Apple Enterprise Letters, Page

By Matthew Rothenberg  |  Posted 2002-05-10 Print this article Print

2"> Apple Enterprise Letters, Page 2

Apple has had a rough history in the corporate world. Their network servers were well-designed but never effectively marketed.
Being Unix-based, they were too difficult for the majority of Mac users, and the corporate network users that would have found them useful never really were exposed to them.
Apple has moved slowly in the enterprise market, to ensure that they do not attempt to move into the market too early. As was demonstrated by the early Newtons [Apples discontinued handheld computers], a poor initial product can severely damage credibility. Apple has effectively improved Mac OS X performance and waited until the pieces were in place before entering the enterprise market. The feature set and performance of Jaguar provides the final software pieces. The rack mounted server announcement allows Apple to leverage the Unix-powered GUI of Mac OS X. Apple focused on the consumer market first for several good reasons; visibility, more accessible, better growth potential. As it turned out, if Apple had moved into the enterprise market earlier, then Apple, too, might have been hurt by the downturn. I feel Apple is moving carefully to improve their odds of success. Any misstep could be devastating. I think they are playing it very smart. George Wagner
Computers, support and consulting

I know what you mean that those who thought Apple did care about the enterprise were vindicated. Amen to that; I knew that sooner or later it would become evident. But those who screamed for an "enterprise plan" were smoking crack anyway. They never pointed out what Gates "enterprise plan" was before Windows broke into the enterprise—Because there wasnt one! Success in the home became success in the enterprise automatically. Jobs knew that, so his focus on the consumer was the only "enterprise" strategy that would ever work. Make stuff people cant live without, and then exploit every opportunity that opens up because of it—right into the enterprise. Mark Duling
Network administrator
Biola University

Im not so sure about your assertion that Apple had taken what you described as "giant steps" toward making software and hardware for the enterprise.  One possible obstacle to acceptance is the lack of enterprise applications, from mainstream companies like Oracle, BEA, PeopleSoft, SAP and Seibel.  I suspect the new rack-mounted server Apples planning would be geared towards three segments of present and potential customers:  
  1. The K-12 and secondary-education crowd.
  2. Businesses still using those old NeXT Stations.
  3. The graphics-professional crowd who want that "extra" power that you cant get with just a Power Mac G4.
Its too bad, though; I think Mac OS X is capable of much more. Maybe if Apple was to buy a Wintel cloner who specializes in designing workstations and large servers (Im talking about the big, massive SGI or Sun servers), then maybe Apple can make some headway and convince those companies to develop their "money" apps.  A note to Mr. Jobs: Servers and workstations will get you more profit! Gerald Shields
I have spent the past three months trying to figure out how to migrate my office from Windows to Mac OS X. We were Mac users primarily until the dark days of 97, when we lost support from some of the vertically integrated software houses. I, however, have a G3-series PowerBook that I still used and decided to try OS X. I immediately fell in love with the stability. I have yet to crash and freeze this Unix platform. (I have, however, crashed software and was always able to force-quit applications.) I find OS X to be so compelling that I will begin re-integrating Macs into the network on my very next hardware purchase. I expect that by the end of 2004, I will reverse the [OS ratio] in my office from 10 Windows machines and one Mac to 10 Macs and one Windows machine. Greg Maynes

Online News Editor
Matthew has been associated with Ziff Davis' news efforts for more than a decade, including an eight-year run with the print and online versions of MacWEEK. He also helped run the news and opinion operations at ZDNet and CNet. Matthew holds a B.A. from the University of California, San Diego.


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