Should Apple License Mac OS X Out to Workstation/Server Makers

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by guzhogi, Nov 20, 2011.

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Should Apple license out Mac OS X?

  1. Yes

    8 vote(s)
    15.4%
  2. No

    35 vote(s)
    67.3%
  3. Depends how it's implemented

    9 vote(s)
    17.3%
  1. guzhogi macrumors 68030

    guzhogi

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    #1
    I was thinking that since Apple is basically a consumer-based company, what would people think about Apple licensing Mac OS X out to workstation/server makers?

    This would be basically for the high-end stuff for enterprises, major design firms, etc. The companies would be responsible for making the drivers and other support software. And since these will be servers/high end workstations, they shouldn't cannibalize Apple's core business.

    Just thought I'd put this out there.
     
  2. interrobang macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 25, 2011
    #2
    What do you mean by "should?"

    Would it be nice for customers? Yes, because they'd get cheaper and more varied hardware.

    Would it be nice for the workstation vendors? Of course, because they'd get another feature to offer customers.

    Would it be good for Apple? It would be a disaster, because Apple could never charge enough to recoup the costs of supporting it and the reduced sales from the competition.

    For the record, Apple did this in the late '90s with the classic OS. Apple even charged the licensed clone vendors $1000+ per machine, and the program still lost money and devastated Apple's sales.
     
  3. rwwest7 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2011
    #3
    I don't think they want people buying OS X eMachines and then telling there friends how Apples suck when it's really the eMachine that stinks. They want to controll their brand.
     
  4. wgnoyes macrumors 6502

    Joined:
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    #4
    No. The reason everything runs so well now is that the software developers know what kind of hardware they will be running on. If you open up that can of worms, now the hardware vendors have to create drivers for this, that, and the other thing and incorporate them into the oem customizations of OSX and hope it works, etc, etc, and when it doesn't you have a finger pointing game between apple and the hardware vendor and now you're no better than windows. "People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware."
     
  5. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

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    #5
    They tried this once before and it nearly destroyed the company.
     
  6. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

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    #6
    They definitely should for OS X Server. It already runs on top of VMWare products as long as you're running on Mac hardware, they should extend that to all virtualized infrastructure in light of the Xserve's cancellation.

    For workstations ? Nope. They have the Mac Pro for that. You want OS X on a Workstation, get a Mac Pro.
     
  7. foidulus, Nov 21, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2011

    foidulus macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
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    #7
    Steve was vociferously opposed to anything clone-like and although he is no longer with us, I doubt that any Apple executive would make such a bold move so close to his death. However the appification of Lion server offers up another tantalizing possibility, that Apple will port a few of its essential server services, namely Open Directory, AFP, the services necessary for managing iPhones/iPads, and possibly their Windows service, to another platform. For technical, legal, and philosophical reasons the most likely platform would be Oracle, but Linux and Windows are also possibilities.

    This would open up a lot of possibilities for Apple. It would allow them to get a bigger foot in the door in the lucrative enterprise market. It would also allow them to kill the Mac Pro with a lot less blowback, something they seem to be interested in, at least according to the rumors circulating about.
     
  8. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    #8
    The "lucrative enterprise market" is a services market, not a hardware market or OS market. Apple's current strategy has it at the top of market capitalization of all corporations on Planet Earth. Name a company in the "lucrative enterprise market" that is doing nearly as well. I'll give you a hint--there aren't any.
     
  9. foidulus macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    Your post makes no sense. You are basically saying that any company that does business with a company smaller than it to grow their market share are doing something wrong? You would be laughed out of any board room in the world, including Apple's.

    A lot of corporations, who have a lot of money even if Apple is bigger than them, are starting to deploy lots of smart phones and tablets, but they want to be able to manage those phones(not to mention increasingly large numbers of macs that companies want to manage) Right now they pretty much have to buy a mac pro, something that is difficult to rack, difficult to replace parts etc. Not to mention Apple may want to get rid of said mac pro down the line). But if Apple were to port their services(not their OS, just specific services), that allow corporations to have bullet-proof rackable hardware that is capable of managing large amounts of macs and iDevices, increasing Apple's market share and profit.

    But yeah, I guess you are right, Apple doesn't want more money so they should in no way try to go into new markets, just a waste of time.
     
  10. vitzr macrumors 68030

    vitzr

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    #10
    It's far too late.

    Besides Apple just doesn't get it. They'd have a real mess on their hands. It's out of their league.
     
  11. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    #11
    I ask again: Which already in this market is earning enough money for Apple to make the investment to take it on?
     
  12. aross99 macrumors 68000

    aross99

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    #12
    This is spot on. Apple doesn't belong in the server side of this business. MS is far too entrenched here, and the IT departments have way to much invested in staff, and experience with Windows Server.

    Leave the Enterprise market to MS, and keep taking more and more of the home/home office market...
     
  13. foidulus macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
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    #13
    Lets see, corporate smart phone market, corporate computer market, corporate tablet market, I could go on. The investment required to port some of their services to another platform, esp. Solaris, would be incredibly small and could potentially pay out handsomely, but your incredibly flimsy argument seems to be that Apple is already big, so they shouldn't bother getting any bigger. My guess is you aren't very successful in business or as an engineer.
     
  14. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #14
    No, apple tried the licensing route before and it was disastrous. Apple has little designs on the enterprise market and why introduce complexity without the prospect of decent profits.

    Apple sells software to drive hardware sales, why license (even for enterprise customers) OSX when there is no prospect of making money on the hardware side.
     
  15. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #15
    Different time now.
    Apple should license out OSX server to the market it no longer plays in (Xserver) because companies with large Macs distribution in the company still need it and very helpful. Even if the that part is a minor loss they make it up in not losing entire companies to others as they jump ship to say windows because they can use central servers to handle the computers.

    It is not like Apple is competing with anyone in that market so they have nothing to really lose.
     
  16. *LTD*, Nov 22, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2011

    *LTD* macrumors G4

    *LTD*

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    #16
    Any universal licensing of OS X - for any reason, means that nearly every reason for owning a Mac would be gone.

    What makes a Mac a Mac is Apple's business model.

    You license out your software, you lose control of your product at a key stage. If that loss of control happens, all bets are off when it comes to User Experience.
     
  17. steviem macrumors 68020

    steviem

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    #17
    Apple getting rid of the xserve has all but killed the Mac in the datacenter.

    I want redundant power. I want hot swap drives.

    I would like OSX back on the 18 wheeler. (If a desktop is a truck).

    An alternative that I would like to see is OSX server management tools to be able to control BSD or Linux servers and their services. That might be nice as I always feel like having a GUI running on a server is a waste of system resources...
     
  18. steve2112 macrumors 68040

    steve2112

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    #18
    Yep. This is the problem we will be facing soon. We currently have our OSX/iOS management suite (Casper) running on Xserves. I have no idea what we are going to do when those get EOL. The Mac Pro (assuming they don't kill it off as well) isn't a valid replacement for the reasons you specify. In addition, Mac Pros are big and bulky and take up a lot of precious space in a rack. We have several hundred Macs spread across the enterprise and need some way to manage them.
     
  19. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #19
    Apple is a completely different company and the environment is much different now than it was 15 years ago so you can't really equate them
     
  20. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

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  21. TSE macrumors 68030

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    #21
    Read the Steve Jobs biography. There are about 10-11 pages of Jobs views on why licensing software to hardware companies other than Apple would be a disaster.
     
  22. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #22
    Not really, the fact is that OSX like all of apple's other software offering is used to drive hardware sales. There is no incentive to license it to other hardware makers even in sector that they decided to leave.

    Just because apple left the xserve market means they should move into the enterprise by way of licensing. They've made their direction fairly clear, the consumer, why muddy the water by licensing OSX for the enterprise.

    The competition in the enterprise is such that there is very little prospect of making a profit. Windows, Linux and Unix has the market more or less sown up, and IT is not about to introduce another variable.
     
  23. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #23
    So what do you propose the companies do that had large number of mac handle by xservers. They have no replacement for server grade stuff. That means those macs will just be replaced PCs of some type.
    This is a very limited in the area that it is licensed to and not completing with anything Apple produces. They are completely leaving that market.
     
  24. steviem macrumors 68020

    steviem

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    #24
    Yes
     
  25. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #25
    Yes they are, and because they made that business decision, why would they suddenly decide to license OSX for the very market they're leaving.
     

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