The story Steve ISN’T telling at MacWorld
Buddhists believe that desire is the cause of suffering. I can’t speak to Steve Job’s religion, but it is clear he refuses to suffer for the enterprise. As one ex-Applet (what does one call them?) stated
Steve doesn’t [pull] any punches about what kind of company Apple is. He continually tells employees, even his enterprise sales force, that Apple isn’t an enterprise company. Yet Apple products meet the needs of some enterprises, and those customers continue to purchase the products in spite of Steve being very clear about Apple not being an enterprise company. While Steve is busy saying Apple isn’t an enterprise company, there are plenty of enterprise people at Apple, they just live in this nether world of not being part of Apple’s focus.
This is a very smart strategy, even if it is hard on the employees involved. Enterprise IT is never going to like Apple, so why bother trying to win them over? Let your customers fight that battle, which is, BTW, already half over.
Consumerization of enterprise IT
Enterprise IT is already mostly consumer-based anyway. Compared to the Bad Old Days – expensive, slow and proprietary – enterprise IT runs pretty much the same stuff that consumers do: Intel and AMD chips; Windows, Unix/Linux; ethernet; USB; SATA and SCSI drives; and PCI-X. Sure, packaging differs, scales larger, more databases, backup gets done and the apps are way-y-y boring, but really, the components aren’t all that different.
What is different is that enterprise IT folks have a horror of supporting new platforms. So they Mac has been computer non grata in most companies. At the same time users are discovering the ease of use, reliability and support that are top-rated by Consumer Reports and columnists such as the Wall Street Journal’s Walt Mossberg.
As most desktops and notebooks exceed user requirements, differentiation shifts towards things that Apple does well and that most PC vendors do poorly. But enterprise IT still hates Macs. What to do?
VMware saves the day
VMware builds virtual machine software, and EMC bought them so they could get into the server business without going into direct competition with the servers of IBM, HP, Dell and Sun. VMware gives EMC the advantage of an EMC-branded server installed base without actually having to build more hardware. Most external storage is sold by the server vendor and EMC would clearly like a piece of that. Are you listening, big server vendors? (I’m not kidding: search VMware’s help wanted listings with the keyword “storage”.)
VMware has its Intel Mac virtual machine in beta now, and it addresses many of enterprise IT’s issues. VMware turns the Mac into a standard platform that IT already supports – VMware claims 5,000 corporate customers – capable of running IT’s, and other’s, pre-packaged Virtual Appliances. A newer technology, Assured Computing Environment (ACE), allows IT to create totally locked-down appliances that, for example, won’t access the physical machine’s USB ports or DVD burners.
ACE doesn’t run, yet, on the Mac VMware beta. A simple matter of programming and testing, I’m sure.
You won’t even have to buy a Mac
Buy an iPhone instead.
Techies – me included – at the beginning of a meeting love the “coolest toy” ritual: everyone pulls out their notebooks, phones, phasers, whatever and does the latest tricks. It is the tech equivalent of New York cocktail party status token (St. Bart’s, Gstaad, hedge-fund, Blahnik’s) swapping, only more fun.
Apple just introduced the iPhone, a converged device that runs Mac OS X. It won’t ship until June, but I suspect it will quickly become a must-have device for “less-is-more” road warriors.
Running Mac OS, IT will be able to put totally secure virtual PCs on this mobile device. Coupled with the fact that it does all that other stuff, IT will have a hard time persuading execs that they really want Windows Mobile and its broken versions of Office apps. And where is VMware for Windows Mobile?
Surround and penetrate the data center
Apple has even dropped the “Computer” from its name. No doubt Apple’s server and storage businesses will grow market share in the enterprise over time, but not because of a coordinated assault on the glass house. Customer pull and the incorporation of very cool technologies, such as ZFS, will continue to chip away at IT resistance. We live in a consumer-driven infosphere. IT will just have to get used to it.
Comments welcome, as always. Moderation turned on to defeat spamsters. Sorry, readers, you’ll just have to find online Viagra somewhere else.
Update: For those interested in learning more about iPhone, Roughly Drafted has a series that encapsulates nicely what is known (not much) and not known (a lot) about the product. It sounds like a lot of fevered tea-leaf reading for the most part. We’ll just have to wait for Apple to let out more info.
Update II: There was an article in the Washington Post that said Intel is not supplying the processor for the iPhone. Now, other companies provide ARM processors. The ARM company is a technology licensing company, not a manufacturer.
Update III: Could Transmeta have a new customer?
Whoa there, Steve didn’t say that the iPhone runs OS X/x86. Also, I wonder how many totally secure virtual PCs you’re going to fit in 8GB.
According to the two websites I checked, Macworld and Macrumors Live, Steve did say that the iPhone runs Mac OS X. Didn’t specify the processor, so I grant you that. According to Macworld, he said
Unless Steve set his Reality Distortion Field to “Scramble” I think they heard correctly.
As for the 8GB limit, you have a point. So I looked at the size of the VMware’s Mac beta, which is 110 MB. VMware lists lots of small Linux appliances, but for example the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition Virtual Appliance is under 1500 MB, while the Mainframe (System/370, ESA/390, and z/Architecture) Virtual Appliance is 600 MB.
“Yeah, I’m running S/370 on my phone, but it really slows down when I’m watching a movie.”
Given the rate Samsung is moving on flash, and Apple’s natural desire to be a moving target, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a 16 GB version by June. Is that enough? For what?
My MacBook’s system file is 2.2 GB, so assuming the other apps are about a gig, you’d still have some room for music with the 4 GB version. Business users will get the biggest iPhone there is, so I’m thinking that as long as you are using the phone for business, you’ll be able to get a fair amount of enterprise stuff into the 8 GB version. 16 GB will be spacious for about 6 months.
Maybe I’m confused. What is wrong with this picture?
I thought the goal was to have a device that would sell more Services?
I never thought the iPhone was going to be an iPhonePod.
To my mind, the goal was to deliver iPod functionality in a “wearable” PCD (Personal Collaboration Device). Along with other desirable PCD features such as voice, text, mail, Web access, image capture, display and transmit and most importantly, streaming audio and video.
Streaming video from disk is too slow. 4GB cubes have been an optimum size for awhile. So if I had the current view page and the next two, that’s all the memory I need. 12 GB memory, a fast Wireless connection and a fast Storage source.
Here’s how it goes:
I select it
I play it
I like it
I buy it
I pay for it
I save it to my Online Storage – could be anywhere. Apple will surely offer one.
I tell my friends about it
They tell me about their new one
We exchange playing experiences
We have the option to save the other persons “paid for” media to our Online Storage, because we will have the ability to Collaborate
The RIAA, MPAA counters are updated at each source and destination
If we are over limit our credit card is charged
We are notified on our iPhone of the charge
If the RIAA and MPAA are too dumb to make these charges reasonable we develop ways around them, legally.
Think of it as a Captain Kirk Communicator that doesn’t require Scotty to man the transporter controls to beam. anyone up. The famous line goes from “Beam me up, Scotty!” to “I’m beaming up, Scotty!”.
Mac OS X is wonderfully suited to do this. Windows doesn’t have a prayer.
Apple is an enterprise solution provider whether it likes it or not but as we all know it lacks the enterprise infrastructure to support the customers that fall into this category. Its amazing though that Mac fanatics in corporate positions are willing to suffer this anomaly .. at least for now.
Apple XSAN, Xserve RAID are used in many science and research institutions and are making inroads into quite a number of European broadcasters. Companies like the afor-mentioned startup Object Matrix currently only sell its MatrixStore Digital Asset Archiving solution on the Xserve, Xserve RAID platform of which 100TB is now in live use at customer sites. With Apple buying Proximity the intention to better support the broadcasters by providing end-to-end solutions (FCP, Artbox, XSAN and 3rd party product) will allow it to compete against the AVIDs and the Sonys in this enterprise space.
Part of the end-to-end solution that Apple will continue to fail on its its inability to provide enterprise class support, something that will never be announced in the Steve Jobs “one more thing” slot.
I think Jobs is scrambling us; when he says “OS X”, I think he means OS X/ARM. VMware doesn’t run on ARM. But you can certainly carry your VMware images around on the iPhone.
The iPhone is as closed a platform as the iPod it supplants. Do not expect the ability to run third party applications. Apple may plecate the masses by hiring thirparty developers to port some games but you will not be able to develop iPhone apps in XCode. About the most that you will be allowd to do (and I am not holding my breath here) is develop widgets in Dashcode.
A bunch of provocative comments. Let me throw some wood on the fire.
Services? Apple has never been and IMHO never will be a services-oriented company. Their phone support is the best in the PC business, and the Genius Bars are ingenious, and .Mac isn’t all that much. iTunes is not a money-maker. A spotty record at best. Given the world-wide roll-out of the iPhone, Apple will have to rely on local companies to provide iPhone – or more likely, given the Cisco suit – ApplePhone services. They’ll make plenty on the handset, the accessories, and all the Macs they’ll drag along behind them. AT&T must be paying something for ApplePhone exclusivity as well. And I agree, Windows doesn’t have a prayer.
I agree that Apple will never gear up with men in trucks for enterprise support. IBM Global Services though would, I bet, be happy to take them on. No love lost between IBM and Microsoft.
Where does Mac OS X ARM come from? I don’t believe there is any such beast or that it is used in the ApplePhone. ApplePhone is Intel x86, IMHO. More on that in a post I feel coming on.
Third-party apps on ApplePhone? Good question. Well, you probably don’t want people crashing their phones after downloading a RealPlayer beta. On the other hand, for the truly mobile phone crazed places where you can buy a coke from your phone, there will have to be a way to add apps. Yet I tend to agree that it won’t be all that open – some kind of certification is likely to ensure compatibility. VMware could certainly do that, and enterprise IT would have a secure and highly mobile endpoint for the company’s expensive people.
Update: Apple and Intel have confirmed that Intel is not providing the processor for the iPhone. I tip my hat to Wes for evidently scoping that out ahead of a lot of other people. Haven’t seen any confirmation that the processor is an ARM though. Wes?
iPhone/ApplePhone/… is a “closed” platform, according to many news sites quoting Saint Steven himself. Just because it’s “based on Mac OS X”, don’t expect a flood of applications. Steve could change his mind, but don’t bet on it.
Enterprise support: I attended many Enterprise sessions at MacWorld, and all turned into Apple gripe sessions. As pointed out in the comments on your ApplePeel link, in order to use Apple in the Enterprise, you need to be slightly crazy, and either very self-sufficient, or have a good long-term relationship with an Apple VAR.
Enterprise IT — time to wake up! We are entering a third wave of information technology development — driven by consumers (first two waves were driven by government and business). Enterprises must learn to work with what they can get from consumer companies, rather than expecting the consumer companies to bend to the whims of 1% of their customers. Apple is being more up-front about this than lots of other companies. Quit whining about “lack of enterprise support from Apple”, and figure out how to get along without enterprise support for lots of stuff, because that’s the future.
FWIW: I was at the Expo keynote. Jobs said “OS X,” which many of us mulled over in the aisles afterwards. I suggest that in Apple speak is a long ways away from “Mac OS X.”
Meanwhile, third-party vendors appear to be moving the platform forward for the enterprise. Even better. I really was interested in what Storage Elements (http://www.storageelements.com/) is doing: a Mac OS X- based iSCSI/FC/NAS that will include ZFS support after the release of OSX Leopard.
Apple should wake up and have something that competes with 2003 Server and Exchange, I want Apple to work but they have no applications and there server software looks like a retro calculator when along side 2003 server. Leopard will be another dissappointment and enterprises like myself who spend 25-30k a month on Apple will look to shift after Leopard is announced as they have no comsumer applications or buisiness applications that work well when compared to Windows.
I was Pro Apple then worked in a strong AD enviroment and now after seeing how networks can work I am Pro 2003, this took over a decade to happen.