Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 19th Jan 2010 23:31 UTC, submitted by jebb
Apple Now this is material that piques my interest more than anything: insights from one of the bigger names in the industry. Jean-Louis Gassee debunks the "Apple-must-license-its-software-or-die" myth by looking back upon the past - and if you don't know who JLG is, then please take that dunce hat and stand in the corner for three hours, contemplating your existence. Note: OSNews has a bug with using diacritic marks on the front page, so JLG's name is misspelled. It is correctly spelled in the article body.
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Familiar structural problem
by alcibiades on Wed 20th Jan 2010 18:21 UTC
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The problem is familiar in business strategy. Another example of it was the question whether content and access in online services should be offered together and only together. The wreckage of AOL and Compuserve and e-World, and the success of Internet and content on a mix and match basis, gave an answer in that case. Which may not be the same in all cases.

In the case of Apple, it seems likely that were they to split the OS and the hardware businesses and turn them loose to maximize returns, the shareholders would do better long term.

The hardware business is currently selling far fewer designer boxes than it could, because it does not sell them with Windows prepackaged. The OS business is currently selling fewer copies than it could, because it insists on restricting them to the rather limited Mac hardware range.

Cut them both loose, and of course, continue to sell packaged combinations of OSX and Macs to anyone who wants them, and probably shareholders would do better long term.

I really do mean by this, sell Macs with Windows preinstalled, if that is what buyers want, and also sell OSX for free installation on the machines of your choice, or through OEMs, to the extent that buyers want that. You'd have a better hardware and a better software business than now, when each side impairs the other's sales.

Of course, you would have a religious war on your hands to make the Reformation seem a cordial discussion over tea and cucumber sandwiches. You'd have to get through that. But as strategy, its probably the correct one, and it needs to be done from strength, before it seems to be necessary. Like, pretty soon now.

Edited 2010-01-20 18:23 UTC

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