Unlike Microsoft which licensed its Windows operating system to retailers and computer developers, Apple macOS is more integrated with the company’s own computers. However, it seems that at one point in time, Apple wanted to license its Mac OS platform with Dell as one of the companies they considered.
According to a report from CNET citing the book unveiled this week called “Play Nice But Win”, a memoir written by Michael Dell, the founder and CEO of Computer Software Dell. According to the letter, Dell is talking about how support company Steve Jobs approached him and his company with a request, and offered to license his Mac OS to Dell.
According to Jobs at the time, this would give customers the option of having Apple software or Microsoft software installed on their computer as they purchase a PC. It was around this time that Jobs revisited Apple and was able to run the Mac software on Intel x86 chips.
While Dell said it was open to the idea and was willing to license Mac OS and pay Apple for every PC sold with Mac OS, it seems Jobs had another idea. Jobs apparently suggested that Dell should only pre -copy all PCs and Mac OSes and only pay Apple a fee for every PC sold, even if that person chooses to use the Mac or of Windows.
This negotiation would have been very beneficial to Apple, but it was a bit too expensive for Dell, and the end of the deal was never brought about. That’s good news because for all we know, this negotiation could have made Apple a bigger company than it is today, but at the same time, it could have gone in completely opposite directions.