The Coming of Apple


With all the excitement and interest being generated this week by a new "slate tablet" offering from Apple that is expected to be unveiled tomorrow, now may be a good time to think about how Apple is starting to influence the use of applications in the enterprise.

For the last several years, use of Apple systems in the enterprise has steadily increased. Fans of the systems have argued that they are inherently more secure, and with the ability to run the most popular personal productivity applications from Microsoft, they can pretty much function alongside Windows systems just fine.

None of this has been lost on application vendors such as Mindjet, which today launched a version of its MindManager 8 software for the Macintosh. MindManager8 is basically a productivity tool for both Windows and the Mac that helps users visually organize their thoughts and ideas in much the same way people tend to sketch thoughts on whiteboard.

What's becoming clear is that more ISVs are finding that customers are receptive to the idea of buying version of their software on both Windows and the Mac. Odds are good that a whole host of vendors that created business applications solely for Windows are going to discover the increasing popularity of the Macintosh within their customer base. This will probably lead to a small explosion of these types of applications on the Macintosh platform.

What will be interesting is to watch is how the Macintosh ultimately influences the design of these applications. It would be fair to say that the Macintosh has more "left-brain" appeal than Windows systems that tend to be a little more utilitarian in their approach to user interfaces. And with that Macintosh bent, perhaps we'll begin to see a new wave of innovation in the user interfaces of business application interfaces that seems to have been sorely missing for the past decade.