Report: Steve Jobs proposed running OS X on Sony VAIO notebooks

Could Sony's VAIO notebooks have run Mac OS X rather than Windows 8?

Even as Sony dodges questions concerning recent rumors that it may sell off its Windows-based VAIO PC division, an interesting historical wrinkle has popped up on the Internet that claims the company could have walked down a much different path with its notebooks.

Nobi.com has posted parts of an interview conducted in 2011 by Japanese journalist Nobuyuki Hayash with former Sony President Kunitake Ando. In that chat, Ando revealed that, during a golf vacation for Sony executives in 2001, "Steve Jobs and another Apple executive were waiting for us at the end of (the) golf course holding VAIO running Mac OS."

Yes, Jobs was indeed proposing that Sony offer VAIO notebooks with Mac OS X installed, in a huge exception to Apple's policy of not allowing third party hardware products to run its operating systems. Apparently Jobs was such an admirer of Sony and its products that he was willing to allow the company this chance to use Apple's OS.

However, the article said the VAIO-Mac OS X partnership ended before it got started. Ando indicated that the VAIO team at Sony had already spent a ton of time optimizing the notebooks to run on Microsoft's Windows and were opposed to trying to do the same thing with Apple's OS. It certainly would have been a very big deal in the PC industry if Sony had moved ahead with Jobs' idea.

Source: Nobi via The Verge | Image via CNet

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Not surprising really considering OS X came from OpenStep, which ran on Intel, m68k, SPARC and PA-RISC and had to be ported to PowerPC for Rhapsody.

And the reason they have kept OS X mostly closed is due to the "keep it as it is" fanatics; however, even now, it's with a wink and a nod. (Look at it realistically - how hard would it be to make the "Hack" arena so difficult that it's not worth the trouble? As it stands, it's not much more difficult to install OS X on a standard Vista-era or later PC than it would be to install a Linux distribution, or even Windows.) The question is not WILL OS X either go FOSS or legally wind up multi-brand - the question is more like when; as much as the fanatics hate the idea, it is becoming a numbers issue; there simply are not enough fanatics to keep OS X closed off. Didn't the same thing happen with Solaris - which had a greater market-share than OS X has today?)

Perhaps. The focus of your post is market share, but I think that the current profit margins Apple is enjoying from their hardware business will keep them from going this route. A couple of bad Mac sale years might change that.

Not sure if Solaris is a great example. As you've stated "had a greater market-share than..." going from a dedicated hardware model to a standalone OS that could be installed on a variety of hardware configurations didn't turn out that well for Sun Microsystems, did it? Although, I'm sure there were other contributing factors.

InTheSwiss said,
Apple has no need to bring OS X to non-Apple hardware, they make far more from hardware than they ever could from OS X licensing.

Consumer market? Absolutely. Professional market? Maybe not. They could charge a significant amount for the OS. After all, you're dealing with people who can spend hundreds to thousands of dollars on software, and plop down a couple grand on workstations that gamers look at and wonder what the big deal is about. Look at the professional cards that AMD/ATI and Nvidia have - they're expensive, and its partly due to the "professional" drivers and support.

I think its doable, really. But they need to keep a tight leash on any companies that license OSX. Top quality or else you lose your license, period.

I'd love to buy OS X for my PC, if nothing else, just to learn something new. Not paying Apple prices for hardware, though.

AR556 said,
I'd love to buy OS X for my PC, if nothing else, just to learn something new. Not paying Apple prices for hardware, though.

I guess if that would have to happen then Apple won't be offering free Maverick. And I love free Maverick much more than windows. Now Win 8 is a disaster anyway but Win 7 is good one.

Auditor said,
I guess if that would have to happen then Apple won't be offering free Maverick.

They obviously need to make money *somehow* OS X would probably have to cost several hundred dollars.

It would have been much better for Sony and Hackintosh community. Sony was the sole looser and I can't believe they did not have the foresight to grab this once in a life time opportunity. I never owned Sony laptop in my life time as I always find them overpriced. But Sony did have some good hardware though.

This story is somewhat inaccurate. Yes, it's true that Apple used VAIOs to run OSX back on 2001. But it's not because they wanted Sony to distribute OSX on their computers. They wanted Sony to manufacturate Apple designs.

And for those who are impressed that Apple had an x86 build of OS X those days. Remember that OS X was built over Next OS, which originally was x86 too.

sanctified said,
This story is somewhat inaccurate. Yes, it's true that Apple used VAIOs to run OSX back on 2001. But it's not because they wanted Sony to distribute OSX on their computers. They wanted Sony to manufacturate Apple designs.

And for those who are impressed that Apple had an x86 build of OS X those days. Remember that OS X was built over Next OS, which originally was x86 too.

Source?

If you're looking for a source on the second part, Steve said it was built in parallel since the very beginning. Also even before OSX the server version known as Rhapsody at the time was released to developers ran on x86 too. It didn't even have the Aqua interface yet

Rudy said,
If you're looking for a source on the second part, Steve said it was built in parallel since the very beginning. Also even before OSX the server version known as Rhapsody at the time was released to developers ran on x86 too. It didn't even have the Aqua interface yet


No I was looking for a source in what I quoted.

adrynalyne said,


No I was looking for a source in what I quoted.

You quoted his entire post. I tried to find a source on that but no luck so far, but it does sound a bit more realistic than this story. Sony actually did build laptops for Apple once, the Powerbook 100.

Edited by Thrackerzod, Feb 6 2014, 3:09am :

Thrackerzod said,

You quoted his entire post.

I'm aware.

I never asked about it being built in parallel, or anything like that, nor did what I quoted mention that (past confirming the article). I asked for a source regarding Sony manufacturing Apple designs.

Hence I quoted sanctified. Are we reading the same quote?

adrynalyne said,

I'm aware.

I never asked about it being built in parallel, or anything like that, nor did what I quoted mention that (past confirming the article). I asked for a source regarding Sony manufacturing Apple designs.

Hence I quoted sanctified. Are we reading the same quote?

I am, but if you notice you quoted Sanctified's entire post. You weren't clear about which part of his post you were asking for a source to, the first part about Apple asking Sony to manufacture their laptops or the second part about NextStep running on x86.

Thrackerzod said,

I am, but if you notice you quoted Sanctified's entire post. You weren't clear about which part of his post you were asking for a source to, the first part about Apple asking Sony to manufacture their laptops or the second part about NextStep running on x86.

I didn't think I needed to when the article addressed his 2001 first comment. The NextStep comment is easily seen because it is not a PPC only OS, or even an Apple tech.

That leaves...Sony designing Apple laptops. I wanted to read more about it.

adrynalyne said,

I didn't think I needed to when the article addressed his 2001 first comment. The NextStep comment is easily seen because it is not a PPC only OS, or even an Apple tech.

That leaves...Sony designing Apple laptops. I wanted to read more about it.

Well to be fair my comment was in reply to your statement "No I was looking for a source in what I quoted." Since you quoted everything that made it kind of unclear exactly what you were asking about. Anyway trim your quotes next time and we can avoid all this confusion, and we're probably annoying everyone with this pointless conversation so I'll just go to bed and stop being a pest.

Thrackerzod said,

Anyway edit your quotes next time and we can avoid all this confusion, and we're probably annoying everyone with this long and pointless conversation so I'll just go to bed and stop being a pest.


Fair enough, LOL.

adrynalyne said,


Fair enough, LOL.

hahaha when I saw I had 10 replies in the notification center i thought 'wth? What did I caused now?'

Anyway. I cant find the Nathan Lineback's article now (the original source) since the web has been flooded with this news. However I did found two articles I read some time ago of why Steve wanted Sony to hep them manufacturate their designs. In a nutshell: Steve really admired Sony's minimalism.

Hope you enjoy them.

http://www.fastcodesign.com/16...signs-that-never-came-to-be

This second article is specially interesting because it relates steve's fascination with Sony's manufacturing profess and facilities.

http://www.sonyrumors.net/2011...eve-jobs-wanted-apple-sony/

We all know the history. The Apple-Sony collaboration barely happened and Apple went to Intel, Samsung and others in order to reinvent themselves. But always looking up to Sony. Quite an interesting tale honestly.

sanctified said,

hahaha when I saw I had 10 replies in the notification center i thought 'wth? What did I caused now?'

Anyway. I cant find the Nathan Lineback's article now (the original source) since the web has been flooded with this news. However I did found two articles I read some time ago of why Steve wanted Sony to hep them manufacturate their designs. In a nutshell: Steve really admired Sony's minimalism.

Hope you enjoy them.

http://www.fastcodesign.com/16...signs-that-never-came-to-be

This second article is specially interesting because it relates steve's fascination with Sony's manufacturing profess and facilities.

http://www.sonyrumors.net/2011...eve-jobs-wanted-apple-sony/

We all know the history. The Apple-Sony collaboration barely happened and Apple went to Intel, Samsung and others in order to reinvent themselves. But always looking up to Sony. Quite an interesting tale honestly.

Thank you sir

Kind of glad they didn't do this. Sony makes ****ty computers anyways. They have the worst support when you need drivers, especially the way they package them in their installers. Personally Apple came out ahead on this one. Not to say that I don't want OSX on non-apple hardware but allowing it would finally put Macs into the reach of consumers who would benefit the most from them. What I like about OSX is how its dumb down everything so its really hard to screw it up when using it. I am slowly transitioning the rest of my family into getting macs so I don't have to make as many house calls for stuff breaking and viruses and such. Where I see this having the biggest impact is actually making PCs better in the long run. manufacturers will start going easy on the bloatware since OSX has none. Kind of like how Microsoft did with the Surface have very little bloat on it.

Gotenks98 said,
Kind of glad they didn't do this. Sony makes ****ty computers anyways.

I guess not anymore since the news today that they sold their PC division.

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