If there is one thing that Bill Gates got right and Steve Jobs did not is collaboration. And it is because Bill Gates knew how to collaborate and leave enough money on the table for others that he became the richest man in the world and Steve Jobs did not. And it is also because of this that Bill Gates became the largest philanthropist ever in the history of humanity and Steve Jobs, even if he had had the money, would have probably never gotten to that spot. Bill Gates likes to share his toys. Steve Jobs does not.

Now let me explain. I hate Vista. I use Apple, I have an iPhone, and I am now blogging from a MacBook Air. I even own Apple shares since they crashed last month. Having said this, I think it is time that Apple allows Leopard to be used in Dell computers, for example, so we can get quality, competitive products that are better than this new Apple clone. Us Leopard users…we want choice. I hope that guy in Miami does not get shut down. In any case, my advise to him would be to sell the boxes and let people install Leopard in them on their own.

Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars

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Oliver Thylmann on April 16, 2008  · 

short but fitting analysis excluding the dell part. I don’t think Apple should do that, without being a total apple fanatic.

The thing is that what we like about apple is that stuff just works. This is partly because Apple controls all the hardware. Once they open it up the hardware gets too diverse.

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Pablo on April 16, 2008  · 

I think Apple has already thought about it, and gates did a good job opening Windows to everybody. It’s great. But the computer market it’s not the same anymore.

Today, computers are affordable for almost everyone in Europe or the US, even Apple computers. And today’s consumers want a solution out of the box. Apple computers just work, it’s not only the operating system… they don’t have to struggle with drivers or anything. If you buy an Apple computer you get a complete solution.

I would like to see that happen, but I think Leopard wouldn’t perform that well in computers with so many buggy driver (most of the Vista problems are buggy drivers).

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Matin on April 16, 2008  · 

You make a great point, but which company would you rather work for, work with, or buy from — Microsoft or Apple? The difference is not collaborate or not but how to collaborate. Apple collaborated with Google and another company to make their Maps software on the iPhone. Apple collaborated with many record labels and created iTunes. Microsoft has tried to duplicate iTunes twice, and alienated all their partners the first time.

While I agree with your statement. Success can’t be measured in terms of money alone.


PS, It’s possible that Jobs has also donated a great deal of money but not as publicly.

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Boris on April 16, 2008  · 

Gates is rich. That is true. But he got rich with a product that sucks. Steve Jobs got rich too and did it with a product that is marvelous, works great and is even sexy. Should Steve Jobs give that up so he can become richer? I think not…

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Martin Varsavsky on April 16, 2008  · 


I used to think poorly of Bill Gates until I met him last year. I used to think very well of Steve Jobs until I met him last year. Steve Jobs is a genius in everything but he doesn´t collaborate as well.

Martin Varsavsky on April 16, 2008  · 


I love Apple and I used it a lot. I also hate Vista. I just want more code written for Leopard and for that I want Apple to license its software to companies like Dell so more coders write stuff for Mac.

Paul RODTS on April 16, 2008  · 

For more information about this :
I think Martin has a point, but I don’t choose between Gates or Jobs,…I choose for open software or even more competition.

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Jens on April 17, 2008  · 

Hi there!

Well Apple already had his experience with clone computers. The success of Apple is “better by design” (ok it’s an AMD slogan but it fits). Hardware and software is tailored to match and function well. That’s the core of the Apple/Mac experience. It’s like the Ferrari F1 team, everything (chassis, engine etc) comes from one company. Steve always says that Apple is all about keeping the ownership. They want to have the ownership of the OS that runs their machines, they want to have the ownership about the hardware setup, the apps etc. They can innovate everything without being dependent on a 3rd company (except intel maybe).

Questions to ask: Would their profit grow if every PC had a Mac OS option? Or would it cannibalize their sales? Would it even damage their brand as non-Apple Macs would be more unstable than Apple Macs as they have to deal with tons of additional hardware driver issues. With Apple there is someone to go to when you have a system failure. OS, hardware, apps, it’s one company. When e.g. a Dell fails you have to talk with Dell, OS maker, app maker (just happened to me, neither Dell nor MS could help me with Vista SP1, still love Dell).

For me Apple is a closed ecosystem. I prefer open/free systems as well (I love Firefox, Miro, Winamp, VLC, Rails etc.) but a closed ecosystem especially in the consumer domain is a guarantee that things just work and interact well with each other. Apple is like China, a super capitalistic communistic system. Everything is planned and delivered from one source without customer choice but executed in an ultra capitalistic way (you need to buy expensive adapters and hardware that come for free with every PC, iPods officially only work with iTunes etc.).

Apple has its own way of dealing with things, very much like console makers like Nintendo do it. As a geek it would be nice to be legally able to install Mac OS on your PC, but who needs it anyway (outing myself as a XP SP2 fan boy now).

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Boris on April 17, 2008  · 

Martin: I understand your wishes but don’t think it is the right way to get them. In other words: opening up the Mac OS X will make it lose its advantage over Vista. It will become fragmented, unreliable and unsecure. It will become Windows.

If you wish for eternal life, don’t forget to specify eternal youth too. 😉

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Matin on April 18, 2008  · 


Linux is the extreme example of collaboration, and it is both reliable and secure. It is also fragmented through many distributions, but that’s the point for the Linux community.

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Toni on April 19, 2008  · 

As we know, it’s all about….
developers, developers, developers, developers!!!!

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Antoin O Lachtnain on April 19, 2008  · 

Guy Kawasaki wrote about the clone thing somewhere. He was there for apple v microsoft part 1. He explained that it was a question of contribution to profit. At the moment, every Apple sale contributes hundreds of dollars. Clone sales would contribute far less. It might be the path to future growth, but in the short term, it requires taking a big hit on profits.

Of course Jobs is also planning his strategy for this. I’d say he will do clones, but on his own terms. He probably wants to avoid Microsoft’s situation, where they find it difficult to deal with all the different hardware and drivers they are expected to support.

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Eddie on April 20, 2008  · 

Apple already openend all their software up for you. You can use it on whatever you want and you have total control of what you have. With (for example) Vista, I had to turn of thousand of administrator functions before I could actually do ANYTHING! Don’t forget that microsoft is ALL about the money. The programs are utter shit. And the OS you’d have to run it on, are even worse. They’d do everything for a bit of money, without thinking about it first.

And now they finally released SP1, which actually should be standard, in a decent software package.

So I can amagine opening up a shitty package of dev. It’s utter useless and crappy. Just extra income. Apple however… Not the best, but way better. And thats why I can understand why they are not opening this up for everybody. It’s low profit for them, but the quality their brand maintains will not stay by selling/opening up to for example, Dell.

And keep in mind, that Apple always had small selective range of products… So you had to spend a lot of money, but my god… It’s worked/works fantastic. It’s like a collector’s item, compared to a Windows system. So yeah… Apple is my fav. and I might be slightly obsessed with their products.

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Martin on April 24, 2008  · 

This is the right link to the Apple clone article.
I like Apple as well but it’s a bit too expensive compared with the Dell laptops I use. Some of them are stylish, but I don’t like the all plastic white ones that I see around lately. And I don’t see a reason to use it, since I like to have both Guindows and Ubuntu in the same laptop, and that’s something I won’t do if I get a Mac 😉

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