“Some companies are finding that OS X and Xserve are a viable, sometimes cheaper, alternative to Windows-based networks. That could be a big help,” reports Olga Kharif in the article “Picking Apple as a Server Solution,” for BusinessWeek’s Special Report, “Apple’s Strategic Shift.”
“Apple at least has a shot at signing up more corporate customers because unlike in PCs, where it charges a premium, it’s pricing corporate server products to grab market share, even as it’s designing them to interact much better than before with other brands of equipment on a network, analysts say. For instance, Xserve RAID costs about $4 per gigabyte of storage — or about one-third less than a comparable Windows product, claims Alex Grossman, director of storage hardware at Apple,” Kharif reports.
“What’s more, Apple’s servers come with unlimited-use licenses for the accompanying software, while Microsoft requires Windows customers to pay for additional copies of its latest Windows server operating system. Thanks to Xserve, Apple’s shipments of PC servers rose 24% in the first quarter of 2003 vs. the year-earlier quarter, even though its market share has remained roughly the same, at less than 1%, according to IDC,” writes Kharif.
In either an eye-popping error or one of the biggest news flashes ever in the computer industry, Kharif writes, “Next, Apple’s newest version of OS X, called Panther — which is scheduled to debut later this year — will let corporations run Windows applications on their Macs. That’s a major plus, considering that nearly all companies use Windows.”
“One question Apple may have to answer — though no one seems to hassle rival Microsoft over the same issue — is how it can focus on business customers even as it morphs into a consumer-electronics company like Sony, says Haff. The biggest question, he adds, is whether Apple is prepared to devote the resources it will take to develop a bigger corporate business. ‘I call their enterprise strategy an oxymoron,’ says Charles Wolf, an analyst with Needham & Co. ‘They don’t have an enterprise strategy,'” Kharif reports.
Full article here.