Apple Polishes Enterprise Appeal At WWDC

Snow Leopard OS for servers and enterprise-friendly iPhone 3G S features make Apple's new products more easily manageable on enterprise networks.
Apple iPhone 3G S
(click image for larger view)
Apple iPhone 3G S

Apple isn't an enterprise company, but its products frequently find their way into the enterprise through the back door. At its Worldwide Developers Conference this week, Apple took steps to help make those products welcome when they arrive.

Apple on Monday introduced an array of new products, including a new iPhone, the final version of Safari 4, and updated MacBooks.

While Apple's products are designed primarily for consumers, they include a few features designed to make them more appealing in the enterprise. In this week's announcements, enterprise features were concentrated on the iPhone 3G S and the new server version of Mac OS X.

The iPhone gets support for hardware encryption and remote erasing of phone contents, to protect enterprise data when a phone is lost or stolen.

But the biggest enterprise boost came for the new server version of Snow Leopard.

Apple introduced a Developer Preview of Mac OS X Server Snow Leopard, a 64-bit Unix server operating system doubling the speed of its predecessor. The software includes Mobile Access Server, to allow enterprises to provide their users with secure access to firewall-protected network services for iPhones and Macs. Mobile Access Server provides strong encryption and authentication between the user's iPhone or Mac and a private network.

The server software includes built-in Wiki Server 2, which allows users to view wiki contents on an iPhone and preview attachments on any modern browser. The new Address Book Server, based on the CardDAV standard, provides a central location for users to store and access personal contacts across multiple Macs and synchronized iPhones. iCal Server 2, based on CalDAV, includes Web-based calendar access and the ability to view meeting invitations and details on iPhones using OS 3.0, which ships later this month.The software also includes a new Mail Server engine that supports push e-mail.

And the server software supports QuickTime live streaming, NetRestore for delivering custom system images over a network, and iPhone Configuration Utility.

Server Snow Leopard also features Podcast Producer 2, for automating, creating, and publishing podcasts.

The software is priced at $499 for unlimited users, and will ship in September, the same timetable for Snow Leopard on the desktop. The new pricing is a significant reduction from the current Mac OS X server pricing of $499 for up to 10 users, and $999 unlimited.

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