Apple store fails dog food test

Apple's New Zealand online store is up and running but sits on a Microsoft IIS server rather than Apple's own Mac OS X.

Apple's New Zealand online store is up and running but sits on a Microsoft IIS server rather than Apple's own Mac OS X.

The new site, which launched on Monday, sells direct to the public and is similar in look and feel to the other Apple online stores around the world, however it is run by Renaissance, the local Apple distributor. Head of Renaissance's Apple division Paul Johnston says he is aware of the incongruity.

"Conduit is hosting the site for us. The site look and feel is running on Mac but the ERP system we run is hosted by Conduit as well so to tie the site in to the system it has to run like this."

Johnston says the site is directly linked to the company's back-end systems so if the site says something is in stock the user can be sure it actually is.

"It uses SQL Server in the back end and the pages are written in ASP. If we wanted to change that over at a later date to PHP, which Apple uses, there's no problem with that whatsoever."

Johnston also points to Conduit's lack of expertise in the Macintosh arena as an issue, despite Conduit having been set up by Renaissance to serve its IT infrastructure needs.

"To be perfectly honest the guys at Conduit didn't have enough experience to develop the site entirely on an Apple. They are putting some of their people through extensive training so if I decide in the future to put the site over to Apple we can."

Johnston says one of the hottest selling items Apple has at the moment isn't even in stock yet. The mini iPod won't be officially on sale until July, however he's already chalked up over 1000 back orders for the portable music sensation.

"I'm going to the States next month and about 40 people have asked me to bring them one back. It's incredible."

The New Zealand site will eventually sell third party Apple products as well including instant finance for users whose eyes are bigger than their wallets.

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