OS X running on PC?

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by DevinC, Oct 10, 2006.

  1. DevinC macrumors newbie

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    #1
    Hi, I'm a long time PC user and I'm currently playing with OS X. I've read a paragraph in a book called "Switching to the Mac: Tiger Edition" on page 7 and the text said:

    "Apple will do everything in its legal and technological power to make sure that people can't run Mac OS X on a PC from Dell, HP, or any other manufacturer besides Apple."

    This has got me thinking why isn't Apple seeing the market potential of running OS X on PC-based machine? Or what is it that make Apple unwilling to ditch their decades old model as a hardware/software company and instead adopt the same model as Microsoft's (i.e being a software-only company)? Of course, it may mean that Apple will need to start providing support to develop drivers for 3rd party devices before it is workable in OS X.

    I firmly believe that Apple has the potential to significantly increase their share of the desktop market once people has learnt that OS X is finally available as an alternative to Windows on a PC-based machine. That is, OS X is no longer tied down to running only on Apple's hardware.

    Devin
     
  2. vniow macrumors G4

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    #2
    I'm sure you believe that. As do the thousands of other people who have posed this question before. However, Apple disagrees and that's the way its going to be unless they change their mind.
     
  3. DevinC thread starter macrumors newbie

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  4. Spock macrumors 68000

    Spock

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    #4
    Apple is a hardware and software company not just a software company.
     
  5. GilGrissom macrumors 65816

    GilGrissom

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    #5
    Vertical Integration. Apple control hardware and software, just like they do with the iPod. Its proven to work and give a scope of support and control unparalleled by any other manufacturer. It is inherintly part of Apple, as a company, as a philisophy and as a business culture. They will not change so drastically at the risk of ruinning all their hard work and polluting and diluting the Mac OS X brand and image.

    Yes you can argue free (and I mean freedom, not money) software is the way to go and Apple are locking you into hardware, but that's the way it is at the minute, it is part of what makes OS X so great, the whole experience as one together. Only having one part would not give a complete experience as to what an Apple product is.
     
  6. prostuff1 macrumors 65816

    prostuff1

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    #6
    like everyone else says Apple gets most of its profits form selling hardware combined with its software. I would guess they use the hardware sales to fund the development of software.

    And as far as i am concerned apple is starting to pull away. Now that apple computers can run OS X and Windows i think that people may start to switch over. There is that security blanket there now to pretty much get rid of OS X and use windows as the main OS. My anyone would want to do that i don't know but the fact that it can be done makes people feel better.
     
  7. zwida macrumors 6502a

    zwida

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    #7
    Actually, Apple probably have data to support this supposition. What they don't have, however, is any clear business purpose for pursuing this avenue.
    THAT'S the way it's going to be unless they develop a different business model.
     
  8. Blackheart macrumors 6502a

    Blackheart

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    #8
    What would be the purpose in this? Having yet another OS that's horribly written and works effectively with .3% of hardware that's supposed to run it.

    One of the reasons OS X is so great, is because Apple has control over the hardware and can write specifically for it. If they opened themselves to all other manufacturers, OS X would be in the same place as Windows -- the whole plan would be self-defeating.

    So in the end... if you want a more solid experience, you have to put up with buying hardware from a specific company.
     
  9. jhu macrumors 6502a

    jhu

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    #9
    or they could end up in linux-land where even a standard debian install recognized my esoteric hardware.
     
  10. jhu macrumors 6502a

    jhu

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    #10
    it works for apple now. it hasn't worked as well for sgi or possibly sun. there was a time when it really wasn't working so well for apple either.
     
  11. GilGrissom macrumors 65816

    GilGrissom

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    #11
    True, but Sun aren't exactly doing badly now, they were but are doing great now. It's a risky model, but one that is slowly paying off for the time being. I think the iPod integration will be broken before the OS X integration will be, and I don't see the iPod having something like that happen to it soon and likely without a huge fight!
     
  12. DevinC thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #12
    That's because Linux is open source and therefore the community is able to get involve with its development. Community as a whole tend to drive the development faster than a single company doing it on its own. Thus helping Linux to be capable of supporting obscure hardware.
     
  13. DevinC thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #13
    OS X is already a rock-solid operating system with a very mature UNIX underneath its skin. I think this is a very smart move by Apple to rebuild their operating system on top of a proven system and yet all complexities underneath are largely transparent to the end user. I don't think Apple as being incapable of providing support to third-party devices.

    On the other hand, I do agree that having control over the hardware side of things do help simplify the support issue, enhance the end-users' experience, provide better stability, and will work as it is designed to do. However the bottleneck with this approach is that the number of OS X sold will depend on the number of machine sold. Unlike software, hardware has a physical limitation to it and is thus preventing a larger acceptance (=sales) of the OS X on the market.

    I think Apple will do better if they took a hybrid approach, that is, to let the end user decide for themselves on what hardware to buy. Of course, OS X will run best on Apple's hardware and potential buyers just need to be aware of this fact.

    In addition to having mass acceptance of OS X, we will see more software available for it.
     
  14. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

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    #14
    But can Apple survive the revenue loss if they switched to your model?

    After all.. who is going to buy a $2000 Mac when they can get OS X on a $400 piece of **** Gateway or Dell?

    Can they charge a $1600 licensing fee? I don't think so. ;)
     
  15. DevinC thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #15
    Apple generate a lot more money off from its hardware sale than its software sale because they typically charge at least 5x more than the cost of OS X itself. In addition, OS X is tied to running only on Apple's hardware so therefore is likely the reason for the huge profit margin that Apple is making on its hardware sale.

    I'm not sure what you are getting at? Did you mean people buy Apple to run their Windows operating system instead of using OS X? I'd be very surprise at the number as I was thinking the opposite. I believe the reason Apple is allowing us to run Windows on Apple's machine is because, people will see better reason to buy their hardware (ie. for dual use) rather than those supplying by HP, Dell, etc. that are selling their PC system with only Windows on it.

    Ah.. perhap that may be the reason that Apple is not allowing PC manufacturers to run OS X on their hardware as doing so will give them an upper hand to directly compete with Apple. In short, Apple is trying to penetrate the PC market by wooing users to buy Apple's hardware that are capable of running both Windows and OS X. Windows is not tied down to any particular machine so Apple took its popularity to their advantage by hosting it on their own hardware. That's very interesting and is certainly a clever move.
     
  16. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

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    #16
    Ahh.. I don't think so. Apple's profits ARE from hardware, but they have little to nothing to do with OS X. It's all from iPod sales. I don't know where you get the idea that there's a "huge profit margin" on computer sales.
     
  17. jhu macrumors 6502a

    jhu

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    #17
    darwin is also open source.
     
  18. DevinC thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #18
    Ah okay. I wasn't taking iPod into consideration. By hardware, I was talking more specifically about Apple's computer line (ie. MacBook, iMac, Mac Mini, etc). The "profit margin" was based on the ratio made from sale of OS X vs. the computer hardware itself.

    You're probably right that the hybrid approach may be too costly to maintain so therefore this may not be an option.

    I guess I'm just trying to understand Apple's philosophy better and WHY they are taking the approach that they are doing now instead of allowing OS X to run on any PC-based hardware. Apple is different from any other company and their business model is what has aroused my interest.
     
  19. DevinC thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #19
  20. aquajet macrumors 68020

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    #20
    This is a leap of faith. There is absolutely no guarantee that people will adopt OS X in droves should Apple open it to hardware besides their own.
     
  21. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

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    #21
    :confused:

    That article is terrible and there's ZERO feasible explanation there. There's only his 'word' that 2PC manufacturers would offer OS X on their PCs. Just how would that help Apple? So what if there's Windows angst? Apple's already aware of that, clearly. Assuming they did license OS X to a PC vendor, they could kiss their switcher (hardware) sales goodbye. And $129 for OS X (less since it'd be licensed) doesn't really make up for the $2000+ they get now. And there's no guarantees that OS X would sell well enough on a Dell to make up for their tremendous losses in revenue.
     
  22. DevinC thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #22
    Yeah I understand the issue. Apple has two choice:
    1) sell OS X on Apple-only hardware. The bottleneck on the sale of OS X is largely dependent on the number of hardware sold.

    2) eject the requirement for OS X to run only on Apple's hardware and make it work with PC based hardware. Bottleneck on the sales of OS X is removed but at a cost to Apple's hardware profit. OS X will eventually gain widespread acceptance as a true alternative to Windows and will attract more developers to develop software for it.

    If Apple's is making a large profit from the iPod sales, perhap they can manage fine without profits made from the Apple's computer line?
     
  23. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

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    #23
    No, no.. see that's an extrapolation that you cannot make. That MIGHT happen. It SHOULD happen. But it may NOT happen. And Apple is a publicly traded company and they owe their shareholders answers and profits. This is quite possibly far too large a risk to take.

    A lot of people wonder about that. Do they have enough cash to survive a transition like that? Do they want to? Will their shareholders allow it?
     
  24. drumpat01 macrumors 6502

    drumpat01

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    #24
    Have you ever thought that maybe Apple isn't interested in being a Monopoly in the OS market? There are big advantages of being the small underdog including innovation, morale, and confidence. All these things work to bring us a better product. Steve Jobs isn't interested in kicking M$ ass anymore as far as market share numbers are concerned. He wants to bring to the market the best product he can and still be successful. If Apple releases OSX for PC there is no doubt that the quality will diminish because of the loss of control over what hardware runs on their software. Therefore, the image of Apple will be tarnished just like Microsoft's is now and lets face it, Apple's key asset IS their image. Steve Jobs isn't stupid enough to risk that.

    Lets say that your right and some how opening up OSX to PC makers somehow causes them to get more money. So what? They lose their dignity, their self worth, their honor as innovators and freedom fighters many Mac faithful see them as. Maybe its all about the money to most people, but not me and I have a strong feeling its not ALL about the money for Steve Jobs and the rest of Apple.

    Lets also remember that Apple tried releasing their OS to other computer makers and it failed badly.
     
  25. aquajet macrumors 68020

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    #25
    Again...how do you arrive at the conclusion that offering OS X on Dell hardware (or any other manufacturer) will suddenly result in a mass migration to OS X? That doesn't make any sense. People don't use Mac OS X because 95% of the world uses Windows. It's the status quo and offering OS X on a Dell isn't going to change this. Switching from Windows on a PC to OS X on a PC is just as scary a propostion as switching from Windows on a PC to OS X on an Apple.
     

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