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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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.

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

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.

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.

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.

"Steve Jobs and another Apple executive were waiting for us at the end of (the) golf course holding VAIO running Mac OS."

If true, this would suggest that Apple had an x86 build of Mac OS X as early as the 10.0 version (March 2001).

Shadrack said,

If true, this would suggest that Apple had an x86 build of Mac OS X as early as the 10.0 version (March 2001).

Yeah Steve said at the Intel switch over announcement that OS X has always led a double life with a small team working on making sure it ran on x86 architecture too. It was always a rumour and turned out it was true!

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.

Given how little Apple makes from their computer sales relative to iOS? Doesn't seem like it'd be bad in the long haul. License it out with STRICT terms and oversight to a company more willing to invest in it... How long did the Mac Pro languish? And while the Darth Mac is nice, its... Not something I would buy.

Mr.XXIV said,
Little? Where have you been?

I might be misremembering, but I recall that if iPod or Mac sales were to disappear completely it wouldn't be a huge deal to Apple due to iOS related revenue.

Chikairo said,

I might be misremembering, but I recall that if iPod or Mac sales were to disappear completely it wouldn't be a huge deal to Apple due to iOS related revenue.


ok well this whole thing was in 2001 iOs did not exist until the iPhone in 2007 and and since now every iphone and ipod and ipad run iOS it is the hardware that is sold not iOS since you cant buy iOS by itself since it is on ever iDevice ipod touch to ipad .

This story is not of right now that it is consideration this is all from 2001

notuptome2004 said,


ok well this whole thing was in 2001 iOs did not exist until the iPhone in 2007 and and since now every iphone and ipod and ipad run iOS it is the hardware that is sold not iOS since you cant buy iOS by itself since it is on ever iDevice ipod touch to ipad .

This story is not of right now that it is consideration this is all from 2001


I know that. I'm saying its an idea to be revisited. One or two"chosen" licensees to make Mac Pros or some other high margin hardware. Maybe they could bring back the Xserve (my old workplace had one).

Mr. Dee said,
Sounds like it was really bad at Apple back then.

No it was not very bad at Apple back then because at that time they had the iPod huge seccess and the Powerbook line of notbooks it was just somthing Steve may have wanted to do is possible expand in a new direction while keeping the old

So no it was not a Bad time at apple then Steve jobs made Apple successful again

Xerxes said,
Heavens no. Jobs essentially idolised Sony back in the day and often used them as inspiration for his own work.


No he never idolized sony at all What in the world gave you that idea

notuptome2004 said,


No he never idolized sony at all What in the world gave you that idea


Well maybe idolized was the wrong word, but he did look up to them. Read his biography, it's an interesting (and enlightening) read.

notuptome2004 said,

No it was not very bad at Apple back then because at that time they had the iPod huge seccess and the Powerbook line of notbooks it was just somthing Steve may have wanted to do is possible expand in a new direction while keeping the old

So no it was not a Bad time at apple then Steve jobs made Apple successful again

Bearing in mind that Apple were only just on the cusp of returning to profitability and success at this point. The iPod wasn't even to launch until near the end of 2001. OSX had only been released earlier in the year and from what I remember, launched to a fairly lukewarm reception because of how rough it was and the heavy dependence on the Classic environment to get anything done. Obviously it was a different story by around 2003-2004 as Apple were well on their way to fresh success at that point.

Chicane-UK said,

Bearing in mind that Apple were only just on the cusp of returning to profitability and success at this point. The iPod wasn't even to launch until near the end of 2001. OSX had only been released earlier in the year and from what I remember, launched to a fairly lukewarm reception because of how rough it was and the heavy dependence on the Classic environment to get anything done. Obviously it was a different story by around 2003-2004 as Apple were well on their way to fresh success at that point.


you are right on the iPod thing but Apple had great succes with the iMac introduction and Powerbook and iBook lines


http://community.seattletimes....e=19990415&slug=2955314

Sales of the hugely popular iMac computers for home users, as well as the speedy G3 business computers, gave Apple $1.53 billion in revenue in the January-March quarter, typically a slow one for computer companies.

Analysts said the positive report marks the end of Apple's recovery after losing nearly $2 billion between 1995 and 1997.

"Apple is clearly back on track," said analyst Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies in Campbell, Calif.

So clearly they was fine and doing well and the iPod may not have shown right away but when it really hit it hit big cause it like the iphone blew everyone in the industry off there feet cause they never even though of something like that in that ease of use and design

notuptome2004 said,

No it was not very bad at Apple back then because at that time they had the iPod huge seccess and the Powerbook line of notbooks it was just somthing Steve may have wanted to do is possible expand in a new direction while keeping the old

So no it was not a Bad time at apple then Steve jobs made Apple successful again

Well, if this was in 2002, when the Marklar project was in development (OS X on Intel), the iPod would have just been in the market for less than 6 months. Back then, the Mac represented the bulk of revenue for Apple, not the iPod.

I'm glad they didn't TBH. Not because I don't want OEM's touching the ecosystem (okay it is), but I love how unified the devices are as an independent company.

Mr.XXIV said,
I'm glad they didn't TBH. Not because I don't want OEM's touching the ecosystem (okay it is), but I love how unified the devices are as an independent company.

AKA a monopoly.