There is an old saying about how the money is in the razor
blade, not the razor. Transferring this to computers, I
think, you could say the money is in the software, not the
hardware used to execute it.
While that last statement can be debated (especially in
regards to a hardware giant like Intel whose net revenue for
2004 was about
$7.5 billion USD versus Microsoft’s net revenue of about
$5.4 billion (both numbers from their respective annual
Form 10-K filings and note they each have different fiscal
years)), I still think the saying has some truth to it. YMMV.
Insert disclaimer here.
To the extent that this is true, then I’ve often wondered
why Apple doesn’t put more emphasis on software instead of
tying people to their hardware. I mean, what’s the point of
tying both together and, as a result, being relegated to a
small niche segment of the huge technology market because
your hardware is so expensive?
The latest example of where the market seems to want to go
and, apparently, Apple doesn’t is in its new flagship
operating system OS X for PCs. This version is designed, as
the name suggests, to run on the new Intel-based PCs that
Apple is slated to start selling over the next few years.
However, the software is apparently locked to run only on
Apple PCs with the so called “Trusted Platform Module” (TPM)
chip installed. The software supposedly will not run unless
the chip is present and said chips would come only with Apple
However, the inventive folks over at the OSX86Project are
demonstrating that, yes Virginia, you can run Apple’s
operating system on $200 Intel systems without the TPM.
Whether this is a GoodThing(r), or legal for that matter, is
also debatable. But, I think this is the path the market
seems to want to take.
In the final analysis, Jobs will do what Jobs will do.
But, as another old saying goes: “Tell me which way the
people want to go so that I may lead them there.” is one way
to sell a lot of razor blades (and software, too).