Windows

Three reasons Snow Leopard beats Windows in the enterprise

Erik Eckel gives his reasons for finding that Mac's Snow Leopard OS beats Windows in enterprise environments when it comes to maintenance, security, and performance.

Some topics are controversial. Apple versus Windows is definitely one of them. So let me state, I don't "drink Apple's Kool-Aid." For proof, just review many of the TechRepublic articles I've written over 10 years.

That said, any knowledgeable technician should be willing to admit the following three advantages that Apple enjoys over Windows when deployed in enterprise environments.

#1 Lower Total Cost of Ownership

As an IT consultant who's assisted hundreds of businesses and end users with hardware repairs, I've come to believe Apple hardware is simply better and longer lasting than most other business-grade equipment. My office definitely sees less incidents of hardware repairs, on average, for Macs versus Windows computers, hands down. That means computers last longer, replacement cycles are extended, and repair bills are fewer.

But other factors contribute, too, to making Apple computers less expensive in the enterprise. Macs boast tremendous cost savings when it comes to licensing. Mac OS X Server Snow Leopard doesn't require client access licenses. Consider a single email server supporting 100 users, in which case an organization saves some $7,000 in client access licenses (CALs) alone. (100 user CALs at Open License street pricing of about $33 each  and 100 Exchange CALs at Open License street pricing of roughly $41 each).

The cost savings increase further when factoring the costs of the operating system and email server software. Mac OS X Server Snow Leopard Server costs just $499. No additional email server software is required.  Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard full-license pricing runs $949, while full Microsoft Exchange 2010 Standard adds another $1,300.

Seeing as Macs are more secure (more on that in a moment), most Mac organizations I've encountered don't run antivirus software on each workstation. The cost savings add up there, too, considering 100 client licenses run approximately $3,000. Per year. I'm not advocating, of course, that Mac enterprise users don't deploy antivirus; I'm simply observing that many do not, and as a result, they enjoy additional recurring costs savings.

#2 Greater security

The number of self-replicating viruses, troublesome Trojans, nefarious worms, and ubiquitous spyware infections targeting Windows systems is simply dizzying. Large organizations running tight group policy controls, expensive antivirus applications, and other protections still encounter vulnerabilities and downtime. Numerous examples are readily available.

Mac OS X Snow Leopard systems are powered by tighter UNIX code. Snow Leopard is less vulnerable with fewer weaknesses. That means fewer viruses, spyware infections, and malware issues target the Mac platform. Any arguments to the contrary are ill-informed, inaccurate, and disingenuous. As a result of greater security, enterprise data is safer, too.

That's not to say Macs are perfectly secure. They are not. They're just more secure than Windows systems because fewer exploits exist ,and they're less vulnerable to common infections for which fewer strains exist.

Macs are more reliable as a result, too. Just ask the legions of IT professionals who've invested time reinstalling disk images, troubleshooting corrupt installs, or otherwise repairing virus-damaged Windows systems; Windows' security issues definitely exact a greater toll on enterprise administrators. Statistics seemingly prove the point. A Yankee Group survey found 82% of C-level business respondents rated Mac OX S reliability as excellent or very good, and seven of 10 rated Mac OS X security excellent.

#3 Better performance

Mac OS X, long recognized by printing, publishing, graphic arts, videographers, and scientific professionals for its premium performance, is now even faster and more efficient. Apple engineers have worked to refine Snow Leopard's underlying code, accelerate performance, and maximize 64-bit capabilities. And they've succeeded.

CNET's own tests show Mac OS X Snow Leopard boots faster than Windows 7. The Mac was faster when testing multimedia multitasking. Battery life is better, too, running Snow Leopard.

Numerous other tests reveal Mac systems simply outperform similarly equipped Windows systems, whether opening apps, performing searches or performing other intensive tasks. Of course, contrarians will dig up opposing Internet test results. Some will even prove valid (as in CNET's finding three-dimensional video rendering to be better on the Windows platform).

Overall, though, most all truthful users will report faster boot/shutdown cycles, better graphics manipulation, faster video editing, and improved memory management using Mac OS X Snow Leopard. In the enterprise, where users must frequently power multiple resource-hungry applications simultaneously, even small performance advantages quickly become significant gains.

Share your thoughts

Where do you stand? Have you worked with Mac OS X Snow Leopard in the enterprise? What have you found, if so?

About

Erik Eckel owns and operates two technology companies. As a managing partner with Louisville Geek, he works daily as an IT consultant to assist small businesses in overcoming technology challenges and maximizing IT investments. He is also president o...

196 comments
mrhodes
mrhodes

#1. TCO ??? I am with a school, and even though Apple has a strong market there, Microsoft licensing isn???t close to what you represent ??? with a School agreement we pay yearly based on an FTE count that only counts the number of staff we have (which is much less than the number of computers) ??? I do have to pay it yearly but I pay < $100 for each Windows Server (not FTE count) with included benefits of software assurance and < $150.00 for Exchange server ??? the CALS are include in the desktop package which also includes Office and OS upgrades is $40 per FTE. If I went to a MAC environment I would likely be still looking at the $40 per FTE because Office is also the leading office suite on Mac as it is on Windows. So at $250 a year for MS compared to MAC licensing which would require re-purchasing from time to time ??? I don???t see a cost benefit for me (of course a school isn???t necessarily included in your definition of enterprise). #2. I don???t have the issues you mention ??? I agree with some other posts that often that is due to configuration and deployment ??? Windows 7 is very stable and virus free (virus protection is also in that $40 but I seldom see any viruses on our clients every now and then I see them at the firewall). Mac has good security ??? its built on UNIX which had good security ??? Windows is new to thinking security is something to worry about as was MAC before switching to the intel/unix model. Mac has always benefited from their lack of market share making them look more secure ??? people go after them less ??? that is a good thing but it isn???t necessarily better code. Also MAC OS X has maybe much less code than Windows 7 ??? that might sound like Windows 7 is bloated but the truth is you don???t have to do much more than scratch the surface on a MAC before you are needing a command prompt to achieve your goal. This is fine for the end-user who wants to surf, email, and create a few documents or media files ??? but, as a network administrator, I appreciate a lot of the those Windows Wizards that are in the code for completing most managing tasks. I have both on my network ??? for me, one is not more reliable than the other. The real problem there is Windows doesn???t control its hardware ??? so it can get put in some difficult situations ??? if you are careful about your hardware (and you will still come out spending less on it ) you can have a very reliable Windows system. Again, maybe not a task for the home user, but definitely something an enterprise network administrator should be able to handle. #3. Okay ??? not sure I care, but just for argument - What if we spend the same amount of money ??? you buy your choice of MAC system. I spend the same building my Windows system. Who going to outperform who? For example, you buy a Mac mini for $600 I buy a comparable system ??? processor memory, etc ??? but I put a SSD in it. I would spend less money and I am betting I would have a much faster boot time. My conclusion ??? Macintosh is a great system ??? reliable, secure, and user friendly. But so is Windows 7. If you are only buying one system for personal use than buy the one you are most familiar with or most comfortable with ??? no arguments here ??? just make sure you buy quality and from somewhere you will get the level of support your own level of tech skill requires. (i.e. Mac might be the best system for you). However, in an enterprise Windows has the edge ??? I argue it has a much better TCO, less issue with business application compatibility, more likelihood of you employee being familiar with it, less issue and more functionality with enterprise level peripherals (like copiers and department IDs, etc), more network management tools, more applications in general to choose from ??? more flexible for the multitudes of tasks a network administrator might need to deploy a computer to accomplish. I know a lot of schools that say ???we are an all Mac schools??? ??? they all have Windows in their business office for the Student information system, accounting, and other business application. Find me an organization that says they are all Windows that then has MACs in their business office. It used to be an all Windows school might have Macs in their graphics departments but fo4r the last 10 years Adobe (the leader in many graphical applications) has develop the Windows version prior to the Mac version (and once you are into the application it is hard to tell them apart) - you might still find Macs in the graphics area, old habit die hard, but it not because a Windows machine couldn???t perform the same function just as well. Whereas the reason the business office has Windows is because the student information systems that work on macs are slim pickings.

kiefabeb
kiefabeb

One of the major problems in running Macs in a large enterprise is the lack of good management tools. Apple's suite of Open Directory, Workgroup Manager and ARD work well for smaller companies, but are very limited for a large enterprise. For starters OD is a flat directory structure which makes managing with any granularity very difficult. You cannot create OUs and assign management rights to different people. Microsoft's management tools may be confusing and difficult, but they generally meet the requirements of large enterprises. Apple's management tools are simple to use but don't meet the needs of large enterprises.

vasov
vasov

Your arguments are valid in my opinion. Having said that, the greatest obstacle to Apple reaching corporate environment is not in technology or cost of it, or even dodgy policies or licensing models. The biggest problem is in people who live.. khm.. work in corporate IT departments. These people have invested years of their professional life learning how to live with.. manage Windows environment. They know how to screw every wheel under the Windows hub.. and they know how to make that box run faster or safer or whatever. Now YOU tell THEM that THEIR company can run better if the simply buy different hardware and OS of which they know VERY LITTLE about?? They ain't gonna like it. At all.. If apple wants these things to change in corporate world, they will need to MANAGE that change, not force it. then ROI etc comes in place..

Leonardo_C
Leonardo_C

#1 Apple hardware? "Apple"= PC+OSX #2 Security by numbers. OSX's market share doesn't present a good target. I can recall several articles that cite outstanding vulns in OSX that would make windows users cringe. There is no holy grail and linux is as vulnerable as windows. #3 Enterprise isn't concerned with "performance". They're concerned with reliability and management. If they were, they'd see that for the price of ONE mac they can buy TWO high-end PCs that are faster. Seriously, dude, I'm just hoping this topic was an intentional troll.

Gis Bun
Gis Bun

Interesting. can only think of 3 reasons why Leopard is better than Windows client. And in reverse? Tighter network security because of group policies. Tighter file and data security because of file and folder permissions. A multitude of network, server and client applications to control them. Can you connect a printer to the network and have real drivers that will work with the OS? I've had times where I couldn't. Had to dumb it down to a more compatible but less functional driver. One hitch with better securrity for a Leopard system is that you can control, support and deploy security software in Windows (via GPO) so that users don't disable the AV or firewall. How about server software that controls what updates get installed and when? I've twice seen an Apple update butcher a system (disabled Email and Safari - had to make corrections to fix it). Place I worked on installed software via GPO to control CD, DVD, SCSI, USB and various devices from connecting to the network. Couldn't find anything that could be managed like this software (on the network) for a Mac. That's a backdoor for crap to get on and off the network.

cbader
cbader

Yea, thats why it always gets broken first at pwn2pwn right?

Jasonjb1222
Jasonjb1222

Alright, this is a public forum, and there is enough information out there on the topic, but I am going to iterate it nonetheless... You can HACK into the ROOT account of ANY MAC in a matter of moments. Regardless of how the system is locked down, once you have ROOT access, NOT administrator rights, you have control over everything that can possibly be done with a MAC. This is a known issue, and is a backdoor tool into the system. Once there, there is no such thing as security. This, to me, as an administrator and security person is a security nightmare. The MAC have wireless? Click the "show password" button and there it is. Copy it to your IPhone/IPad, Smartphone, personal laptop, etc. Breach. Some will argue, use other means... fair enough. Lock down the USB ports, so data doesn't leak? You have root access, can be re-enabled. Is Windows better? No. Different exploits for that too... But harder to get into the initial system and to muck around in it once it is locked down, without some "more intense" trial and error. There is no easy solution. But until Apple addresses this known flaw in their system, I refuse to acknowledge them as a secure OS... That's my 2 cents...

gjones
gjones

I'm a true technologist, I will build on any platform or solution that will achive the desired result. First faster boot times don't make for greater productivity and really if I spent $3k for a Dell/Win 7 and the best ATI card would your Snow Leopard be heads above it in video using the same monitor? I doubt it! But you've awaken the WinHaters which I suspect was the only motivation for this article. Apple computers was first to market and failed where MS succeeded both with the consumers and business... This hasn't changed. But I like my iPhone, at least until HTC/Win Phone 7 is released.

Jeff7181
Jeff7181

I really want a Mac... if for nothing else than to not have to disable/enable my WiFi adapter to get it to work after resuming from standby. Unfortunately otherwise my laptop is fine so I can't justify replacing it just yet.

MacNewton
MacNewton

Apple is a Big company, guess what they use to run it?

MacNewton
MacNewton

It's the over paid WinDos IT people that would like to keep Apple out of the building. They need to keep there jobs. Whats really funny is that when someone gets a Mac they kick themselves for not getting one sooner.

nonseq
nonseq

The constant refrain of IT people in the firms where I have worked and suggested Apple for limited applications has been, "I don't want to lose my job. I don't know anything about Apple." I even had one guy tell me "if everyone had Apple they wouldn't need me." I think that's an overstatement. Adopting Apple won't make IT depts. obsolete but it might move the 70-30 split closer to 50-50.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

[b]1. "Apple"= PC+OSX[/b] Apple = (Very Tight Spec) PC + OS X. The components may look the same, but I can assure you that they're not. If you remember certain automotive 'special' models that involved 'hand-picked parts,' every Apple computer is based on this concept, where the parts are 'hand-picked' before they ever get to the assembly line. I know this because I used to work for one of the companies that manufactured parts for Apple computers. I happen to know that company's parts still get into Apple's computers. No, I won't tell you which company. [b]Security by numbers[/b] This ties directly to my comment above. Even if you were 1% correct, there should still be far more Macs infected than there are. What you may be unaware of is that the installed base of OS X machines lies somewhere between 15% and 20% of all users, not the mere 5% you saw even 2 years ago. This is hardly an insignificant number, statistically or economically. As yet, Vulnerability ≠ (does not equal) Exploit. While Windows zealots claim thousands of vulnerabilities in OS X, they ignore the thousands of exploits against Windows. [b]3. Enterprise isn't concerned with "performance". They're concerned with reliability and management. If they were, they'd see that for the price of ONE mac they can buy TWO high-end PCs that are faster.[/b] You shot yourself in the foot with this one. Windows zealots are all over the supposed 'superior performance' of their favorite machines; by your own words something the enterprise isn't concerned with. However, you are right that they are concerned with reliability and management, both of which are far superior in the Apple environment. What good is 'faster' if you have to reboot it on a regular basis? What good is 'faster' if some internal component fails after only a few months that takes the machine offline for a few hours? Reliability is far more important than 'faster' if you are able to get more productive time. ROI studies by more than one company have demonstrated that a single Mac can be 4x as productive as a single Windows PC over the same amount of time. Even if that Mac cost twice that of the one PC up front, the company has saved the price of 2 Windows boxes over that time period. No, the enterprise is becoming cognizant to the inherent costs of maintaining their IT departments. The IT department is the single biggest drain on company resources in nearly every case. They have learned that Cheaper is not always Better, and that you get what you pay for. Well, they're paying for what they get. 80% of the Fortune 500 is looking for an alternative to their current problem; 40% are already letting Apple devices into the enterprise. Compound this with the sea change in mobile computing that Apple has introduced, and you're going to see home and enterprise computing transform to something out of a Science Fiction movie within 10 years.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

[i]"when it comes down to OS they do get virus all time...[/i] On the average, it takes less than five minutes for an unprotected Windows machine to be compromised on the internet--without the user even having to open a browser. So if you were talking Windows alone, you would be right. However, many, many Macs go online every day without any kind of protection and as yet, not one of them has been successfully attacked without some sort of user intervention. In fact, the only exploits that have even been remotely successful against OS X have required a user to download corrupted software, the user trying to get 'something for nothing' by downloading warez--a notorious path for sneaking malware into a machine and still one of the most popular ways to attack Windows. [i]"... the codeing is a like and people do make virus for macs..."[/i] Obviously the coding is not alike, since Windows malware has no effect on an OS X system. While there is some malware for OS X being created, there is far less of it, and so far there have been only two semi-viable efforts that couldn't get beyond the first few targets. What you don't seem to know is that over 50% of all Windows PCs world-wide have some form of malware on board (roughly 15% in the US) while only 0.02% of all Macs world-wide are infected. This means that only 2 in 10,000 Macs are likely to have some sort of malware while 1500 out of 10,000 PCs in the US and over 5,000 out of 10,000 PCs elsewhere will. I'll grant that fewer attacks means fewer hits, but if you were even 1% correct, there should be far, far more Macs infected than a mere 2 in 10,000.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

[b]1) Tighter network security because of group policies.[/b] Available for OS X-specific and mixed platform networks. [b]2) Tighter file and data security because of file and folder permissions.[/b] A built-in ability across the OS X platform through UNIX. [b]3) A multitude of network, server and client applications to control them.[/b] Available for OS X and mixed networks if you only bother to look. [b]4) Can you connect a printer to the network and have real drivers that will work with the OS?[/b] Yes, I have two printers and 4 computers accessing them, on a mixed platform network. [b]5) One hitch with better securrity for a Leopard system is that you can control, support and deploy security software in Windows (via GPO) so that users don't disable the AV or firewall.[/b] Available for OS X as well, though not as critical unless you're using a mixed environment. Interestingly enough, some Mac anti-virus software also scans for Windows-only viruses, helping to defend the Windows machines in that environment. [b]6) How about server software that controls what updates get installed and when? I've twice seen an Apple update butcher a system.[/b] I'll admit I don't know on this one, but considering the recent issue with McAfee, did it really do all that much good? If you have an Xserver on the network, I believe you do have that control. [b]7) Place I worked on installed software via GPO to control CD, DVD, SCSI, USB and various devices from connecting to the network. Couldn't find anything that could be managed like this software (on the network) for a Mac. That's a backdoor for crap to get on and off the network.[/b] Drop below the GUI, all of that control is available in UNIX command line--which can be accessed by the network administrator on another UNIX box or even from a Windows box in DOS mode, once it authenticates in. In other words, not only does OS X have everything you asked about, it has more because it's got a cast-iron platform as its foundation.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I've seen more than a few active directory group policy rules set which the workstations simply ignore. And with *nix, I'd just make the home partition non-executable but with Windows, I have things like Skype which will install without administrator rights; that would be a proof of concept that things more malicious can do it also. I also thought that osX server had it's own LDAP setup. You should at least be able to not run your users with admin rights and if not employ the wealth of Unix file and folder permissions.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

All platforms get hacked, there--every time. Apple just happened to be the first platform picked this time.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

If pwn2own was a good judge of target's resistance, we would see the same exploit run against all provided targets and results of all OS/browser combination that where vulnerable. You can only use an exploit against one provided target at a time and once it's used, you can't direct that at a second target. Results would be "X platform resisted these attacks" not "Researcher X was first to break into and take home Y hardware platform". Pwn2own is fantastic for publicity but it focuses on the researcher not the target platform; it's really not a good basis for comparing the security of different OS.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

99.999% of all malware requires remote access into the hardware I don't care what platform you're talking about, if you have physical access, a hacker is in. However, you are quite wrong about a few other points here, too. First of your comment about [i]"Click the "show password" button and there it is,"[/i] itself requires a password to show the password--unless you're using an OS X boot disk to reset the password. In other words, your hacker has to be physically in front of the machine and have the necessary disks and devices to gain that root access you make sound so easy. Well guess what? It's much easier to get root access into Windows--you don't even have to be sitting at the keyboard! Apple apparently addressed that 'known flaw' by switching to UNIX 10 years ago!

JuliaX111
JuliaX111

I think people must have short memories. Apple very nearly failed because they didn't have a "give it away free" ethic unlike the competition at the time, windows3.1 .. which asks so nicely if you have a product key.. no.. oh never mind.. just install me anyway. They nearly made the same fatal mistake that befell CBM .. proprietary "approved" software only.. the same mistake MS are making right now. At least apple seem to have learned a little from the past and just about allow open source programs to be compiled and run on their platform without too much restriction.. I have used both proprietary systems in a professional environment, and honestly neither are 100% fit for purpose. Apple get closer because of less downtime and expense for software on a yearly basis.. they don't need expensive 3rd party things to keep them safe and running, and when you buy something it's yours, not loaned to you for a year then buy all over again. Realistically neither are totally fit for purpose when there are solutions that take no more effort, and often a lot less, to get running and maintain which are 100% free. People who say otherwise have their heads buried in the sand, or in the beliefs that are sold by the "payware" peddlars that only their solutions are adequate, which clearly they are not or we would not be having this discussion in the first place. Yet again "the best" is a matter of what you need to do, which solution provides it at the least expense in the most efficient manner, and which one can be easily scaled to suit your business needs. It's funny how the really big industries and the military tend to use in house unix variants and don't buy either microsoft or apple. They know something we obviously don't.. probably that it doesn't matter who is selling it, it's all junk unless you make it yourself to your own specifications. When I go to work my job is to make money for the company I work for, not for microsoft or apple. I like the "true technologist" bit, then a nice chunk of blinkered microsoft propaganda. Who cares about a top end ATI card? It's performance is up to ATI writing a good driver for the platform.. neither apple of microsoft (or anybody else for that matter) have any control over the quality of the software ATI provides except ATI. Invalid argument.. try again :)

EliSko
EliSko

"Apple computers was first to market and failed where MS succeeded both with the consumers and business..." Actually, I was working in IT through that time and the best summary I've ever heard was that IBM dropped their monopoly of the computer business by making the PC and "open platform" while Microsoft picked the monopoly up by keeping the software that they talked IBM into bundling for them as a closed platform. If you remember how the PC XT came with PC-DOS (MS-DOS branded for IBM) for free, or you could pay an extra sum (was it $30?) to get the CP/M-86 then you understand the issue. The computer industry back then was called "IBM and the Seven Dwarves." Apple didn't even make the grade as a "Dwarf" back then. IBM completely dominated the market when the PC came out, but the open architecture let clone makers flourish, as well as the add-on manufacturers that IBM wanted to attract. And Microsoft, by hook and crook, got most of those clone makers to ship MS-DOS, too, making their software ubiquitous while IBM's hardware was swamped in a sea of clones. That's the way it REALLY was....

wstrick
wstrick

Faster boot times do make for greater productivity. I have to reboot my work windows laptop several times a day to fix problems with Lotus Notes, Aventail, Sametime, ISSI, MS updates, Security patches, AT&T NetClient, etc., and it takes a LONG time to reboot, each an every time, 10 - 15 minutes or more and that is a pain and a time waster. My Mac comes up in 17 seconds and shuts down in 2 seconds, and don't have to reboot for anything. A true technologist? lolololololololololol

wstrick
wstrick

Why Do You Hate Unix so much?

wdewey@cityofsalem.net
wdewey@cityofsalem.net

I had to manually configure an IP address on a Mac because it wouldn't get an address from the built in DHCP server on a Linksys router. All platforms have problems. Bill

Dalece
Dalece

The downfall of Mac in Enterprise is the lack of good business class software. I have been trying for almost 2 years to find a good Mac replacement for our ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and Financial software. I cannot. For small business for Windows there are Quickbooks, Peachtree, and Sage Products. Then the big ones, SAP, Oracle, JD Edwards. For small business for Mac there is an underpowered Quickbooks.. no Peachtree, no Sage Products. Then the big ones .... lets see .... NONE. I suppose if you really want to pay for a custom job it can be done for the big ones.

NexS
NexS

If EVERYTHING IT related in a company was Macintosh, then the support team would definitely require re-training or replacement for those who know Apple. Of course, just like HP(which we use for desktop computers) suppliers require you to go to certified resellers/technicians, but the Mac IT dept would stay relatively the same, only less Window-ed and more Apple-d.

Leonardo_C
Leonardo_C

I'm sure high quality components go into macs, that doesn't mean my machine will die tomorrow and that Apple doesn't overcharge just because they can. All machines break, but the main reason I've replaced 3-5 year old machines, just recently, were for Windows 7. A quick web search shows 11% penetration, one article at 16. I work in IT, I'd never claim that any OS is perfect security-wise. If you were writing malware, would you target 80% or 20%? Knowing that only a fraction of a fraction of that will yield $(infection/payload)? Enterprise is a Windows shop. No sysadmin wants to deal with a bunch of exceptions. Best to have a bunch of very similar Dells and be done with it. If IT is the biggest cash drain, you propose to fix that by buying evem more expensive machines which eat up even more tech/management time? ROI and industry buzzwords and all, it won't happen. I can see it working in a small shop with a few graphics guys that refuse to use windows/etc, but not in a large environment. Yea, I'd let an apple "device" in my network: The boss's iphone/ipad/etc. He writes the checks, but I doubt he'd write one for someone else's setup/maintenance. I'm no OS zealot or brand zealot, I buy what I deem best fit for the task. I've always watched the apple/"PC"(windows), ATI/Nvidia, xbox/ps discussions and had some good laughs as people try to shape reality to fit their beliefs. Apple comes up with cool stuff, but they're not the only innovators. Things will be different 10 years from now, bring on SciFi, but one thing will likely stay the same: No Apple in the enterprise.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I think it was first two years ago though. But again, the prize is the hardware so if your the first contestant and you want new Apple hardware to play with; you spend your vuln attempt on the pretty prize you want because you don't get to try it against a second target.

nonseq
nonseq

I'm of the opinion that during the dark times when Jobs was not at the helm of Apple and and the company was run by bean counters and soft drink execs, Apple tried too hard to be like every other PC manufacturer. Their computers looked like the other guys, and could be expanded by installing after market components, etc. Licensing the Mac OS to clone makers was a disaster as well. Essentially Apple of the late eighties and nineties did its very best to become a "me too" company and totally lost the Apple cachet. They gave away their unique selling proposition and were trying to compete in the commodity market. Big mistake.

nonseq
nonseq

Though in the early days of PCs the IBM imprimatur was absolute gold. If a computer wasn't "IBM compatible" most businesses would not consider it safe. Gates was brilliant in his negotiations with IBM for DOS and later Windows. Imagine writing, or developing, or patching together code for the IBM as PC-DOS and getting to keep the code for licensing as MS-DOS to the rest of the manufacturers out there. (I've often wondered if IBM gave up all of that to Gates because they really didn't view the PC as a viable product in the early days. After all they were big iron.) That was true of OS/2 and windows though MS forked off with NT. Think about it, MS got IBM to underwrite their development costs, a mighty sweet deal if you ask me. Gates didn't have to persuade the other PC manufacturers very hard. They knew that they had to be "IBM Compatible" to compete for the PC market for businesses and that most individuals would tend to want to work with something that had the same credibility as the equipment that they were seeing at work-- at least for their high-end computers. MS hasn't really impressed me with their products over the years but Gates as a marketeer and visionary was/is extraordinary.

santeewelding
santeewelding

What all this sounds like to me? I have, I assure you, been monitoring these questions for nigh on four years, here. I am met with the same. Only, I do so on a much smaller, small-business scale. To that extent, given that I am Ghengis in all things in my place, I see what you do as the frustrations of your membership in a committee of mice. Not only your committee, but the committee of those who occupy places above you, all the way to the top. Whoever is at the so-called corporate top, they are but a committee of mice, too. The top is in turn joined to a hip below and above -- board and shareholder -- who themselves are committees of mice, beholden in turn at large to political committees of mice. The more I see of this, the less I commiserate with your status of one mouse, roar or squeak that you may, no matter the endeavor; IT in this case.

NexS
NexS

Most IT groups (incl. the one I'm in currently) have change controls. At the end of the day, it is management's decision on what changes get made. IT just provide the service and educated opinions (it is quite often that these opinions are ignored, leaning then into what ever choice they want!) But the world runs on money, not love. Your "Technology-People-Process" still translates to "Dollars-Dollars-Dollars", and in the end, the pros or making a change like that are far outweighed by the cons. I agree that Macintosh(assuming they're still called that!) focus very much on their end-users. And in my opinion, should stay that way. But they would obviously have thought about it and decided that they're happy delivering to those they currently do.

vasov
vasov

Even at 20% of applications/workstation transitioned to non-windows applications you would need some sort of training on IT and a change plan. I guess what I'm trying to say (to be more concise here) is that changing OS/HW provider is not JUST a matter of ROI/COO calculations. In fact that is the smaller part of it. The change, the process of transition is far more complex and critical to the post change phase. IT departments don't instigate this change either because of lack of authority to do, lack of finances, or because their employees are not trained in Apple OS X, and training costs money. It is a strategic decision to change your IT infrastructure and very few people in Corporate have the authority to propose/support/drive through its fruition a change of that scope. That requires commitment and support from the authorative sources in the company. It is not just another mobile phone pilot/trial or alike. Once you got those, then you face the sell job to the user/client. Must have same/equivalent/or better functionality on the new platform than the existing etc... If not, then they must face benefits (productivity, license costs whatever makes the end user happy) at the end of that tunnel. Assuming that software exists (and at times that?s a big assumption) then you may address some issues with the end user training. And you guessed it, that costs money too and your IT department's resources time as well.. Now, some of the Corporate have their service desk outsourced. so then your IT Service Desk needs to be 'on the ball' with the new OS/platform .. There?s more training, more costs, more contract amendments, more downtime in the IT department, new SLAs, new Server tools etc.. and who has the will AND the money for that these days? So, all in all, sure it can be done and sure that at the end of that road you may have lower TCO of machineA vs machineB running different OSes. But if you can not confidently scope, cost, control and follow through the whole process of migration from OS A to OS B, no responsible Financial CO will get his approval on it. There is simply no confidence yet in the processes to support it and this is where I believe Apple needs to step up. They are very focused on the product but not on the processes of delivering it in an enterprise. Not in my opinion at least. And the two are the part of that 'corporate' world and can't go without each other. I'm not trying to paraphrase the old Technology-People-Process model here but in this instance I believe it really comes down to it (process component + people component via training and change resilience). Apple technology is cool, great, it works for me (I?ve got MacBook pro and G5 tower) but the approach of making a choice in my corporate environment vs my Small Business office is vastly different.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

[i]"... but the main reason I've replaced 3-5 year old machines, just recently, were for Windows 7."[/i] Why, when Win7 can run better on older hardware than Vista could? Meanwhile, I'm running a 3-year-old aluminum iMac and don't need to upgrade--not even for the OS. [i]"A quick web search shows 11% penetration, one article at 16. I work in IT, I'd never claim that any OS is perfect security-wise. If you were writing malware, would you target 80% or 20%? Knowing that only a fraction of a fraction of that will yield $(infection/payload)?"[/i] Installed base is not market--depending on where you look, OS X is somewhere between 13% and 20% installed base while sales tend to run between 8% and 10% in the US. This means that Macs are being replaced as frequently as generic PCs while half of all new Mac sales are to people who have never owned an Apple computer before. However, logically, your argument about attacking 80% vs 20% seems weak when that 20%, by what other non-zealots claim, are both rich and weak in the head enough to fall for all these phishing schemes. Yet, for some reason, they're not being attacked any more than the Windows boxes, and are certainly being attacked less effectively than those Windows boxes. I really find it hard to believe that it's only because there are 200 million Macs compared to 6 times that many Windows machines. That alone means there should be at least a 1 in 6 chance that the Mac is attacked instead of Windows. [i]"Enterprise is a Windows shop. No sysadmin wants to deal with a bunch of exceptions. Best to have a bunch of very similar Dells and be done with it. If IT is the biggest cash drain, you propose to fix that by buying evem more expensive machines which eat up even more tech/management time? ROI and industry buzzwords and all, it won't happen."[/i] And yet it is happening, despite your words. Yes, IT is the biggest cash drain--over the long term. I've watched industries fall and assembly plants closed because somebody tried to buy cheap and ignore the long-term risks involved. If spending a little bit more up front can save you 2/3rds your long-term costs, then suddenly your IT costs in general go down. Apple has already proven its comparative reliability and because of this, enterprise is adapting to a mixed environment where real-world experience can prove or disprove claims made by both sides. I expect eventually you'll see a rough parity between Windows and OS X machines in the enterprise market as well as the consumer market. In fact, it's the consumer market that's pushing Apple into the enterprise market in most cases. Meanwhile, yes, Win7 is finally pulling the majority of the XP and Vista users over--but not all of them. For some strange reason, the combine rate of people migrating away from XP/Vista does not match the rate of Win7 adoption; some small portion, a measurable portion, are buying outside of Windows.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

It gives the researcher - a native osX target to work against. - nice hardware if they choose to replace osX. - alternative prize hardware may be less desirable. - choice of OS including osX on a multi-boot system. - osX's UNIX under belly bakes a solid base for researcher's workstation. - Apple's company policy may attract the negative attention. - Apple's CEO may attract the negative attention. They may like osX and be driven by a motivation to see what they use improved. For whatever reason, the Apple has been the popular target. What interests me more is if the unchosen targets have the same issue and how fast responsible developers patch. Run it against all target combinations, publish the results and start the timers. Firefox was way ahead of IE and Safari this year.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

If the Mac is so bad, why do they try so hard to acquire one?

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

Ok, so my statement may have implied as much; the intent of the statement was to say that Win95, WinNT and even Win98 and v2 had pretty much the same issues with poorly-built parts, something Apple's OS never had a problem with. In all honesty, WinXP is probably the best version they've ever put out, but Win7 could get there if they'd simplify a few things. (Why did they bury the Control Panels under three levels of menu? All that did was confuse, not simplify. Renaming some of them certainly didn't help, either.) Your experiences with Macs tells me several things, beginning with the pre-PowerPC era when Apple (under people who couldn't understand computer development) was introducing a new, marginally-updated model every three months (sheesh, your school system was getting screwed by Apple's marketing of the time.) Pushing into the 2Ghz range, Apple was into the Intel processors, which obviously brought the machines in to closer parity with generic PCs. The PPC topped out, if I remember correctly, at 1 Ghz or so and Motorola refused to make it any faster for Apple. Not sure what the latest Motorola PPC chip clocks at today. I'm guessing that Moto tried to wrangle more cash out of Apple and Jobs wouldn't play their game. The point is, still, that Apple's notorious 'control' is why Apple has never had the issues Windows has fought pretty much from day one. Even the authorized 'clones' had to meet very stringent standards to keep their MacOS licenses, and one of those clone companies lost their license when they tried to slip some below-spec components into their machines. Either way, that experiment failed, through failing to expand the market and instead leeching hardware share away from Apple.

Slayer_
Slayer_

That and unlimited root access :D

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Well, and sat at a machine with a mouse rather than someone's laptop for ten seconds. It is a rather nice OS. For day to day, other platforms provide my needs though.

Slayer_
Slayer_

But OSX doesn't offer anything OS9 didn't, it still can't run the programs and games I want to run. It still can't run the hardware I want to run. I still build my own computer out of off the shelf parts. This directly conflicts with Apple's policies.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

If OS9 was your last hands on use then osX is worth playing with for ten minutes.

Slayer_
Slayer_

Windows 95 did not use the NT kernel, and 95 was fairly stable, if a bit memory leaky. 98 kernel was very stable, but carried over some broken API's from 95. 98's kernel fixed a lot of memory leak issues except for those broken API's (mostly related to graphics, so that games manufactures had to use DirectX). I have a gap in Mac usage between the 800mhz era and the 2 ghz era, mostly after Grade 7 our school got sick of having to replace their mac's every year to stay current, and the huge support costs to staff the support people. I never had to use a Mac again till High school.

Slayer_
Slayer_

Bootup time was significantly faster, but overall feel of the system was faster, and overall stability was better. And my opinions are not discoloured from Mac's OSX as I have never used it. My last time being forced to endure a Mac was in a graphics art class, using OS9. It usually froze twice a class and the imaging programs had about a 5 minute life span before they would just close for no reason.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

Because even then the Macs were more reliable and pretty much faster using the 68K chips. I was teaching people how to use Windows because I'd been using a similar operating system for years even before Win95 came out. By the time processor speeds rose to 1Ghz, Apple's computers worked literally twice as fast and even after Intel processors rose to 2Ghz, the 1Ghz PPC was still faster in everyday computing. Honestly, that's why we're not fighting the 'clock wars' any more; clock speed simply became irrelevant. No, PCs were more unstable because, simply put, cheap-azz components with poorly-written drivers drove even the NT kernel nuts! If Microsoft had been able to control the hardware the way Apple has done from the beginning, we wouldn't even be having this discussion now--would we?

nonseq
nonseq

I must be living in an alternate universe. I read stuff like this and it is so far from my actual experience, hands on, in a mixed environment that I doubt my sanity or memory. I know this, the collective sigh of relief from my family members (not the environment mentioned above) when I tossed the Gateway PIII machines running Win 98 out the door could be heard round the world. If you only voice your opinion based on bench marks and second hand reports (I don't know that you did SS but I have seen many who do) instead of first hand experience. In fact of the hundreds of macs (including iMacs) that I have been involved with selling and installing, I have never seen actual situations that support the numbers that you cite above. Maybe I have been lucky, I do know that the Mac OS ran rings around Win 95/98 and Win 2000 (and who can forget ME) on what many called slower chips. How can that be true? Because it's not just about benchmarks- it's about the whole system.

Slayer_
Slayer_

Even by the 800mhz era, the iMac was the slowest and most unstable computer you could buy. 386's and 486's running Windows 95/98 would run circles around Macs, and could run for days at a time, while a Mac average up time was an hour or less before a hard reset.

EliSko
EliSko

I've said for years that Gates is a brilliant businessman at marketing shoddy goods. (And assuming you have little care for ethics.) IBM absolutely did not care about the PC, EXCEPT to have a low end offering so that "Big Blue" shops could stay "Big Blue." In 1980 I was a SysOp at a "Big Blue" shop when the Treasurer brought in an Apple II running VisiCalc. That first electronic spreadsheet was a revolution, and it made IBM sit up and take notice. They had already been working on a new, low-end, single-user computer, which was meant to be an engineering workstation ... it eventually became the RS-6000, and its dedicated CPU also figured in the story later on - it was the first PowerPC. But they needed a cheap, personal computer to compete with the Apples, the Commodores, the Ataris, the Tandy/Radio Shacks, etc. So they fired off a "skunkworks" team in Boca Raton to whip out a down and dirty design in record time, using (unthinkable for Big Blue) off-the-shelf components from other vendors. It was an ugly step-child, but it made the company money, so what the heck? But anyone who thinks that a machine with BASIC in ROM and a cassette tape was the International Business Machine company's vision of a business computer is being ridiculous. It was an attempt to put something with IBM's name on it in businesses that had a need for a product in between a Selectric typewriter and a System/32 single-user business system (which was the size of a desk, not just the desktop.)