Before reading on, understand that this is coming from the perspective of a pro user. Someone who relies on a Mac to get work done. Also, someone who has been using Macs since the mid 90's. OK, read on. When Jobs returned to Apple in 1997, one of the first things he did was kill the Apple clones, by not renewing any of the licenses to third parties, such as Power Computing. At the time it made sense, since Apple made its revenue from the sales of computers. Since then, a few things have changed dramatically: Apple now makes most of its revenue from iOS devices and apps Apple hardware is no longer cutting edge compared to the rest of the market, performance wise Apple no longer pursues the pro users like it used to - in fact, it's almost like Apple is flipping them the bird (exhibit A: the 2013 Mac Pro, for which they are asking the same price as 3 years ago) There is no question that Apple hardware is generally very well made and that Mac OS is a nice environment to work in, certainly compared to previous versions of Windows. These things are not in question. The problem is that computers, by which I mean desktop and laptop computers, are not Apple's focus any longer and things don't appear to be improving: Steve used to take great pride in the fact that creative pros used Macs as their workhorse machines. Sure, pros like pretty things but if that was the only criterion, the G4 Cube would have been a huge hit with the pro crowd. The laptops are for the most part really nice but like almost all Macs, they are overdue for updates. This is a chronic problem and points to Apple's apparent lack of interest in this part of its business. Since developing hardware that users are actually asking for, certainly on the pro side, and keeping the hardware it does ship current seems to be a problem for Apple, why not let other companies license the OS? Sure, you'd want to have quality control measures in place - maybe an Apple certification program for hardware makers that each new model has to go through. Could it cannibalize Mac sales from Apple? Absolutely. Would a lot of pro shops that have left for Linux or Windows come back to the platform? Most likely, but there would be other benefits: Computers running Mac OS would have hardware parity with the rest of the market Users, who used to think a Mac was too expensive would consider it The amount of buzz this would create in the tech media would give Apple an incredible boost It would force Apple to get back on the cutting edge if they want to continue making their own computer hardware Those of us who need serious horsepower don't have to rely on a single company to maybe do an update one day and until then pay a premium for old technology If there is still a good reason for Apple to keep Mac OS to itself, I can't see it. The certification program and licensing income would more than make up for diminished revenue in hardware sales and it could even create renewed interest in Apple hardware - if Apple decides to step up.