Columnist David Berlind writes that Mac OS X stands a “better chance of challenging Windows on the desktop than Linux does, or ever did” in a new ZDNet Tech Update article. Berlind thinks that Mac OS X, especially with the improvements in 10.2 (“Jaguar”) could help Apple penetrate the business world.
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He feels that Mac OS X has several noteworthy business features, including a Unix foundation “that’s perceived (perhaps mistakenly) by many to be more secure than Windows”; support for PPTP-based VPNs; and a “discovery technology” called Rendezvous that makes child’s play out of connecting to network-based resources (storage, printers, databases, etc.) including those bound to Windows systems.
However, the columnist thinks that Apple should port Mac OS X to Intel architecture so that there can be Mac OS X-based systems from vendors other than Apple. He thinks this could be done relatively easy as much of Mac OS X is based on an open-source version of BSD Unix called Darwin. Berlind thinks such a move would benefit Apple in the long run since “most IT managers might have taken the Macintosh route years ago, if it weren’t for the price.”
And he thinks Apple must do two others things if they want to be taken seriously in the business world. With lots of business e-mail users using Microsoft’s Exchange server, “Apple should figure out a way to seamlessly bridge Microsoft’s proprietary e-mail and calendaring protocol (MAPI) to OS X’s built-in Spam-killing mail client and recently introduced calendaring software (iCal).” Secondly, Apple needs to create some sort of interactive guide that can help “switchers” switch from Windows habits to Mac habits (such as learning the different keyboard shortcuts).