What Apple Cannot do if it wants to survive

Damien Barrett: What Apple Should Do to Increase Marketshare

Damien suggests Apple purchase VirtualPC and integrate it with Mac OS X, and that this could increase Apple's market share.

I totally disagree with this idea. Why?

IBM did this with OS/2.

They integrated Windows 3.1 into it, and called this feature WinOS/2. You could seamlessly run Windows apps in OS/2 along side 32-bit native OS/2 applications.

This is one of the reasons OS/2 is dead, because almost no-one would develop native sofware for OS/2 because it wasn't necessary! Apps were already OS/2 compatible if they were written to the Win16 APIs. Yuck.

If Apple announces this, I guarantee Mac OS X native software development will cease almost overnight. And the problem would be amplified with Apple because, a) Apple has a very small % of the deployed hardware out there (OS/2 failed even though it ran on PCs), and b) the performance gap would be even worse than with WinOS/2 because the x86 Windows code would have to be emulated.

I've seen a number of people suggest this "RedBox" plan over and over since Rhapsody and the YellowBox (Cocoa) / BlueBox (Classic) plan was announced in early 1997.

In my opinion, the high price of VirtualPC (mostly due to the cost of the Windows license) is the only reason Apple is still in business today.

Written on October 10, 2001