Snow Leopard press release proves that Apple WILL NOT license Mac OS X

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By: switchtoamac at: 1:22 PM on June 10, 2008 | Comments (2)
It's time to bury the OS X licensing speculation.  Prior to this year's WWDC people speculated that Apple may begin to license Mac OS X due to banners failing to mention 'Mac'.  The omission of 'Mac' from the banners generated a slew of buzz as many people began to speculate that Apple was thinking about licensing their operating system.

Where's the proof?

The following tidbit in the Snow Leopard preview press release demonstrates Apple WILL NOT license Mac OS X, instead it solidifies the company's commitment to the Mac:

"Snow Leopard delivers unrivaled support for multi-core processors with a new technology code-named “Grand Central,” making it easy for developers to create programs that take full advantage of the power of multi-core Macs."

So there you have it, a clear statement that calls out the link between Mac OS X and Macs.  Therefore, there is no need to speculate 'if' or 'when' Apple will license OS X to other computer manufacturers, the company simply won't do it.  Apple is not about to exit the computer business and will not for the foreseeable future.  The advancements in Snow Leopard are a testament.  Why would Apple take a 'pause' and work on improving Mac OS X if the end goal was to license it?  On a more basic level, why would Apple license Mac OS X anyway?  Apple is firing on all cylinders.  They are gaining market share at the expense of Microsoft Windows and rival PC vendors.  People and businesses are clearly making the switch.  It can be argued that the Apple buzz is at an all time high.  The Mac effect can be seen everywhere you go.  Besides, Apple is one of the KEY innovators in the tech industry.

Apple will not undermine its strategic competitive advantage by licensing OS X

Apple has positioned Mac OS X as the 'world’s most advanced operating system' so why would they take the step of licensing it and undermining their PROVEN end-to-end strategy?  Why would they take an action that would undermine their strategic competitive advantage?  Apple products are known for their exceptional user experience.  It started with Mac OS X, it was then applied to the iPod, and more recently applied to the iPhone and iPod touch.  Apple has now come full circle (which I said they would way back in 2006) and is applying the lessons learned to Snow Leopard, the next version of Mac OS X.  They clearly call this out in their press release when they refer to the iPhone:

"Using media technology pioneered in OS X iPhone, Snow Leopard introduces QuickTime X, which optimizes support for modern audio and video formats resulting in extremely efficient media playback"

Apple's integrated approach argues against licensing
Integration and ease of use is what today's fast-paced digital lifestyle demands.  Apple is able to meet this demand by offering a compelling, complete, and refined user experience across their product line.  Snow Leopard and hence Macs will continue to offer this value proposition.  Therefore, there is no longer reason for people to speculate.  Apple won't license Mac OS X, yes, it's called "Mac" OS X.

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2 Reader Comments

That's a ridiculous conclusion. The processors in multi-core Macs are exactly the same as those in most other PCs and its highly unlikely Apple will move to custom cores after just completing the move to Intel.



that wasn't my point. my position was that based on the objective of Snow Leopard and the explicit call out to 'Macs' when tied back to Apple's integrated end-to-end model clearly shows that Apple will not abandon the Mac platform. They simply will not license Mac OS X in the near future.

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