Dear Fortune's David Kirkpatrick…
The Macalope has read your piece entitled Windows on the Mac changes everything and he wonders what you were drinking last night that you woke up this morning and decided that history begins right now.
At MacWorld [sic], a little company called Parallels won awards for the latest version of its hit product, which enables you to run both operating systems at the same time on a Macintosh. It’s a major breakthrough.
First of all, it’s “Macworld.” Small “w”.
Second, it was a major breakthrough… about thirteen years ago. Sure, it’s a hell of a lot faster now that Apple’s on Intel, but let’s give Insignia, Connectix and OrangePC some props, shall we?
Both companies’ products specifically aimed at the Mac will remain self-consciously crippled in order to satisfy Apple’s demands that users not be encouraged to put Mac OS on a non-Apple machine. But pressures seem to be building in a way that Apple and Jobs will increasingly have a hard time controlling.
Hard != impossible.
Even if Apple didn’t somehow use Intel’s Trusted Computing technology to make running OS X on non-Apple hardware harder [UPDATE: In response to several commenters, yes, the Macalope knows Apple does not currently use Trusted Computing, his point was simply that that could be one way to control the hardware that OS X runs on. There is no evidence that they would even do this, however.] and even if it didn’t take legal action against those who enable it, it can simply not support it. Then it would be run by a smattering of hackers and geeks who probably aren’t Apple customers anyway. Any business, school or home user would find the proposition a non-starter because here’s how a support call would go:
Apple: Hello, Apple support.
Dimwit using OS X on a Dell: Hi, I’m having a problem printing.
Apple: OK. Can you tell me what version of the operating system and what Mac you’re using?
Dimwit using OS X on a Dell: I’m running 10.4 on a Dell Dimension.
Dimwit using OS X on a Dell: Hello? Hello?
Maybe what’s confused you, Dave, is that Michael Dell is not the lathe of heaven. His dreams do not become reality.
The pressures are building on Steve Jobs. Eventually, as virtualization improves, it will prove harder and harder not to accede to Dell and others who want to sell his software in different ways.
Right. Please explain how that statement is different than this one the Macalope just made up:
As David Kirkpatrick’s stalking of Beyoncé Knowles becomes more belligerent, it will prove harder and harder for her not to accede to his desire to have sex with her.
Yes, VMWare and Parallels would love to sell OS X virtualization for non-Apple hardware and, yes, Dell would love to sell hardware that ran OS X and drive Apple out of the hardware business.
But why, Dave, would it be in Apple’s interest to simply hand its hardware business over to these companies? It makes sense for them, but it doesn’t make sense for Apple.
Apple makes the iPod, the Mac and soon the iPhone. All of these platforms are closed to varying degrees because that’s Apple’s business model. If you took a few minutes to pull your head out of your ass, you might have heard that somewhere.
Silly pundits everywhere would like to see Apple open these platforms up for no other reason than it would satisfy their desire to report a big story in the industry. As Apple is not insane it’s currently just a useful tool to try to bash the company over the head with and create a controversy out of something that’s more important to the pundit class than it is to the user base.
So, Dave, if we’re going to be forced to endure your stilted technology industry fan fiction, at least give your main character some motivation.