Apple’s Rendezvous technology could pose a direct challenge to Microsoft, Alex Salkever, technology editor for BusinessWeek Online , opines in the latest ”
Byte of the Apple ” column. (Salkever is filling in for regular Byte of the Apple columnist Charles Haddad, who is on temporary leave.)
In recent months the ways of using Rendezvous have grown tremendously, Salkever says. Several companies have made their printers Rendezvous ready; Chapparal, has built Rendezvous into its latest version storage-management software; and Sybase has built Rendezvous into its client software.
Salkever said that “a prominent maker” of 3-D rendering software will release a new version of its product with Rendezvous compatibility, which will have the ability to check central processing unit usage on other Rendezvous-enabled systems around the office and send intensive tasks to the computer currently handling the lightest workload. It’s a form of distributed computing with no middleman required, Salkever said. And, of course, Apple has added Rendezvous support to more of its own software products.
He adds that, using Rendezvous, companies can potentially reduce help-desk use (thanks to simplified wireless printing) and hold down the cost of managing printer and file-sharing servers by using Rendezvous-ready software on the backend. Any changes to those systems get automatically broadcast to every machine on the network, eliminating the need for tech support to change settings on each desktop individually, Salkever opines.
“That’s just the tip of the money-saving iceberg — and it illustrates why businesses should reconsider their PC choices in the next couple of years,” he said.
Salkever also makes some interesting suggestions regarding untapped uses for Rendezvous involving telephone systems inside office buildings that could appeal to businesses and corporations. And to help spur the adoption of Rendezvous in such environments, he thinks Apple should create a Windows-compatible app using Rendezvous to get the ball rolling in the PC court.
“True, such a move might tick off the Colossus of Redmond,” Salkever says. “No matter. If more Rendezvous-enabled pieces of Windows software start hitting the shelves, slowly but surely, Apple will start to break down the obstacles to switching platforms from Bill’s boxes to Steve’s elegant machines.”