Apple Earns Respect in Business Software
Of course customers will define how much respect that ultimately means.
Apple doesn't want to ignore the potential of business software and has for many years packaged various open source initiatives with characteristic Apple feature enhancements to make them suited to Apple users. These capabilities were really great for mail and web serving. Although not particularly easy to deploy (I may be a smart guy in some things, but certainly not the innerworkings of business servers, domains and the like), I did get my infrastructure to work reasonably well for these simple and critical applications on a simple and 'cute' little computer.
I've been an Apple OS X (10.4) server user since early 2005. I run it on a Mac Mini in my data center and run my business infrastructure on it. It's on a UPS and serves up thousands of brockmann.com webpages every month, not to mention handle email for my business. I have automated tools for backing-up my site. I used to have the server also do anti-spam and anti-virus using the spam filter option (a Bayesian option within the mail server) and Clam AV for anti-virus, but since we rolled out Sendio I.C.E. Box for email integrity, more of the server is available for serving.
With the release of Leopard OS X, 10.5, Apple is coming out swinging for market share in the creative and media publishing markets. With catchup capabilities for calendaring (iCal had been an orphan for Mac users and not particularly well-integrated into Outlook Calendar or other popular systems) and Directory services this server OS upgrade levels the playing field.
It is the Web2.0 functionality like Wiki Server, iChat (XMPP-based federation and persistent chat) and File Sharing server that Apple hopes to make their offering the choice of creative collaborations and teams. To me, the really slick looking Podcast Producer server, sets a new bar in what Web2.0 for business should look like. Podcast Producer simplifies the process of recording content, encoding, and publishing podcasts for playback in iTunes and on iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV. Capture is easy in a new Podcast capture client for Leopard desktops/laptops and then the server takes over in terms of rendering and distribution of audio, video and multimedia objects including transcribing them from other formats (flash, wmc etc).
The Leopard server comes with a VPN server so that users can tunnel into the server for secure access to services as if they were in the office.
This product package will go places.
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