WTF ... IS WTF!?
We are a collective of people who believe in freedom of speech, the rights of individuals, and free pancakes! We share our lives, struggles, frustrations, successes, joys, and prescribe to our own special brand of humor and insanity. If you are looking for a great place to hang out, make new friends, find new nemeses, and just be yourself, WTF.com is your new home.

Dell would consider a Mac OS

Jung

???
Premium
13,981
1,399
487
#1
http://www.fortune.com/fortune/fastforward/0,15704,1072719,00.html
Michael 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."
I doubt Apple would do this, but it's still a cool idea.
 

swizeguy

How dare you!?
912
0
0
#2
ok thats not right.... apple and dell are not supposed to be together. wtf?!
 

Jung

???
Premium
13,981
1,399
487
#3
swizeguy said:
ok thats not right.... apple and dell are not supposed to be together. wtf?!
Why is it "not right?" You do know that Apple is moving to Intel processors, and that Dell sells Intel based computers, right? It makes a lot of sense, although I seriously doubt Apple would open their firmware for it.
 

Jung

???
Premium
13,981
1,399
487
#5
breakology said:
Apple will never switch to Intel processors either. :p
Intel's chips are actually faster and available in larger quantities, that makes a lot of sense. If they allowed Dell or other OEMs to sell their OS they would only be hurting themselves. Aside from the most hardcore Mac fanboys, everyone would just buy a Dell for 1/3 the cost. Apple would lose a ton of money.
 

Descent

Hella Constipated
7,686
109
157
#6
junglizm said:
Intel's chips are actually faster and available in larger quantities, that makes a lot of sense. If they allowed Dell or other OEMs to sell their OS they would only be hurting themselves. Aside from the most hardcore Mac fanboys, everyone would just buy a Dell for 1/3 the cost. Apple would lose a ton of money.
Word. Apple's machines would be more reliable but the computing populace would go for the less expensive alternative.

As of late I haven't seen great things about any Dell consumer machines. My father's Inspiron 300m is just built like shit - it has a huge ridiculous "DELL" circle logo that taks up a fair portion of the rear LCD bezel. What sucks about this is that if the logo is exposed to shock it damages the TFT panel, so now he has a smiley-face like bright patch on his screen. That happened only shortly after he got it, too.

He's upgrading again this year and I'm forcing him to go IBM - their shit is durable to high hell, light, and more ergonomic than Dell crap. My Thinkpad 600E is from 1998 and is in perfect condition. It's taken three nasty falls - among the worst I've seen. And there's not even a scratch - the hard drive didn't even crash!

Even worse is that my friend Carl's Dimension 2400 has a Celeron D processor but no AGP slot - so in other words it's really a fucking joke. Since the case has non-standard front panel pinouts that not even the FBI could discover, we're going to buy a newer higher quality case, and a new mobo and video card. Thank God he didn't pay a cent for it. We could always get a 4400 series motherboard and slap it in, but future-proofing it using my method costs the same amount. I just have to install more stuff.

Their corporate boxes are great - I used them for years and I've only seen one break down, and it was a power supply related issue. I also personally owned one for DOS games and it was a joy to use. But it's 300MHz CPU ran games like Descent too fast so I chucked it in January. It was an Optiplex GXa.