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Apple's chance to shine

A reader writes that the most frustrating thing about the company's position in the corporate world is that there is no good technical reason not to switch to the platform right now.


    Apple's chance to shine

    In response to the Feb. 15 Perspectives column by Charles Cooper, "Apple: Don't flub it again":

    The most frustrating thing about the position of Apple Computer in the corporate world is that there is no good technical reason not to switch to the platform right now. File compatibility is now solid--no more Mac-only file formats. Major productivity suites all run on the Mac. Networking is completely integrated; I can get a Mac onto a PC network easier than I can get a PC on one.

    So it's only a mind-set that needs to be changed. Information technology can't fall back on the "we don't support that" saw any more because there really isn't much to do. But I think this is as much a fault of the IT industry as it is Apple's. NT system administrators are terrified at the prospect of actually having to think or learn anything new. No one wants to put their job--and their position as the guru--at risk by training the whole department in something new. So they pick the odds-on favorite and stay just enough ahead to know more than the departments they support.

    There is one factor you didn't touch on, and that is Unix. Now that IBM and others are pushing Linux servers--many companies (and entire nations like Korea and possibly China) are moving from Windows to Unix derivations. An IT manager can easily justify buying Macs that will run applications natively, as these would be much easier than Windows to administer on a remote network level. These systems would also have far fewer hardware incompatibilities and a longer, more useful life than the dregs bought from Gateway.

    The prospect of a machine that can run a friendly desktop and Microsoft Office, and at the same time talk to any other Unix system in its own language, is heady stuff. This is what Apple needs to play on to woo the corporate ranks to the platform.

    Jason Wiley
    Orchard, Wash.



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