Apple is making its second big mistake

It was 1992. I was shopping around for a computer. I saw the Apple Macintosh and was blown away by the wysiwyg magic. Apple could have ruled the world. Seriously. Apple products were as desirable then as now. But in his infinite wisdom, Steve Jobs, unlike Bill Gates, refused to license the Apple OS to OEMs. If you wanted an Apple OS you had to buy it from Apple. Had they licensed their OS then, there would have been no Windows today, and I would have most certainly been writing this in an Apple word processor on an Apple machine.

That was Apple’s first huge mistake. Microsoft ruled the world for the next 18 years.

It was March 2012 and I was shopping around for a smart phone. I had seen the iPhone. It’s what everyone wanted. It seemed that Apple could have ruled the smart phone world. But surprise! Along comes Google, with a distinctly inferior product and takes over market share. Google was doing with Android what Microsoft had done with Windows.

Is Apple making the same mistake of not licensing its iOS? Apple probably does not need to do so. There is a reason why it is the richest company in the world.

It is June 2012 and I am shopping around for a tablet. I have seen the IPad. It’s beautiful. Apple seems to be ruling the tablet world. Android is playing second fiddle in the distance. So maybe, Apple’s strategy of not licensing its OS was not a mistake. How may billions does it need to make to prove that?

Then on June 8, I saw the Windows 8 demo on an Ultrabook Transformer. And I realized that Apple is about to make its second big mistake.

If Apple still refuses to license its OS, Microsoft will rule the world for the next 20 years.