Apple Is Still Failing When It Comes To Selling Apps To Businesses And Schools

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Apple's volume purchase program falls short for many schools and businesses.
Apple's volume purchase program falls short for many schools and businesses.

Apple’s Volume Purchase Program (VPP) is the company’s half-hearted attempt to deliver some form of enterprise licensing program for the iOS App Store. The program does make it marginally easier for businesses to bulk purchase and deploy apps to iPhones and iPads than telling employees to buy apps and then reimbursing them, but it still leaves a lot to be desired. As we reported earlier this summer, many businesses and school still feel Apple doesn’t meet their app purchase and deployment needs.

Mobile app management (MAM) vendor App 47 summed up some of the key issues and how it can help companies deal with them as part of the company’s summer lecture series on app management.

Apple’s Profile Manager And The Future Of Mac Management [Feature]

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Mountain Lion Server's Profile Manager illustrates the future of Mac and iOS management.
Mountain Lion Server's Profile Manager illustrates the future of Mac and iOS management.

Since the release of Snow Leopard Server three years ago, Apple has been steering its server platform away from large enterprise deployments. Instead Apple has redesigned OS X Server to meet the needs of the small to mid-size business market as well as the needs of Apple-centric departments or workgroups in larger organizations. That focus is very clear if you download and install Mountain Lion Server or look through the Mountain Lion Server documentation from Apple.

One of the transitions that Apple began in Lion and Lion Server, which were released last summer, was a move away from the traditional Mac management architecture that Apple has provided in OS X Server since it launched the platform more than a decade ago. In its place, Apple has built a management system for Macs that is very similar to the mobile management features available in iOS.

Is There A Reason Apple Only Provided Minor Additions In Remote Desktop’s Latest Update?

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Apple continues to update Apple Remote Desktop without issuing a major new feature-laden upgrade.
Apple continues to update Apple Remote Desktop without issuing a major new feature-laden upgrade.

Apple released a range of updates to the its Mac applications last week along with the release of Mountain Lion on Wednesday. Most of those updates were to integrate new Mountain Lion technologies and provide general compatibility with the new OS.

Among them were updates for  Apple Remote Desktop, Apple’s extremely powerful and flexible remote management solution for Mac systems. In addition to offering support for Mountain Lion, the update also added a couple new features focused around some of Apple’s latest hardware, but no major changes. In fact, one has to wonder why this amazing Mac IT solution has gotten so few updates over the past few years.

Apple Continues To Support Traditional Mac Management In Mountain Lion Server

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Workgroup Manager and Managed Preferences are alive and kicking in Mountain Lion Server.
Workgroup Manager and Managed Preferences are alive and kicking in Mountain Lion Server.

In addition to launching Mountain Lion Server last week, Apple rather quietly released a Mountain Lion Server version of Workgroup Manager – the traditional Mac management tool included in previous releases of OS X Server. The move was unexpected after Apple released the Advanced Administration guide for Mountain Lion Server, which implied that administrators would need to begin an almost-immediate shift to Mountain Lion Server’s Profile Manager.

The move is good news for many organizations that have an existing investment in OS X Server and Mac clients. Although Mountain Lion Server’s Profile Manager is arguably a more modern and enterprise-friendly solution, it only supports Macs running Lion and Mountain Lion. Any schools or businesses with clients still on Leopard or Snow Leopard would be out of luck if Profile Manager were the only available option.

Apple Releases Feature Packed Mountain Lion Server For Just $20 In The Mac App Store

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Apple launches Mountain Lion Server for the bargain price of $19.99.
Apple launches Mountain Lion Server for the bargain price of $19.99.

In addition to Mountain Lion, Apple today launched the latest generation of its OS X Server platform known as Mountain Lion Server. The release includes several new features that will appeal to small business and larger enterprises alike.

Like Mountain Lion, Mountain Lion Server is available from the Mac App Store. The  $19.99 price tag is a huge bargain given Mountain Lion Server’s feature set.

The release functions as an add-on to Mountain Lion in the same way that Lion did last summer. That means that you will need have Mountain Lion installed before you can purchase and download Mountain Lion Server.