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What should Apple do with twelve BEEEL-lion dollars?

This is the question posed by Arik Hesseldahl in today's Byte of the Apple column for BusinessWeek: what should Apple do with its $12 billion in cash and short-term investments? His suggestion: rather than spending more money on acquisitions (such those that led to Logic, Final Cut and Shake), the big A could start a venture capital fund that would help Mac software startups, and established vendors looking to port to the Mac, with seed money to get products off the ground and out the doors.

Hesseldahl points to other tech giants that run their own VC operations, among them Intel, Qualcomm and Motorola. Perhaps it is time for AAPL (back up to $87/share at today's close, erasing a good chunk of Tuesday's losses) to turn some of that spare change into "changing the world, one software company at a time."

[via The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs]

This is the question posed by Arik Hesseldahl in today's Byte of the Apple column for BusinessWeek: what should Apple do with its $12...