Apple’s Mac range, which only recently turned thirty years old, is an integral component in the world of modern computing. Like iOS devices, Apple computers tend to run smoothly, and this can largely be attributed to the fact that Apple itself designs both hardware and software in-house. But while OS X, the company’s desktop platform, can only run on Macs (save Hackintosh-like methods), there was once a point when Steve Jobs – former CEO and co-founder of the Cupertino outfit – wanted OS X to run on Sony’s VAIO notebooks.
The story has made waves in the blogosphere this morning courtesy of Japanese writer Nobuyuki Hayashi, who has been covering Apple for over two decades. Having managed to borrow a few words with former Sony president Kunitake Ando, Hayashi relays Ando’s recollection of the day Jobs entertained the rather unbelievable notion of VAIOs running OS X software.
At some point around thirteen years ago, Jobs met with Ando, as well as other Sony execs, in Hawaii for a round of golf. Golf courses, broadly speaking, are well known for their credentials as apt setting for informal business discussions, but while these kinds of conversations normally take place as the respective parties make their way around the course, Jobs wasn’t known for subscribing to convention.
He also wasn’t famed for his subtlety, either, and once Ando and his cronies had reached the end of the course, there was Jobs, waiting, with other Apple executives, waving a VAIO running Mac OS X. This was 2001, a few years after Jobs had put a stop to the Mac “clone” program in 1995, and naturally, Jobs’ proposition took Ando by surprise.
In fact, had the news been made public at the time, the tech world would certainly have been taken aback, but despite Jobs’ interest in the idea of running OS X on a VAIO, nothing ever came of it.
According to Ando, Jobs was such a fan of the Sony VAIO line that he was “willing to make an exception” to get OS X on it, but since the VAIO’s sales had just begun to gain traction, perhaps the Japanese company didn’t see the enterprise as a worthwhile one.
Do you think Apple would’ve been a different company if the deal had gone through?