Apple Succeeds Without Really Trying

By Stan Gibson  |  Posted 2009-02-04 Print this article Print


Apple Succeeds Without Really Trying

Despite his enthusiasm for the Macintosh platform, O'Donnell, like many enterprise Macintosh customers, is frustrated by Apple's treatment of its corporate clients. He notes that Al Shipp, Apple's senior vice president for enterprise sales, retired from the company in November 2008 and was not replaced by Apple. "That shows Apple doesn't really care about the enterprise," said O'Donnell.

And while expressing a desire to gain corporate accounts, Apple does not accommodate the expressed wishes of enterprise customers by providing a road map of future product directions, he noted. O'Donnell is also disappointed that Apple has decided to pull out of the popular Macworld show and believes the move may backfire by undermining the Macintosh's growth in popularity.

In addition, O'Donnell cites a security deficiency in Mac OS X 10.5 that he has been asking Apple to fix for more than a year, to no avail. The software subsystem in 10.5 that does auditing does not work properly, he claims, and Apple won't tell him if it will be fixed in Version 10.6. He said this feature is very important for users in the payment card industry or for Sarbanes-Oxley compliance. "I have complained, but I get no response," said O'Donnell.

Even so, there are some signs that O'Donnell finds encouraging. The Enterprise Desktop Alliance was formed in June 2008 by Mac ecosystem vendors including Centrify and Parallels, with the purpose of fostering easy interoperability and support for cross-platform desktop environments. "I think I will benefit from it, and they will benefit from joining forces," he said.

One EDA member, GroupLogic, makes middleware that integrates Macs with Microsoft Windows Server. O'Donnell is looking forward to the time when that integration is leveraged with Centrify's directory service. "Tying them together makes it better for users, administrators and security guys," he said.

Despite Apple's ambiguous attitude, O'Donnell plans a "steady as she goes" strategy that will continue to give end users a choice over the systems they use in a mixed environment. In response to user interest, he is testing application interoperability between the Macintosh and the iPhone. If customers continue to choose the Mac in ever-growing numbers, so be it. For RAND, it's a better way-and a tradition.

Stan Gibson, a frequent eWEEK contributor, is a freelance writer based in Framingham, Mass.

Stan Gibson is Executive Editor of eWEEK. In addition to taking part in Ziff Davis eSeminars and taking charge of special editorial projects, his columns and editorials appear regularly in both the print and online editions of eWEEK. He is chairman of eWEEK's Editorial Board, which received the 1999 Jesse H. Neal Award of the American Business Press. In ten years at eWEEK, Gibson has served eWEEK (formerly PC Week) as Executive Editor/eBiz Strategies, Deputy News Editor, Networking Editor, Assignment Editor and Department Editor. His Webcast program, 'Take Down,' appeared on He has appeared on many radio and television programs including TechTV, CNBC, PBS, WBZ-Boston, WEVD New York and New England Cable News. Gibson has appeared as keynoter at many conferences, including CAMP Expo, Society for Information Management, and the Technology Managers Forum. A 19-year veteran covering information technology, he was previously News Editor at Communications Week and was Software Editor and Systems Editor at Computerworld.

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