Adiós a las Computadoras Dell

December 17th, 2005

The relationship between Dell and Apple has historically been hit-or-miss. Mostly miss. At times the companies have seemed on the verge of a friendly relationship, while more often the strong-headed leaders of each firm have gone public with the extent of their disdain for each other.

This charming interplay will be missed – because 2006 will mark the beginning of the end for Dell Inc.

When Dell gets desperate, they try to imitate Apple. Way back in 1993, Apple had just lost their head of Powerbook Engineering, John Medica, who left to head up Dell’s flagging laptop division. While Dell was out shopping they also picked up Eric Harslem, at that time the head of Apple’s desktop division. Apparently Dell thought they could buy the leaders of these talented groups and walk away with some of Apple’s computer design magic. Medica knew better than this, and immediately upon joining Dell entered into negotiations with Apple to license PowerBook design technology for Dell’s upcoming 486 laptop.1 I don’t think this deal ever came to fruition – if it had, the Dell laptops might be less of a friggin’ nightmare than they are.

To be fair, the copycat game has gone both ways. One thing Dell has been widely praised for is its manufacturing expertise. The above-cited article mentions in passing Dell’s “totally integrated manufacturing resource-planning system,” which had recently been overhauled with brand-spanking new “logistics, order-fulfillment and quality-control systems.” Taking an early lead in these areas made it easier for Dell to become an early leader in online direct-to-consumer sales. These systems at Dell possessed all the qualities that Steve Jobs, in 1997, must have noticed were lacking in Apple’s own manufacturing operations.

In 1997, journalists were running around patting each other on the back for brilliantly predicting the imminent demise of then-struggling Apple. It became so de rigueur to lambast Apple, that even high-ranking executives who usually act with decorum found it irresistible to launch a hearty guffaw and spittle in Apple’s direction. Such was the case for Michael Dell, when he made the famously arrogant statement that the best strategy for “fixing Apple” would be to “shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders.”2 Ouch!

Steve Jobs felt the sting, as well. In a press event held shortly after Dell’s comments were made, Apple announced their own revamped manufacturing and online sales apparatuses. In schoolyard fashion, the event culminated in the presentation of a large graphic of Michael Dell’s face superimposed over a bulls-eye target symbol. “We’re coming after you, buddy,” Jobs said to a titillated crowd.3 At the time, I was 22 years old and working in the Mac OS System Updates group. We watched the event over closed-circuit Apple television, and were charged by the comments. It was true – times were tough for Apple, and we needed a forceful leader. We didn’t want to give the money back to the shareholders. We wanted to kick Dell’s butt!

Dell’s comments have lived on in infamy as Apple has steadily risen from the smoldering ashes of 1997. The successes of the iMac, Mac OS X, and the iPod have made Apple one of the most successful technology companies in recent history. As Apple has healed its wounds, Dell has desperately tried to imitate its success, peppering its product line with Apple knockoffs like the G5-ish PowerEdge 6500 and the Shuffle-ish DJ Ditty. (Actually, the DJ Ditty may owe more to BIC Lighters for its design philosophy.) What’s most intriguing is that Apple’s momentum hasn’t slowed down. In fact, it seems to be gaining with each passing month. Dell was wrong.

But what’s more interesting is that Jobs was right! Apple is“coming after you, buddy.” In 2005, with Apple on the brink of releasing Intel-powered Macintosh computers, Dell has once again taken to making public commentary on Apple’s future. This time, it’s with a distinctly higher level of ass-kissing, as he senses the impending doom of his own company (hyperbole mine). In June, Dell apparently told Fortune columnist David Kirkpatrick that he would be happy to offer Mac OS to his customers (full text subscription only). Yeah, I bet you would! Before your company goes under!

So, when am I going to get to my point about the demise of Dell? It’s pretty simple. I don’t believe Dell can compete with Apple in the consumer PC market. Same goes for all the other vendors whose selling points are “relative ease of use and reliability.” Nobody buys Dell computers because they are cheap. They aren’t that cheap! They buy Dell, or HP, or Sony, because they’re afraid to put together their own computer. These PC manufacturers capitalize on the fact that even PC users want things to be as simple as possible. They don’t want to shop around for graphics cards and hard drives and ethernet cards that work well together. To the extent that the PC world has needed a “good to go” manufacturer, these companies have filled the order. But none of them can fill the order like Apple can.

A much under-discussed aspect of the new Intel Macs is that, as far as I have been able to glean, Apple has no plans to restrict the ability of users to install Windows on the machines. And why would they? That’s the secret weapon! In the market for a new laptop? Has to run Windows? Why buy a Dell when you can buy a Powerbook with all the same abilities, a sexier design, and the added bonus of being capable of running Mac OS X? Apple is about start selling PCs, and the slightest bit of marketing or consumer word-of-mouth about this fact should ignite a huge increase in hardware sales for Apple at the expense of other Intel-based computer manufacturers.

When’s the last time you sat in a room with a bunch of Linux/Unix nerds? Have you noticed what kind of computers they use? Sure, there are a bunch of PC-compatible laptops, but in many rooms I’ve observed that perhaps the majority of these users are using Apple Powerbooks. Why? Because people like nice hardware. Apple gained many of these customers without selling them on Mac OS X. They install Linux, BSD, or Darwin on their machine and otherwise continue their GTK/X-Windows/Whatever lifestyle as they did before. These users are the warning bell for Dell’s collapsing customer base. People who run Windows in 2006 will be doing so more and more often on Apple hardware.

When Apple releases their first Intel-based computer, it will also be the first computer in history that has the ability to triple-boot Windows, Mac OS, and Linux, all with full performance and compatibility. When the computer maker whose designs have been the envy of the technology world for decades suddenly becomes the most compatible player on the block (Apple!?), you’re looking at a dangerous combination.

Let’s imagine a hypothetical analogy. You’ve got all the car makers in the world. The Fords, Toyotas, Porsches, etc. They all make cars, and people don’t love them, but they don’t hate them. They get them from point A to point B, and some of them are even somewhat well designed. Now imagine the “Superlacar” that looks prettier and performs better than any on the market. It’s sexier than a Maserati, safer than a Volvo, and more fuel efficient than a Toyota Prius. The only problem is it runs on corn oil, while every other car on the market runs on gasoline. A small niche of the public buys into the car because it’s just too sexy to pass up. They make excuses for the vats of corn oil they keep in their garage. They argue into the night with Honda owners that the Superlacar is a better choice, because it’s just so sexy, reliable, safe, and (in the long run) affordable. The Honda owner agrees with most of the points, but it’s damn inconvenient to store those giant vats of corn oil! For most people, it’s just not worth it.

When Superlacar announces that, from this day forward the vehicle will run on gasoline, every other car maker in the world is screwed.

Why isn’t everybody talking about this? It could be that I’m wrong and everybody else, who seems to be dancing around like Dell, Sony, HP, Lenovo, etc. are going to stick around indefinitely, is right. I could also just be missing the like-minded commentary, but I’ve seen surprisingly little analysis of just how devastating Apple’s move could be for the existing PC juggernauts.

Andy Serwer raised a question in Fortune Magazine about Dell’s future: “Could this be the end of Dell as we know it?” But his analysis looks only at Dell’s recent slump in the PC market.4 Boy, if he thinks Dell is screwed without Apple in the picture, then Dell may be even worse off than I think!

Tim Beyer’s made good analysis of the Apple situation in his Motley Fool article earlier this year. He speculates that Apple’s intentions are “to lure those buying computers from Dell – or Gateway, or Acer, or even iPod partner Hewlett-Packard – into trying a Mac.” Indeed, with Apple-designed Intel hardware on the market, it’s hard to imagine anybody bothering with the “value added” PC manufacturers. They don’t even have to run Mac OS X. If it’s a matter of spending a few hundred extra dollars to have a PC that looks like their iPod and meets Apple’s high component quality standards, they’ll pick Apple over Dell every time.

The icing on this cake? I own a Dell. It was my first experience with PC hardware ownership, which means it was also my first experience with the “privilege” (necessity) of having to buy industry-standard replacement parts when things “just break.” And this is the “user-friendly” end of the PC hardware spectrum? The damn thing sucks. I have to keep a PC around, particularly for porting work that I do from Windows to the Mac, but everything about this box makes me cringe. It’s been a few years since I bought it, so I’m due for an upgrade. But my next PC will run on Apple hardware. I expect yours will, too.

Adiós Dell, y gracias por las memorias.

(Gratuitous Spanish bookends on this article are sin buena razón.)


Note: This is the first article I’ve posted where footnotes were really appropriate. Formatting and linking style shamelessly stolen from Daring Fireball.

  1. Scheier, Robert L. and Neil Boudette. PC Week, June 28, 1993 v10 n25 p197. Via Infotrac.

  2. Singh, Jai. CNET News, Oct 6, 1997. Link.

  3. Quistgaard, Kaitlin. Wired News, Nov 10, 1997. Link.

  4. Serwer, Andy. Fortune, Nov 28, 2005 v152 i11 p147. Via Infotrac.

29 Responses to “Adiós a las Computadoras Dell”

  1. glasspusher Says:

    Good times. I would love to see this happen, especially since Dell quality has gone down the tubes (was it ever above the tubes?). How can the boxmakers compete against someone who makes the best OS and hardware, and now also offers the system that can run the most OSes? We are in for a show. Sit back and enjoy (when we’re not writing mac software, of course). ;)

  2. mattius Says:

    HAHAHAHA!

    Daniel, you rule. (

  3. technophile Says:

    This is very true. Remember the top dogs in the Wintel world always lose their footing. It’s the nature of the Windows business. Remember the top PC companies back in the day? Remember Zeos? How about Northgate? And who could forget the ever-so-awesome Gateway Computer? First two…gone. Last one…hanging on with one foot in the grave. IBM sold out of the business to Leveno. DELL will be gone within 5 years. This is the cycle of the Windows world. This is something that they never mention. Apple has gone toe-to-toe with each of these companies since the beginning. Competitors come and go, but Apple, which has started the computer revolution, is still going strong.
    Let’s guess the next big PC company in 2007….:)

  4. Nat Says:

    Terrific read, but I don’t get the impression that Apple’s going to do any QA for the various versions of Windows. Someone who wants to run Windows on an intel Mac will presumably be shelling out an extra couple hundred bucks for the OS. Support will be nonexistent. This is not a conventional recipe for world domination.

  5. Larry Hastings Says:

    Oh, I very much doubt it.

    First, Dell’s market cap is 30% bigger than Apple’s. They’re not going anywhere. And keep in mind that Apple’s P/E is 80% larger than Dell’s, so Dell’s market cap is based on a *lot* more revenue.

    Second, Dell has held its ground against all comers for years now. The PC market is one of the most competitive markets out there; the margins are small, the technology moves fast, and there are a lot of people trying to horn in on their action. Dell and Apple have both been in the desktop/laptop market for years now; the new Intel-based line isn’t a sea change in their relationship.

    Third, Apple doesn’t *want* to compete in the Windows PC market, because the profit margins are so low. Apple enjoys some of the highest profit margins in the industry, because they have a popular but wholly proprietary system. Many people feel privileged to pay extra for Apple computers. And Steve Jobs is keen for them to do *exactly* that.

    These days, when you think of high-quality Windows laptops, you think of Thinkpads. Sure they cost a little more, but for many people they’re worth it. Yet IBM sold its PC division to Lenovo earlier this year at a *rock-bottom* price. Why? Because IBM wanted out of the commodity market. Yes, even at the *high end*, the Windows PC market is competitive enough to keep everyone’s profit margins low.

    My prediction is that Apple’s prices simply won’t be competitive. They will sell as well as Apple computers ever do, to the same consumer base they’ve clung to for the last decade. And if the new laptops run Windows, that will open a new market for them just as you suggest. But Apple will never regain dominance in the computer industry while they keep their profit margins high, and Apple will never drop their profit margin while Steve Jobs is at the helm.

  6. mark Says:

    SJ did say he was coming after Dell but that was long ago. Since then, he’s said that the computer OS wars are over, it was time to move on, and that Apple doesn’t sell well through ‘orifices’. And it’s only been rumored, no quotes, that upon coming back from close-to-death, that he wanted to go for it all.

    My take is Apple has moved on – meaning they’ve given up on directly going after the corporate computing market where most PCs are sold. They do intend to maintain their niches in creative, education, and other specialty markets (like high-performance biosciences), thus, the Apple software and Xserve. For many of those sales, the ability to check off that it runs Windows is a plus, but not a dealmaker.

    But I do also think Apple is attempting an end-run; they hope to dominate the creation and playback of HD multimedia and graphics content, and as this gains importance in corporate information exchange, they hope to back their way into the corporate market – but this is at least 3 or 4 years away. The way they want to get into this area is through the consumer market. And in that area, the iPod is just the first step. The second step is to extend the iPod experience into the home and car through new iPod-connected devices – maybe even as soon as MWSF 2006. As iHome (whatever it is) and iCar gain in popularity, iTMS digital content sales will cause AAC/H.264 (and iTunes/Quicktime) to become dominant. The third step is to extend those home networks to anywhere you want to go – that’s when the iPhone and networked iPod (maybe it’s the same thing) come into being. In this interplay of devices and content, eventually businesses will realize it’s no longer text and numbers, but audio and video. And then Apple will have the best systems for creating, delivering, and using that content, and it will be a no-brainer to use Apple.

    So yes, Dell’s days as a giant are numbered, but there could be over a thousand days left. Dell may continue to exist selling low-price consumer electronics like displays and printers, but Apple will be the standard-bearer and Dell will be the one to fill in the low-margin gaps.

  7. charles Says:

    One problem is people will still have to buy Windows, and then install it _themselves_, a scary thing for most. So Apple should sell Windows with their machines… Argghhhh.

  8. mundoman Says:

    Apple already sells Windows to install on your Mac!

    In the Apple stores (and every Apple reseller I’ve ever checked) )Apple already sells “windows” to install on your Mac. Its very easy to install, most reviewers say much easier then a “real” windows install

    Its called VirtualPC. It runs windows on your Mac, although a bit slower since its EMULATING Intel hardware.
    When Apple is running real intel hardware there will be no emulating involved/needed. I can bet Microsoft(ands maybe other companies) is working on a new version of VirtualPC that just runs Windows in a windows or fullscreen with NO speed hit. Everything would run just as Fast as any windows system.
    While Microsoft would probably want the whole “winblows” experience, start button, wizards and all. Other companies will probably make it almost seamless. Windows Apps would just run, the only way you could tell was the menu bar would look window-fied.
    Apple’s only fear would be that developers would stop making Mac Apps since the windows ones could run just as well on an Intel-Mac

    Would I buy the Windows version of Quake 4, or waIT SIX MONTHS for the mac version to come out???

  9. Juanxer Says:

    Long term, my belief is that Steve Jobs’ wish is to be able to license the OS and put the Mac hardware division on autopilot, the same way I think he always intended to go Intel and get rid of this troublesome PPC architecture (you know what I mean by this) after his experience in NeXT. He needs to figure how to do it while keeping Apple profitable as an OS licenser and Media and Web services company which it is (I’d like to know the terms of the deals with the video content providers for the iTMS: are they better enough than the ones with the music giants?).

    I don’t think Dell has much to fear here, but I am certain that, when the time comes to license Mac OS X, Dell would be an interesting partner if Apple ever decides to go for the corporate market.

    Blogger Applepeels (an ex-Apple federal sales team leader) does some very interesting analysis on these issues of OS licensing, profitability and collaborating with Dell: http://viewfromthemountain.typepad.com/applepeels/2005/06/apple_dell_the_.html

  10. glasspusher Says:

    Apple not competitively priced? WTF? I just went to the thinkpad site and priced a thinkpad that was similarly equipped as a 12″ PB, and it cost $500 more, with no firewire, although it did have gigabit ethernet. No superdrive either. 1.5GHz Celeron. Could get a 15″ PB for the price of the thinkpad.

    I would disagree with Larry Hastings, then- Apple is making more of a profit selling computers than the box makers, and its prices are competitive.

    Anyone who thinks that Apple’s prices aren’t competitive for a good system hasn’t been checking the prices lately, or noticing that Apple has been at the top of the customer satisfaction and reliabilty surveys. I expect their prices to drop and/or their performance to increase with the switch to intel. Goodie for me!

    I’m not worried that folks will have to install winblows if they need it. Hey, in the corporate world, who do you think installs and has to maintain winblows on people’s machines? The IT department. The home market will use OS X out of the box, those who have to use windows will install it themselves. When they get to compare OSes side by side on the same machine, they’ll realize the advantage of the mac. Same reason that Billy Boy didn’t sell NT for PowerPC, even though they had it working. He knew he couldn’t compete.

  11. Larry Hastings Says:

    Juanxer: I completely disagree. Steve Jobs wants to be in the high-margin hardware business. He wants vendor lock-in. Recall that one of his first acts as reinstated “interim CEO” of Apple was to kill the licensee program, Power Computers and the like.

    The switch to Intel hardware was not because he wants to get out of the hardware business; it’s so Apple laptops can remain competitive. Laptops now account for more than 50% of hardware sales, and the PPC doesn’t have anything anywhere near as good as Centrino. Jobs’ public assertion was “they are late with 3GHz” has a ring of truth, too, but I don’t think that’s as important as laptop battery life.

    Apple clearly *already* has a version of OS X that runs on Intel hardware. Surely it wouldn’t be hard to make a release for existing computers. If they wanted to become a pure software house, why haven’t they released it already?

  12. Juanxer Says:

    Well, I was talking long term, say, six to ten years in the future. I don’t mean Apple leaving the hardware business but de-emphasizing the desktop computer one (which is not doing that well, actually) in the mix, favoring consumer electronics solutions instead (such as the iPod-iTMS one. I think we’ll get to see an Apple TV set, for example: Front Row is sort of a GUI for that).

    I understand the reasons Apple has dropped the PPC architecture. Also, I understand why it did it so now instead of when OS X was first launched. PowerPC has been a constant headache, producing bumps as criminal as that delay in launching the iMac G5. Things are going well enough and OS X is flexible enough for the transition to be fairly painless (up to a point). But it can’t escape anyone that it gives Apple even more options than stated, and one of those options is licensing the OS. Not right now, of course, but if it makes financial sense sometime in the future it’ll happen.

    One should point out that Jobs offered licensing OS X to MIT for their 100$ laptop project. I’d say that is quite significant: he is not adverse to licensing if it produces the right mindshare.

    About NT for PPC: there was no interest in that, the same way NT for Alpha waned: x86 became far better performance/price-wise for NT’s main customer base. But let’s be careful there: I wouldn’t be surprised if we get to see Ms. advertising Windows for Macintosh: now they can sort of compete. In fact, I am eager to see VirtualPC running at native speeds in a Mactel.

    Apple products are “sort of” competitive: they do the job thanks to them having the least worst OS around (let’s be realistic there: there are loads of improvements possible, obvious and not so obvious ones), but usually one is able to get far better components in other PC brands: more powerful CPUs, faster and bigger hard drives, more RAM, better resolution displays, DVD+-RW all the way, non-crippled GPU functionality (iBooks), lower noise and more expandable casings, etc. For the target customer it doesn’t matter: the Macs are beautiful, work well, the OS and apps are pleasant to use, the brand is hip, etc. But considering their pricing and the margins, and studying their innards, one gets to see how compromised these systems are, and how decent the OS is at covering the fact.

    Of course, I look forward to seeing serious improvementsthere when the new Mactels arrive (I have an old Dual G4 which has gone through major surgery at a cost that quintuples a PC’s motherboard replacement, and I am eager to escape that kind of thing): Apple will be able to transfer some expensive chipset development expenses to other areas (design, fancy features, Next Big Things) and take advantage of the same resources all PC makers have at hand. Exciting times, surely.

  13. Peter Says:

    Actually, you missed one of the more entertaining Apple/Dell combinations…

    When Dell first started, their web store was run by WebObjects fron NeXT. However, when Apple bought NeXT, Dell dropped WebObjects and struck a deal with Microsoft to use ASP.

  14. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    Peter- thanks for reminding us about that! I remember having a good laugh about that at the time.

    I’m happy to see all the thoughtful responses on this post.

    Larry: You make some good points and I hadn’t weighed the situation very well on the “con” side. However, I don’t think sheer size is a good argument for longevity. On the flip side it’s Apple that increased its market cap by an order of magnitude in just a few short years. I think in the business world it’s very easy to hit a rough spot and burn through cash. If consumers stop buying Dell computers, the market cap will plummet.

    Nat: While it’s true that Apple probably won’t put a lot (any?) QA resources into making sure that Windows runs well on the Intel Macs, I think the odds are good that whatever they put into their machines will be fairly standard from a “works with Windows” point of view. I would hope that if only to gain *some* sales from the type of potential customer I’m describing, they would put QA into making sure that they aren’t shooting themselves in the foot with regard to Windows support. The important thing to consider here is that Apple’s PC competitors don’t support Windows well, either! My girlfriend’s PC laptop is a chaotic battleground of IBM, Microsoft and Intel software all tyring deseperately to steal the “support” baton from the others. It’s a nightmare! And this is on the highly lauded Thinkpad series.

    I think it’s pretty clear that I wrote this piece with a fair bit of showmanship. I don’t really think Dell will stop selling computers in 2006. But I don’t think the real threat to the core business is being treated as seriously as it should be. It’s easy for me to imagine the current “kings of the hill” in the PC world getting taught a valuable lesson about taking your market leadership for granted.

    And that will feel good.

  15. Juanxer Says:

    (I don’t know the particulars of Dell’s change to ASP, but certainly I don’t think Apple’s cancelling further development of NeXTStep as a multiplatform API helped things there. In fact, I wonder about General Motors, another Webobjects poster child. Also, It is not that Apple uses its own software only for all administration tasks itself.)

    The silly thing is that Michael Dell himself pointed out that there was interest in OS X among his clientele, and that he’d like to be able to offer them that. Also, Apple has an utterly terrible track record at supporting the Enterprise and Federal market, while Dell has a lot of credibility there. Food for thought.

  16. Sunnan Says:

    First of all, gasoline sucks. I don’t like IA-32 (esp. with the TCPA stuff) and I don’t like the oil industry.
    Second, what this does primarily is making clear comparisons between Apple hardware and other hardware possible. Similarly that the iPod shuffle could be compared to other flash players when it was released, and it had advantages and disadvantages.
    Third, Dell’s computers look like they’re designed for Men, like razors or BMW’s or big fat black joysticks. They’ve just got a nasty Gilette aesthetic. Apple’s look isn’t perfect but at least it’s not so Boringly Masculine. Nor is it barbie-bullshit. It’s neutral and nice.

    I’m one of those GTK/X-Windows/Whatever-users and I currently use an iBook. I don’t like Apple so I’ll be happy to look into something else, if this computer breaks down beyond repair (I’ve fixed it a couple of times already).

  17. keinrhythmus | blog » Blog Archive » a prophecy of triumph Says:

    [...] in other news… i read a thought-provoking blog post from a former apple employee about the recent rise of apple over dell and the history behind it. imagine if you will, a world where you can have any operating system you want (within reasonable bounds). that would truly be freedom, no? well, insofar as you have the ability to support it. then at least i wouldn’t have need of two separate machines to test everything. [...]

  18. Bob Crosley Says:

    I have some ideas on why it won’t happen over on my blog:

    http://weblog.bobcrosley.com/2005/12/21/why-apple-wont-put-dell-out-of-business/

    Bob

  19. Jon Says:

    Thanks for writing this story. I’ve spoken with a number of people over the past few months about the implications of Apple entering the realm of brand-name suppliers of Windows-compatible equipment. We’ve drawn many of the same conclusions.

    Historically, there just hasn’t been brand loyalty in the Windows-compatible hardware market. Dell came close, but has lost ground significantly with recent declines in service. Apple can walk in with a sensible line-up of machines, using consistent components from one manufacturing run to the next, and thus cure a lot of the he-said-she-said nature of e.g. video card support. Even selling slightly more closed boxes at a slightly higher price: as long as they work better, people will buy them.

    Specifically, they’ll buy them to run Windows. Or they’ll buy them to indulge a curiosity about this whole “Mac” thing, provided rock solid assurances that they can erase it and run what they’re familiar with if/when it turns out that change isn’t their thing.

    As a result, Apple may quickly vault to be the No. 2 or No. 3 volume supplier of Windows-compatible PCs. Which is a fine sustainable position from which to continue the conversation of whether one’s computing future is best served by Windows.

    All that looks good. But the biggest danger, and the reason I think people aren’t saying much or getting their hopes up, comes down to Microsoft’s historical willingness to play along. That utopian vision can still be shut down with only three words: “Service Pack 3.”

    [and now for some shout-outs...]

    Juanxer: good points, but don’t look at Apple’s enterprise and federal performance pre-Jobs; look at NeXT’s. It’s been a slow, steady march with the Xserve, XRAID, XSAN and such but they’ve been building a decent reputation from sub-zero.

    Larry Hastings: you’re right, Jobs shut down the licensing program. At a time when he still openly said he did his e-mail from a PC laptop. The question is, did he do this because he dislikes licensing, or because the timing wasn’t right for Apple’s bargaining position? I remember supremely heated WWDC sessions protesting the cancelling of Mentat STREAMS in favor of BSD sockets. What we didn’t know, but they did, was they would soon announce the core OS becoming open source.

    The timing wasn’t right in 1997 to switch to Intel, or to license the OS, or to do much of anything except survive. A lot of pieces had to be put into place first, including basic repairs to supply line, Internet/interoperability philosophy, public image, and cash position. The timing wasn’t right in 2004 for a video iPod, either, but the plan was in place…

  20. Red Sweater Blog » Blog Archive » Apple Strides in on a Banana Says:

    [...] By seeing exactly who has linked to me I not only get a warm fuzzy feeling that people are reading the blog, but I also get enchanted by the knowledge that readers all around the world are tuning in. I especially like foreign language links with native (to them) preambles. Today this one popped up on the Radar, a link to my Dell/Apple analysis from Sweden. A quick trip to Systran, yields a translation including this choice introduction: This is the reason to that Dell, HP and the other has a market. The as wants to have some in addition to a pinch pressed standard pc must skruva together it, with all those problems the means. [...]

  21. Michael Parker Says:

    Some of what your saying is just dead wrong. Dell’s are cheaper than mac’s… they just are. You can buy a complete piece of crap Dell for lik $300 with a monitor, keyboard and mouse. The mac on the other hand is more $, without the keyboard and mouse. This is a selling point for some customers. For Apple to get around this price issue, it would have to change somethings with the mac mini. The small size of the mini comes at a price with more expensive and slower laptop hard drives and more expensive and slower optical drives. Also apple I now includes airport and bluetooth in most of their models.

    Apple does not attempt to compete with companies like dell, gateway, hp, and a million others. If anything, it will be with companies like upper end pc’s like Sony. They don’t want to get into a slugfest for $2 profit, but they might for $200+ on the upper end.

    Also don’t forget that Apple said that they would not inhibit Windows running on their hardware, but that is far different from “we will be writing drivers to ensure that our hardware runs on windows and we will be including windows as an OS option.”

    Because they haven’t said the above, then you would be looking at spending a premium price on the mac and then buying windows to load on it, when the hardware manufacturer might not even write the drivers. Now that’s a waste. What this may mean for mac users like me, is that when I get desperate for a better sellection of video games, that I might be able to dual boot my mac to run windows where I can get some more titles. But I don’t think it means that windows or DELL are going away anytime soon. : (

  22. edwin Says:

    Well lets see what apple has for us en january 9 or 10 when the intel laptops comes out.

  23. Red Sweater Links » Blog Archive » Apple’s Boot Camp Says:

    [...] I would just like to reiterate Rentzsch’s “Holy Crap!” comment. Apple has embraced dual booting Intel Macs to Windows (and apparently, has also embraced the concept of a “Public Beta”). What looks cool about this is not only that it’s official and from Apple, but that it makes it easy to repartition your hard drive with files in place. Perhaps Apple’s is ready to start fulfilling my prophecy. Link. [...]

  24. Stuart Says:

    Will Dell go bye-bye? Maybe as we know it today, but not totally. Michael Dell didn’t get to where he is by being stupid. He will drastically change the company’s focus. Maybe he should think twice about expanding so much into India – Boy I would loved to have been a fly on the wall in Dell’s (and everyother PC manufacturer’s) boardroom this morning.

    I do believe that the smaller companies like Gateway and Acer will either go bankrupt or get eaten up (by whom I don’t know). Other companies like Sony and Toshiba may decide to abandon PCs and stick to other items like TVs and DVD players.

    I can say this though. I’ve been mulling over whether or not to buy a Mac and pony up the money for new software, or just stick with the PC. This little nugget of information has pushed me into Mac land.

  25. Stuart Says:

    Can anyone say “MacBook Pro Tablet”? I knew you could.

  26. paul Dupuis Says:

    Apple is a super buy. I have a Mac Mini(pre intel) and it is all most persons will need. It has one thing that Dell does not have – nor anyone else. The Mac OS X. It is a REAL operating system – a unix system (like Linux). It is stable and reliable -unlike windows. And the “cost” really. Try to buy a box with a DVD, firewire, and integrated software for photograhy and camcorders for $699. You MUST have a firewire port as well. There are none. Not at least last summer. I could have gone out and paid more for an HP or Sony. Or Dell. To get the same hardware and software.
    The downside. You cannot play that many games. I don’t play that many. That would be the only reason to stay on the Windows platform, for a home user.

  27. Red Sweater Links » Blog Archive » Dell Drops MP3 Players Says:

    [...] I interpret this (along with the exploding batteries) as a sign that the prophecy is coming true. Adiós, Dell! [...]

  28. Colton Booth Says:

    Jaja. Mouy Bein!

  29. Red Sweater Blog – When I Joined Apple Says:

    [...] 2005, I wrote boldly about the end of Dell, and I have to confess I was a little over-ambitious. I could see a path where Apple would take [...]

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