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What businesses would like to see from Apple in 2013

Erik Eckel drafts a holiday wish list of things businesses would like to see from Apple in 2013. What would you add?

Apple made quite a splash in 2012 with a new iPhone, MacBooks with Retina displays, redesigned iMacs, a refreshed iPad and even a new iPad Mini model. Nevertheless, businesses still have a wish list for new products and features that they would like to see from Apple in the coming year.

Microsoft Office for iOS

Here's the holiday wish item most likely to come true first in 2013; Microsoft will swallow its pride and release Microsoft Office for iOS. Look for the suite (Word, Excel and PowerPoint) to become the best-selling paid iOS app within a quarter or two of release. iPad and iPhone users will embrace the opportunity to finally leverage the industry standard productivity suite on their mobile devices. Ease of use, reliability and compatibility will drive the suite's fast adoption.

Refreshed Mac Pros

Businesses are curious to gauge Apple's desktop computing investments. Mobile devices are where all the attention is centered, yet new iMacs boast sleek new designs. The Mac Pro, long the flagship of Mac desktop performance, received only minor updates in 2012 and possesses a Don't Buy rating from MacRumors.com. The model needs a zesty injection of innovation. The box still boasts considerable performance capacity (12 cores power the standard configuration), but an additional dose of stylistic evolution wouldn't hurt, especially as the once-flagship system is showing age. Any base $2,500 Apple desktop should at least include a half dozen USB 3.0 ports and a pair of Thunderbolt connections.

Docking stations

Wish lists needn't be grounded in reality, hence the request for Apple-engineered and -branded docking stations to simplify connectivity for MacBook Pro and MacBook Air users. Businesses that deploy MacBook Pros or MacBook Airs as desktop replacements, however, find themselves frustrated trying to connect multiple monitors, and a slew of cables (power, Ethernet, display, keyboard, mouse, external USB accessories, speakers, etc.) that must be disconnected and reconnected every time a user leaves or returns to his or her desk. Native port replicators could eliminate these issues altogether.

Real-world displays

There must be a happy medium between the low cost 20- to 22-inch widescreen displays most of the world uses and the advanced $999 Apple Thunderbolt Displays only the most demanding business users can justify purchasing. If there is, Apple hasn't found it. The Thunderbolt Display is an engineering achievement (the 27" 16:9 displays have Gigabit Ethernet and Thunderbolt connectivity, 2560 x 1440 resolution, 16.7million colors, and 12ms response times)and could technically serve as a docking station -- but, the cost is beyond the reach of many organizations that really only need a reliable color-reproducing 22" display for approximately a third of the expense.

Integrated antimalware

As Mac sales continue to exponentially outpace PC shipments, OS X will continue growing as a malware target. As virus and spyware authors increasingly take aim at Apple's UNIX OS, integrating malware protection would help protect businesses and business users from malicious software. If Microsoft can package Security Essentials with Windows 8, there's no reason Apple developers can't add to Mountain Lion's security and sandboxing elements and include at least a basic antimalware application to help protect less educated users.

What would you add to this wish list?

About

Erik Eckel owns and operates two technology companies. As a managing partner with Louisville Geek, he works daily as an IT consultant to assist small businesses in overcoming technology challenges and maximizing IT investments. He is also president o...

6 comments
Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

Libre Office for Mac free and it is more stable and compatible than MS Office?

Trentski
Trentski

The mac gui is boring, and doing the most basic of tasks is a headache on the MAC. People that bring there mac's into the office just to be different are annoying as well, these people need to get over trying to be special by being different What I'd like to see from Apple, is that they are left at home where they belong, people can just use Windows so they can get some real work done

FTAdmin
FTAdmin

What happened to Virex? My old Motorola Mac Pro came with that antivirus program pre-installed. I guess the new Intel ones have nothing. :(

FTAdmin
FTAdmin

I have no experience with Toshiba DynaDock on Apples, but they seem to work well for the non-native-docked Dell Vostros. One USB cable to the laptop and it's all connected.

CRSI-Tech
CRSI-Tech

Like it or not Windows Servers and domains make up an integral part of general business networks. Getting Macintosh and/or iPad devices to play well in those environments would likely improve their adoption rates. Two issue I encountered in 2012 that exemplify the poor state of integration are these: When printing from a Macintosh to a Windows domain hosted printer, the metadata associated with the print job is not fully translated between the Macintosh OS print subsystem and the Windows print subsystem. The paper may come out of the printer, but if held in queue (within the Windows system) and viewed, the document names are not passed from the Macintosh to the Windows print subsystem. In document accounting and secured printing systems like those I sell and support, that means all documents from Macintosh computers are named "Remote downlevel document" instead of the document names assigned at the Macintosh. Second, the hoops one must jump through to print from an iPad or Mac to printers shared on a Windows OS network are rediculous in this day and age. Insisting on specific brands of "Air Print" approved devices adds new meaning to BYOD (you'll have to bring your printer too!) While there are plenty of entrepeneurs offering solutions to this problem, it would benefit both Apple and Microsoft to put aside the spiteful indifference toward accomodating each other's technology. The price of such spite is being paid by customers of both companies to no advantage to the spiteful. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are gone. Let's get over the past and start recognizing the real needs of the general customer base.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

standards, so you blame the other guys for not having paid Microsoft Danegeld to be fully compatible with Microsoft special options. Mac send print info according to the Industry Standards set out nearly 20 years ago, standards MS walked away from in the mid 1990s so they could make more money by forcing unneeded changes.

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