Originally Posted by macarena
This is not about Jobs getting realistic - this is about Jobs realizing that targeting Enterprise would have been a pointless exercise back in 1997. No Enterprise would talk to Apple back then - remember people were expecting Apple to burn up anytime soon.
This is more about Jobs realizing "the PC wars are over - Microsoft won", and changing the battlefield completely. In this new battlefield, Apple is winning hand over fist - and it is success in this battlefield that is opening new doors for Apple.
Come to think of it - Apple could gradually move all their consumer offerings to an iOS derived OS - focussing purely on functionality, and user experience - and change regular Mac OS to a business focussed OS. Basically iOS for consumption, and Mac OS 11 for Production.
With a proper focus, Apple should be able to get very good traction in Enterprise - Mac OS is easily the most robust and secure OS in the market. With its Unix foundations, and with initiatives like Grand Central Dispatch, it should be easy to add scalablity, and performance. I imagine Apple will continue to develop Grand Central Dispatch into a load balancing, high availablity, clustering type of solution - there is no reason Grand Central should be restricted to just a single machine.
Enterprise today is geared to using Linux - so Apple should target Linux as its competition - in terms of features, price, etc. At the Enterprise level, Linux is actually quite an expensive option, more expensive than Apple's Snow Leopard Server.
I agree with much of what you've said, except for two things.
The first is that the "PC wars are over". That's really a very interesting question. At the time Jobs came back to Apple, the PC wars were over. But things change. Technology, and the use of it evolves.
What is a PC? A personal computer. And what is that? Well, we knew what it was. It was a desk bound machine in 1997, mostly. No one ever thought that large, heavy, weakly performing laptops would ever become popular. But they did. And Apple is doing very well there.
No one ever expected that smartphones would ever sell in the quantities they are now, much less in what they will be selling in a few years.
And, no one ever thought that tablets would ever work, much less become popular, except Bill gates, but those weren't tablets, they were convertibles.
It's very interesting, but in the second decade of the 21st century, Apple could win the PC wars after all, and I think Jobs knows it!
Secondly, the business community doesn't live on linux. While it does very well in data centers, where Apple doesn't exist, and in web servers; ditto, 95% of business desktops are Windows machines. Linux users keep claiming that "THIS year will be the year of the Linux desktop.", but that will never happen. Several years ago, IBM tried to get their many users onto Linux, but it failed big time. And MS is even kicking Linux out of web serving. I used to consider Linux to be an OS X rival, but not any more. Too many well known Linux users have moved to OS X.
Like it or not, it's a Windows/OS X world. But it may become a uOS/Android world. uOS standing for Universal Operating System, which is where I'm convinced Apple is going with OS X and iOS.