On the 10th anniversary of Steve Jobs’ passing, industry leaders shared stories about the late tech guru.
In an interview with CNET, Michael Dell revealed that Steve Jobs asked him several years ago to license a version of Mac OS based on NeXT’s Mach software.
This happened after Dell initially rejected Jobs’ request to pitch the adoption of the NeXT operating system, citing a lack of software and consumer interest.
While Dell showed interest in Jobs’ second approach, the deal could not materialize because they were unable to reach a mutual conclusion.
According to Dell, he was interested in the deal and offered to pay a licensing fee for every PC sold with Mac OS however Jobs rejected the proposal based on his concern that the deal would eat into Apple’s Mac sales.
Instead, Job proposed a deal that would create space for installing Mac OS and Windows side by side on all Dell computers.
While this would allow customers to choose which system they want to use, Dell would pay Apple a cut of all computer sales for that privilege, and this did not go down well with Dell who notes that he would have to pay Apple licensing fees even if his customers did not use Mac OS.
Since Jobs was unable to continue to guarantee access to the software, the deal did not materialize.
For Dell, “It could have changed the trajectory for Windows and Mac OS on PCs, but obviously, they went in different directions.”