Archive for the ‘Enterprise IT’ Category

Hands On: Windows Vista Service Pack 1 Beta

Saturday, September 29th, 2007

It will come as no to surprise to those of you who’ve been at this computer technology thang for a while that — given that Vista sales haven’t been great over the nearly one year since Microsoft released it to manufacturing on November 8, 2006 — Microsoft has to do something. And that something appears to be Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1), which the company intends to ship sometime in the first quarter of 2008.

On Friday I interviewed Microsoft Vista SP1 production manager David Zipkin. And while Zipkin insisted that SP1 isn’t just a roll-up of patches, updates, and security fixes that you’re already getting on Windows Update, he was hard pressed to tell just what exactly is new in the forthcoming service pack. The truth is there are new things, but very few that you or I really care about.

In the end, maybe it’s all a moot point anyway, since most people will get SP1 when they buy a new PC or download it as part of Windows Update, where it will be about a 55MB download. Microsoft will be distributing it on DVD, both to enterprises with license agreements and to consumers who are willing to sign up for it on a Web form, pay a modest fee for shipping, and wait several weeks. But my guess is that waiting won’t be a huge hardship.

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Apple Acknowledges Its Enterprise Division

Saturday, September 29th, 2007

In early September I wrote a column titled Apple’s Taking a Pass on the Enterprise Prize. It appeared in Scot’s Newsletter and also on the Computerworld site. I was attempting to take Apple to task for its lack of an apparent big business strategy. Many Computerworld and Scot’s Newsletter IT pro readers have written me over the past year to say they prefer Macs but don’t feel that Apple supports business buyers as well as their Windows-related vendors. Many readers also feel the existing Macs are more consumer-oriented than business-oriented. So I wrote about that. And I wrote that I had contacted Apple weeks earlier and hadn’t gotten any real response from it about the company’s enterprise strategy.

The week after the column appeared (after I returned from a vacation), I received a call from Apple acknowledging for the first time that, yes, it has an enterprise division headed by Al Shipp, senior vice president of enterprise sales. Only hitch was, Apple’s PR department wasn’t authorized to let me talk to Mr. Shipp or, in fact, anyone in Apple Enterprise.

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Apple’s Taking a Pass on the Enterprise Prize

Monday, September 10th, 2007

It’s the unofficial motto of the lottery industry: You’ve got to play to win. A couple of decades ago, the vast majority of microcomputer companies realized that the jackpot was in sales of computers to businesses. Apple opted not to play, and as a result, it had a troubled history throughout most of the 1990s.

Now, for the first time since the Mac was introduced in 1984, Apple has a real opportunity to play to win by focusing some of its resources on selling computers to the enterprise. Apple isn’t a large company, however, and it’s headed in an entirely different direction, transforming itself from a consumer computer company to a consumer electronics company. But is that truly the right move for Apple? It might be, but it’s not without risk. And it may mean passing up a golden opportunity.

Small Window
Don’t believe the siren song emanating from Redmond about how well Vista is doing. It’s not doing all that well. That doesn’t mean Microsoft is in trouble long term, because as things stand now, Vista (and its mildly improved derivatives) will eventually take over the Windows marketplace and wind up being the largest-selling version of Windows ever.

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