Mac enthusiasts from Apple's core professional markets hailed the latest software innovations announced at CEO Steve Jobs' Macworld Expo keynote presentation today.
NEW YORKMac enthusiasts from Apples core professional markets hailed the latest software innovations announced at CEO Steve Jobs Macworld Expo keynote
presentation here Wednesday morning.
Jeff Held, chief technology officer with Watson Wyatt Worldwide, a global
consulting firm based in Fairfax, Va., fits the bill for one of Apples
recent "Switchers" spots. While he says that a "significant majority" of his
companys 4,200 PCs are Windows-based, he says, "Personally, Im a diehard
Held suggested that some of the enhancements on tap for Mac OS X 10.2--as
well as the new Xserve rack-mounted server--could put a dent in Watson
Wyatts current platform mix. "Features of Jaguar and the new inSync
software [for synchronizing cell phones, Palm PDAs and iPods to Mac OS X]
are very appealing; they make integrating very attractive.
"The problem in Windows environments like ours is integrating Macs onto the
network and with other devices. These new announcements make that a lot more
On the hardware front, Held said Watson Wyatt is seriously considering
adopting the Xserve for its server needs. "We use a lot of Unix, and you can
run all that on the Xserve; its got a better management environment, and
For his own household, Held says he has few doubts about making another
purchase that will add to his familys six Macs. "My daughter wants the iMac
in the worst way," he says, although he hesitated about committing to the
new $1,999, 17-inch flat-panel model. "I think shes going to have to settle
for the 15-inch--without a SuperDrive."
Chuck Friesen, director of instructional technology with Lincoln (Neb.)
Public Schools, also says that iSync and the Jaguar enhancements to Mac OS X
will be the most important innovations for his purchasing plans.
Friesen says that while he was impressed with new software features such as
the iCal calendar utility and iTunes, he doesnt think theyre as applicable
to school use as the device-synching capabilities of iSync, which he believes will help increase Apples grip on its crucial education market.
"Synchronization is critical," Friesen says. "Palms and their role in
education are ever-increasing. To be able to sync to the Mac like that is
As for the new hardware, Friesen predicts that his district will continue to
purchase the all-in-one, 17-inch eMac instead of the pricier new imac. "We
buy all year round," he says. "Well be putting in an order for 260 more
eMacs in the next week or two; were very, very pleased with them."
Macon Shirley, technical manager with the Woodbine Agency, an advertising
agency in Winston-Salem, N.C., says that while the majority of his companys
40-plus systems are Macs, Woodbine has yet to make the switch to Mac OS X.
Specifically, the company is waiting for a couple of key
applications--QuarkXPress and Clients and Profits agency-management
software--to go Mac OS X-native before it makes the leap from Mac OS 9.
However, Shirley says hes excited by the enhancements to Mac OS X and
expects Woodbine will migrate by year-end. Furthermore, he says that iSync
and iCal will make a big difference to his agency.
His biggest disappointment from the keynote: the lack of a ship date for
XPress from Denver-based Quark Inc. "I think thats the one everybodys
waiting for," he says.
Online News Editor email@example.com 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.