Why won't Apple release MacOSX software?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Thidranki, Aug 9, 2006.

  1. Thidranki macrumors member


    Apr 7, 2005
    A friend of mine at work kept asking why Apple wouldn't release the MacOSX Software to be usable on PCs and other computers. I wasn't able to come up with a very good answer, but Apple seems to know what they're doing so I'm sure there is a good answer. He kept mentioning that PCs are so popular because the software can be used on any computer, etc.

    I'm just wondering if anyone has any insight?

  2. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    Because Apple makes its money from hardware. To use Mac OS X you have to buy a Mac. Releasing OS X to work on any old bunged together PC would see Apple's money dry up almost overnight. Microsoft dominate the OS market, if Apple were to sacrifice it's hardware for sales of software and the Mac OS it would be obliterated.

    And I disagree with your friend. PCs are most common, I certainly wouldn't call them "popular," that implies that the people who use them genuinely like them. I don't know a PC user who really likes using his/her PC.
  3. Koodauw macrumors 68040


    Nov 17, 2003
    Apple is all about the experience, and the seamless integration of the software and the hardware. If apple were to release OS X for general PC, support issues would be much more complicated, and the general experience, or strength of the OS would be lost. At this point the cons out weigh the pros, (or so seems to be the on reasons.)
  4. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    Another point to consider. The full price of MacOS X is $130 US. The retail price of Windows XP Professional is $300 US. Apple is able to sell its OS for such a low price because it is subsidized by its hardware sales. Without the hardware subsidy, the retail price would be substantially higher than the price of WinXP Pro.
  5. topgunn macrumors 65816


    Nov 5, 2004
    Really? Not one? That is surprising. Most of the people I know who use PC's enjoy them. Well, at least for the first 6 months.
  6. locutisofbored macrumors newbie

    Jul 20, 2005
    That long?!? :)
  7. Scarlet Fever macrumors 68040

    Scarlet Fever

    Jul 22, 2005
    Sounds like he has the "compatability" wool pulled over his eyes.
    The software can only be installed on computers capable of running XP (which is most, but not all), which is a common misconception about compatability. People say they can download any file from the internet and run it on their computer, and that macs cant do that. well, we know thats not true.
    Intel Macs are now the most compatable computers around. They can run almost every single app available while running some form of OS (eg XP through Parallels or Bootcamp).
    They won't and cant release X for other systems, because, as said before, the beauty of Mac OS is the seamless integration between software and hardware, and the performance boost available because of that. Besides, don't you reckon OS X booting from a computer other than a Mac would look a bit wrong? :p
  8. TEG macrumors 604


    Jan 21, 2002
    Langley, Washington
    1) Specific Hardware is required. - To support the myriad configurations you can have a typical PC in would require much more time and effort on the account of Apple. Hell, look at Vista, it has been in "development hell" for at least 5 years.

    2) Experience - Many PCs sold today are of antiquated technology, that is how Dell can sell a 'new' PC for less than $300. The technology in it is at least a year old. Most PC users purchase the cheapest system they can find, therefore they would not have a positive experience with OSX and Apple would loose face.

    3) Their Macs for a Reason - Imagine a time a place where all computers run a single operating system. True it would make life easier for developers and users, but imagine hackers, by only having one system to attack, being ably to destroy the world. By releasing OSX outside of the 20+Million users it has now would open it up for major attack, and again... Apple would loose face.

    4) EFI not CMOS/BIOS - Macs use EFI, which allows the operating system kernel to have full and complete access to all hardware, and be aware of any and all changes. CMOS/BIOS is actually a small OS upon which Windows or Linux runs. To rewrite the OSX kernel to run on such a system would ruin the control they OSX has over the system.

  9. Timepass macrumors 65816

    Jan 4, 2005
    I might like to point out that every copy of OSX you buy are really "upgrade" verson of it. It is an upgrade because to legally you are required to have an older copy of OSX to install it on there.

    So going by that XP pro is 200 bucks and has several things OSX doesnt have (biggest is remote desktop not all the other things) and OSX is 130. just though I point that out. the price you pay for OSX is an upgrade cost not retail full copy
  10. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Right now Mac OS X "Retail" supports 2 EFI chipsets, and a handful of video cards ...

    This falls short of the support MS offers for hardware, or Apple would need to offer with a mass release.


    Plus, this doesn't put them in direct competition with MS -- which has proven fatal time and again for other companies.

    Apple has pulled back before to keep the MacBU at MS alive, MS big gun and major threat is killing Office the instant Apple competes with MS.

    However, Apple's current strategy keeps the hardware division safe -- which for the first time is poised for some real growth and profit now that Apple is a Premium PC manufacturer.
  11. projectle macrumors 6502a

    Oct 11, 2005
    OS X comes with a remote desktop system (2 in fact). First, you have VNC, free to everyone and included on every mac under System Preferences -> Sharing -> Remote Login.

    So, Remote Desktop as a reason why XP Professional is worth more just fell flat on its fat... face, fat face.
  12. ham_man macrumors 68020


    Jan 21, 2005
    Then how do you suppose people do clean installs?
  13. mark! macrumors 65816


    Feb 4, 2006
  14. RacerX macrumors 65832

    Aug 2, 2004
    As much as I hate coming to Timepass's aid... he is right. There has never been a version of the Mac OS (without hardware) sold that wasn't actually an upgrade.

    Your license to use the Mac OS comes from the hardware, and not from the boxed copy of the Mac OS. This is why there is no activation of the Mac OS, as your license key for the software is your hardware.

    The fact that there are no retail boxed versions of Mac OS X for Intel is because 10.4 isn't an upgrade to the OS that came with all Intel based Apple hardware.

    And when there is a 10.5 for Intel retail version, even though you'll be able to do a clean install with it doesn't change the fact that it is an upgrade for Intel based Apple hardware that came with 10.4.x. And that your license to use 10.5 for Intel on those systems is your Intel based Apple hardware.
  15. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    He's talking licensing, not media checks.

    Edit: Racer raced to the answer before I could!
  16. Frisco macrumors 68020

    Sep 24, 2002

    Well put!

    You are 100% correct. In other words, Microsoft is blackmailing Apple. Compete and will pull Office and MSN Messenger.

    Microsoft is slowly pulling it's Mac Business Unit as Macs become more popular. Remember Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player for Mac. Garbage yes, but sometimes required. I have to say Apple has survived this loss pretty well, with Safari and third party browser development.

    The next/last two MS will pull from Mac are MSN Messenger (not that great of a big deal in the US, atleast) and Office--the biggie. The is MS's biggest stronghold. And Apple knows this, that's why we are slowly seeing development with iWork.

    Office is Apple's biggest obstacle. The more Apple grows in terms of OS marketshare the bigger that obstacle becomes. Because it's in MS's hands and they can pull the plug on Office for Mac at anytime.
  17. sunfast macrumors 68020


    Oct 14, 2005
    This chap has it spot on. :)
  18. whooleytoo macrumors 604


    Aug 2, 2002
    Cork, Ireland.
    Just to disagree with everyone in the thread (bar the original poster) ;) :

    I think it's possible, for several reasons.

    - It looks like upgrading to Vista might force a lot of PC users to buy new PCs, or upgrade RAM/disk/processors etc. to fully support it. If so, the inconvenience of switching to OSX mightn't be much more than the inconvenience of switching to Vista. If Apple are ever going to do this, do it now as Microsoft are preparing a major, "disruptive" release.

    - OSX on a PC mightn't be as seamless as OSX on a Mac, but that's not the comparison new users will be making. They'll be comparing OSX on a PC to Windows on a PC, and OSX might well be a lot better. Hell, I'm using Windows (via Boot Camp beta) on my Mac, and it's superb. Why should OSX on a PC be all that different?

    - Apple has expanded its software portfolio greatly since the last attempt at a Mac clone market - they now have significant other sources of revenue other than hardware: iTMS, .Mac, QuickTime Pro, iLife, iWork, Final Cut Pro/Express, DVD Studio Pro, Motion, Shake, Aperture. If OSX was available to the entire market, it would expand the potential market for these apps enormously.

    - A lot of OEMs would love to see Microsoft get some competition, which would strengthen their negotiations with them.

    - Apple has designed the MacPro to be more expandable than any previous Mac, faster, and it is priced very, very aggressively. If I didn't know better, I'd think was focusing on making it a very competitive machine against the best the PC market can offer, which makes sense if OSX would be able to run on PCs in the near future.

    Apple would want existing Mac users to keep using Macs (familiarity, best compatibility and integration), while getting as many PC users to install OSX; and hopefully eventually make the move to Macs too.
  19. dejo Moderator


    Staff Member

    Sep 2, 2004
    The Centennial State
    Depends how you define "significant". According to the Data Summary released with Apple's latest Q3 Financial Results, revenues for "Software, Service and Other Sales" were 314 ($M) versus CPUs revenues of 1,866. That's a ratio of almost 1:6, quite a gap. And that line item is not just Software alone but includes "Service and Other Sales".
  20. whooleytoo macrumors 604


    Aug 2, 2002
    Cork, Ireland.
    Very true - it's nowhere near parity at the moment.

    Having said that, I assume any Mac sale is entered as hardware revenue even though it includes OSX and iLife.

    Also, the nice thing about software/service revenues are they scale better - once Apple have OSX for Intel available, every extra copy they sell (bar replication & packaging costs) is all profit.

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