You are right, that Exchange is now a de facto standard, but he dreams about good things. People shouldn't dance for microsoft, but instead run towards open and standard protocols. Building support for exchange is sort of must thing to iPhone for now, but at the server and os level they should channel people to more open solutions. Why doesn't iPhone let people use iTunes bought music as ringtones is beyond me, or why not let people do direct downloads from iTunes with iPhone.
One of the hardest things for me not to understand is why most companies haven't vouched for ODF, it doesn't cost them anything to choose Open standard(support for it should be in Office), but it gives them better negotiation changes to Office pricing.
I agree with you 100%, life would be wonderful if the people who made decisions were as clued up as us mere consumers! But unfortunately the people who make decisions are more worried about their own job security to even have a second thought about the future mess they are creating for everyone else, c'est la vie.
Apple's strategy is to support open standards in order to help topple standards based on closed products:
1) iTunes DRM-free music instead of Microsoft WMA
Its funny aint it? Apple has been selling DRM'd music on iTunes since day dot but the minute they start trialling DRM free music from a single record company all of a sudden they are leading the world on DRM free music downloads! It makes me laugh it really does. Get a clue people please.
Why are we surprised? I don't know. But if Apple wants to work with the corporate world, one of the things they need to do is start being open with their products and roadmaps. Its nice to have an answer 'all along' (although did he, or is he just covering up now for the obvious omission that everyone complained about), but if you don't tell the enterprise where you're going, they aren't going to pay attention to where you are. People may not care about some new feature, but companies do. This is also why Macs don't sell well there. When you have no clue as to when a product is going to be discontinued until it is, you're then buying and supporting varying machines over various terms. (See, this is why Dell does well in the market. When we were buying some PCs for the office, we knew exactly how long these models had been around, how long they were going to be around, and, as well, that they would contain the same hardware within.
Good post and well said, at the moment there is just no chance of Apple making a dent in the enterprise market, not based on their current model anyway. And of course it remains to be seen whether Apple actually want to enter this market (or should i say re-enter this market?) anyway. There are people who post in this forum who disagree with me, their biggest argument seems to be that Apple are a hardware company and the enterprise hardware market is to competitive and Apple are not able to live with the low margins in the enterprise. I however think that the enterprise has to be the next logical step in the rebirth of Apple and could actually be the turning point, Microsoft never got to be as big as they are by focusing on the consumer market, they dominated the office before they made a push for the home PC.
The points you raised are vaild though one would assume they are easy to address, Apple would need to form a business division and hire people from outside with the knowledge and experience to help shape the strategy for such a move. I for one would love to see Apple enter that market, i sell into that market at the moment and knowing what i know even as a mere consumer of their products would love an opportunity to sell Apple products into business, every salesperson dreams of being able to sell a product that is obviously head and shoulders above the competition. But first Apple needs the solutions, and the iPhone certainly aint it, but OSX is and could be the base of great things to come. Maybe.