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OS X Businesses Operating Systems Apple

Dell We'd Sell Mac OS X 805

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the higher-prices-mean-higher-margins dept.
euphonaesthesia writes "In this article from Fortune, Dell CEO Michael Dell mentions that he would offer OS X to customers if Apple were so willing. The author speculates also that Apple would probably demand certain specifications. Having OS X would probably require a higher price point--this both Apple and Dell would probably like."
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Dell We'd Sell Mac OS X

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  • OMG (Score:5, Funny)

    by TheKidWho (705796) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @12:39PM (#12833073)
    Hell is freezing over for the fourth time!!

    • Re:OMG (Score:5, Funny)

      by macaulay805 (823467) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @12:40PM (#12833081) Homepage Journal
      37

      In a row?!
      • Re:OMG (Score:3, Interesting)

        by jellomizer (103300) *
        Um this is nothing. I mean a reporter asked the CEO if the opertunity arised to sell OS X he would probably say Yes.

        Umm Duh. How is this news worthy? Apple is the 8th largest in harware sales. A lot of people like OS X but doesn't want to pay for Apple products, or feel suck on OS X. The next big answer is asking the CEO of AMD if he wants to make a profit this quarter.
        • Re:OMG (Score:3, Insightful)

          by HillaryWBush (882804)
          It's newsworthy to us because of what the article doesn't say. You see, Microsoft is known for its absolute stranglehold over the OEMs. There were quite a few OSs that they wanted to ship. For example, BeOS. But MS had or has predatory licensing agreements, such as having to pay a Windows Tax for every PC even if it shipped with no OS at all. The fact that Michael Dellbert or whatever his name was comes out and says they'd sure like to ship OS X, just as if he was ordering a cheese sandwich, is the news.
        • Re:OMG (Score:3, Informative)

          by David Gould (4938)

          It's interesting in that we can assume that Mr. Dell no longer thinks Steve Jobs should (paraphrased) "shut Apple down, sell all its assets, and distribute the proceeds to the shareholders", as I seem to recall him recommending as the best thing that could be done with the company back around the time Jobs took over.

          (Certain types of comments stick in Apple fans' memories (even the non-"rabid fanboi" type) and produce a certain desire to gloat at times like this.)
          • Re:OMG (Score:3, Interesting)

            When Dell said that, AAPL was trading near their cash value, and was steadily losing money, so he sorta had a point. Of course he was wrong, if only because Apple's enormous brand value was worth more than the stock indicated.

            Also he and Jobs were trading digs on each other's companies. Of course, Jobs' Anti-Dell insults don't tend to stick in people's memory the same way as any diss against Apple.
    • by xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @12:45PM (#12833148)
      Dell and Apple make their money selling pricey hardware, not the OS. (The last time Apple tried fooling around with clones, Umax took it in the shorts. )

      So, it's not surprising Dell would offer to sell hardware. It would be surprising to see Apple take the offer.

      P.S. The "text in image" thing still sucks donkey balls. (Maybe that should be my sig...)
      • by sterno (16320) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @01:11PM (#12833457) Homepage
        This could be really fascinating to see. Ultimately Dell and the like don't want to be selling commodity hardware. It takes a lot of resources for very little margin. They'd much rather focus on selling fashionable high end machines like their XPS systems.

        So, OS X, could be sort of the bridge to getting the PC makers away from the commodity market. If you want a cheap bare bones PC, you get your wintel XP box. If you want something that's going to be high quality and last you a few years, you get yourself a macintel box.

        The question that remains is whether Apple is willing to sacrifice some hardware sales to broaden the base of their OS support. I kinda doubt they will because their bread and butter really is making nice hardware. It's beneficial to them to have an exclusive lock on the apple faithful as far as that goes.

        In the end, what I really hope for is being able to buy an Apple computer with OS X and be able to run my Windows games under that environment rather seamlessly. Then I can run OS X all the time, play my windows games when I want to, and then down the road hopefully mac games will come out and I can drop Windows all together.
      • by pointbeing (701902) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @01:21PM (#12833562)
        (The last time Apple tried fooling around with clones, Umax took it in the shorts.)

        And this is exactly the reason I stopped buying Apple and migrated the entire company where I worked to Windows NT.

        Actually, Umax, Power Computing and Motorola all took it in the shorts. I bought a pile of shiny new Power Computing McMacs when OS 8 came out, only to find that Apple declined to license future releases to the clone makers. I guess Power Computing folded, Umax went back to making pretty good scanners and I guess Motorola just walked away disgusted.

        Me? I started putting dual processor Pentium boxes in place of the Mac graphics workstations and got higher productivity lower TCO.

        It is funny that nobody ever thinks of Apple when they mention questionable business practices - the McMac thing was just one way they stifled the competition.

        Know why Macs could read PC disks but not vice versa? Easy. Apple's HFS filesystem was copyrighted ;-)

        I'd probably buy another Mac if I could build it myself. Wonder if that'll ever happen?

        • by Speare (84249) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @01:37PM (#12833797) Homepage Journal

          *sigh*

          One would think with all the discussions on this site that people would know the difference between the four types of "intellectual property" protected by the legal system: Copyright, Patent, Trademark, Secret. Know why Macs could read PC disks but not vice versa? Easy. Apple's HFS filesystem was patented or a trade secret.

          If Microsoft wrote their own HFS driver, copyright wouldn't be an issue. If Microsoft couldn't figure out the HFS without illegal corporate espionage, then it's a trade secret. If Microsoft could figure out how it worked, and could write their own, then the only legal protection remaining is a viable patent in force.

          Of course, that still leaves the possibility that maybe Microsoft was just apathetic on the issue, or consciously decided to snub the Apple crowd by not bothering with the HFS at all.

          • * sigh *

            One would think that the facts are actually important sometimes... The HFS file format was documented in Inside Macintosh. That MS didn't put the effort into supporting it probably shows the disdain they held for Apple in those days. Oddly, Apple saw the reasons to implement the PC floppy format so the Mac could read and write PC floppies.
        • by moof1138 (215921) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @01:40PM (#12833833)
          >I guess Power Computing folded

          Power Computing is still around [powerc.com], though they sell x86 boxes now.

          Af far as the cloes go, Apple was going to go out of business if they didn't stop licensing the OS under the terms that they used. They were bleeding cash like there was no tomorrow, the clones were killing their hardware sales, while the licensing wasn't bringing in any real revenue. It wasn't a predatory business practice - it was done to save their skin.

          >It is funny that nobody ever thinks of Apple when they mention questionable business practices

          Apple does get mentioned a lot - their treatemt of VARs, their cannibalizing tools that 3rd parties create (Konfabulator, etc), iTunes license changes, et al. Your example of the clones is ancient history, and not an example of a questionable business practice.

          >Apple's HFS filesystem was copyrighted

          There are a number of 3rd party utilities that can be installed on Windows to read HFS. A quick Google of Windows HFS [google.com] will return a number of tools. Apple has not gone after any of the makers of these tools.

          • Power Computing is still around, though they sell x86 boxes now.

            This is not the same Power Computing Corp -- they were powercc.com. They had a different logo, and were based near Austin, TX. (Read the About us [powerc.com]) I think the old PowerCC is long dead.

            PowerCC was in the old Wal-Mart building in Round Rock, across IH35 from the main Dell campus. That building had RPM Speedway [rpmir.com] in it for many years.

            Before Steve pulled the plug, PowerCC was excitedly growing and moving to a larger campus about 15 miles north in
          • Power Computing is still around, though they sell x86 boxes now.

            I was going to reply that Power Computing Corp. was purchased by Apple when Steve Jobs returned. But it is not that simple. Read about it in Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]. But I don't think the wiki entry is 100% correct. It appears that Power Computing is not completely gone and still has a support line. I found it in this support article [apple.com] on Apple's web site. I called the number and the technician I spoke to said that they never sold PC clones, they no longer

    • Re:OMG (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 16, 2005 @12:55PM (#12833287)
      Ok, now I'm just confused... [macnewsworld.com]
  • So why not... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dark-br (473115)
    ... to offer GNU/Linux?

  • by Gizzmonic (412910) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @12:40PM (#12833078) Homepage Journal
    Chevy: "We'd love to sell Mercedes"
    Apex: "We'd love to sell Marantz"

    FP for that ass!
  • I just threw up on my shiny, formerly translucent keyboard. Thanks again, Michael Dell.
  • What are the odds (Score:5, Interesting)

    by thoolie (442789) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @12:41PM (#12833098) Homepage
    that this is some great scheme by Jobs to re-enter the general PC OS market? I am really wondering if he is planning on getting this stuff out there soley so he can compete with Gates. It could be like the IPod. Get it to your hardcore, let it catch on, and then let other gobble it up for their general purposes.

    I really think if they play their cards right, this could be the case.
  • by ravenspear (756059) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @12:41PM (#12833101)
    Unless or until Apple has an Office killer. The second MS gets wind of an Apple plan to compete with them directly using the same vendors Microsoft Office for Mac is as dead as a doornail.
    • OpenOffice 2.0 is such a killer. 1.0 was good enough for basic needs, but 2.0 really delivers an exceptional product, including a database app to replace Access.
      • by ravenspear (756059) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @12:50PM (#12833220)
        OpenOffice will never be an Office killer on OS X until it is a native app.

        General business type people won't be willing to use X11.
        • It's been reported here and elsewhere just about a hojillion times, but since you seem to be the last person on earth to get the message you do not need X11 to run OpenOffice on the Mac [planamesa.com].

        • OpenOffice will never be an Office killer on OS X until it is a native app.

          Couldn't Apple do this building from the 2.0 code base? They've done it with a lot of other software (KHTML, Darwin, gcc, OS X Server etc) and it would suddenly be a huge pull for their platform. It would be a nice boost for OpenOffice as they're lacking the polish and attention to detail that Apple seems to bring to this kind of thing.

          If they could say to large government customers -

          "We support the OASIS standard and your legac
          • by soullessbastard (596494) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @02:53PM (#12834532) Homepage Journal

            Disclaimer: I am a developer of OpenOffice.org for Mac OS X and a founder of the NeoOffice [neooffice.org] project.

            Quote: Couldn't Apple do this building from the 2.0 code base?

            The short answer is no. It is a common misconception that the OOo 2.0 codebase eases any transition to a native interface. This is far from the truth. Take the GTK "look" in 2.0. The fact that it looks like GTK does not mean that the interface has been redone in GTK. Rather, the OpenOffice VCL widget set has been enhanced to work similar to the Java heavyweight peer implementation. OOo instructs the platform to draw a button according to its native platform appearance. All of the event handling still uses the abstract OOo toolkit.

            Since everything still uses the native toolkit, you still need to port the underlying OOo widget set and toolkit to run on the platform. OOo 2.0 only provides this for X11 and for Win32. NeoOffice/J [neooffice.org] provides an implementation in a mixture of Java and Carbon (soon to be Java and Cocoa). Getting it right is a nightmare. It's taken three years and thousands of hours of developer time.

            And we still don't have the native widget drawing stuff...but it's on the way [neooffice.org].

            There are other reasons why Apple wouldn't start from OOo 2.0. First off, Microsoft Office is one of the key selling points of the Mac platform that gets reiterated throughout the Mac sales materials and end user testimonials and, I daresay, things like Jobs' keynotes which always have Office demos. It's politics, of course, but Apple will most likely not start any "Office killer" application that may cause Microsoft to stop working on Office.

            Secondly, Apple's already got their iWork suite. It's been designed as a consumer level and home office suite. Quite a bit of work has gone into rethinking the traditional office interfaces for Pages and Keynote. Most likely there's a spreadsheet application on the way as well. This engineering effort is not going to be simply discarded in favor of OpenOffice.org. iWork is also better suited towards their consumer-oriented strategy.

            Additionally, KHTML is a great example of why Apple would not jump on the OpenOffice.org bandwagon. If you recall, the reason KHTML was chosen over Mozilla was because the engineers thought that the Mozilla codebase was unwieldly. I've programmed both Mozilla and OpenOffice.org for years and the Mozilla code looks easy when compared to OOo. And Mozilla is even commented in English, too. If they didn't want to work with the Mozilla code, you can bet they won't want to touch OOo with a 10 foot pole.

            I've toiled on OpenOffice.org and NeoOffice/J on Mac OS X for nearly four years now. If Apple hasn't helped by now, I doubt they will so in the future.

            ed

    • While Apple dosnt OpenOffice does. NeoOffice [planamesa.com] is an OS X version of OpenOffice. I have read countless reports that OpenOffice 2.0 is an office killer, I would not be surprised if Apple bundled this with OS X or made their own Office suite based on it.
    • by soupdevil (587476) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @12:49PM (#12833199)
      Well, they already have: iCal, Mail, Pages, and Keynote. What's missing? A spreadsheet and a GUI to tie them all together. Yeah, they could finish that by 2006, which is when their x86 hardware hits the market. Coincidence?
      • I really like Pages. I have the trial version that came with Tiger and I've been using it for fairly sophisticated documents (16 pages with lots of sections and pictures) and the results are beautiful. I particularly like the ease with which I can put together a style sheet that I like. This can be done with Word but the process is a lot more complex and error prone.

        I will be buying iWork before my trial expires, because I really enjoy the program. I think it's too bad more people aren't buying; if you
    • Huh? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jpellino (202698)
      So instead of selling Office for PC they sell Office:Mac - they make their money either way.
  • That'll teach em (Score:2, Insightful)

    by nxtr (813179)
    It will reveal how much Microsoft is in bed with computer manufacturers.
  • ok, seriously (Score:2, Insightful)

    by paRcat (50146)
    Why does Apple not realize that they would be doing themselves a favor if they didn't act like their product is 'holier than thou'? I mean, if it were priced below M$ and ran on x86 machines, it would eventually win.

    Seriously, don't they realize that selling cheaper sometimes means bigger profits?
    • Re:ok, seriously (Score:4, Insightful)

      by piecewise (169377) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @12:48PM (#12833189) Journal
      You're wrong.

      The whole advantage to the Mac is that it's of a better quality, more stable, and has an Apple logo.

      Sending Mac OS X to every computer manufacturer in the world would inhibit those three attributes.

      The Apple brand is beyond hot - it's becoming part of culture. Market share is growing by leaps and bounds, and it's arguably just the beginning.

      If you could sell the software and the hardware, why wouldn't you?

      It's not holier tha thou. It's their product. That's like saying, "God, McDonalds is so snobby because they won't let Burger King offer their McNuggets. Come on already!"

      Yes, the formula works for Microsoft, but I don't think it would work for Apple. It makes Apple just another PC company. The fact that they are truly innovating is the reason for their success.
    • Actually (Score:4, Insightful)

      by paranode (671698) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @12:50PM (#12833224)
      I'm sure the zealots will mark me a troll but what will happen in reality if they do that is they will have to start writing support on their OS for more than just their own hardware. This means they cannot control quality anymore. When you start introducing the third party hardware and accompanying drivers, the stability of Mac OSX will get shaky and it will start to act more like Windows. Comparing Windows to OS X is apples and oranges right now, because Macs are more akin to video game consoles as far as the software/hardware mix is concerned. Seriously, if OS X came out for x86 what you'd have is basically yet another Linux/Unix distro. You'd have to wait around for the companies to decide they need to support their hardware on OS X with drivers and all of that. It would be the same kind of issues Linux has now for the most part, except for the decentralization problem.
    • Re:ok, seriously (Score:5, Insightful)

      by GileadGreene (539584) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @12:57PM (#12833304) Homepage
      Apple works hard to provide a quality user experience. As a result, the Apple brand means something. That's part of the reason they have such a fanatical following. Their 'product' isn't just OS X, it's the complete hardware/software package.

      Seriously, don't they realize that selling cheaper sometimes means bigger profits?

      Maybe (gasp) they care about something more than just 'bigger profits'? Like, oh say long term survival of the company? As I said above, Apple has a fanatical following for a reason, and a large part of that reason is their underlying philosophy toward producing complete systems that 'just work'. It's worked for them so far (how many times have we heard that Apple is 'almost dead'?), so why change their strategy now?

      • Re:ok, seriously (Score:3, Interesting)

        by paRcat (50146)
        Maybe (gasp) they care about something more than just 'bigger profits'? Like, oh say long term survival of the company?

        If they sold OSX separately, while still keeping their current business model of bundling HW+SW, they wouldn't survive? That doesn't say much for OSX.

  • by mmkkbb (816035) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @12:42PM (#12833106) Homepage Journal
    Apple contracts Dell to build the new x86 Macs, and licenses Dell as a Mac reseller. Everything still has the Apple logo, but Dell gets a cut.
    • by BackInIraq (862952) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @01:06PM (#12833401)
      Apple contracts Dell to build the new x86 Macs, and licenses Dell as a Mac reseller. Everything still has the Apple logo, but Dell gets a cut.

      It would probably end up bearing both the Apple and Dell logos, and it would be very clear that you were getting a "Mac by Dell" rather than the real thing. Apple would also, of course, make them do all their own support. Granted, Apple would probably never even agree to anything like this, because of the risk of tarnishing their brand. There is a reason people buy PowerBooks instead of Inspirons or Latitudes, and it isn't just OSX. Everytime somebody has a problem with their "Mac by Dell," it would reflect just as badly on Mac as Dell, which would be unacceptable.

      Unlike the switch to Intel, which is simply moving their brand in a different direction, letting Dell sell computers featuring OSX would actual water down their brand, which I don't think they are willing to do.
  • by Colourspace (563895) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @12:42PM (#12833107)
    Am I missing something here? I would have thought one of the key reasons that OSX is so popular is its stability (lets put features like Dashboard to one side for a sec).. And part of the stability comes from the fact that OSX only needs to be developed for a limited subset of microprocessors and hardware architectures currently then surely once it had to become generic for Dell boxen this would mean the OS *might* be more unstable as a result?
    • by Darth Maul (19860) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @01:03PM (#12833368) Homepage
      You are abosolutely correct, but most people just gloss over this point. To me, this is the key right here. This is why we can't have a generic OS X for intel. It would be installed on the most boring, busted beige PCs and two results would be seen:

      1) OS X becomes unstable because of third-party drivers, etc, and Apple support becomes swamped, product image of 'stability' is tarnished.

      2) The "mac experience" which includes both software and hardware is gone. To me, using my iMac and PowerBook are great experiences not just because of the OS, but because of the beautiful design, fit, and finish of the actual machines.
  • Who wouldnt? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by krakelohm (830589) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @12:42PM (#12833109)
    The question is who of the big PC manufactures would not offer OSX if givin the opportunity?
  • For Dell to see MacOS, won't they have to give a make-over to their hardware? Hell, it would end up as much as buying an Apple. I'd rather have the Apple if it came to that :-)
  • If he would sell OS X why wouldnt he sell Linux? He could make his computers cheaper by giving users an easy Linux distro(Fedora, Mandrake, maybe even Linspire) and just charge for burning backup CDs and installing. He would be giving his customers a secure OS with a free Office Suite(MS Office costs extra now). The main reasonhe hasnt done this is because of threats from MS, but wouldnt MS do the same for selling OS X?
  • doubtful (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SpiceWare (3438) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @12:44PM (#12833129)
    how many times have we heard about Dell and AMD?

    Dell's just posturing to get better discounts from Microsoft.
  • Translation: (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Silverlancer (786390) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @12:44PM (#12833130)
    "We want Microsoft to provide us with cheaper copies of Windows XP, so we will threaten to switch to OS X but not actually do it."

    They've done this before with switching to AMD--they've announced many time that they were "considering" it, but as soon as Intel lowered their prices, Dell backed off.
  • trolling whiner (Score:5, Informative)

    by jsailor (255868) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @12:44PM (#12833137)
    Michael Dell is no longer CEO. He's chairman of the board. Kevin Rollins is CEO.
  • Years ago, Michael Dell said he wanted to sell Apples... and it got misquoted as:

    "I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders."
  • Dell would probably have to change their entire production philosophy first. If I order a PC from them, even if I order a server from them, I get whatever random components they have in the bin that meet the specs. It makes it very hard to standardize an IT department on Dell equipment. People buy HPs and IBMs simply because they know they can get the same machine for the next few months rather than play around with yet another brand of component.

    The reason why Mac OS works so well currently is because App
  • Ah, could we finally see the start of *real* competition in the desktop OS market? It would interesting to have a unix-based OS as competition to windows.

    One can argue that this might lessen the rate of adoption of linux, but I think the opposite will be true because when developers support two platforms, they'll have to use cross-platform toolkits or code so going to three platforms is not that big a step.
  • I've been pretty dismissive of the whole "OSX will run on PC boxen" arguements; I think Apple still wants to control the hardware. I seriously doubt you'll ever be able to buy a boxed version of OSX and plop it on just any PC hardware (at least without some serious hacking / bootstrapping), nor will Apple tolerate it.

    However, I could see Apple possibly doing strategic partnerships with the likes of Dell and HP, allowing them to license (at a financially rewarding rate) some motherboard designs and allow t
  • by FerretFrottage (714136) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @12:47PM (#12833177)
    IF Dell started selling (or hinted at selling) the Mac OS that ran on x86, would MS just stand by? Even thought Dell offers Linux with some boxes IIRC, I suspect they [MS] would try to ink Dell to some exclusive deal and give them a major price break on Windows and related software. I suspect they must already have some deal...this may be Dell's way of getting MS to sweeten the deal even more.

    I think it would be great if Dell provided MS, Apple, and Linux OSes as choises, but I just can't see MS allowing this to go on without some sort of "intervention". It wold be even better if they also sold AMD based systems.
  • by Chairboy (88841) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @12:47PM (#12833181) Homepage
    A common thread I see running through all these conversations about the upcoming switch to Intel processors is an assumption that having an Intel automatically equates to PC Compatibility.

    Back in the 1980s, there was a period of time where Macintoshs, Amigas, Ataris, and other computers all used the Motorola 68000 processor. Just because they had the same processor did not immediately mean that they could all run each others hardware. Sure, there were some emulators available, but they usually required that the user have, say, a copy of the Macintosh ROMs to put into a physical card, or something similar.

    The BIOS needs to know how to address the disk. The bootstrap code can be the same from machine to machine, but without someone finding and feeding it to the CPU, you got nothing.

    Did Jobs say the Mac was switching to intel Processors? Yes. Did he say Macintoshes would now boot on ye olde' compaq in the basement? Nope.
    • Did he say Macintoshes would now boot on ye olde' compaq in the basement? Nope.

      That's basically what the development kits are. Generic intel motherboard and chipset in an almost-empty G5 case that looks like a bad joke casemod.

    • Did Jobs say the Mac was switching to intel Processors? Yes. Did he say Macintoshes would now boot on ye olde' compaq in the basement? Nope.


      Is the article talking about ye old compaq in the basement? No. It is talkng about ye new Intel powered Mac.

      Where is that "field of strawmen" mod tag when you need it? ;)

      A common thread I see running through all these conversations about the upcoming switch to Intel processors is an assumption that having an Intel automatically equates to PC Compatibility.

      What's
  • by calstraycat (320736) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @12:49PM (#12833208)
    In the last few weeks we have witnessed the following:

    -Macs moving to Intel microprocessors.

    -Roger Waters reuniting with Pink Floyd.

    -Michael Dell's desire to sell OS X.

    Icicles are forming in hell, pigs are flying, etc. Pick your favorite trite cliche. Personally, I'm scared. I think it's time to stock the basement with canned foods.
  • by guidryp (702488) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @12:50PM (#12833223)
    Dell said "offer to our customers", in that in the option box for some PC's you could select OSX instead of Windows.

    The result would be lower winXP pricing, to price OSX out of the market and lower bundling prices of office, and of course no more Office for Mac. This would help kill OSX on Dells for PC buyers.

    But Mac buyers would still shop Dells against Macs, killing Mac HW sales or profit margins.

    Yep, I am sure Steve J. is just waiting to get into a price war on two fronts...

  • by oberondarksoul (723118) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @12:51PM (#12833229) Homepage
    "Dell should just liquidate the company and return the money to the shareholders..." - Jobs
  • Anyone see HP+iPod?

    Dell *might* still make the case. Apple would require them to use reference designs for the internals, and Apple would require them to sell at a certain price.

    Dell *might* be permitted to bundle extras with the computer, similar to the way you can get a ram upgrade or free printer from Mac Mall.

    At Apple's prices, there's still quite a bit of room for profit for a manufacturer. Basically, Dell would manufacture Apples, and be permitted to sell it through their existing channels.

    For example, many businesses have Dell accounts. They may not have Apple accounts. Of course Dell would love to sell Apples. Even if they pay a large premium to Apple, there is still a lot greater margin than with Windows PC products.
  • by Crash Culligan (227354) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @01:02PM (#12833358) Journal

    This [themacobserver.com] Michael Dell? ("...the best thing that could be done with Apple would be to shut it down, liquidate its assets, and return the money to its shareholders")

    It should be observed that Michael Dell has taken pot-shots at, belittle, and marginalize Apple at every turn, in every market, using every bit of FUD he and the top brass at Dell could muster. The rivalry is legendary. At first I thought he was just trying (bitterly) to tout his machines at the expense of another company.

    Then Apple makes a significant hit with OS X, talks about running on Intel hardware, and now he's more than willing to swallow a little of his pride and share in Apple's good fortune. This reversal of his stance has opened my eyes. He's not actually bitterly opposed to Apple, he's just bitterly opposed to poverty and obscurity. He's a techno-whore.

  • by geekee (591277) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @01:19PM (#12833528)
    "Having OS X would probably require a higher price point--this both Apple and Dell would probably like."

    So the monopoly OS, Windows, which is supposed to cause price gouging, is actually cheaper than MacOS with identical hardware.
    • A very interesting observation. But I think it would be more expensive because of Apple's stringent hardware standards, not because of the OS component. Also, Apple is currently a "designer" product. While there is some overlap, it isn't targeting the exact same market as Windows.
  • Reminds Me (Score:4, Interesting)

    by blackmonday (607916) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @01:37PM (#12833796) Homepage
    Reminds me of the news a few weeks ago that Nike is no longer selling shoes to Sears. Why not? Because Sears bought Kmart, and Nike doesn't want to be sold at Kmart.

    In this day and age where brand is king and marketing is above all else - that Apple, the BMW of computers, would be sold at Dell? Sorry Dell dude, you're not getting a Mac.

  • A simple calculation (Score:3, Interesting)

    by amichalo (132545) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @02:05PM (#12834092)
    With a little algebra, Apple can decide at what price point selling OS X for Dell-boxen is a good idea.

    Since Apple has switched to generic PC hardware like AGP graphics cards and ATA drives, the processor change will leave only two significant differences betweena PC and a Mac:
    (A) Industrial hardware design
    (B) OS X

    So if (C) is Components like ATA hard drives and AGP graphics that go in every PC or Mac, as well as overhead for sales, support, etc, the total cost of the Apple box is:

    Mac Cost = A + B + C

    Now currently, an OS X upgrade is $129 for an existing Mac user, so we can assume that B is somewhere north of $130. But if Apple priced OS X on a Dell as a $130 option, then the price of the Dell would be C + B (Components + OS X) which means the Apple would be overpriced by $A for its Industrial Design.

    So Apple needs to price OS X for Dell at $E = A + B

    I figure if a high end Dell cna be configured for about $400 less than a similar Mac, then $399 is a great price for an OS X + iLife + Xcode option for the Dell.

    At $400 a pop, Apple will make a tidy profit on the notoriously love overhead software and really won't be canibalizing the Mac sales because they have effectively balanced the price so you have:

    Cost of Mac = A + B + C Cost of Dell OS X = C + E where E = A + B = $399
  • by ecloud (3022) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @02:16PM (#12834209) Homepage Journal
    Notice how _every_ Dell web page reminds you that Dell recommends Windows XP. Like even if you want to just buy some flash or KVM cables or a monitor or something you feel like they are asking "would you like some XP with that?" Can't imagine that this behavior is voluntary on their part.
  • by kitzilla (266382) <paperfrog@ g m a i l.com> on Thursday June 16, 2005 @04:29PM (#12835512) Homepage Journal
    I don't see why this wouldn't work, or why it would be a bad thing.


    Apple would still have control over the hardware. I'm sure Dell could produce MacTel boxes that would satisfy Cupertino's equipment requirements.


    Expanding OS X's install base would be a GOOD thing for existing Mac users: more drivers, more software, more everything (including, perhaps, viruses).


    Expanding OS X's install base would improve Apple's research and development ROI. Good for stockholders, and eventually for consumers.


    Expanding OS X's install base would be a very good thing for Windows users, who would have more opportunities to purchase increasingly price-competitive MacTels.


    Michael Dell's out-loud thinking is entirely consistent with his signal last week that Dell is ready to launch a premium [arstechnica.com] line of computer hardware.


    I think Apple ought to do it. They've traditionally been a computer hardware vendor, with software used to sell the pretty boxes. But these times, they are a-changin'.

  • at least to the New York City department of Education. See the online catalog [fastrackcatalog.com] and notice the vendor.

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