A decade ago, nearly every IT professional I knew would wrinkle their nose, furrow their brow, and derisively shake their head if asked whether he or she would ever consider using an Apple Macintosh as their primary system. The Mac was not considered a system for serious techies and was viewed as being unfriendly on corporate networks.
However, I have noticed a distinct change in the wind in recent years. Today, I know multiple IT professionals who use a Mac as their primary machine at work, plus others who have bought a Mac as their personal system, and several more who would like to have a Mac — especially a MacBook Pro (right), which has a reputation as one of the fastest and coolest laptops on the planet. We've even got a MacBook Pro at TechRepublic now so that we can test and write about Macs from an IT perspective.
There are several factors behind this shift in opinion about Macs among techies — including Apple's resurgence as a brand — but the following are the most important factors that are influencing IT pros:
- The underpinnings of Mac OS X are now UNIX (based on BSD) and have been since 2001. It is quite stable and it can be effectively used to administer Linux/UNIX servers.
- Macs now run on Intel chips, and you can use Boot Camp to dual boot a Mac to run Windows XP or Windows Vista. Alternatively, you can use the popular virtualization software Parallels Desktop to run instances of Windows and/or Linux on top of Mac OS X.
- With the Remote Desktop Client for Mac OS X, you can easily connect to Windows servers and client machines from a Mac.
- Windows Vista hasn't gotten many techies fired up about Windows, and so some of them are flirting with Mac.
If you were previously opposed to Macs, has your opinion changed recently? Join the discussion and take the poll below.
Jason Hiner is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He writes about the people, products, and ideas changing how we live and work in the 21st century. He's co-author of the book, Follow the Geeks.