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eWeek: Apple Could Broaden Its Enterprise Presence

eWeek: Apple Could Broaden Its Enterprise Presence

by , 10:00 AM EST, January 6th, 2004

This year's Macworld keynote is bound to be one of the most watched in Apple's history. Why? Because Apple has somehow wrangled the enviable distinction of being an industry leader, even though it only commands small piece of the computer industry's pie.

Many will be watching, and hoping for Apple's CEO and resident cool-guy, Steve Jobs, to announce a cheaper version of the iPod while others look for announcements concerning AppleWorks and iLife enhancements. These topics lean heavily towards to consumer side of the business and, as many Apple watchers know, lately Apple has been testing the waters over in enterprise IT land with Xserve and OS X Server.

In a recent article in eWeek, David Morgenstern diverges from the popular predictions and wishes of what's to come out of Steve Jobs' keynote and posts a wish list that is enterprise and IT heavy. Here's a bit of his article titled, Mac Enterprise Computing: The Return of the King:

At its release, the 128K Mac was famously touted as the computing device "for the rest of us": It was aimed at anyone who wanted a graphical desktop and wasn't ready to pony up the $12,000 for the Lisa, Apple's remarkable workstation aimed at enterprise computing. Most other contemporary computingóbusiness or otherwiseóbent to the will of the command-line interface. That forbidding standard served a variety of personal computers as well as so-called minicomputers and mainframe terminals.

Despite a premium price and some technological limitations, the Mac caught on with a wide range of users, including businesses and even large enterprises. This history may be difficult to swallow for a generation weaned on Microsoft Windows the realities of Apple's current market share.

Mr. Morgenstern goes on to list some of what he believes Steve Jobs will announce during his keynote. Stop by eWeek for the full article.

The Mac Observer Spin:

As we read through Mr. Morgenstern's list we find we agree with him; Apple could very well be poised to reenter the enterprise IT market. Apple's current offerings have so far not been enough to command much more than passing notice from some IT shops, though clearly there is building momentum for the company. Announcements along the line of what Mr. Morgenstern's list would go a long way towards turning that momentum into full fledged success, putting Apple firmly back in the enterprise IT arena.

While better compatibility with current Microsoft installations is a good and needed thing, we wonder if Apple should stop there? If Apple is to go into small-to-medium size businesses, then it needs to offer server-based services that are easy to manage and are standards compatible. For instance; compatibility with Microsoft's Exchange is desired, but why not offer a mail server solution based on LDAP and other open standards that is easy to manage and offers boat loads of security? It doesn't have to be as capable as Exchange, but it could serve as an alternative for small businesses.

We'll know soon enough what's on Apple's IT plate, but we sincerely hope Mr. Morgenstern gets everything on his list.

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