Apple Computers announcements at this weeks Worldwide Developers Conference seem to have brought a lot of grownups out of hiding—and many of them emerged ready to respond to my latest column.
Dont get me wrong: Previous installments focusing on Apple and the Mac have prompted plenty of intelligent responses (both pro and con), and Ive been pleased to feature many of them.
However, the prospect that the next major rev of Mac OS X (a k a Jaguar) and a rack-mounted Mac server hardware will finally push Apples Unix-based New Wave OS into the enterprise seems to have caught the attention of an unprecedented number of professional users more interested in performance and compatibility than in platform polemics.
Even the skeptics—who raise eminently reasonable questions about Apples legacy support and developer relations, the rate of PowerPC development, and the inroads any Mac platform can make in the culture of enterprise IT—were remarkably positive about the Macs potential as a serious corporate contender.
I should also note that this is the first time Ive published an opinion piece (at least since Steve Jobs took the reins and reignited Mac passions) when I didnt find myself having to answer a single e-mail questioning my Mac bona fides or "platform loyalty." To me, that fact alone represents a great leap forward for Mac discourse!
Without further ado, heres a sampling of reader opinion on Apples enterprise prospects:
Im glad someone else has kept an eye on the potential of OS X to give Apple a beachhead in the corporate computing world.
So much of the press has been distracted for years by Apples claims to be interested only in the consumer market. However, Steve Jobs realized long ago that Apple would first need a credible OS before even talking about pursuing IT.
I still think they are trying to be stealthy for now. When Apple inevitably starts marketing itself to business, it will attract a great deal of scrutiny, which it must be ready to handle.
P.S.: OS X has caused great excitement in the science community at JPL, where we have a very heterogeneous environment.
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Mission Software Systems Section (369)
I have been waiting for rack-mountable servers from Apple for the longest time.
I run a network of nine Windows 2000 servers, with about 65 Mac clients. When this network was set up, Mac OS X was not available, and AppleShare servers didnt cut it. So that is why it at the time it was decided that Windows servers would flip the bill.
Now with Mac OS X coming into its own, and Apple deciding finally to make rack-mountable servers, I will be in a position finally to get some Mac servers on the network. It might not happen right away, but at least now its an option.