Apple's Leopard: Closer to the Enterprise but Still Too Far: Page 2

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The third is trust and this has been a big problem for Microsoft for much of this decade. Enterprise IT likes to know that, if a vendor promises to do something, the vendor will remain behind it. Apple was in the enterprise once and abandoned the market, embarrassing significantly their enterprise supporters. Trust is hard earned and Apple has a long way to go before getting back the trust they lost when they abandoned this segment.

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The fourth is interoperability, or, more accurately the non-compliance with shop standards which are currently mostly based around Microsoft’s platforms. With Tiger, Apple made broad strides to address this weakness and the changes were well received by the businesses that still used, or subsequently initiated, Apple use. Interoperability, interestingly enough, is now one of the primary Microsoft goals brought fourth out of their own Developer’s conference. The MacOS is, at the core, UNIX and a great deal of effort has gone into making UNIX work with Windows and Linux. If Apple could leverage that, solid progress could be made here.

Apple Progress

It is this last area where Apple showed solid progress at their Developers Conference. With networking interoperability improvements, a Leopard-based Mac should more easily integrate into a Windows shop, and has always worked reasonably well with UNIX and Linux. It comes with Bootcamp built in, which should help with at least some of the custom Windows applications. However, I expect most IT shops will prefer either VMware of Parallels as better (read: more compatible) alternatives as both have been historically better.

Microsoft’s own interoperability work targets UNIX and Linux and should dovetail nicely with what Apple is doing, suggesting there may be some unintended synergy in both efforts. Kind of like two competing train companies starting at opposite sides of the mountain and being surprised when the tunnels met in the middle. Granted, in this example there would likely still be some gauge problems but the tunnel would be done way ahead of schedule. The same things could happen here and with a maturing Vista also going in this direction we could have a level of compatibility between both platforms that has never existed before.

Apple Servers: I Know Server Vendors and Apple is No Server Vendor

Given we have dropped into an election year here in the States forgive the reference to the old Dan Quayle debate (still a kick to watch). Apple Servers, unfortunately, remain a non-play in medium and large business outside of a relatively small number of Apple shops (though a number have shown up running Linux).

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