Apple is in Position to Take on Big Business

Apple has learned to settle for small and medium business opportunities that appreciate its designs as is, without troublesome changes required. Lately, however, Microsoftis fumble with Vista and its policies are having an increasing effect on large corporation IT departments, according to Computerworld on Monday. Apple could make some serious moves into the enterprise if it had the will, but it doesnit seem to.

"A small but growing number of IT pros have begun questioning Microsoftis understanding of and commitment to their needs. The software giantis increasingly self-serving policies, its obsession with software piracy, its inability to create a reliable desktop environment, and the constant need to upgrade software and hardware to keep pace with newer versions of Windows are wearing down the patience of its customer base," Scot Finnie wrote.

As a result, the door may be slowly opening for Apple to move more aggressively into the larger corporations. The question is whether Apple, flush with iPod and iPhone success, is interested in that challenge.

While itis clear that the Mac and Mac OS X are well designed, secure, and have many compelling features for business, there are still some changes Apple would have to make in order to win over the largest IT departments. For starters, the MacBookPro line is still too expensive, compared to the PC notebooks typically supplied to business users. Some other small changes would have to be made to fit in with big ITis buying habits.

When asked about the possible window of opportunity, Apple responded by pointing to their Business Website. Mr. Finnie, however, pointed out that there is nothing there "of interest to corporate IT pros."

There could be some real opportunities in this area if Apple put some skin in the game, concluded Mr. Finnie.

The real issue may be even larger, however. Apple invests where it can win, and works slowly to win on its own terms. Just because a few companies are departing the Microsoft camp doesnit mean that a major effort is called for. Although one could never convince the Apple field sales force of that.