Apple Polishers, The Promised Land is in Sight!

Jason Perlow, over at ZDNet, was doing some research today it seems. In an article just posted, he tells of the relative ease with which a Dell Mini-9 notebook can be made into an Apple Netbook!

Is that cool or what! This is the promised land for lots of people, wanting something better than Windows on a small computer, and afraid of the jump to Linux, BSD, or anything like that.

A Dell Mini 9 can be easily transformed into a Mac OS X netbook as a Sunday afternoon project. Why won’t Apple make the next logical jump — make it legal? Photo: Gizmodo

This weekend, Gizmodo blogger John Mahoney posted a step-by-step tutorial of how to transform a $400 Dell Mini 9 into the ultimate Mac OS X netbook. Needless to say, what was once in the realm of pure hackerdom is now getting easier and easier to do. What used to take a week or more in order to properly piece together compatible clone hardware and do the appropriate research in order to assemble your own “Hackintosh” is quickly becoming child’ play.

In summary: Grab a Dell netbook, buy a legal copy of Mac OS X, download a “Bootloader” file that you can burn to a CD or a bootable USB flash drive, boot with it on the netbook, and install Mac OS X. It’s getting that easy, folks.

Of course, going out and buying a 400 dollar netbook where probably $75-$100 of the cost is Windows XP and then having to go out and spend $129.00 on Mac OS X somewhat defeats the purpose of having an affordable netbook. You now have a $530.00 netbook instead of a $400.00 one. One can buy some pretty decent full-blown laptops for that kind of money nowadays.

So it begs the question — why hasn’t Apple released it’s own $400 netbook? If the recession has shown us anything in this industry, it’s that cheap netbooks are flying off the shelves like hotcakes.  Granted, Steve Jobs and company have always been known to be elitist, and that Apple doesn’t like to “do cheap”. Okay, I can relate to that, except that this prima donna premium-oriented Apple branding stubbornness and arrogance is bound to get them stuck in some serious financial doldrums with Macsif they don’t do something about it quickly.

It would seem that there is a niche that needs filling, and that Apple doesn’t appear to want to do it themselves. Yes, we’ve been down this road before with Mac clones — and the Psystar chapter hasn’t been closed yet – but maybe, just maybe, Apple might want to consider getting some supplementary revenue from the Dells, the Lenovos, and the ASUSes of this world by allowing them to produce licensed Mac OS X netbooks using a common reference design. This would be limited strictly to netbooks, so that Apple’s premium notebook line would not be cannibalized, and Apple would be  getting licensing revenue from Mac OS X. To me, this seems like a reasonable compromise.

When I saw this, I immediately posted what I had thought about this for awhile.

Releasing OS X for other machines would be a boon for
Apple, and would not affect their sales much, except in those areas where they refuse to compete.

The hard core Apple-philes will always want the aesthetics that no one else has.

If Apple would license this sort of thing, Microsoft would be the big loser, and I would expect it to fund an avalanche of lawsuits through Apple against almost everyone and anyone. Microsoft can’t stand to lose the market share to a better system. This could break the hegemony of Windows, once and for all.

Think about it, OS X on a non-Apple system. Microsoft would do all it could to stop it, and probably AMD, which would, unfortunately, become a casualty of war. The other big winner would be Intel, as it could start building boards that slide right into that  Apple/nonApple.  They could be marketed as OS X ready!


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