Apple gets nod from genomics researchers

Apple made the short list of five companies that are "widely perceived to be the best qualified to implement new technologies that will advance genomics research." Market research firm BioInformatics LLC recently published results of the survey that asked 600 genomics researchers which technology vendor they prefer.

"We are really pleased about it," Liz Kerr, Apple's Director Science and Technology Markets, told MacCentral. "It's nice when you know that you have a great solution and you hear things from your customers about how much they're enjoying it and how productive it is, but then to see it broadly reflected in a piece of research like this is really gratifying."

News of the research will not change Apple's approach to the science market, but Apple is planning to take their message on the road in the very near future. Beginning at the end of March Apple will launch a small national road show that will focus on high performance computing in the sciences. The road show is scheduled to visit San Diego, San Francisco, Boston, New York and Cincinnati.

"We are trying to be as methodical as we can," said Kerr. "One of our challenges has always been to let the community know how serious we are about this market and to make sure they understand that."

Kerr said that hardware releases like the Xserve G5 and Xsan Storage Area Network File System show the high performance computing community how serious Apple really is about the market.

"Anyone that was doubting our commitment to providing across the board solutions stopped when they saw the servers and storage solutions we've come out with over the last six months," said Kerr.

Apple's successes in the sciences is not just about the hardware. Mac OS X has played a large role converting scientists and will continue to do so. Kerr is a featured speaker at the upcoming Bio-IT World Conference & Expo where she will talk about the benefits of Mac OS X Tiger.

On May 18, Kerr will present "Apple and Mac OS X v10.4 Tiger: Energize Your Workflow," a session dedicated to "an overview of Mac OS X Tiger and its relevance to the drug discovery process." In addition to demonstrating such Tiger features as Spotlight, Kerr will also focus on Automator, another Tiger technology that helps streamline repetitive tasks, Xgrid-based distributed computing and other Apple software relevant to scientists and IT managers.

"Clearly with OS X [and its UNIX base] we stopped being a niche player," said Kerr. "That's one of the reasons we are seeing so much success in this market -- this is the market that gets that more than any other. This is also the market that benefits from that in a very practical way more than any other."

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