I use a PC with Windows at work and a Mac with Mac OS X at home and I like them both. They each have their distinct benefits but also shortcomings. What does annoy me in the computer market is when one company, no matter which company it is, gets such a monopoly that it can basically do or produce anything and the end users have no choice but to happily get into line and accept it.
So, therefore I urge: Let Mac OS X Free!
Let me explain what I mean with free. I don’t think Apple should give Mac OS X away, but rather free in the sense that, now when it’s Intel-based, being able to run on any PC as well. We need a balance out there and the only way to achieve it is to offer PC users other operating systems that will really give Microsoft a match. We won’t get rid of this monopoly by the means of the European Union performing a witch hunt on Microsoft or any other ridiculous legal ways trying to get to them.
The only way to make the operating system market more balanced is through competition! Offer well-known and worked-in alternatives to Microsoft so people actually have a choice.
Sure, I know, Apple sell their fair share of hardware because of the Mac OS X tie-in, but I don’t think that sales would decrease so dramatically if they offered Mac OS X for regular PC machines well. Most people who buy Apple hardware today would still buy it in the future, but in the mean time Apple can reach loads of other users who are just dying to switch from Windows but who aren’t ready/can’t afford to change from their existing computers.
According to Apple there are 15 million active Mac OS X users out there today. Imagine if that number would rise to 1 billion! Wouldn’t that result in enough revenue to make up for any eventual lack of sales of hardware?
So, Apple: do you want to keep on being this closed-in company for only die hard users, or do you want to create a more stable and balanced world when it comes to operating systems? It’s your call.
Updated October 20th
Gartner states: Apple should quit hardware business