Apple's Revamped Mac Business Site

Apple recently relaunched its Mac Business site, updated for Leopard and with the latest Mac business tools. Macs have not historically been considered business machines. As I wrote last year in an article here at Computerworld and in one for Peachpit Press, this perception definitely seems to be shifting. Small businesses in particular (both those within the traditional Mac strongholds of design and creative professions and those far outside of that arena) are beginning to consider Mac OS X a serious platform with a wide range of tools.

In checking out Apple's revamped business site, I'm reminded of some of the facts that surprised me when I was researching the Mac's emerging role in business environments last year. First, there are a much broader range of tools out there than most people expect. Although tools like basic accounting software, Office and iWork, and database solutions seem like obvious choices to point to, there is actually a much wider range of niche products than immediately come to mind.

Browsing the industry-based solutions on Apple's site, for example, reveals specialized products that are pretty much ready to go out-of-the-box for a diverse group of professions including retail operations, health care, and law offices - none of have typically been immediately associated with Mac-run offices.

In addition to tools available, Apple's new site features a number of profiles of how Macs are being used in various businesses. Reading these profiles can actually be more interesting in some ways than the list of available software. In fact, that's one of the things I enjoy as a most as a consultant who specializes in Mac and multi-platform solutions: seeing the diversity of ways that Macs are used in everything from physical and occupational therapy offices to coffee shops that use Macs to manage an entire workflow from roasting to retail.

Obviously, Apple's business site has some degree os sales agenda to it, but overall it also packs some useful information (particularly for small business owners or those planning to start their own business), making it well worth spending some time browsing.


Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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