The best thing about Apple products is the innovative ways they allow business problems to be solved, a leading industry figure says.

InfoWorld's Tom Yager explains why he is a partisan of the Mac platform in his Weblog: "I see a pedigreed Unix OS, throughput-centred desktop and server hardware architectures and robust, feature-rich notebooks. I see many unique hardware touches that any reasonable vendor would have set aside for cost."

Yager notes that the 15 and 17-inch PowerBooks have standard gigabit Ethernet, S-Video, 800MHz FireWire, 802.11g, Bluetooth, DVI video and great keyboards. He highlights that the Xserve G5 has advanced health monitoring, power control, 64-bit CPUs and a "slew of other capabilities that can't be had in Intel 1U rack servers".

He also praises Apple for creating things that it could buy off-the-shelf, "an approach that only makes sense if you know what's on the shelf and why Apple decided against using it", he says.

These off-the-shelf innovations include the Xcode IDE (integrated development environment) around the GNU toolchain, which Apple developed despite numerous open source and commercial IDEs.

Yager compliments Apple for maintaining a platform-optimized implementation of Java and JBoss, for validating and redistributing fixes and updates to OS X users automatically and for free, and for publishing OS X as Darwin under an open source license.

Yager concludes: "Until Apple gives up on, or gets lazy about, the enterprise market I'm going to keep building my Mac expertise as rapidly as I can. I'll keep using the platform as a launchpad for my IT-HPC research and to track the evolution of open source software and the 64-bit Power architecture."