RealTime IT News

Dell Bullish on Mac OS?

It seems that since Apple decided to move its processors away from IBM's PowerPC and onto Intel , other companies might be looking for a way to get in themselves.

Michael Dell, Dell founder and chairman, told Fortune magazine Thursday he wouldn't mind adding Apple's OS to its software product list, which includes a couple flavors of Linux to go with its Windows-heavy lineup.

"If Apple decides to open the Mac OS to others, we would be happy to offer it to our customers," he said in an e-mail to the publication.

Dell's comment came shortly after Apple decided to move its chips away from the PowerPC and inside Intel. The announcement, made by Apple leader Steve Jobs, was seen as a move to make the company's hardware more competitive.

The goal, of course, is to get Dell PCs running Mac OS X. The reasoning is there's only a short step from Intel-powered Macs to Intel-powered PCs running Mac OS X, now that Intel chips are making their way into Macs. As it stands now, however, the OS is only supported on Mac hardware using the PowerPC.

According to Natalie Kerris, an Apple spokeswoman, there are no plans in the works to divorce their hardware and software components.

"Apple has no plans to offer Mac OS X for personal computers from other manufacturers," she said. "Also, a flip side of that, Apple has no plans to sell or support Windows. Mac OS X will only run on Mac computers designed by Apple."

While the operating system might sell very well in the marketplace, it could be at the cost to its Mac systems, which would suddenly find itself in a sea of other competitors. The OS would also have to account for all the legacy hardware in the PC market today.

That doesn't mean Apple has been entirely reticent about helping companies advance their hardware with Apple-developed software.

Last week the company partnered with Nokia to develop a browser on the mobile manufacturer's Series 60 software platform; Apple develops its Safari Web browser on the open source WebKit, an HTML parser and renderer and JavaScript engine.