Dell: We Would License Mac OS X

Journalist David Kirkpatrick wrote in his weekly column in Fortune Magazine that Michael Dell has openly expressed interest in licensing Apple's Mac OS X if the company decides to go that route.

Other companies have reportedly been keen on the idea as well, but refused to be named publicly. According to Kirkpatrick, these companies are at the mercy of Microsoft and could face some kind of retaliation from Redmond if they make their positions public.

Dell, on the other hand, holds considerable power as the largest seller of personal computers and already offers Linux as a Microsoft alternative on its server platforms.

"If Apple decides to open the Mac OS to others, we would be happy to offer it to our customers," company chairman Michael Dell said. Dell declined to elaborate publicly any further.

Many analysts have suspected that Apple's shift to Intel may indicate an eventual move to bring Mac OS X to any home computer. However, at least for now, the company is denying that is the case.

At Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this month, Apple vice president Phil Schiller maintained the Mac OS X would run on Apple hardware only. "We will not allow running Mac OS X on anything other than an Apple Mac," he said.

But Schiller admitted, "That doesn't preclude someone from running [Windows] on a Mac. They probably will."

Kirkpatrick additionally contacted Intel rival AMD for its response to the processor switch. Henri Richard, AMD's sales and marketing officer claimed the move was all about money. "The amount Apple can get from Intel is vastly greater than what it could get from us," Richard said.

Richard also took a swipe at his rival, saying he thinks Apple will eventually turn to AMD chips due to quality. "Steve is a smart guy. He'll get as much money as he can from Intel, and then go to the best architecture."

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