Apple has shown how ruthless it can be by announcing that it will transition away from the Xserve server line, a clear sign that it is moving away from a segment that has been traditionally Apple-averse.
The Xserve will be available for purchase until the 31st of October 2011 after which users can opt either for Mac Pro or the Mac Mini, which both ship with Snow Leopard Server OS as an option.
Apple's decision to drop the Xserve also means that it is focusing on becoming a consumer/mobile company, leaving the lucrative but potentially distracting "business" segment to the likes of IBM, Cisco, HP or Dell.
Another reason which might explain Apple's decision is that Mac Pro often surpass the Xserve in terms of raw power; the current generation, which is based on Westmere, easily outclasses the old Nehalem-based Xeons in the Xserve.
The company has confirmed that it will honour all warranties and extended programs of current customers. Apple launched the Xserve system back in 2002 and transitioned to Intel's Xeon processors four years later.
We're not sure whether companies that have purchased the Xserve have been briefed beforehand about the discontinuation of the Xserve brand but the fact that Apple wants them to move away from a 1U format and adopt either a SFF or a full tower format is embarrassing.