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By John Russell

March 8, 2005 | Apple's renewed vigor in life science hardly means it has no competition. Opinions vary on who's ahead, but there is some consensus around the following picture of the competitive landscape. Dell Computer, with extremely aggressive pricing, is making headway in life science and has high awareness. Niche supplier Linux Networx seems to be gaining traction with its cluster expertise and riding the Linux movement.

Recently, IBM has started paying more attention to the small workgroup environment and reaping some benefits there. Sun does well wherever Oracle is the database of choice but has occasionally been criticized for flip-flopping on support of Linux.

HP's presence in the enterprise remains substantial despite ending development of the Alpha chip. HP recently hired a vice president of life sciences and is expected to clarify its strategy soon. The company is perceived to be strong in larger clusters based on Intel's Itanium microprocessors. No supplier yet has a clear lead in Opteron (Advanced Micro Devices)-based clusters.

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