Abandonment Issues

Because of the recent departure of Apple's Senior VP of Enterprise Sales, John C. Welch claims that "the Mac IT crowd" is wondering if Apple is abandoning the Enterprise. He then goes on to say that this depends on whether or not you thought "Apple was, or wanted to be, an 'enterprise' company." Um... No it doesn't...

Mr. Welch raises some good points in his article, the main premise of which is that Apple is, indeed, not an enterprise company, an idea I fully agree with. But the fact is that it's certainly possible to worry that Apple will abandon the enterprise without thinking of them as an enterprise company. And that's because Apple makes enterprise products that some of us have come to rely on.

Mac Server: I'd Miss You

I don't think many IT folk — Mac or otherwise — think of Apple as an enterprise company. In fact, I'd venture to say that we worry that Apple will abandon us because we know know full well that Apple is not such a company at heart, and that their connections to enterprise are tenuous at best. But some of us do actually appreciate the design and ease-of-use of their server products. In my case, I've come to rely fairly heavily on Mac OS X Server for cross-platform authentication, among other things. I get flack for this sometimes, but the plain fact is that no one has integrated authentication for Mac, Windows and Linux in one spot in such an easy-to-build package as Mac OS X Server. Could I do this with a Windows server? Sure. Could I do it on Linux? Yes, of course I could. But I'll spend twice as long building it, and twice as much time maintaining it, when Mac OS X Server does it out of the box with ease and grace. I suppose I could punch myself in the face over and over again as well. Do I want to? Not particularly.

I often worry that Apple will someday leave the server market altogether. I sometimes even worry that Apple will stop building high-end workstations. Hell, who knows? Maybe Apple will stop selling computers one day. But I don't worry about these things because I think Apple is one kind of company or another. I worry about them because these are products that I enjoy using on a daily basis, and I would like to keep using them for as long as they're the best tool for the job.