Business Week believes there's "real opportunity" for Apple to make sales to corporations, writes Alex Salkever in this morning's "Byte of the Apple" column.

Boosting the company's chances are three key elements, he writes: "Macs as Unix workstations, the rise of laptops and the dangers of Microsoft 'monoculture'."

He refers to last week's report, which warned that dependency on Microsoft OSes leaves 95 per cent of systems vulnerable to network worms and outages.

While Salkever says that Apple's Switcher campaign failed, he believes "opportunity lies in the corporations that long ago stopped paying attention to Macs."

He also reveals anecdotal evidence that Linux users are choosing to install their favoured operating system onto Apple PowerBooks: "These are people who appreciate the Apple interface and the desktop software, but also like being able to do heavy Unix and Linux lifting if need be".

Conduit Other growing markets include IT support workers, who use Macs as a conduit between Mac, Unix and Windows networks; Unix workstation users are also moving Macward – a key opportunity for Apple: "These are the folks who'll soon be making a lot of the buying decisions in IT departments. So they are the future, and they promise a bright one for Apple."

Apple's notebook sales are also key growth drivers, with the company owning 1.1 per cent of the world market, according to research firm IDC.

With July and August emerging as the worst months for malicious worm attacks in computing history, many large companies are looking for alternatives to Windows: "After spending much of July and August digging out from the Blaster and SoBig worms, some have hit the tipping point and are rethinking their decision to go all Windows," he writes.

All these conjoined forces have sown seeds within IT departments, he observes, there's now a "young crowd of Apple fans" who are not prejudiced against Macs – a major blow against the entrenched blindness to Macs that seems to exist in corporate America.