacturers with no quality control over those products. This dilutes the Apple brand and perception of the Mac experience. They also cannibalize their own Mac sales for what, a few bucks a box when they could've sold a $600-5000 or more Mac? This is like people who think Apple changed the charging ports to make money off of third party MFi cable sales. Not how they operate, at all. They want to own the whole stack. Apple Silicon is one of the largest nails in that coffin. There's zero benefit to licensing Mac for third party PCs. Zero.
    You folks are no fun at all! Seriously! Taking 1990s Jobs’ and Apple’s actions at face value and trying to understand what they had in mind isn’t a total waste of time. For one thing, it gives a better perspective on how we got here. It shakes up some of the myths about how this all came to be. And while it’s not likely, I don’t think it’s nuts to try to imagine what a macOS licensing initiative might look like. Apple has that capability. Jobs made sure of that. Shit happens. Governmental actions and/or regulations, for one. Legal challenges. Your “zero benefit” could turn into its opposite with a stroke of a pen.
    You're just tacking on more far-fetched criteria for this non-existent scenario while ignoring every one of my points as to why it's a dumb idea and Apple would never, ever do it.
    watto_cobra
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