“What do mean when I say ‘Apple’s core constituency?’ …If you buy a Mac, you are either in the core constituency or you are not. If you’re in, I can safely ignore you because this is not VideoWorld or QuarkWorld. If you’re out, you are only interesting if you’re a serious person who chose OS X to run software that also runs on Windows or AIX,” Tom Yager writes for InfoWorld. “I love to get caught saying something I wouldn’t be caught dead saying. I admit, the phrase is utterly useless.”
Yager writes, “While I pontificate about convergence as though the term is universally understood, Apple is making it happen — without driving the process. They cook up good ideas, hand them to the market as products, and watch what happens. And that last part is key: Apple observes the market while its competitors go crazy twisting arms and erecting barriers to interoperation. To my dismay, Apple itself uses the phrase ‘core constituency,’ which sometimes puts its engineers at odds with its marketing staff when explaining why a product exists. Before Xserve, Apple customers were tipping Power Macs on their sides and running them as servers. You could buy kits for this.”
Yager writes, “I believe that Apple built a 1U form factor for existing customers, such as musicians, that needed a machine that was made more rugged and laid out for a rack. It stumbled into more widespread use. Xserve’s unplanned evolution from a skinny Power Mac to an enterprise server is clearest here: The original Xserve had an AGP (Accelerated Graphics Port) slot for workstation use; now it’s gone. Apple also found that OS X was just right for customers who wanted the power and scalability of Unix but lacked the budget for IBM or the time for Linux. Then the open source community climbed on board, effectively adding thousands to Apple’s software development staff… To those who only need PowerBooks, Apple is a notebook maker. If you make music or author DVDs, Apple is exclusively devoted to the needs of creative professionals. If you’re in business, Apple puts high-density Unix servers and storage in the PC price range; they’re a budding enterprise vendor. Pretty smart.”
Full article here.