Resolved It's time for Apple to rethink licensing Mac OS

Discussion in 'macOS' started by kaisdaddy, Aug 19, 2016.

  1. kaisdaddy macrumors member

    kaisdaddy

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    #1
    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:
    1. Apple now makes most of its revenue from iOS devices and apps

    2. Apple hardware is no longer cutting edge compared to the rest of the market, performance wise

    3. 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:

    [​IMG]

    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.
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    Boston
    #2
    This has been debated before, and don't forget that Apple did license is operating system before.

    Basically when Apple's hardware wasn't competing too well, they though more "clone" computers would help with marketshare, and what happened is they undercut apple and stole customers away. That will happen again.

    Licensning will not help the Mac platform, but hurt it, pure and simple. Apple doesn't need the money from licensing and there's no business justification to do so.
     
  3. hallux macrumors 68020

    hallux

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    #3
    One word- Windows.

    One of the reasons Windows has been seen as so "unstable" has been because of the hardware support model it needs to employ in order to support all the different hardware configurations. OS X can be more stable because it it designed around a specific set of hardware configurations with very little variance. Once you go to the licensing model as employed by Microsoft for Windows you open OS X to the need to support a wider range of hardware configurations which will likely result in instability.
     
  4. kaisdaddy thread starter macrumors member

    kaisdaddy

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    Jan 8, 2008
    #4
    True this has been debated before. However, those debates happened before the company switched their name from Apple Computer to simply Apple, Inc. The focus at that time was computer hardware, by which I mean specifically desktops and laptops. Now, that part of the business only represents a sliver of the revenue. It doesn't get nearly the attention it used to as evidenced by the lack of substantive updates and comparatively substandard QA on software releases.

    If Apple wants to get on the stick and take the desktop/laptop computer business seriously again, then I'm on board with that. If not, license it out to companies that still specialize in computer hardware and show that they care about it. If it hurts Apple computer sales, then:

    1. Those sales deserve to be hurt

    2. Computer sales hardly show up on Apple's quarterly reports anyway

    3. Opening the OS to a wider market would give it a new revenue source
    --- Post Merged, Sep 6, 2016 ---
    I agree Windows has the trouble it does because it has to be everything to all people. This is not what I'm suggesting Apple does with its OS. They could have a very stringent set of standards as well as QA requirements that licensees must comply with. MS has never done that. Anyone can just go out and buy an OEM version of Windows, slap a box together and call it good.
     
  5. bent christian Suspended

    bent christian

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2015
    #5
    Apple can barely get it's OS software to run properly on it's own hardware. On 2015 models, the latest OS is blinky and weird on startup. Updates and "fixes" often slow machines down. OSx has become too big to run on anything other than an SSD. What a continual nightmare this operating system would be other hardware. Ugh.
     
  6. \-V-/ Suspended

    \-V-/

    Joined:
    May 3, 2012
    #6
    People seem to have this idea that Windows is somehow super unstable. It isn't. Keep everything updated and with the proper drivers and there's very few occurrences of issues. Apple products are far from being problem-free. Don't kid yourself ... the main reason Apple controls the hardware and software is to control you. It's part of their walled garden ... and their products continue to be more and more controlled all the time.


    Your blanket statement doesn't cover all Apple products. If you're having issues like that, seek Apple help or a replacement. That is hardly normal behavior.
     
  7. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #7
  8. bent christian Suspended

    bent christian

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    Nov 5, 2015
    #8
    No, there is nothing wrong with the machine. The weird blinking on Late 2015 models has been there from day one. It is well documented. Others experience the same issue. It is "normal" for Late 2015. I don't really consider the weird blinks an issue, as the system ran fine up until the security fixes from a last week. The latest update did do something and now it blinks and then pauses before the login screen. Wake-up lags a bit more than it did previously. The OS runs fine so far once it is gong, it's just not a fully polished OS and can appear bit janky on startup and shutdown.

    I can only imagine the amazing failure porting this OS to other machines would cause.
     
  9. \-V-/ Suspended

    \-V-/

    Joined:
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    #9
    Again, your blanket statement doesn't cover all Apple products. If there is nothing wrong with the machine, then you wouldn't be having issues. If you experienced this with an update, I would consider a clean install. If you're still having issues, I would take it to Apple. If it's a well-documented issue, then you should be able to get it taken care of. I've never let issues slide by just because other people were having them.

    Also, I don't have any of those issues. If it was universal, it would be the OS. Since it's not, something is wrong ... and you should find out what it is.
     
  10. bent christian Suspended

    bent christian

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    #10
    The blink on startup is not universal. Macs use a variety of hardware. The fact that Apple can't get the OS to run exactly right on the limited hardware they do use and have used in the past, proves that licensing would be a nightmare. Browse the forum. Updates regularly break systems that are just a few years old. That should absolutely not be happening. The recent security "fixes" broke NVIDIA hardware out of nowhere.
     
  11. \-V-/ Suspended

    \-V-/

    Joined:
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    #11
    It proves that Apple needs to get their crap together. When hardware issues arise, they severely procrastinate in getting them fixed. Sometimes it takes them years to address a hardware issue, which is completely unacceptable for a company that only makes limited hardware options.
     
  12. kaisdaddy thread starter macrumors member

    kaisdaddy

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    Jan 8, 2008
    #12
  13. bent christian Suspended

    bent christian

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    Nov 5, 2015
    #13
    Yup.

    I am going to go home tonight and try a reinstall El Cap on my less-than-one-year-old iMac and see if things improve, forgetting about the new security update.
     
  14. \-V-/ Suspended

    \-V-/

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    #14
    I hope it goes well.
     
  15. bent christian Suspended

    bent christian

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    #15
    Me too!
     
  16. grahamperrin macrumors 601

    grahamperrin

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    Jun 8, 2007
    #16
    I would like to see a more open and inclusive approach to licensing, of both:
    • the operating system as a whole, for use with non-Apple hardware; and
    • the parts of the operating system that have shifted away from open source, to closed.
    Likeable, and there is a non-recent history of Apple surprising developers and customers, but I don't imagine those things happening.

    There's a comparable topic about licensing of iOS, with a note from me about launchd.

    tl;dr for open development of launchd, its now better to look to https://wiki.freebsd.org/launchd instead of Apple.
     
  17. RumorzGuy macrumors 6502

    RumorzGuy

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    Location:
    Guam, Mariana Islands, U.S.A.
    #17
    Like the OP, I too have sensed as of late that those of us who are more desktop and laptop users, have been receiving less of Apple's attention.

    This point was most recently emphasized in my mind with the September Apple Event. While I am a longtime, dedicated Mac user of 26 years, I am by no means a fan boy. I don't get excited by the "coolness" factor, or by Apple's fancy product blurbs. I recognize Apple for what it is: just another successful money-making giant whose god is the profit margin. Anything else is secondary to that. We all know why Apple and other large U.S. companies have moved their primary operations overseas. Cheap labor, and less scrutiny by U.S. regulators.

    For that reason, I never watch Apple events. However, for some reason, this time I made an exception to that rule, and I watched the pre-recorded event about an hour after it actually ended at 5:00 AM our local time.

    It bored me. Nothing about it excited me. The artist at the end was weird. Maybe it is just my age. Or maybe it is because I am not a cool Californian who is into fitness and all the latest fads. :)

    Anyway, we all know what the emphasis was on during the event: Apple's biggest money-maker -- the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus -- and the Apple Watch. No mention of macOS Sierra. No mention of upcoming iMac models or laptop models.

    Yes, I realize that the event was strategically designed to promote the iPhone and Watch; but as I said, the glaring absence of any mention whatsoever of desktops and laptops just deepened my sense of abandonment by Apple.

    However, despite all of that, I must still agree with maflynn's position. Just thinking about going back to the days of clones and Power Computing does not sit well with me. As I said, maybe I have just been using Macs for too long, or maybe I am just too much of a purist after so many years. But regardless of any benefits which may possibly be derived from such a move, I still feel that such a development would cheapen the Apple brand. It would become just another computer, and I don't want that to happen.

    While the level of Apple's secrecy can be a real pain in the butt -- particularly for developers and problem troubleshooters -- nevertheless, it is that very same secrecy which has allowed Apple to become the successful tech giant that it is today. It has guarded many of its secrets well, and it has paid off.

    But there is one other important issue which no one has mentioned yet in this thread.

    Trust.

    Despite knowing that Apple is just another big money-making machine, I trust their products. I know that if I buy it, it will work.

    I don't know if I would be able to have the same trust in a third party Apple clone.

    That's my take on the situation. You may or may not agree. To each his own. :)
     

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