BusinessWeek's Haddad Wonders If Xserve Can Make It In Business

Business Weekis Charles Haddad has a lot to say about Appleis push into corporate server rooms via its new Xserve offering. In his latest iByte of the Applei column titled "Apple Plunges Back into Servers," Mr. Haddad likes Xserve, saying:

Not only is the Xserve powerful, itis also priced to move, as they say in retail. Starting at $3,000, the line features Appleis powerful G4 processors and comes with up to 480 gigabytes of storage. As one information technology manager gushed to me, "I can buy two of these babies for what it would have cost for one comparable IBM server." Making the Xserve sweeter yet, Apple is also offering an unlimited license of OS X server software, priced at $1,000 if bought separately.

Mr. Haddad believes, however, that IT managers wonit be quick to embrace Appleis new server. From the article:

...Certainly many Mac renegades in PC-dominated IT departments are salivating at the prospect of a strong Apple server product to pitch to their bosses. But Iim afraid that, no matter how good the Xserve, it will be an uphill sell in most businesses.

For one thing, Apple has been out of the server business for five years. And before that, it went in and out of the market, which eroded confidence in the companyis ability -- and staying power.

Today, thereis little institutional support for Apple. Most IT managers have been trained on Windows machines. And Microsoft has done a good job of persuading IT managers that the Mac OS isnit serious business. Ironically, OS Xis stunning interface only reinforces that impression. To IT managers, OS Xis eye candy consumes precious processing power that could be better used speeding the network as a whole.

Mr. Haddad makes some interesting observations and his article is, as always, well worth a read.