MACWORLD - It's not just about iPods

Although Apple is more focused on consumers, business buyers also will get attention at this week's Macworld Expo.

Although much of the speculation about new product announcements at the upcoming Macworld Conference & Expo centers around video iPods, a possible Apple mobile phone and iTV, business people have their own product wish lists., one of several Apple rumour Web sites, reported Friday that it anticipates the launch of iWorks '07 at Macworld will be "one of the company's more significant product launches of the year." The iWorks business applications suite, for creating documents, spreadsheets and presentations, is Apple's alternative to Microsoft Corp.'s Office 2007.

Improvements to iWorks '07 over iWorks '06 may include a new spreadsheet application and other changes to make it easier to import and export Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, ThinkSecret reports.

But a more fundamental change to Apple's place in the enterprise market is its conversion from the PowerPC to the Intel processor platform.

Chief information officers proposing a move to the Mac need to make an easy-to-understand business case to the chief financial officer or chief executive officer, said Schoun Regan, chief executive officer (CEO) of, an information technology training company specializing in Macs.

"I think the word 'Intel' carries a lot of weight," said Regan, who also is chairman of the MacIT Conference that runs concurrently with Macworld Monday through Thursday in San Francisco.

All Apple computers now ship with Intel processors, but they are backwards compatible with Mac applications designed for the PowerPC platform.

"It's incredible for a company as large as Apple, in just one year, to make that transition with very few hiccups," Regan said.

Some business customers whose IT infrastructure is primarily Intel-powered machines running Windows are investing in their first Intel-based Macs, "to see what they can do," he said.

But other observers think wider adoption of Macs in the business environment is a tall order.

"There's a little bit of a mind shift involved to go to a different platform," said Bill Kish, CEO of Coyote PointSystems, a provider of applications traffic management technology on computer networks. He is another presenter at the MacIT Conference.

Still, Kish anticipates more business interest in Apple to come from the expected introduction this spring of Leopard Server, the server operating system adjunct to the Mac OS X 10.5 upgrade. Leopard Server is targeted at small businesses, offering simplified system management tools for small workgroups.

Those developments aside, however, Apple will remain a niche player in the enterprise by choice, said Mark Margevicius, an analyst with Gartner.

"Apple really hasn't positioned its technology to go after the enterprise market," said Margevicius. "I keep asking them 'What's stopping you?' and they say, 'That's something we're not targeting now.'"

Apple remains focused in a few vertical markets including publishing, graphic design and digital animation moviemaking, he said, but expanding beyond that isn't part of its plan.

Competing against Hewlett-Packard, Dell or Sun Microsystems for a large enterprise contract requires a longer sales cycle than selling to a consumer or small business and usually requires steep discounting for volume sales, Margevicius said, which is not something Apple is interested in doing.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert Mullins

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?