Friday night topic: Should Apple open OS X to PCs?

— 5:43 PM on October 26, 2007

Ever since Apple switched its Macs and MacBooks to Intel processors, some users have been clamoring for the company to make its operating system, Mac OS X, available to PCs. Proponents say OS X is better-designed, more secure, and more stable than Windows, and that there's no technological barrier preventing it from running on plain x86 systems. In fact, some folks have already succeeded in getting Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger running on vanilla PCs.

Detractors of the idea, on the other hand, say Apple's revenue comes from hardware—not software—and that cannibalizing its Mac sales by selling OS X in the PC market would hurt it too much financially to make any sense. They also claim that OS X's stability is an artifact of Apple's limited lineup of machines and that the operating system would be no more reliable than Windows on John Doe's eMachines PC.

Of course, with the latest release of OS X boasting more shiny and exciting features than ever, one has to wonder. Should Apple just go for it and start competing head-on with Microsoft, or should OS X remain a niche product intended largely to help sell more Macs?


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