Dell: We would be happy to offer (the Mac OS) to our customers

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by Laserbeak, Jun 17, 2005.

  1. Laserbeak

    Laserbeak Remember kids! Be like Billy! BEHAVE YOURSELVES!

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    Source: http://www.fortune.com/fortune/fastforward/0,15704,1072719,00.html

    Dell Says He’d Sell Apple’s Mac OS

    Michael Dell is interested in licensing Apple's Mac OS.

    I've mentioned several times in the past few months that executives from several PC companies have told me of their interest in Apple's Mac OS X operating system. Sadly my sources would not let me attribute these assertions; PC executives are pretty leery of offending Microsoft, which holds enormous power over their businesses. So, many readers have challenged me on this point.

    But Dell (the company) has for several years fearlessly—and lucratively—sold servers loaded with Linux, the operating system Microsoft reviles and dreads. And as the industry's top dog it wields more bargaining power with Microsoft than other PC-makers. So I emailed Michael Dell, now the company's chairman, and asked if he'd be interested in the Mac OS, assuming that Apple CEO Steve Jobs ever decides to license it to PC companies. (For now, Jobs says he won't.)

    "If Apple decides to open the Mac OS to others, we would be happy to offer it to our customers," Dell wrote in an email. It's the first time any PC industry executive has openly shown enthusiasm for selling machines with Apple's software. Though that's all Dell would say for the record, I suspect his interest is not unknown to Jobs. So, as I said in this column last week (and in an article in the new issue of FORTUNE), the ball is in Jobs' court.

    Dell's wasn't the only email I got last week. Scores of letters came in reacting to my article suggesting that Apple's move to Intel could usher in a new era of success.

    A number of readers said it made little sense for Apple to license its OS to the PC universe, because one of Apple's advantages is that it has complete control of the specs for both the hardware and software in Macintoshes. "Having to support legacy hardware…would be the worst thing for a company that is forward-looking and not backwards-thinking," wrote one reader. "When a Mac OS can cope with all the random junk [that gets plugged into a PC] then you can have an 'Apples to apples' comparison," wrote another.

    However, a reader who ID'd himself merely as "Mark" suggested a solution—Apple should license the next version of its operating system, known as Leopard, but only to PC vendors who agree to put it on systems with certain specifications. He also speculates that Apple would, in such a scenario, insist on a minimum system price. PC vendors, he says, would be pleased to oblige, since making money in that business is so tough. Perhaps Michael Dell is thinking along similar lines. (He wouldn't say.)

    Many readers were surprised that Apple announced its partnership with Intel and not AMD, which despite being much smaller is ahead of Intel in x86 performance, energy efficiency, and other factors Jobs has said are important.

    So, I called up Henri Richard, AMD's chief sales and marketing officer. He said Apple hadn't talked to AMD, and that in some ways that made sense. It was probably, he speculated, all about money. Porting the Mac OS to Intel and bringing along all the applications will be "incredibly" expensive, he said, "and the amount [of money] Apple can get from Intel is vastly greater than what it could get from us." With a marketer's optimism, Richard continued: "Steve [Jobs] is a smart guy. He'll get as much money as he can from Intel, and then go to the best architecture."

    Richard also had a spin on the Dell angle of the Apple/Intel tie-up. (AMD has repeatedly failed to win Dell's business, so the company spends a lot of time thinking about the PC giant.) "Intel always wants to be the top dog," he said. "If there was any motivation in this deal from the Intel perspective it was just to keep Dell on its toes." He continued: "It's a cat and mouse game between these guys. This is a subtle way for Intel to remind Dell that there are alternatives that could be pushed."

    A few other reader observations on Apple's move:

    "Jobs' efforts in multimedia content…with distributors such as the telephone companies… will be strengthened with the move to Intel. It ties in well with the effort to make MPEG 4 HD the standard…" —Robert B.

    "Is Apple ready to face software piracy? If it begins to compete with Windows [on Intel chips], it will surely arrive in developing countries where software piracy is high." —Felix, writing from Indonesia. Apple already sells in many developing countries, but not generally in very large quantities.

    Another reader wrote: "[IBM's] PowerPC chips used to be the chip of choice for embedded applications, precisely due to power/performance/heat advantages that they have over Intel, which outweighed the popularity penalty for software. (In my business, the Bradley and Abrams military vehicles both use PowerPC boards for precisely that reason.) With new Intel chips that beat PowerPC in performance per watt, IBM is on the edge of losing not only Apple, but the embedded market, where the ability to cool the processor is one of the major design constraints for the system as a whole. My current program (which I will not name, but is in an industry similar to the…Army combat vehicles) is now using PowerPC, but I expect this to change, and the Apple rationale is probably the last nail in the PowerPC coffin on my program."

    Finally, perhaps the most telling letter was written by Bob I., who simply said, "With the switch to Intel, I will be buying a Mac for myself."
     
  2. maczter

    maczter Life is trying things to see if they work.

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    That would just be beautiful to see Dell selling boxes running OS X and making a ton of cash off them given that Michael Dell himself said just a few years ago that if he were in charge at Apple he'd close the company down and give all the shareholders their money back. I guess he figured that if Steve could change his mind about Intel, that it was OK for him to change his mind about Apple.
     
  3. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    Dell already produces low-quality PCs... I could never imagine Apple allowing Dell to market OSX... It'd be horrible for Apple's name.
     
  4. inamorata

    inamorata New Member

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    thats what i was thinking

    i dont think apple would let dell drag their name through the mud

    i bet dell is just saying this KNOWING apple will turn them down, making apple look cocky (which they are, and rightfully so)
     
  5. TurkeyChicken

    TurkeyChicken New Member

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    I have mixed feelings about it..... I'd never in a million years buy a Dell Mac... but it probably would help get more people using Macs... so that might not be a bad thing either.

    oh well, it probably wont ever happen anyway
     
  6. Jericho

    Jericho Active Member

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    the last time Apple let other companies sell clone macs they almost went bankrupt. Never gonna happen.
     
  7. urban ape

    urban ape take that take that take that

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  8. EvilSS

    EvilSS New Member

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    While true, it would be a way for Apple to make their way into more corporate desktop environments (where Dell dominates). I don't think it would be like the MacClones. Apple would be in the position to dictate hardware, pricing, and who could buy (i.e. only available to corporate contract customers). Since most of these customers would not normally buy Apple hardware, it would be cake for Apple. Of course, Apple would push off support for them to Dell, so they don't take a hit on it.

    More Mac business desktops = more business apps.

    It would only be bad if they just let Dell slap OSX on their boxes and sell it to anyone for whatever price they wanted. THAT would be bad.

    It's not going to happen, of course, but I can wish can't I!?
     
  9. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    That is why it'd never happen. Dell support is notoriously bad. This isn't an iPod... This is a computer. And Dell can't support that.
     
  10. EvilSS

    EvilSS New Member

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    Doesn't matter to corporate accounts though. They just want break/fix hardware support 99% of the time. Almost all handle OS support inhouse.
     
  11. Laserbeak

    Laserbeak Remember kids! Be like Billy! BEHAVE YOURSELVES!

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    Very few organizations that I'm aware of have off-site support staff, let alone off-shore.

    The only times my organization has ever had to deal directly with the hardware manufacturer is to either order parts/new units, or to request an RMA for a broken part/unit.
     
  12. Jkuao

    Jkuao New Member

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    My company's IT dept has been largely outsourced to India. Imagine my joy in spending 45 minutes trying to explain to them my network cables weren't the problem when they routed one of my ports to an unknowable VPN since my VoIP phone that I called them on still worked fine. After having her tell me to reboot my computer half a dozen times, she finally let me get in touch w/ the network admin who re-routed me in all of 15 seconds.

    Talking to Dell tech support is a joy after something like that. At least they try to hide their accents. They've also been pretty quick to warranty anything that I've had break on the dozen or so machines I've bought for myself or my family. My oldest personal Dell is still running strong at 7 years...minus its IBM deathstar drive of course.

    In terms of reliability...my experience w/ Apple reliability hasn't exactly been stellar. Between randomly dying ipods and the weekend fun of reinstalling OSX on a week old iMac, I can't say I'm a huge fan. Dell's components may be very generic these days but at least they still avoid a lot of non-standard parts that the other mass retailers love so much. A Mac running off standardized parts might actually clear an IT dept's overzealous need for a single platform and highly accessible parts.

    I think if Apple were smart in how they license their OS...they could maintain their price superiority over generic boxes. Just as Dell markets virtually the same hardware through several channels at different prices, I think if Appler were hold their line on packaging, minimum system requirements, and support they could maintain their position while hitting a much larger audience.

    Think Jobs is more than a bit leery of any Mac clones since the UMax and Radius systems almost made Macs a commodity and bankrupted them during the '90's. Spending all that money on Mac stores and the whole Mac identity is kind of pointless if you can just throw one in with your weekly Dell order.
     
  13. IcyHot4Life

    IcyHot4Life Str8 Ballin'

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    hit the nail on the head. In the meantime, OS X on x86 is the biggest bargaining chip in the personal computer industry right now -- a tremendous card for Apple to hold. :coold:
     
  14. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    actually, this will be the biggest flop in the computer industry, in my opinion. They've announced their moving to the x86 which does nothing but admit defeat that the PC hardware is better. Big deal. If Apple still somehow restricts it's OS (the only good thing about apple) to it's own PCs then it doesn't matter what chip they use... You're still forced into apples over-priced hardware. No thanks. It doesn't matter which archetecture they BASE their design on... Because if they're using openfirmware or some other mac-like implementations, it's NOT a PC... Just happens to have "Intel Inside". So it's still a PC vs. a Mac.
     
  15. urban ape

    urban ape take that take that take that

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    the hardware is not really over-priced anymore though. for someone who can only afford an ibook or a mac mini, they arent going to be power users anyway. they will just be internet/email/digital media stations for the common user.

    also, even if apple keeps its OS to itself and doesn't let anyone else use it, i wouldn't care IF the hardware was more expensive. point blank, you're getting a much higher quality operating system. so to me and the rest of the people who use OS X, its worth every penny. :)
     
  16. IcyHot4Life

    IcyHot4Life Str8 Ballin'

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    :mb: blah blah blah admit defeat blah blah blah x86 is superior

    you sound like a broken record... and it appears you have been banned :mamoru: good riddance

    ONE MORE TIME, for clarity's sake: Apple moved to Intel processors because the IBM/PPC roadmap did not provide for the direction Jobs wanted to take the company. Mobile offerings and faster, cooler processors were not delivered on time because IBM underfunded and underdeveloped the 970 project. That does not make the platform one of inferior architecture or capability. End of story.

    as for being a tremendous flop, I think I would trust the vision and business expertise of the man that brought Apple back from the brink of extinction a little more than the opinion of some internet troll, eh?
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2005
  17. Boosted5speed

    Boosted5speed New Member

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    I would have to say, as long as you buy certain dell hardware, its quite stable and reliable :big grin: ive got a PE400SC server I picked up about a year and a half ago and it still chugs along without a single problem.
     

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