[quote]<strong>You and many, many others. It's a topic of conversation over many meals, usually accompanied by vicious assaults on VB.</strong><hr></blockquote>
Of which there cannot be too many.
We'd count ourselves lucky to have to wrestle with VB, though. We're dealing with FoxPro.FoxPro
. In 2002. The mind boggles.
[quote]<strong>Out of interest, what tools are you using to write this replacement? I take it it's going to Windows?</strong><hr></blockquote>
Borland C++ Builder. Initial target is Windows, because we have a big hairy deadline and that's are current platform. But we're writing as much as possible in ANSI C++ and isolating the GUI code so that we can port quickly and easily. The GUI will be described in XML and built dynamically rather than hardcoded.
Then we'll port to OS X and Linux (classic MacOS is unlikely, just because nobody in our field has Macs now, and if they bought Macs they'd come with OS X), because supporting Windows is a costly, bug-ridden, time-sucking PITA consisting of a multitude of platforms that seem always to be just different enough to give us a constant stream of grief, and as a non-profit we can't really afford that.
[quote]<strong>This may be the problem. Considering the investment required to put Apple in a position to make a viable attempt at capturing some of the enterprise market, it'll need to take it by storm. It's not so much getting the hardware and software up to spec, it's more the related support and services.
It costs a phenomenal amount to set up and maintain the kind of support and services required for the enterprise market.</strong><hr></blockquote>
And that's exactly why Apple is targeting the education market first. They have time to build and test that infrastructure, and then they can go to enterprise customers and say, "look, we set up a wireless network of 75,000 CPUs and we've had them running smoothly for a year now. We can do the same for you."
That was the point of my post at badflamingo: If I'm reading this right, Apple is setting themselves up so that by the time their platform is enterprise ready, they'll have built up the services - which, as you note, are the most important part - and they'll be able to point to several large installations and a seasoned crew. They can take education by storm by treating school districts like enterprise customers, and then enter the business-enterprise market from that base of strength.
[quote]<strong>Meanwhile, Apple announced in its financial report that it's shedding "administrative" jobs, so if this is going to happen, it'll be some time a long way off.</strong><hr></blockquote>
Certainly. I'm thinking this will happen over a period of a few years.
[quote]<strong>Hey, don't knock Big Blue.</strong><hr></blockquote>
Try and stop me.
[quote]<strong>they've got some *incredibly* smart, intelligent, and dare I say beautiful people working on new processing technologies.</strong><hr></blockquote>
I'll grant that they have at least one person matching that description.
I'm not dissing IBM in toto
. They do some great work, especially in research where all the stunningly beautiful, impossibly intelligent people are.
But there is a particularly well-known part of IBM that really should have been extincted by a certain meteorite a few million years ago.
[quote]<strong>This is another problem. If there is even the slightest hint that less people may be sucking on Microsoft's teats (Did you have to? I have this horrible image of Bill Gates breastfeeding) it'll pull out all the stops to prevent that from happening. And it has large scope for price reductions.</strong><hr></blockquote>
And a government that will look the other way if they decide to start "competing" really aggressively.
That's really the biggest problem: flying under Microsoft's radar.
But if Apple "passively" grows enterprise market share by clearing their throats in the direction of corporations who are sick of Microsoft's licensing policies, what's Bill going to do? He's powerful, but there are companies that are as big or bigger than Microsoft is, or at least big enough to put the hurt on him if they wanted to.
Don't short Apple's aggressiveness, either, by the way. They attack bids like wolverines. Henrico County got millions of dollars in software for free - big software, too, not AppleWorks.
[quote]<strong>Hmm, I'm still sceptical about just how much impact a 64-bit platform and the G5 will make.</strong><hr></blockquote>
Those are just icing: The last obstacles to adoption as an enterprise platform for some customers (some 3D, big databases like Oracle, mid- to heavy-duty server work). The cornerstone will be Apple's demonstrated ability to design, deploy and maintain large installations of machines, and that's what they're working on now. OS X running on 64- and 32-bit hardware, with highly compatible networking and several different RAD options, will just make the deal sweeter.
[quote]<strong>It's going to take a heck of a lot to persuade enterprises to switch, even if Apple does have all the pieces in place. And I'm not certain Apple has the necessary capital or expertise to get the service and support in place.</strong><hr></blockquote>
A lot depends on factors outside of Apple, of course, including Microsoft. But Apple can't worry about that. What they can do is look as pretty as possible when they have all the pieces in place.
[quote]<strong>There's certainly no indication such a plan to enter the enterprise market is currently in progress - I suspect there'd have been some fairly high profile new additions to Apple's board and workforce.</strong><hr></blockquote>
There's no point to their entering now
. I consider their activity in education to be laying the groundwork for an eventual push into that market.
[quote]<strong>A word of advice though - if you truly believe Apple will do this, and make some sort of success out of it, start your own Cocoa-based development company now. You'll be able to retire within a couple of years.</strong><hr></blockquote>
True. Time to start burning the midnight oil in earnest.
[quote]quote:Typical IBM: Compare the competition's offerings to something you'll deliver years from now.
; Well, I made the comparison to the "competition", so I deserved that.</strong><hr></blockquote>
Never underestimate the power of corporate culture.
[quote]<strong>However, as far as I'm aware, there are only three labs around the world working on this stuff, and two are universities. We have a slight advantage. And it won't matter how many GHz Intel can achieve by then.</strong><hr></blockquote>
Cool! Look forward to seeing it someday.
I suppose it's far too late for me to point out to myself that this whole thread has nothing to do with Future Hardware. Bad mod! No cookie!
[ 01-23-2002: Message edited by: Amorph ]</p>