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Japanese freelance writer Nobuyuki Hayashi reveals in a detailed post that Steve Jobs was once serious about opening OS X to computers other than his company’s Macintosh line.
That’s right. It may be hard to believe at first, but apparently the Apple CEO was so taken with Sony’s designs and business model that he wanted OS X running on its VAIO laptops.
In 2001, Steve Jobs and a fellow executive reportedly visited Hawaii to meet up with Sony’s high-ups, who were on vacation there playing golf.
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As he was waiting for the Sony executives to arrive at the rendezvous point, Jobs could be seen “holding [a] VAIO [laptop] running Mac OS,” according to Kunitake Ando, the ex-president of Sony, Inc.
Hayashi reports, “When Steve Jobs regained the control of Apple back in 1997, one of the first thing he did was to close all the Mac-compatible deals claiming it is destroying Mac's eco-system.
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“Steve Jobs believed that Mac-compatible business would harm not only Apple's business but also the ‘Mac’ brand. But that same Steve Jobs was willing to make an exception in 2001. And that exception was Sony's VAIO.”
Apple liked Sony and Sony liked Apple. The two companies would have probably made a good team selling laptops with OS X pre-installed, but as it turned out, the timing for Steve Jobs’ pitch couldn’t have been more ill-fated.
“Ando liked Apple. He always felt Mac and VAIO were so close in philosophy. He especially admired the original iMac introduced in 1998. But the timing was bad for Sony, it is just about the time, Sony's VAIO gained popularity and it is just about the time that VAIO team had finished optimizing both VAIO's hardware and software specifically for Windows platform.”
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In a nutshell, Jobs wasn’t a complete control freak. However, it seems he would only want OS X installed on a computer designed by Sony.