BusinessWeek Special Report: ‘Picking Apple as a Server Solution’

“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.


  1. Ok, let’s vote. Fact, Error or Misinformed.

    Fact: Holy Crap, the fabled Red Box is here and we can run Windows Software.

    Error: This guy is a moron, and his otherwise Pro-Apple article will be laughed at.

    Misinformed: He sees “Windows-compatible” and infers “Run Windows”.

    One Vote for Misinformed!!!!


  2. One thing I notice here: MacDailyNews is the only Mac site reporting this series of Business Week articles and probably will be for at least the next 12 hours. MacDailyNews, consider yourselves bookmarked.

    My vote: Olga’s misinformed.

  3. It should have stated- running windows applications via “Virtual PC”.
    I guess she missed the Virtual PC in her notes or didn’t understand that it was emulation software which runs on top of OS X. And yes, she was quoting me.

  4. Could this be some kind of remote windowing, ala Timbuk2?

    You run windows apps off of the server, in a little windows umm… window on your Mac. That would be cool.

  5. Edward R Murrow, one of the fathers of broadcast journalism, used to tell new reporters the following:
    “Even though your voice now reaches halfway around the world, you’re
    no smarter than when it just reached the end of the bar”
    Someone needs to tell the hacks in the broadcast and print media today the same thing. This misinformed or biased “reporter” is not an anomaly, she IS the norm. However, with our third-world schools, most people out there won’t even notice. I just wish the Apple Legal Dept was as agressive with slandering or misinforming reportage as they are with the Mac fan sites.

  6. The reason why Xserve and Xserve RAID is so cheap compared to Windows solutions (and linux solutions) is because the hardware is cheap. It’s also the reason why Apple will never really crack into the server market. Corporations, when the get to servers and storage solutions, want infinite reliability and care more about that then cost. ATA drives in a 7×2 config are ridiculous– UltraWide SCSI in units of 5 are the way to go. Plus the RAID hardware (chipsets) is piss poor.

  7. Regarding the “runs Windows software” comment: It’s likely bad reporting, BUT, did anyone else think that the abrupt manner that Connectix sold off VPC to MS and Apple’s gracious acceptance of the sale seem kinf of odd? (see Apple quote below)

    “Adding Virtual PC to its product portfolio is yet another example of Microsoft’s continued commitment to the Mac platform,” said Ron Okamoto, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide Developer Relations. “For years, Virtual PC has helped people who want to own a Mac but need to run legacy PC applications. We’re glad to see Virtual PC go into such good hands.”

    It would be quite the coup if Apple could offer a Red Box application environment without the baggage of the Windows OS. Of course hardware compatibility would be limited (likely USB, Firewire and Bluetooth) but this could really make a “switch” campaign quite interesting!

  8. There’s been talk for quite some time that Apple might
    bundle VPC with their OS. That would be handy to say the least.
    Customer’s would still have to pay for the Windows OS itself,
    and not clear if there would be an option for a pre-installed
    version of Windows. It all sounds messier than most things
    Apple likes to do. Of course anything involving Windows is
    going to add complexity (!)

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