Apple Stores and ‘Green’ Computing

Apple and the Corporate World:
Apple has been making a huge inroad in the consumer market with its desktop. There is even buzz about corporations switching to Macs, much to the horror of IT Microsoft Windows support departments. However, I don’t see Steve Jobs going this route. Why? Two reasons are that the iPhone and the iPod are more profitable. Both offer much larger margins than computers. Apple also dominates those areas. If the company tries to grow its computing business, it will have many more competitors. This would include Dell and HP. Even more significant to note is that PC makers no longer sell just desktops to the enterprise. They are selling wireless solutions, enterprise storage and security, and virtualization solutions, to name a few. The companies also partner with software vendors to supply business intelligence, ERP, CRM, just to name a few of the mainstream abbreviations we keep reading about. Does Apple have the capacity right now to supply any of this?

As a consumer, I think that iMacs are beautifully designed. As IT support, it will take more than pretty icons and a nice laptop furnish to convince me that Apple computers are ready for the corporate world. Just because a Mac can access email, access a browser, and share files with the corporate network, it’s not enough. Why don’t I just buy $500 laptops and load them all up with a free Linux distribution running OpenOffice, Wine (windows emulation), and VMWare? That way, I’d save several hundred dollars on the OS, not to mention on the hardware too.

‘Green’ Computing
What are your thoughts on ‘green’ computing? Is it a marketing ploy? Is SAAS and ‘cloud computing’ the means that justifies the greens? I would argue that running server farms contusing several tens of thousands of servers 24/7 is not green at all. This infrastructure reminds me of the mainframe/terminal model as opposed to distributed or the client/server architecture. The world is better off with an infrastructure that does not demand for larger growing server farms. Is there a p2p-like infrastructure that throttles power consumption only when it is needed? Why can’t server farms have a distributed computing infrastructure, much like folding@home?