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Bob Evans
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Global CIO: Steve Jobs Calls Out Google And iPad Rocks The Enterprise

Top 10 Stories Of The Year #2: As Apple's revenue scales to $100 billion, Google emerges as primary competitor and IT emerges as massive opportunity.

"For CIOs, this is not just drive-by commentary of the rich and powerful—rather, it's a peek into the future of what could very well be driving your IT strategies and deployments: the mobile devices that are becoming the real-time revenue-generating tools for not just your sales teams but for many (most? all?) of your creative and market-facing employees.

"In that context, Jobs' scathing comments about Google's products, its strategy, and its regard for customers and developers have enormous import as you begin to build out or accelerate your buildout of your mobile and customer-centric business-technology strategy."

For those reasons, I've picked Apple's ascendancy—not just among consumers but in the business world as well, where Apple will face Google as its primary challenger—as the #2 story of the year.

It would be foolish to think of Apple as merely some slick company that sells music and fancy phones to kids. For, while Apple surely does that, such a hackneyed description is about as valid as saying that all IBM does is sell mainframes. With regard to enterprise computing, the combination of where Apple has been and where Apple currently is represents a vastly different profile from where the company is headed.

As proof of that contention, here is some perspective on how rapidly big companies are jumping on iPads and iPhones as strategic new tools. Those details are followed by some comments from Jobs and also Apple COO Tim Cook during their mid-October quarterly earnings call with analysts and originally published in my column called Global CIO: Apple Storms The Enterprise As iPad And iPhone Surge:

"With iPad pilots or deployments taking place in 65% of the Fortune 100 and the iPhone now mainstream at more than 80% of the Fortune 500, Apple is obliterating the distinctions between consumer and professional devices and forcing CIOs to confront a simple question: are you willing to help embrace and drive this revolution in IT philosophy, or will you fight it?

"....Look at those numbers again: within the Fortune 100, two-thirds are now testing or deploying iPads—yet the device is barely half a year old! Is there something powerful going on here, or have the CIOs and CEOs at 65 of the largest companies in the world spontaneously and simultaneously gone stark raving mad?"

Here's what Jobs and Cook had to say about that:

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