Steve Jobs Once Asked Dell to Pre-Install Mac OS Alongside Windows In Exchange For Royalties
It has been ten years since the world lost Steve Jobs and people are starting their stories of Apple's former CEO. The latest story is shared by Dell CEO, Michael Dell, detailing the time when Steve Jobs wanted the company to license Mac OS in order to run the platform on Intel-based computers. If the move would have gone through, the entire shape of the PC industry would have been different. Scroll down to read more details on the story.
Steve Jobs Wanted Dell to License Mac OS to Run it on PCs and Pay Hundreds of Millions in Royalties
Steve Jobs first approached Dell when he established NeXT. Jobs talked about a partnership where the NeXT operating system would run on Dell PCs (via CNET). Apple's former CEO claimed that the operating system was better than Windows. What Michael Dell told Jobs was that it was not going to happen due to the fact that there were no applications for it and "zero customer interest."
Even after Steve Jobs rejoined Apple, he convinced Dell in order to to make a licensing deal for Mac OS. Jobs told Dell that users could have the option to choose between Windows and Mac OS.
"He said, look at this - we've got this Dell desktop and it's running Mac OS," Dell tells me. "Why don't you license the Mac OS?"
While Dell thought that it was a good idea, Steve Jobs was worried that since PCs are cheaper, users would prefer Windows and it would have an impact on Mac sales. Henceforth, Steve Jobs proposed that Mac OS should be loaded alongside Windows on every PC. This would have cost hundreds of millions in royalties even if users did not use Mac OS.
Dell smiles when he tells the story. "The royalty he was talking about would amount to hundreds of millions of dollars, and the math just didn't work, because most of our customers, especially larger business customers, didn't really want the Mac operating system," he writes. "Steve's proposal would have been interesting if it was just us saying, "OK, we'll pay you every time we use the Mac OS" - but to pay him for every time we didn't use it ... well, nice try, Steve!"
However, Dell was not sure about the future of Mac OS on PCs and the cost of royalties changed his mind. If the deal had gone through, Dell says that "It could have changed the trajectory for Windows and Mac OS on PCs." After some time, Mac OS was exclusive on Macs, and PCs were left with Windows as its main competitor. Nonetheless, despite differences and no Mac OS deal, Steve Jobs and Dell remained friends. Steve Jobs also tossed the original iPhone prototype just to prove its durability to journalists.
What are your views on the story? Let us know in the comments.