[rescue] Apple WWDC Summary

Nathaniel Grady nate at grady.is-a-geek.com
Tue Jun 24 16:16:27 CDT 2003

 > Mumbling about businesses not liking single-source, and the problems 
with OSX on x86

Hm, what about Apple licensing OS X to IBM to offer on workstations / 
laptops based upon the G5 (and possibly Power5)? IBM's price points are 
usually high enough that it wouldn't cause Apple to flinch, the quality 
is about the same, the markets they target are not really the same (IBM 
= business / technical, Apple = Arts / School / Home / Biologists (only 
science that seems to be really into macs), although I fully realize 
there is a lot of grey smudginess :) -- basically, it wouldn't hurt 
Apple nearly as bad as opening up to clone makers, it would allow a 
drastic increase in business penetration, IBM could get a much-needed 
"friendly"/"cool" side (heck, they could offer it with a "corporate" 
interface theme instead of the "lickable" one by default)... If IBM 
offered the machines, I probably could convince my boss that one of 
these "IBM RS/X Workstations" would kick ass, and before she knew it, 
we'd have a mac shop (amusingly, half of us working in her lab now have 
Macs at home - all because of OS X and/or spiffy-looking cases)

Ok, so it's a bit far-fetched.

Hm, how about a 3-way Coup d'etat for Apple? Start a new "clone" market 
with SGI and IBM, where they're not going to be fighting PC-commodity 
level pricing, but still get the "look" of multiple suppliers. IBM gets 
to sell "cool" os-x based machines that are easier for traditionally 
anti-mac people to slip past their bosses / enter the mid-range 
"between pc's and Power5" market. SGI gets a high-end graphics card in 
a main stream machine -- maybe they could do something like the failed 
NT attempt. Market some cheaper workstations based upon G5's / high end 
video cards aimed at markets a bit over what Apple aims at -- would 
allow studios / technical places to have OS X / G5 zoominess on both 
their cheap machines (instead of pc/linux boxen) and the high-end 
modeling boxes (reduced NT/linux on PC temptation). I think it would be 
much more successful than the failed NT attempt, since they wouldn't be 
trying to sell something slightly better than a vanilla PC at 2x the 
price - they'd be trying to sell something a step above what apple 
offered (with kick-ass video capabilities), at 1.5x the price ($6-8k 
for a low-end sgi instead of $5-6k for a high-end mac). SUN/IBM also 
sell big server lines that Apple is hesitant (for a reason) to tackle. 
Also, 3 companies in the mix would make the os-x / G5 market look a lot 
more tenable to businesses / people worried about apple tanking, as 
well as allow penetration into some new markets. Each company wins a 
bit, Apple doesn't loose nearly as much as a full-out clone market. The 
limited group of high-end hardware manufactures that actually talk to 
each other would allow the Apple plug-and-play thing to continue as 
well - no bargain-basement corner cutting that screws up so many PCs.

Ok, even more far-fetched, but I think if that happened, it would make 
a lot of people like me, who are dipping their toes into the water and 
like what they see os-x and hardware wise, but are hesitant to jump in 
and let "Big Steve" tell us what to do. Also, it would be a lot easier 
to go to my "macs are evil!" boss and say "look, they're not the 
machines they were 5-10 years ago, they're real UNIX workstations, that 
are easier / less crash prone / faster than the PCs we have floating 
around / they can access SMB mounts and print to the PCs with printers 
/ Office runs better on them -- look, IBM and SGI sell them now - 
that's proof enough they're a different beast now" than to say "hey, I 
like the new macs - they have a nifty interface, run office better, 
don't crash, bla bla bla, no, only Apple makes them, how do I know 
they're different and better now? Well, I have one..." Nope - that 
latter conversation happened and failed. She still screeches every time 
she seems the apple logo on the back of my Pismo.

ps: No, SUN and Apple don't fit together at all in my mind.

Just my excessively drawn-out thoughts for the day. Am I totally nuts?


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