There has been lots of conversation and reminiscing about Steve Jobs on the tenth anniversary of his passing. One of those with a story is Michael Dell. He recalled how Mr. Jobs wanted macOS on every Dell machine, and to be paid a license fee for it. As CNET noted, such a deal would have had a profound impact on the future of computing.
“He said, look at this — we’ve got this Dell desktop and it’s running Mac OS,” Dell tells me. “Why don’t you license the Mac OS?” Dell thought it was a great idea and told Jobs he’d pay a licensing fee for every PC sold with the Mac OS. But Jobs had a counteroffer: He was worried that licensing scheme might undermine Apple’s own Mac sales because Dell computers were less costly. Instead, Dell says, Jobs suggested he just load the Mac OS alongside Windows on every Dell PC and let customers decide which software to use — and then pay Apple for every Dell PC sold. “It could have changed the trajectory for Windows and Mac OS on PCs. But obviously they went in a different direction.”