Former Sony President Recounts Steve Jobs' Desire to Launch an OS X-Compatible VAIO

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 5, 2014.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Steve Jobs had a desire to launch an OS X-compatible Sony VAIO, according to a new blog post from longtime Japanese freelance writer Nobuyuki Hayashi (via The Verge). The account comes from a 2011 interview with former Sony president Kunitake Ando, who stated Jobs and another Apple executive presented him with a VAIO running OS X during a winter golf tournament in Hawaii.

    Upon his return to Apple in 1997, Steve Jobs famously ended Apple's Mac OS licensing program for third-parties. However, Ando notes that Jobs was ready to "make an exception" for Sony's line of VAIO notebooks. Ando states that the partnership between the two companies never happened due to "bad timing" for Sony, as the company had finished optimizing both the VAIO's hardware and software specifically for Microsoft's Windows platform.

    In addition to having a strong interest in the company's notebooks, Ando also claims that Jobs asked many questions about Sony's line of "SonyStyle" retail stores, which he believes led to inspiration for Apple's own retail stores. Jobs also reportedly inspired the GPS feature found in many of Sony's CyberShot cameras, as Ando recounts the former Apple CEO professing his desire for the feature upon using the product.

    Article Link: Former Sony President Recounts Steve Jobs' Desire to Launch an OS X-Compatible VAIO
  2. musika macrumors 65816


    Sep 2, 2010
    New York
    That was unexpected. It would've been really funny if he had wanted it on a Samsung laptop.
  3. szw-mapple fan macrumors 65816

    szw-mapple fan

    Jul 28, 2012
    Vaio is actually pretty good as a laptop, for a Windows machine.
  4. Sky Blue Guest

    Sky Blue

    Jan 8, 2005
  5. hrn macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2014
    This is the history of Project Marklar... and how he ended up taking a flight to meet the Sony President. :)

    Ok... this is the original link

  6. TonikGR macrumors newbie


    Oct 29, 2013
    This is interesting!

    In other news, Sony is said to be looking to sell PC operations. Wonder if there's anything of value that Apple could swoop up?

    Or perhaps Lenovo will reconsider its previous position and buy Sony's PC line.

    WSJ article
  7. Tankmaze macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2012
    I would buy that, vaio hardware design is also as beautiful as a mac.
    If I would switch to windows, vaio is definitely my choice.

    But this was probably when steve got back to apple around 1997ish maybe.
    Edit : after reading the article this event happened in 2001.
  8. MaulRx Suspended

    Aug 27, 2012
    Little hard to believe but if had to be anyone it would have been a Sony product.
  9. 2457282 Suspended

    Dec 6, 2012
    My last Windows machine was a viao and that was my fist prebuilt machine as I had built my own up on til then. I really like the viao and I think Sony did a great job. But that was now 8 years ago. I don't know where they are at product wise, but as a company they are in a bit of a decline. They were a great company and I hope they can rebound.

    In terms of this story, I cannot but wonder what life would be like if that partnership would have taken off.
  10. frikova macrumors newbie

    Aug 5, 2011
    I'm glad it didn't happen, as probably Apple would not have been what it is today.

    But, anyway:

  11. rosalindavenue macrumors 6502a


    Dec 13, 2003
    Virginia, USA
    I'm pretty sure I've read that Steve used a Sony laptop running NEXTSTEP when he first came back to Apple in 97. Couldn't find a link, though.
  12. alohamade macrumors regular


    Sep 13, 2012
    I feel pretty similar, actually. My first laptop when I was eleven years old was a VAIO (2001-2002 ish), and that thing lasted like a tank and was quite the piece of work. Of course, I didn't know what a Mac was like then. :)

    These "What If?" stories about possibilities and proposals from before really intrigue me, for some reason. Makes you think about what's potentially being discussed right now...
  13. macnerd93 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 28, 2009
    United Kingdom
    its perfectly plausible. I remember reading in one of my many Jobs/Apple books, I think it might have been the iWoz biography, that when Steve returned to Apple he actually used a Toshiba laptop over an Apple one until his personal signature was put back on the Apple brand.
  14. bushido Suspended


    Mar 26, 2008
    had a Vaio before my last two macbook gens and it was the worst thing to upgrade. no driver support for future windows releases whatsoever. to this day i havent got the graphics and fn keys working again for windows 7. all the driver mess on MS actually was the reason i went back to Mac on top of windows messy registry
  15. nobihaya macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2006
    Thanks for reminding me!

    Thank you hrn for reminding me of this story (and thanks, MacRumors for picking up this story with link to my blog).

    I am the original author of this story; please come read my blog, if you had time:

    One of my friend actually told me about Marklar project; I also have many ex-Apple friends who worked for the original Mac OS X (and for project Millenium, if you know what it is).
    I followed the link to Quora and even commented there, but completely forgot about it:

    Now I can add that bit to my own blog.

    Thanks again!


  16. allpar macrumors 6502

    May 20, 2002
    I agree with Steve Jobs, though. Vaio was at the time the very best designed hardware you could get for anywhere near the money, in my opinion. I ran tech for a small company and we had the IBMs, which were good but expensive (and any repair, no matter how small, would cost twice as much as the machine). We had a variety of other brands, Dell, Hitachi, Toshiba, etc. None could stand any abuse at all, and all would fail very rapidly in use.

    The Vaio, with their metal construction, extremely light weight, and clever design, were the smallest, toughest, most durable laptops we could get, and they were cheaper than many of the competitors. Before long we had all Vaios and our problems were much less frequent than they had been. The down side was some of the guys didn't like the "Barbie look" of the pink ones.

    I left before they had to be upgraded to new systems, though. I think we were on 98SE, ME, and XP, depending on the batch. (I specified 98SE when I could get away with it, until XP came.)

    In 2001, the only non-Apple computer I would want running MacOS would be Vaio.
  17. CEmajr macrumors 601

    Dec 18, 2012
    Charlotte, NC
    I agree. If forced to go Windows the Vaio is about the only brand I would consider.
  18. ArtOfWarfare macrumors 604


    Nov 26, 2007
    As I recall, wasn't the design of the NeXT computer and it's assembly line inspired by Jobs visiting Sony? Didn't he base the decision to have a uniform clothing policy at Apple on Sony, too (other managers convinced him it was a bad idea, so it became his personal policy instead, that he would always wear his trademark turtleneck, jeans, and sneakers.)

    I'm recalling all of this from the Steve Jobs biography, but I only read it once, right when it came out over two years ago.
  19. Gudi macrumors 68020


    May 3, 2013
    Berlin, Berlin
    My first Vaio melted under its own heat. The plastic casing break out in blisters. All Sony products I had developed problems over time. Can't recommend them.
  20. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    Yet when people have mentioned osx on a PC, they get an earful from forum members here saying apple would never do that
  21. Iconoclysm macrumors 68000


    May 13, 2010
    Washington, DC
    At this point, they're probably right.
  22. crouchingtiger macrumors newbie

    Feb 15, 2004
    I distinctly remember Jobs referencing Sony's laptops directly when he introduced the PowerBook G4 Titanium. Macrumors would be well served to dig up that keynote speech and confirm. Timing of this story seems a little bit off as presumably this must have occurred before the Titanium launch...
  23. brinary001 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 4, 2012
    Columbia, MO, USA
    This would've been really coo to see imo. The Vaio line is beautiful, and though I'm with a MacBook Pro right now, I wouldn't call you crazy if you were from the future and said I'll own a Vaio at some point.

Share This Page