tenthousandthings

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tenthousandthings
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  • Steve Jobs wanted Dell to license Mac OS

    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. 
    watto_cobra
  • Steve Jobs wanted Dell to license Mac OS

    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.
    watto_cobra
  • Steve Jobs wanted Dell to license Mac OS

    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.

    watto_cobra
  • Steve Jobs wanted Dell to license Mac OS

    ... The timing of the story doesn’t mesh with the announcement of Apple killing the clone market and the subsequent explanation by Jobs of why. 
    To the contrary, killing the clone program makes perfect sense in the context of this story. Dell (or Compaq, where discussions were apparently being held as late as 1999) would not be making Macintosh clones. This is about putting OS X onto x86 machines. That’s not the same thing. 
    watto_cobra
  • Steve Jobs wanted Dell to license Mac OS

    It’s not surprising at all that there would be talks in 1997 about licensing Rhapsody on x86 hardware (and others, like Unix-friendly RISC architectures) — that was the whole point of NeXTSTEP.  It wasn’t until 1998 that the decision was made to keep it all in house, and this story helps illuminate why.

    It is interesting to try to imagine what things would be like today if Apple had gone down that road and licensed Rhapsody for x86 and Unix workstations at that time. But what actually happened is even more interesting, as the rest of the industry stood still and just let Apple make adjustments based on the architectural flexibility built into Rhapsody/OS X from inception. The seeds of the Intel and Apple Silicon transitions were already in place in 1997.
    thtwatto_cobra