Originally posted by Brendon
I don't think that big iron is threatened... I don't think that Apples enterprise sales group is ready to out sell IBM in the enterprise market...
Brendon, I'm talking about a partnership, not a competition for sales. Apple would continue to offer Xserves and possibly offer a blade server for use in IBM's blade center chassis, Which by the way, IBM has recently offered as an "open" spec for third parties to build on.
IBM would simply offer OSX along with AIX, Linux, and (ugh!) Windows as a supported option on their "iron" both large and small. The first thing this would do is break IBM's dependance on Windows for customers who must have Microsoft Office on their desktops.
Apple has been reluctant to offer a business class box (headless Mac) so they should just let IBM do it. IBM could build a PowerPC desktop for enterprise accounts (sold by the pallet only) that could take Apple into accounts that they would never be able to crack with iMacs.
IBM would be able to sell all of Apple's gear as well, as an approved Apple vendor. Powerbooks would be HOT in this environment.
I see this type of partnering as a "Win" for both Apple and IBM. IBM gets to offer what is the best OS on the market, not to mention the gravy of support contracts for the same, while Apple gets instant and total legitimacy in the enterprise market. This is something it will never get as a "sole source" supplier. Apple sales into businesses large and small would skyrocket as a result of this partnership.
Let me repeat, in my estimation Apple profits from this licensing of OSX into the enterprise would quickly outstrip profits from the iPod's remarkable popularity.