With the latest announcement that Apple was moving to an Intel chipset I think there’s something in the works that not a whole lot of people are considering. Apple has always lived on the fringe of the corporate network. Graphics Designers and diehards have been able to get their way, but for the most part it’s been all about Wintel for corporate desktops.
Microsoft has been able to keep a lock on this market because of the vast amount of resources applied to developing custom applications for businesses. No one wants to redo that work. It would just cost too much and take too much time.
Some things are lining up now though that could bring a very interesting proposition into this area. VMware has been pushing for awhile the ability to run a stable, easy to manage, virus free operating system as a base on the corporate desktop and then run a vm on top to handle the legacy applications. Until recently the logical choice for this was a linux base. This way you don’t have to worry about end of lifeing of OSs by Microsoft or the pain of upgrading. You can also distribute standard image vms within the corporation to make management of the desktops easier.
The problem with this was that a lot of corporations were gunshy about linux. Who would support it. They didn’t understand open source. There weren’t the right applications for the base OS, Microsoft refuses to release a linux version of Office. However, now OSX has gained the same reputation for stability and protection from viruses that linux has, but it’s supported by a mainstream company that has been around since the beginning of the PC.
By moving the mac to intel, VMware will be able to support OSX as both a base and guest vm. This will allow Apple to sell into corporate accounts for mainstream desktops. They will be easy for the IS people to support since there’s a unix base down underneath there, and most importantly for a lot of companies, they will be virus free. Reducing huge expenditures in time, people, and money.
I truly think that there is a perfect storm lining up for this combination.