Apple as the Microsoft-killer

This Cringely article mostly deals with Google and the possibility of the company being at an apex (although without much substance or willingness to go out on a limb). He goes on to explain the Google is doing their own thing and probably not looking to be a Microsoft killer, instead pointing at Apple as the likely culprit. The kicker of an idea is at the end:

Every one of those iPods is a bootable drive. What if Apple introduces OS 10.5, its next super-duper operating system release, and at the same time starts loading FOR FREE the current operating system version — OS 10.4 — on every new iPod in a version that runs on generic Intel boxes? What if they also make 10.4 a free download through the iTunes Music Store?

It wouldn’t kill Microsoft, but it would hurt the company, both emotionally and materially. And it wouldn’t hurt Apple at all. Apple hardware sales would be driven by OS 10.5 and all giving away 10.4 would do is help sell more iPods and attract more customers to Apple’s store.

That could be fun. The idea sounds plausible but it probably won’t happen. Then again, Apple switching to Intel was never supposed to happen either. I could see Apple releasing an older version of os x that runs on any Intel hardware and making /home/user directories easily portable on the iPod.