Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by Laserbeak, Jun 8, 2005.
to me this crosses the line. For apple to *intentionally* prevent OSX from running on other-than-apple machines, that may be in all other ways, identical to apple's hardware, is obsurd. MS tried stuff like that on smaller scales, and the got REAMED in court. Apple does it in the big-time and they'll walk away clean. Horrible.
You could argue your opinion for pretty much any version of the Mac OS, and possibly for Windows too if you wanted to take things to extremes.
MS got reamed for what they did because they already (and still do) have such a monster piece of market share in the OS market, and the stunts they pulled with Dell, HP/Compaq, et al was enough to constitute an intent to monopolize the market in the DoJ's eyes by not giving competing OSes a chance to try and get a piece of the pie (e.g. Lindows, Red Hat). They tried to use bully tactics by using their size and market share to overpower system manufacturers, and it came back to bite them in the ass.
I see this as more of giving the little guy a chance to grow and level the playing field instead of letting the big fish rule supreme and unopposed. Yeah, you can scream and bitch and whine and accuse Apple of double standards until you're blue in the face, but that's life in the business world; get over it.
Here's why they can do that without legal recourse:
You can be anti competitive as you want when you hold under 5% market share. The difference being if Apple tried to leverage its monopoly much harder, it'd go out of business.
Microsoft can muscle other companies out of business with a slight change in their software and Bill has tried mighty hard to do that in the past.
All Apple has is their innovative use of the user interface. To disseminate it to the general pc market would devalue what premium they've built with the brand and be a death sentence to their computer line.
I guess that's where I disagree. I think mac hardware is a waste of money. But their UI is GOLD. So let the general public BUY it. I bet you'd almost instantly convert 20% of the market at $150 a machine.
And drive support-related costs through the roof in the process throughout the industry in the process? You'd stand to lose more customers than you sought to gain from using a strategy like that, and with Apple being in the position they're in, they really can't afford to take "Top Gun" levels of risk. Microsoft can get away with that for the exact same reason Apple can't.
In concept, selling the OS to Joe Q. Public can be a great idea, but if it's going to run Apple deep into the red at the end of every fiscal year, it's not exactly what I'd call an effective, long-term solution. You'd see cost-effectiveness in IT and Apple's profit margins eaten alive across the board by now being forced to support every Tom, Dick, and Harry configuration out there, like Windows has to. Apple's standardization practices are what keeps (at least) Mac OS X a competent candidate in the business world, even as a general purpose, office desktop OS.
It's a good thought, but I just don't see how that could be an effective strategy for Apple to use. Maybe when they gain significant ground and turn more heads in organizations with large IT infrastructures can they think about adopting something like that.
If anything, if Apple stays steadfast and adheres to keeping a standardized hardware architecture in place, they can improve and expand pretty easily. In order for them to turn heads in enterprise environments, I honestly think they need to focus on keeping TCO low, deployment and administration efficient. They've got the latter two down to an art form, now they need to focus on the former that turns so many people off to the Macintosh platform in the first place.
Enterprise and corporate are the backbone of many hardware manufacturers' (e.g. Dell, Hewlett-Packard) revenue. Apple would be smart to put together a solution that makes it appealing for enterprise-class environments to adopt.
On an aside, when I ask people what drives them to purchase a Windows computer for home use, the most common answers I get by far is always one of the following, sometimes both:
* Because I use one at work, and
* Because everyone else uses one.
I dunno, I guess I just see it from a different point of view. Even if you made it somewhat closed... Where they had to be running an Intel 915 or 925 chipset... and they set some loose, but easy to meet and easy to support guidelines... Forget about the older machines... As far as TechSupport goes, I've been to the Apple store my share of times (usually to buy gifts for others, of course ) and every time it amazes me some of the stupid problems that mac users have. Nothing against the mac platform -- but against the users! I mean the current mac user-base has just as many dumbasses as the PC user-base! And I bet if we looked at percentages, you'd see a higher % "dumbass" base in the mac-area than the pc-area.
Yea support costs would go up... But so would market-share and profit... And I think that, if properly deployed, that the profit/market-share would outweigh the overhead.
I mean, you can always do what MS did... free installation support, but everything else requires either a paid support contract, or pay-per-incident support.