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Underestimating Apple Inc. (AAPL) Would Be a Mistake

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At this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) announced iWork for iCloud as its full entrance into cloud-based productivity software that is supported across browsers and platforms. While much ink has been spilled regarding Apple as a second competitor to Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) Office — following in the footsteps of Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) Apps — the general consensus is that Apple will not pose a real threat, particularly in the enterprise space. The iPhone maker is clearly stuck in a game of catch-up, but those who forget history are destined to repeat it — Apple had no chance of making a dent in Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY)‘s dominance in smartphones, remember?

Apple gets serious about smartphones for enterprise
In addition to iWork for iCloud, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is showing just how serious it is about going after the enterprise space with a series of new features aimed at corporate IT departments. First, the “Open in management” feature will allow companies to determine which documents and accounts can be used in which apps. Corporate information can be limited to specific apps, and personal information can be excluded from business apps – essentially, companies will have the ability to cordon off an area of your phone to be reserved for work.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)Additionally, through “Per app VPN,” companies will be able to ensure that corporate data flows over the appropriate network, helping to ensure full security. “Apple store license management” will allow companies to give business apps to employees while maintaining control and ownership. Ultimately, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is taking the steps needed to make using iDevices much more streamlined in an enterprise setting.

Can iWork be a disruptor?
It would hard to argue that Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) Office is not the standard by which all business productivity suites are measured, but the increasing adoption of Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) Docs shows that Office is not impervious to competition. Google Docs has seen accelerating adoption rates and continues to pose a threat to Office — probably one of the big motivators behind the release of Office 365, which takes Office to the cloud. Clearly, Microsoft takes Google Docs seriously because it has created ads that attack the security of its competitor directly: Here are some examples.

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