Apple's secret enterprise plans

The furor surrounding Apple’s move to license Microsoft’s ActiveSync services to enable Exchange support on the iPhone may one day be seen as a tiny move, as the company plans to introduce wider support for the device through services supplied by Mac OS X Server.

Apple has already confirmed plans to introduce the final version of the iPhone Software Development kit in June, but whispers now claim the company may have a couple more surprises up its sleeve for WWDC 2008.

If these quietly whispered rumours are true, Apple plans to leverage its expertise in managing aspects of  both the software and hardware on its platforms to deliver new generations of tools that will let users integrate iPhone with Mac OS X Server-side services and tools. 

It’s likely these will include new tools to help system administrators easily deploy iPhones within all-Mac environments. These tools will potentially include company-wide support for currently supported server-based solutions, such as group iCal and Address Book support, iChat, and more.

The move would – for the first time – mean Apple could soon be offering a complete environment designed to support an extensive ecosystem of tools. These would include mobile solutions, collaborative workgroups, remote and networked desktop environments and more. And all based on the standards supported by its Unix-based OS, delivering a compelling alternative to Windows-based enterprise systems.

Such implementations will likely generate interest in the enterprise sectors Apple has traditionally been denied a foothold in, if only for the fact that Mac OS X Server doesn’t demand its users pay a per-user license fee.

9 to 5 Mac has been unable to fully corroborate these whispers at this time, but they suggest some hot news to come from WWDC in June, when most agree the second generation 3G-savvy iPhone is set to first appear.

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