Business Week, Others Confirm MacEdition's Armchair Financial Analysis · Jan 23, 11:25 AM

Yesterday, we told you it would be silly to get your panties in a bunch over Apple’s financials. Unfortunately, a lot of investors failed to heed our advice and Apple continued its free fall in after hours trading after the Fiscal Year 2008 First Quarter conference call results. It now seems like it is en vogue to dump on Apple for the slightly less than rosy outlook they gave for Q2, but some people out there are seeing through the madness. BusinessWeek wonders if if investors are being unfair to Apple and many analysts still list AAPL as a “buy”.

While the “herky jerky” types are going to be upset that iPod growth isn’t in line with expectations, one analyst sums things up perfectly: “I think this is an outrageous buying opportunity. It’s not a cheap stock, but you’re getting a company that can grow at 25% a year for who knows how many years, at 25 times earnings. To me, that’s a steal—recession or no recession.“.

— Joe Fahs

Steve Jobs: "Not a Petting Zoo" · Jan 22, 11:07 AM

Steve Jobs’ keynote from MacWorld 2008 is only a week old, and while most of the world goes on about its business, those of us who live in the cult of Mac as well as the media that likes to follow, are still waiting for the next big thing after a MacWorld that only rated a “meh” on revolutionary scale.

Meanwhile, Jobs knows that criticism can come from every corner. Bloggers around the net came down on him after he brushed off San Francisco sex columnist Violet Blue and even though Macs are selling well and iPhones and iPods seem to be hitting their targets, investors are saying the first quarter results conference call could be make or break for AAPL stock.

We can understand why some people may be upset with the Violet Blue incident. I helped keep his company alive by buying Performas and dealing with things like System 7.5.2, so even though it was somebody else responsible for those messes, I would like to think it warrants at least a picture. I am not sure how long Violet Blue has been a fan of Macs, but maybe next time she should offer something to Steve Jobs first. As Forbes columnist Brian Caulfield says, “Steve Jobs is not a petting zoo.” Performa guilt might not be worth a photo opportunity, but perhaps a signed copy of The Adventurous Couples Guide to Sex Toys is worthy of a little more consideration.

As for AAPL itself, it may be getting hammered harder than the other Violet Blue, but if people haven’t noticed, the market as a whole has been taking it on the chin for a little while now. AAPL may be 20% off it’s all time high, but as the market prepares for a correction, recession, etc, Apple appears to be in a good position for continued profits, so we’ll wait to get our panties in a bunch for a little while longer.

— Joe Fahs

Mac OS X Server Virtualization Coming to a Computer Near You! · Jan 18, 12:09 PM

One of the big advantages of Apple’s move to Intel Processors for Macs is the availability of virtualization solutions allowing users to run multiple operating systems on the same computer. Granted, we have been doing this for a long time with products like Virtual PC, but the switch to Intel meant that operating systems could run without emulation, allowing software to run at near native speeds.

Microsoft has decided not to do much with Virtual PC for Mac, but both VMware and Parallels have done well with the desktop versions of their software. At this week’s MacWorld, both companies announced that their products would now operate with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard Server.

To many, this is business as usual, but it does represent the first time Apple has changed its license to allow OS X to run in a virtual machine. Previously, you could only install virtual machines of other operating systems using VMware or Parallels, and the license is not available for Mac OS X 10.5 client, so the feature is disabled. With server, you can run multiple instances of Leopard (on Apple hardware, of course), which is often the best way to take advantage of processors with multiple cores. It is also essential for businesses who like the ability to test server software changes before deploying.

Apple surely hopes that its beefed up hardware will allow it to sell more XServes and RAID systems to the enterprise, but the most interesting part of this deal is the change to the license. VMware and Parallels can run OS X client just as well as server. Would Apple be willing to change their license a little bit more to allow OS X Client to run inside a virtual machine on non-Apple Hardware? It would open up the world of OS X to anybody who has Windows or Linux. We know that Apple’s margins are in the hardware, but as Apple’s market share continues to go up, it might be a good way to entice more Mac users into the fold. Apple can effectively allow OS X to run on generic PC Hardware, but never officially have to support it. That seems like a deal both sides can live with.

— Joe Fahs

Office 2008 for Mac Shipping, Or Is It? · Jan 18, 11:21 AM

Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac is one of the most highly anticipated pieces of software to be released this year. It is the first version of Office that brings native Intel Mac compatibility, and brings the file format in line with Microsoft Office 2007 for Windows. Notably missing from Office 2008 is VBA, which means many people who depend on macros within their documents will be left to find another solution.

A recent note at TUAW says that Office 2008 for Mac will be available for “Enterprise” starting Feb. 1. They don’t describe what is in the Enterprise version other than some language translations and end with the caveat that your mileage may vary in terms of licensing, but we have been hearing some other things.

Our sources tell us that while you may need to wait localization, most licensees will be able to install the software right away; depending on how long it takes their provider to get it to them. Most companies and educational institutions are not going to pay extra for physical media that they will be receiving in the mail or by download for free after a short wait. Since many larger companies need to test software before deploying it, they will wait until their next software upgrade cycle to install anyway. Depending on how much your campus/business has allocated for computing support that could be a few days or several months.

If you are an individual looking for an educational discount, it might already be available at your campus book store, depending on how big your school is and how tight they are with Redmond.

— Joe Fahs

MacWorld Success for Apple Doesn't Always Mean Good Things for AAPL · Jan 17, 11:10 AM

Yesterday, we warned against judging the greatness of any Apple announcements until you have left the reality distortion field the surrounds Steve Jobs wherever he goes. Today, we would like to call out the analysts who may have avoided the RDF, but then go on to decide how good a product announcement is based on stock price. BusinessWeek took time to outline why the Keynote bounce is sometimes a thump.

Since 2000, Apple has become a strong company, and its growth has gained it a lot of attention within the investor community. Many investors look towards Apple product announcements to gauge the Apple’s future prospects. But although AAPL has risen 2000% in the last five years, the stock often fares poorly after a Keynote. If you remove last year’s iPhone announcement, the stock has fallen an average of 3.9% after every keynote. There are a lot of people with things to say about the viability of Apple’s new offerings, but if they immediately point to stock price, you probably know they haven’t done their research.

— Joe Fahs