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Mainstream Tech Pundit Says Apple In Good Position For Run At Business Market

Mainstream Tech Pundit Says Apple In Good Position For Run At Business Market

by , 11:30 AM EDT, September 13th, 2002

David Berlind is a columnist for ZDNet that normally writes on topics relating to business-oriented technology. This usually includes lots of Windows/Linux/back end this-or-that topics, with the occasional anti-Microsoft rant thrown in for good measure. Today, Mr. Berlind penned a piece titled "Could Macs mean business at last?" that asks whether Apple is in a position to enter the business market. From the editorial:

My colleague David Coursey and I are working with Jaguar as a part of our ongoing investigations into its merits, deficiencies, and chances of winning over those who, by fiat or preference, are Windows devotees.

If you ask me, OS X could stand a better chance of challenging Windows on the desktop than Linux does, or ever did.

Although Apple's Switch campaign seems targeted mostly at consumers, I'm particularly interested in OS X's chances of penetrating the business world for uses that extend beyond the graphics and publishing intensive applications that most businesses use Macs for today.

OS X has several noteworthy business features, including: a Unix foundation that's perceived (perhaps mistakenly) by many to be more secure than Windows; support for PPTP-based VPNs; and a discovery technology called Rendezvous that makes child's play out of connecting to network-based resources (storage, printers, databases, etc.) including those bound to Windows systems.

Business software vendors are already coming out in support of Jaguar too. This week, Sybase announced the availability of an edition of Adaptive Server Enterprise that not only runs on OS X, but also supports the Rendezvous technology. Apple may not have yet cranked up the heat on businesses, but the underpinnings for such an offensive certainly seem to be falling into place.

But it's not features like these that make OS X a worthy Windows challenger. These and other business features, of which Linux bears many, are simply the cost of admittance to the game. To get businesses to convert, Apple will have to go farther.

Mr. Berlind goes on to offer some of the things he thinks Apple needs to do to truly enter the business market, including the idea of licensing Mac OS X to other vendors who could then compete on price. There is much more commentary in the full article, and we recommend it to those interested in the Mac platform in the corporate world.

The Mac Observer Spin:

As with most of our reference articles from non Mac-oriented sites, the main point of steering you to Mr. Berlind's article is because we think it important to see how the mainstream is looking at the Mac platform. In this particular case, we don't agree with Mr. Berlind's desire to see Apple license Jaguar. He wants to see Apple enter the commoditization business that has left everyone but Dell (the king of commoditization) and Apple (the only company to stay out of that feeding frenzy) reeling from the low margins. We don't understand why people still see that as a winning strategy in today's market.

Still, Mr. Berlind has some other interesting observations coming from a Windows-centric viewpoint. Perhaps most importantly, it's another article that lends credibility to Mac OS X as a business platform, even with the included criticisms, that slowly fosters that idea in the heads of IT goons everywhere. That's a Good Thing™.

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