Alleged Steve Jobs e-mail says 'hardly anyone' was buying Apple's Xserves

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
When pressed by a user on Apple's recent decision to cancel its Xserve line of rackmounted servers, Chief Executive Steve Jobs allegedly revealed that "hardly anyone" was buying the hardware.



The e-mail reportedly sent by Jobs came in response to a user who lamented that Apple was abandoning the professional market. In the note obtained by Mac Generation, the user pleaded that Apple continue to offer its rackmounted servers.



Jobs allegedly responded on his iPhone: "Hardly anyone was buying them."



Last week, Apple revealed that it would discontinue its Xserve hardware after Jan. 31, 2011. Users have been asked to transition to new hardware, including a new Mac Pro Server configuration that Apple began selling on Friday.



Apple also talked about the sales rankings of its server hardware in its "Xserve Transition Guide" released last week. In it, the company revealed that the Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server has been the company's most popular server system since its introduction in the fall of 2009.







Jobs has been known to respond to e-mails sent to him by users. He has even cited those e-mails publicly, quoting one at this year's Worldwide Developers Conference. "I was sitting in a cafe with my iPad, and it got a girl interested in me," the note read. "Now that's what I call a magical device!"



Of course, faking an e-mail is also possible, and makes any note reportedly sent by someone as prominent as Jobs suspect. Earlier this year, a phony e-mail exchange was offered for sale to a number of sites, including AppleInsider, before one technology publication purchased the fake conversation and published details from it. Apple's public relations department quickly responded by outright denying the exchange.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 134
    I guess he makes some sense, but you can't rackmount a Mac Pro.
  • Reply 2 of 134
    Apple pulled the XServes years ago from MacWorld leaving us with just consumer gear and little reason for professionals to attend.

    Apple never displayed them in a retail store that I ever saw.

    Apple spent little on advertising them.



    And you're surprised hardly anybody is buying them?
  • Reply 3 of 134
    The lack of stability and support for OSX Server killed the X-Serve and X Serve Raid.
  • Reply 4 of 134
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post


    I guess he makes some sense, but you can't rackmount a Mac Pro.



    Mac minis?
  • Reply 5 of 134
    I suppose an apple forum is the wrong place to ask this question, but:

    - How many of you have rack-mounted servers at your company?

    - For those of you who do, what OS?



    We have Exchange servers for email/calendaring, and UNIX servers (I have no idea what flavor; it's not my specialty) for everything else.



    Call me stupid ("okay, stupid") but I think the only people who care what flavor the rackmount is are the IT people working on it. Everyone else just cares if it works. Unix works great as a server platform with or without the mac veneer on top, and end users are none the wiser. IT geeks should know their way around a unix terminal without needing some shiny veneer. Hence, no need for a mac rack-mount server.



    For the less-intelligent folk (again, me) there is a need for mac veneers, but our needs run to things like mac mini servers and mac pro servers. Once we get into rack-mounting things we know we're unqualified.
  • Reply 6 of 134
    dave k.dave k. Posts: 1,306member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TimmyDax View Post


    Mac minis?



    Best of luck to anyone building a server infrastructure using Mac Mini's... Remember to keep your resume up to date.
  • Reply 7 of 134
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MyopiaRocks View Post


    I suppose an apple forum is the wrong place to ask this question, but:

    - How many of you have rack-mounted servers at your company?

    - For those of you who do, what OS?



    We do. Our servers are off-site stored in cabinets, so we must use rackmounted servers, minus our AS/400 server. They all uses windows.
  • Reply 8 of 134
    No one was buying them because hardly anyone knew about them.



    What was the Enterprise Group's advertising budget? $5?
  • Reply 9 of 134
    I just love that he points out that he's French.



    I'M FRENCH! WHY DO YOU THINK I WRITE WITH THIS HORRIBLE GRAMMAR YOU SILLY CEO YOU!



    (anyone?)
  • Reply 10 of 134
    I'm sure Apple is going to use the stock of XServers to populate their new datacenter. Once they get done with that, they'll refresh the line and come out with a new design. I see in the future a design that would enable a MAC Pro to be mounted in a standard rack.
  • Reply 11 of 134
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by verucabong View Post


    I just love that he points out that he's French.



    I'M FRENCH! WHY DO YOU THINK I WRITE WITH THIS HORRIBLE GRAMMAR YOU SILLY CEO YOU!



    (anyone?)



    Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
  • Reply 12 of 134
    nobodyynobodyy Posts: 377member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post


    Best of luck to anyone building a server infrastructure using Mac Mini's... Remember to keep your resume up to date.



    Actually a Mac Mini Server would make an excellent server, actually. The specs of a mac mini are about the same as the specs we use to build our servers... I don't see where you would think that Mac Minis would make a poor server infrastructure.
  • Reply 13 of 134
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by LanPhantom View Post


    I'm sure Apple is going to use the stock of XServers to populate their new datacenter. Once they get done with that, they'll refresh the line and come out with a new design. I see in the future a design that would enable a MAC Pro to be mounted in a standard rack.



    I honestly doubt they will use their own product.
  • Reply 14 of 134
    Bleh. This story is "bottom of the barrel".
  • Reply 15 of 134
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by verucabong View Post


    I just love that he points out that he's French.



    I'M FRENCH! WHY DO YOU THINK I WRITE WITH THIS HORRIBLE GRAMMAR YOU SILLY CEO YOU!



    (anyone?)



    I fart in your general direction! Now go away or I shall taunt you a second time!
  • Reply 16 of 134
    onhkaonhka Posts: 1,025member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post


    I guess he makes some sense, but you can't rackmount a Mac Pro.



    Yes you can.

    http://www.hhb.co.uk/hhb/uk/products/detail.asp?ID=2822

    http://activatethespace.com/cadlock.html

    http://www.custom-consoles.com/Rackmount-Mac-g5.php



    And then there is Virginia Tech*?
    Quote:

    In 2003, Virginia Tech created a supercomputer which ranked as the 3rd fastest in the world. The system was made from 1100 dual processor Power Macintosh G5s and cost US$5.2 million. The supercomputer, called System X, was disassembled shortly after it was ranked in order for it to be replaced with Apple's rack-based servers which consume both less space and power. Virginia Tech plans to have a second supercomputer running. The unit will be made of Mac Pro Towers with a theoretical computing capacity of 29 teraflops.



    * http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/20...4-mac-pros.ars

    ? http://6268.org.ru/tag/hokie-speed/
  • Reply 17 of 134
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,372member
    The Subject line is not just empty but missing from the message header. Why is that?



    However I would believe fewer Xserves have been sold than anything else ever offered on apple.com, except maybe the white iPhone 4.
  • Reply 18 of 134


    The Apple G5 Xserve did have some advantages compared to typical Intel systems at the time due to the Altivec units, so you could get more flops per buck and watt than typical PC based clusters. However, now that Apple uses the same chips as everyone else there is no unique advantage to the Apple systems in hardware, and Mac OS is not specially optimized for cluster use, so no advantage there. A lot more variety in hardware from many companies to choose from. Apple Server software may have some advantages to casual server operators, but they seldom need rack mount systems.
  • Reply 19 of 134
    I'm not an IT guy, but I'm bummed that Apple seems to be abandoning the enterprise market. IF Apple is trying to make itself into a "consumer electronics" company, I think that's a terrible idea. They have tons of cash on hand, and certainly enough to really put some effort?brain and marketing?into making their mark in enterprise. The reason Apple has failed in the enterprise is that they've put as much effort into positioning themselves there as they have entering the Indian market (consumer/IT/Pro/anything!). That is to say, virtually none.



    Someone in another forum speculated that perhaps they're planing a "one more thing" event to spring a new Mac Pro design on the world, one that would have the versatility to work as a desktop machine or a robust server. The current Mac Pro design, excellent as it is, is getting rather long in the tooth. It's been around for nearly a decade, which is an eternity in the computerverse.



    In my dream world, Apple releases a new Mac Pro in a case design that could work either as a tower, for home/small business, or with a more robust motherboard/internal hardware configuration, a rackmount 3U(4U?) server: Externally accessible hard drives, hot swappable, redundant power supplies, etc.



    The nightmare scenario is that Apple completely abandons the enterprise/IT market, the fallout being a return to the early/mid 90s, where the Mac was seen as novelty, but not a serious computer. iOS is great, and it's put Apple at the top of the smartphone/tablet?a.k.a. "appliance" market, but others will catch up after a while, and Apple needs to stay diversified.



    I think in addition to a total lack of marketing, the Xserve was doomed because it was underpowered and overpriced, reinforcing the notion that Apple products are "luxury" items, but not to be taken seriously. Hopefully Apple is realizing this, and will build a better machine.
  • Reply 20 of 134
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wally626 View Post


    The Apple G5 Xserve did have some advantages compared to typical Intel systems at the time due to the Altivec units, so you could get more flops per buck and watt than typical PC based clusters. However, now that Apple uses the same chips as everyone else there is no unique advantage to the Apple systems in hardware, and Mac OS is not specially optimized for cluster use, so no advantage there. A lot more variety in hardware from many companies to choose from. Apple Server software may have some advantages to casual server operators, but they seldom need rack mount systems.



    This is probably a good strategic move for Apple. They are smart enough to know when they are not really adding value vs other rack mounted servers out there.



    That leaves them additional resources to devote to areas where they are providing great value. For a company the size of Apple, they really have an amazingly small number of products. But they have tremendous focus on what products they do have, resulting in the amazing goods that we all love.
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