PCs

Snow Leopard fails to convince CIOs to adopt more Macs

With Exchange support, Snow Leopard was supposed to attract more business users to Mac. A new survey from TechRepublic's CIO Jury dashes that theory.

The most talked about new feature in Mac OS X Snow Leopard, which debuted on August 28, is its native integration with Microsoft Exchange. The assumption was that this one feature could have the same kind of impact in opening the Mac market to corporate users as Exchange integration had on bringing the iPhone to business professionals. A new survey of TechRepublic's CIO Jury completely debunks that assumption.

On September 1, TechRepublic polled its 90-member panel of U.S. IT executives and asked, "Does the release of Snow Leopard make your IT department more likely to adopt more Mac OS X machines?" The jury, made up of the first 12 respondents, unanimously voted "no" in a 12-0 decision.

TechRepublic’s CIO Jury is based on the original CIO Jury concept developed by Silicon.com, where you can find lively opinions from IT leaders based in the UK.

The CIO Jury for this verdict was:

  1. Laurie Dale, Director of IT for Ability Beyond Disabilty
  2. Randy Backus, Director of IT for Wallingford Public Schools
  3. Michael Woodford, Executive Director of IT for USANA Health Sciences
  4. Chuck Codling, Director of Infrastructure for Rocky Brands
  5. Michael Hanken, VP of IT for Multiquip
  6. Bob Hickcox, Director of IT for Girl Scouts of MN and WI
  7. Chuck Elliott, Director of IT for Emory University School of Medicine
  8. Lisa Moorehead, Director of IT for MA Dept of Public Utilities
  9. Chris Brown, VP of Technology for Big Splash Web Design
  10. Kevin Leypoldt, IS Director for Structural Integrity Associates
  11. Brian Stanek, VP of IT for NAMICO
  12. Jerry Justice, IT Director for SS&G Financial Services

Beyond just the 12 jury members, TechRepublic got votes and comments from over 50% of the 90-member jury pool and the overwhelming response was that Snow Leopard would have no impact on their IT infrastructure. Nearly every respondent wrote that Macs simply don't make sense in their corporate network. A few of the IT chiefs even responded that they personally admire and respect Mac OS X (some even use it at home), but that there were too many obstacles to using it at work.

For example, Lisa Moorehead, Director of IT for the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, responded, "I work in government. We've invested heavily in PCs and we don't do a lot with graphic design nor are we an educational institution. Because of that, supporting Macs for us is more of a hassle. However, personally, I love my Mac and am very excited about this new release."

David Van Geest, Director of IT for The Orsini Group, said, "While I have always liked the Mac OS, the expense and the necessity to run Windows-based software precludes it from consideration."

Let's take a look at some more of the reasons that IT executives reported for why they do not plan to adopt more Macs.

Why IT leaders still reject Macs

  • "Being a multi-discipline engineering firm, we have many applications that are Windows specific, therefore we are a Windows shop. While we do have a few Macs, adopting more Macs would require virtualization software to run Windows (i.e. Parallels) or a dual boot configuration. Introducing and supporting a second OS on every computer is not something we are looking to take on." (Kevin Leypoldt, IS Director for Structural Integrity Associates)
  • "The Macintosh operating system is not yet a good fit for environments where compliance with federal regulations such as HIPAA and FERPA are important." (Chuck Elliott, Director of IT for Emory University School of Medicine)
  • "Exchange support in Snow Leopard will not make it more likely we will adopt more Mac computers. Costs for Macs are still significantly higher and majority of our users and applications still require Windows." (Donna Trivison, Director of IT for Ursuline College)
  • "We will not be considering deploying Macs. As with many of the questions I've fielded, it's a matter of our key software vendors not supporting anything other than Windows for our core applications." (John Gracyalny, Director of IT for SafeAmerica Credit Union)
  • "A lot of the applications we use here at DEKA for engineering are not supported by Mac. At this time there is no business advantage to introduce Mac's into our environment." (Chris Zalegowski, Director of IT for DEKA Research & Development)
  • "We're very much a Microsoft-oriented shop. Microsoft makes pricing very, very attractive for higher education." (Scott Lowe, CIO of Westminster College)
  • "As as general rule, 'no,' due to the nature of how we run applications and their dependency on ActiveX control and the Internet Explorer experience." (Delano Gordon, CIO of Roofing Supply Group)
  • "Snow Leopard supporting Exchange integration is fine but I don't think it's worth introducing a new platform into the mix. Apple supporting Exchange is like Microsoft supporting Open Source. Both were late doing it and are only doing it because they cannot compete otherwise." (Matthew Metcalfe, Director of IS for Northwest Exterminating)
  • "No, our main application does not run in Mac OS." (Brent Nair, CIO of Wunderlich Securities)
  • "There are still overall cost and support challenges that would prevent us from adopting Macs in a big way." (Rick Treese, CTO of TheMarkets.com)
  • "It would still take too much time and investment to retrain users and support staff." (Chris Brown, VP of Technology for Big Splash Web Design)

A few leave the door open

  • "Snow Leopard in itself is not a driving factor, however, we are taking a more accepting approach to Macs in general. As new and younger personnel enter our organization, and as an increasing number of applications are running in the browser, the OS is is becoming less relevant. Thus, we are being more open to the requests of our user community as long as there are no significant barriers and/or potential degradations to our overall infrastructure in doing so." (Tom Galbraith, Director of IT for US District Court So District of IL)
  • "From an IT perspective it makes little difference for us. Unless you're a technology department that supports an advertising agency, graphics house, or anything heavy into creative media, I would think that Snow Leopard means little more than a curiosity. The ability to allow for Intel-based Macs, a few years back, provided more interesting food for thought than this latest release of OS X. For mainstream business and manufacturing I doubt that it would do much. However, I am open to interesting solutions." (Martin Szalay, Director of IT for FWE)

Would you like to be part of TechRepublic’s CIO Jury and have your say in the hottest issues for IT departments? If you are a CIO, CTO, IT director or equivalent at a large or small company in the private or public sector and you want to be part of TechRepublic’s CIO Jury pool, drop us a line at ciojury@techrepublic.com.

About

Jason Hiner is the Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He is an award-winning journalist who writes about the people, products, and ideas that are revolutionizing the ways we live and work in the 21st century.

106 comments
fmalloy
fmalloy

"For example, Lisa Moorehead, Director of IT for the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, responded, 'I work in government. We?ve invested heavily in PCs and we don?t do a lot with graphic design nor are we an educational institution.'" Wow, Lisa - have you gotten out of your cave in the last 10 years? Mac OS X based machines are more secure than any Windows environment. Since you work in government, you are still invested in the least secure, least stable platform out there? How do you get any work done with all the constant virus and malware scanners?

lsss
lsss

I've run across the phrase "completely debunks" before. It says the most about the author: He is not even trying to hide his prejudice.

globusproject
globusproject

. Many of these organizations are still second generation organizations stuck in the mainframe-terminal or client server (most likely) platform world. When you migrate to the world of Grid Computing (Cloud) then it makes sense to build an Open Source infrastructure and it doesn't matter which clients you use. Some can be based on your proprietary or custom software requirements, and which client OS this software runs on. When they get to Grid Computing then they will understand that the DNS, LDAP, Mail and other underlying protocols are not dependent on your platform. You can then allow your people to use the client OS that they need for their application needs, the rest of the applications being platform independent. I would drag ALL of these CIO's into my office and ask them what are their plans for migrating to a Grid Computing infrastructure.... Most of them sound like network administrators managing a subnet.... These CIO's do not seem to be at all technologically advanced.... They seem to be serving the needs of their IT department rather than serving the needs of their customers.... .

ProducedByJoel
ProducedByJoel

I'll say simply this?if ever the day comes?and I pray to the gods at Cupertino that it never does?when the Mac OS would be installable on the crappy windows boxes, all these IT leaders (who claim to "love their personal Macs") would be all over that like white on rice! Those leaders who have "bothered" themselves to explore the Mac OS all know, deep within their intellect, that the Mac OS has always been and will continue to be a vastly superior OS to Windows dog-poopy!

jck
jck

3 whole days to fully evaluate and determine the versatility and usefulness of a new OS to your workplace? Maybe this is why most IT planning sucks anymore in the corporate environment. The management think you can get things done fast, cheap and good all at once. Dur dur durrrrrrrr...

ssugg
ssugg

Let me load the OS on my own hardware, then yes. Apple hardware is too expensive. Now that they are an Intel PC with a xnix-based OS one can directly compare the costs. I've looked at their desktops and servers and the prices are far higher than any other hardware vendor. I do love the OS, but I refuse to pay 2 or 3 times more for the hardware. They had a good thing going by licensing the OS. Market share was growing and IT started to notice. Then Steve Jobs came back and stopped the licensing program. I'm still not sure how they can require that their software only be allowed to run on their hardware. They are two different things and the hardware is nothing special.

thisisfutile
thisisfutile

I have absolutely nothing against any other OS, be it Linux, Mac, or any of the other flavors out there, but why would anyone want to have more than one OS in their environment. I'm probably making this stance based on my small view of the great big IT world out there as I sit here as the IT "Manager" of a small office (11 Windows XP boxes and 2 Server 2003 boxes). These 11 XP boxes keep me busy enough with all their idiosyncrasies.

denvercamera
denvercamera

It is a matter of cost. Most of our staff use only 2 or 3 different applications in the course of their work. A workstation can be assembled by our IT department for as little as $250 including the monitor and keyboard. There is no way that Mac can compete with that. Also, 95% of new hires are experienced with PC and have no knowledge of the MAC OS and would require additional training...again at additional cost, not to mention the cost of retraining existing personnel. Since the outcome of productivity would remain the same, a switch to MAC would produce no significant advantage but would negatively affect the bottom line.

dshj
dshj

It amazes me that after all these years, we're still down to the basic "which is better" question. People are using arguments from 10 years ago, and they call themselves CIO's. THAT is what I find shocking. For all the "Mac is BAD" people, applications and services are moving into the cloud. Mac is a superior experience for the user, easier for IT to support, and has a cheaper TCO over the life of the unit. End of discussion. Besides, why would I migrate a client onto Exchange when I can go to Google Apps at a fraction of the cost? Maybe the real question is, "Is Exchange critical to your business environment?"

AppSupSpec
AppSupSpec

And you expected this to change IT departments in 5 days?

sean
sean

Graphic Design - haha, MAC are being used by the military for speacial ops programs and a host of other stuff. So with a narrow perspective like make me think square peg in a round hole.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

A whole range of issues fitting them in that will cost money. You could sell linux or BSD in the work place easier than Mac, at least the hardware can be cheaper. It's the cost of switching vs the benefits that a business has to look at. Most of the cost is a nice quantifiable hard number, the benefit, finger in the air, squishy sort of figure. Doesn't matter how well the CIO loses at golf, it isn't going to help get this past the CFO. Got to say having been into and then in computing since 1976. I've used one Apple, that was at college in 1979..... No idea what thay says, but it definitely says something. Why anyone thought a new OS version, would dramatically impact the market share in business (or home for that matter), I have no idea. Wilfull ignorance, or just ignorance would be my guess. You as likely to get a Vista, W7 or Linux rollout as you are a MAC one. Hasn't happened has it? Why, because it doesn't make financial sense to the people holding the purse.

MikeGall
MikeGall

My work it is Mac unless you have a reason you need something else. But in our area a lot of software is targeted for the Mac or it is pretty easy to port from a *nix version. But as my company was forming the admins were UNIX geeks so like the fact that OS X is almost UNIX for a backend while still friendly for the normal user. People that complain that there isn't enterprise deployment solutions and the like for a Mac simply don't know what they are talking about. Yes Microsoft's deployment solutions aren't there but there are several vendors to choose from as far as software push and client backup solutions go. As an added bonus, most of the vendors that support Mac in my experience also support Win and usually Linux. So for those odd systems that would be orphans in a Win environment instead just work because the stack is built open (LDAP instead of AD, smb and CUPS instead of a windows server, etc). It is cool to say that your software isn't available on a Mac and of course you chose based on supporting your business needs. But Macs definitely are managable in a corporate environment, and they aren't just graphics workstations they allow for a lot of UNIX like apps to be run on them, and can fully boot into windows if needed. As for hardware prices: yeah a bit of an issue. But the Mac tax really isn't that large, Macs are geared to the middle to high end of the market, you pay pretty close to the same price for a PC with comparable hardware. For example you can't just compare a 2.53Ghz 4GB of RAM workstation with a iMac, you also have to factor in that fact that that Mac has a LCD backlit screen, aluminum case and the equivalent of the Premium additions of Windows.

techrepublic
techrepublic

I have successfully ran my business for the last 9 years on a Mac. Yes they cost more to buy but the TCO is much lower. Apple doesn't licence the OS so it doesn't have to support a million variations in hardware which means you have a much more stable platform. I am an IT Architect and very occasionally have to fire up a windows image when a client has something like Sharepoint that is far from standards compliant. My core activities are more than handled by OSX. I spend less time fixing computers now and more time making money. A lot of people still seem to have an impression that Macs are for creative people. What a load of nonsense Macs can do anything a Windows pc can usually with less effort and hassle. Fair enough that that some organisations have spent money of platform dependant products but there are options like terminal services. Most systems I design end up running on UNIX based platforms. Ever wonder why? Most (if not all) of these people you have polled are commenting without actually looking at Macs seriously which makes their comments null and void in my opinion.

maclovin
maclovin

Just my response to the individuals above, some of which provide some realistic specifics, others who "Just Say No" and run away crying it seems to me. And, yes I know some of these are slightly abrasive. This is in order: - Terminal Server/CoRD would solve that, then you only have to update that application on ONE computer. (Plus, what "Applications" is it that they speak of) - HIPAA Security - OS X MORE than takes care of much of that. However, they can't exactly make the entirety of your network airtight...perhaps some better administration is required? Oh, and I work for a company that requires HIPAA, all on Macs. Oh, and HIPAA has NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING to do with the OS you're using. - Not by the time to pay for site licenses for all those extra utilities you need to keep Windows running clean and stable....er....who am I kidding! (It's really not that bad of an OS, I mean, I like it sometimes too....more games!...No really, it's just easy to make fun of it.) - Core Apps...what, like Mail, Calendaring, and Address Books??? See my Terminal Server Comment above. Also, Mac Servers to control your Domain Users, File Share access and Web Server is so much easier to administer than Windows. - As I bet all those other Vendors do that you won't even need to deal with anymore when you get a Mac, Y'know Symantec, Microsoft, etc. - WHAT Internet Explorer "experience"? God, I have to say, that one had me laughing...Spyware anyone??? - Old Fogies anyone??? "NO! I don't wanna change! WAAAAHH!" The older we get, the more childish we become. He says "in the mix" like he thinks the Macs will make things more difficult...yeah right. If anything it'll cut down on Helldesk calls. - Damn. there's alot of MS lovers out there that have never heard of Terminal Server, it seems :D - Liiiiike??? - Bah!!!! Hogwash!! Yes, I'm being abrasive, but many people in this business just need to understand WTF is going on here. Pull their heads outta...........nvmd. All I'm saying is that there are many "IT Leaders", as they call themselves, who don't look at truly viable options, NOR do they make any TANGIBLE, PROVABLE reason why not! I'd be willing to bet that not more than 10 people on the entire "Jury" have ever configured an all Apple Client/Server environment, nor even seen one in operation. It's kinda like String Theory in a way...though it's not a theory, just FY, according to the Scientific Method's definition that everyone on the earth and in the earth knows about.

JulesLt
JulesLt

At times, Apple's Xeon based servers, and Pro desktops have definitely beaten Dell's equivalents on price (almost certainly down to sweetheart deals with Intel / punishing Dell for selling AMD kit). At no point have I seen the same spec hardware selling for 2-3 times the price - the gap generally varies between 15-25%. As for how they can require their software is run on their hardware - I would presume that is because they wrote it (or at least the bits that distinguish it from Darwin / FreeBSD, which are the bits people pay for). Despite some people's beliefs, there is nothing illegal about that. Most Windows OEM disks actually have a similar licencing condition.

ProducedByJoel
ProducedByJoel

Steve Jobs saved Apple by terminating the licensing program! Had it continued, their hardware line would have disappeared and the quality of the Mac OS would have sunk simply because Apple engineers would have to be designing for a billion different hardware configurations! They would have become just another platform. Apple as a company would have simply gone the way of the dodo bird?no iPod, no iPhone, no iTunes, dead, gone!

Beacivil1
Beacivil1

I agree- I love the OS too. Apple could be eating up competition if they would allow owners to install on their own hardware. How they get away with this I would really like to know.

darpoke
darpoke

You genuinely don't see the benefit of withholding the OS to Apple hardware? Leave aside the moral argument of whether it's 'right' or 'wrong' - whatever they mean. The result of Apple only licensing OS X on Apple hardware is that they can choose the hardware and write the OS to suit it. The fact that you can only buy one copy of OS X (well, one client, one server, but it's still just a single 'edition' if you see what I mean) doesn't quite imply that there's one size fits all. Every Mac model is a specific build and has an install tailored to fit. That's why you get special system restore discs in the box, and why you're not meant to restore from any other model's discs. Ditto for updates. What this allows them to do is create the stability that OS X is famous for. It's not a totalitarian power struggle, though it's certainly interpreted that way by some individuals. You're always free to build a Hackintosh. Just don't expect Apple to support it. Leopard was designed to run on specific hardware - YMMV. The alternative is the Windows approach. Write a multimillion LOC bloatware behemoth that will run on _anything_. Just not particularly well. Takes all sorts, n'est-ce pas?

MKleinpaste
MKleinpaste

"These 11 XP boxes keep me busy enough with all their idiosyncrasies." We deal with 30+ PCs in house and support @700 more remotely. People ignore the fact that Macs require MUCH less "technical support". That's less time spent making sure they actually work. Sure, you can build or buy PC on the cheap but how much time goes into keeping it running? With OS X and Apple Remote Desktop I can support 1000's of Macs doing everything from application deployment, updates, system imaging without leaving my desk. And that's without ever having an OS X Server on the backend. Put one of those in place and your costs go down when you add up what Macs/Xserves do right out of the box.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Simple one would be moving from dumb terminals to acces a mainframe to PCs so you could do some 'personal' stuff and access the main business functions. Virtualisation now gives you some other alternatives, a shop your size though you'd have to a have a good think about it. Even if you said I'm going to do the company web site on a dedicated LAMP server, instead of say exposing your SBS intallation to the internet, resourcing admin, and development for it if you alreasy have those skills in your curent tech is far from clear cut. It's not even diffrent brands, getting Vista and XP to coexist using Active Directory isn't as simple as you'd hope. Unless you needed a function (e.g. desk top publishing) and only a MAC would give you what you want, you'd have to be barking mad. I mean if you had an all mac environbment and some one suggested you went and bought a W7 box so you could use IE8, you'd wonder how far below 20 their IQ was wouldn't you?

JulesLt
JulesLt

There are advantages to different operating systems - for a long time, Unix was far superior than Windows server for any database or web serving tasks, for instance - although MS have made efforts to catch up. We have Linux, Solaris and Windows servers, all chosen for different reasons, but in each case because they were 'best fit' for the requirement. There's also an argument that heterogenous systems are safer - as with biology, it's harder for a virus or attack to spread between 'species'. Lastly, there's the software argument - the reason I 'switched' to a Mac at home was so that I could use Mac-only software. Depending on your business, some of this may give you a business advantage (I think the typical results from Keynote beat Powerpoint - although Powerpoint is capable of similar output). Also, recalling back to the days of the early 90s (pre-Windows 3) it was not uncommon to have Macs around for running DTP and Word Processing (the first GUI version of MS Word was a Mac program, years before the Windows version) - this was a point where the difference between the two systems was very clear.

Slvrknght
Slvrknght

Where are you getting your parts? And what are your system stats? I can see it now, top-of-the-line circa 2000. Now with a whopping 128MB RAM, 8GB hard drive, and stuffed in a shoebox. ;) (I joke because I care.) I'm serious. Where are you getting your stuff? The cheapest I've ever seen a monitor nowadays is $60 for a 15" screen. That leaves $190 for the computer. The best I've ever been able to do, with monitor and keyboard, is at least $400.

beechC23
beechC23

I'm not so sure that much additional training is needed for OS X. I certainly never needed any after switching to a Mac 3 years ago after being on DOS and Windows since the '80s. Plenty of on-line help available. Perhaps the most telling experience is my luddite wife. When she had a day off from work and was at home on our PC, while at work I'd invariably get a call from her asking how to do this or that on the PC. She finds Macs way more intuitive for her and has never needed to call me for "tech support" since we started using Macs, except once when the Internet connection and router screwed up while I was away on business. When that happened, I just got my 12 y.o. kid to sort it out in 5 minutes.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Throw idea on table, get paid, leave before faeces and rotary impeller collide. May be they don't want to give google all that information and control. Maybe the saving in TCO, when all other factors are taken into account, such as the actual cost to switch, the existing investment etc and it's return don't add up. Not an argument against Macs I'd say the same if you switching to or from VMS. Do the sums properly, and you'll never get it past a CFO, unless they take a really long term view, which they never do anyway. You don't believe it?. It's more that you are so blinkered by your own belief, you don't see alternatives. After all everybody knows the DEC Alpha running VMS is the best platform ever. Try and get out more.

dshj
dshj

Oh, and my Mac Guru's are telling me to avoid Snow Leopard like the plague. :-)

wdewey@cityofsalem.net
wdewey@cityofsalem.net

Does the screen lock on Macs still require local admin privileges to unlock? Can anyone with local admin privileges unlock anyone's screen? If so then it is not suitable for large enterprise deployments. Bill

vasov
vasov

I just want to ditto on that. I've seen insufficient actual argumentation on 'why not'. Most I'd categorise in to 'because I accept the stereotype that it would be too hard to change' or 'we don't use graphic software hence no point'. These are reasons per say, but not arguments towards determining ($) value of OS change or deployment. One of the bigger obstacles to accepting OS X in corporate environment that I have observed over time was actually the fear from various IT personnel who perceived new OS a disaster in terms of their ability to support, accreditation of existing certificates (MCSA/MCSE etc) and career change (no structure like CISCO has for instance). So they tell to CIO or CEO or whoever is asking them that 'it is too hard and costly' or 'we don?t use Adobe stuff so we don?t need it' kinds of stuff. Note that in the article, CIOs actually like OS X at home but they don?t like it at work. Who determines what gets deployed at home? And who determines what gets deployed at work? Right, the IT architect guy, who 9/10 has three pages long list of MS certifications. So why would he ever point in any other direction? It?s like telling the priest that he needs to denounce his own religion. It's not going to happen that easily. I'm not even going to mention the scenarios where SOE development or deployment or support or all of the above is outsourced to some 'golden partner' somewhere. So if they want to drive OS X in to the corporate, Apple execs need to get off their highly valuable iChairs and network with those nerdy, those with reputation and hardly earned recognition despite broken accents and explain in simple forms why is OS X right for them (on a case by case scenarios if need be) and not just for hip, young, cashed up and beautiful. I've been in a corporate IT environment for almost a decade now and get a visit by MS rep at least quarterly but I've only seen Apple reps once and that was to tell me that iPOD touch can work on corporate PCs as well (?!!!??). I use both PC and Apple machines all the time and have managed to convert to OS X about a dozen people so far (some IT, some friends) because in their circumstances it made sense to do so. In about twice as much cases it did not make sense. People need to have financial ability, will and right personnel to pick new skills through the training over a period of time. In the current economic climate lot of execs prioritise projects based on the time it takes to deliver the value back to the business. OS or hardware change is not exactly the one with the quickest ROI you must admit (imo). Again, this is where Apple needs to get their fingers in and provide confidence to those few CIOs willing to put their neck forward for the sake of Apple logo and future value for the company. Apple must ensure that the switch will be a) successful and b) they will get their $ back within estimated timeframe. Additionally availability and cost of support personnel on the market is an issue for small businesses. You can find a ?PC guy? on every corner (quality is disputable though), but try finding an IT professional to fix/clean-up/optimise you OS X in your area. I understand that you will probably never need one, but from the business perspective, low availability of support personnel is a risk that some are simply not willing to take or don?t know how to address with Apple directly. Now, instead of ensuring Exchange compliance on the new platform I?d much rather Apple had spent that effort in creating a new mail server application that is better than Exchange. That is a big challenge, true, but is one that completes the business solution of Apple offer whilst Exchange compatibility seems to be responding to a negative argument posed by those who oppose the Apple OS X. Those however will rarely seriously consider any counterargument so what?s the point? To make it more obvious, back in nineties, I don?t remember MS marketing their desktop platform as the one that is compatible with Novell, VACs or Unix applications, on contrary it made sure to eliminate the need for all those by providing their own equivalent or better.

simonwilson
simonwilson

10/10 on the no vote then? If i could i would roll out Macs at work in a flash. I don't control the purse strings nor is my FD willing to see sense. Very much like the esteemed panel. In a way I do like the fact I have M$ at work and a Powerbook at home, it gives me a sense of difference. When I get home and I power up my Mac I am not logging in to an all too familiar M$ environment. It would be a bit of a shame if Macs came to dominate the world. I like it that they are a little niche. Apart from the solid OS, lack of viruses, Boot Camp and of course the asthetics why would 'business leaders' choose to adopt?!

wdewey@cityofsalem.net
wdewey@cityofsalem.net

I have a user that has a Mac at home. She uses her WINDOWS netbook because she has problems with the citrix services working correctly on her Mac. There are delays and certain things don't work correctly. Citrix support for Macs is mediocre at best. Bill

ekeith
ekeith

Bing in the engineering/construction industry, all of our software is Windows based, but I have started into the Mac world at home. In general I like it and am past the initial learning curve. It is still somewhat foreign to me, and MAC is not all so rosy... 1) My exsiting Lexmark Printer is not supported by Apple or Lexmark. 2) My digital video camera (JVC) takes additional software and a Codec ($29.00) from apple just to get video on the machine. NO plug and play. 3) My Kodak easy share camera is not recognized. 4) It is not very friendly for those of us that prefer keyboard entry. Face it, keystrokes and hot keys are always faster when you are familiar with them than mousing around. My point is however that at work we deal with several companies that require some interaction online AND IE explorer is the only browser that they have written their web programming to work with. I do not like keeping IE on my windows machine but am forced to against my will. I too understand that it does not make sense to do dual boot or parallels as a work around.

Chuck.Elliott
Chuck.Elliott

...about HIPAA. It has nothing to do with what OS's are in use. However, when you have an organization with thousands of physicians and thousands more support staff, as we do, you must have scalable solutions. If we had only 2 dozen employees then yes, absolutely, we 'could' adopt OS X and more easily comply with HIPAA; but then again it's unlikely the revenue would be there to support an Exchange environment and it was those new features that prompted Jason's question to the CIO Jury. I very much WANT to provide better support to Mac users and I would love to hear from someone in an organization similar to mine that could advise us on how they have done it successfully.

lonepsycho
lonepsycho

I honestly dont know what's wrong with you, but there must be something since you simply fail to foresee some basic facts about enterprise (not home) computing. you know there's some specific software in the world that is heavily dependant on Windze and hells IE (like web based POS software or maybe just POS with MAC's pretty not much open hardware and well there's more). Your solution to run terminal sessions from MAC, hell that was really funny. why a hell I'm going to spend that much money when I can buy a ThinClient (you know these small cheap boxes near or behind monitor). simply check what kind of businesses there is around and then recheck your MAC suitability to these businesses list. MAC is more a luxurious computer than a business class it has its ways in several branches of enterprise computing yet not in majority ones. and by the way to switch the whole park of PC's to Mac'en'trashes it will cost more then only hardware, you have to change the software that you are using, retrain people and so on. so stop trolling and rethink. and one more advise for you. leave your religion (MAC) at home, don't bring it to work. it will cost less. P.S. By the way where Unix like systems are suitable I choose Linux (cheaper hardware, no cost OS you know...).

ExCorpGuy
ExCorpGuy

If they have a business critical application that only runs under Windows then I can see their point only to a degree. Putting aside that you can easily run any Windows application with either Bootcamp or a VM such as Parallels. Running both Windows and OS/X on the same machine. Added support costs? Maybe, but only on the Windows side of the house IMHO. I have worked both Help Desk and Server support in very large environments. If my former employers were to switch to a Mac environment their Help Desk calls for desktop support would dramatically drop. If they adopted Macs on the server end, many of the support costs would drop too. I see no reason today that any business from small to large cannot implement departmental file servers using Macs. Active Directory integration with no CALs per seat should be reason enough.

bob.rondeau
bob.rondeau

Ever since I first owned a Mac in 1986, I've been on a crusade to change the PC world and get everybody I meet to switch to a Mac. Well, no more. I am just happy that Apple survived some pretty rough times and has managed to produce a fantastic platform which I can now enjoy. I found it amusing that IT people actually "confessed" that they used Macs at home, but certainly not at work. Boot Camp is rock solid; I use it when I want to fly a virtual DC-3. I also use it to check to see if the web pages I produce will look okay in Win XP using (arghhh) IE. And that's the extent of my delving into Microsoftland. For everything else, there's MasterMac.

ssugg
ssugg

I do understand the advantages of compatibility, stabilty, and support by the vendor. But limiting the hardware options and ultimately the support costs, should bring down the price. Apple is trying the same road that Novell took in 1990 with regard to NOS pricing. Microsoft's NOS sucked, but it was $1000 for a 1000 user license. Novell was almost $40000 for a 1000 user license. When I talked to them, their attitude was "We're Novell and we make the best NOS." The problem was that it was a hard sell when the Microsoft server kind of worked. Look at Novell today. Still trying to figure out who they are. Apple is pricing to a very small percentage. For small companies or mass deployments, the higher cost cannot be either paid or justified. I hate MS, but they work to be the best at middle of the line software. This is where most people buy. Apple claims to be long term price competitive. However, it is the intitial investment which stops them from making the sale. They do just use stadard hardware so there is no reason for the added cost. I've run OS X on AMD and other non-apple machines just fine. OS X is nothing more than another Linux GUI. I just bought a new laptop. I wanted a Mac, but I found a nice system for $500 that does what I need. The cheapest Mac was $1300 or so.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

for all the new, kit, infra-structures changes, training and so so forth then. I can picture the response now. How much???? Are you mad ! A shake of then head. A consultant fetched in to help you with your lack of business alignment.... :(

wdewey@cityofsalem.net
wdewey@cityofsalem.net

I have one Mac user and I have to go in and fix things for him so that he is able to access the stuff he needs fairly regularly. Then there is the work arounds that I have to do because there is no driver support for the brand new printer they purchased for the Mac (which the supplier said was compatible). People some times can't open documents from him because they were created on a Mac. Bill

MKleinpaste
MKleinpaste

I'm posting from it right now and it's great. Fast, and the feature updates make sense.

Systems Guy
Systems Guy

Can you give specifics why it should be avoided?

darpoke
darpoke

I just noticed that! It's avoidable, though. Either use fast user switching and just go to the login screen when you leave your desk, or simply control admin rights more closely. There's no need to give every user administrator privileges. In fact that's almost universally a bad idea. If you can't trust your administrators, you're screwed either way right?

darpoke
darpoke

to enjoy the fact that Macs are still a tiny chunk of market share. If they were a direct competitor to Windoze boxes, that no-viruses dream experience would be completely over. It's purely a numbers game that sees millions of Windows boxes in botnets churning out spam. The fact is there's probably 50-100 of them to every Mac at home... Who would you target? Of course, if the market leader had any kind of security or stability, and wasn't reliant on crippleware IE, the malware situation would be nowhere near as dire as it's managed to get.

JulesLt
JulesLt

I find Citrix to work fine to connect to our network. I don't know if this will help, but the biggest issue was around getting it to work with an internally created certificate. Even if you accept the certificate in the browser, OS X will not automatically install any certificates into the main keychain, so the Citrix software does not pick them up. I needed to extract the certificate, then manually import it into the keychain as a recognised root authority, using an Admin account. Not exactly straight-forward, but I can see where they're coming from (not letting the browser install things read elsewhere). (Ditto the Citrix/Java plugin - which uses the Java keychain - which means fiddling around at the command line).

MKleinpaste
MKleinpaste

To which: 1. Pwn2Own is theoretical not real world. Very specific actions that can't be replicated on a higher scale were required to penetrate the system. Ergo not a measure of true security! 2. One penetration does not make OS X less secure. To date there is not one single virus in the wild for OS X. Every virus for OS X requires someone with administrative credentials to ignore the multiple warnings that pop-up (including with the Pwn2Own vulnerability) and manually install the virus. Yet almost constantly I have to apply some mitigation to my freakin' windows servers due to US-CERT advisories detailing how easy it is to take full control of my Winblow$ servers/workstations with no user activity at all. 3. Every OS failed Pwn2Own via flaws in their browsers. Windows was no exception. 4. The only reason Vista took longer (not much) was due to the last minute application of SP1 to the system. FYI the single flaw in Safari was plugged not long after. It's bloody awesome how often morons cite this game as proof of OS X's "insecurity" yet ignore how often Windows is ACTUALLY compromised in real world use while OS X still remains unscathed. And no, it's not due to marketshare. I don't care about quantity show me quality.

thoiness
thoiness

Then you don't belong near a fortune 500 company's infrastructure let alone be accredited by any institution. Harsh? Perhaps, but an eye for an eye ;) While we're playing tit for tat, how much does an equally specced PC to a MAC cost? Oh wait, I forgot... MAC users are "above" the whole "corporate" "man" thing. Ok, then why would we view your opinions as anything short of cannon fodder in a corporate discussion?

JulesLt
JulesLt

Try turning on the Accesibility options (which allow you to then navigate the menus via Keyboard). Also orobably worth getting something like KeyCue to help learn program specific shortcuts, and perhaps start looking at Automator and AppleScript - the keyboard macro system on OS X is easily programmable and extensible.

GoboSlayer
GoboSlayer

In my experiences, the AD integration that Apple touts is not nearly good enough to be viable for an organization relying heavily upon AD, with the obvious one being group policy. And I cannot for the life of me understand the bootcamp argument. Dual boot your Mac (and pay for a Windows license) just so you can have the apps you need? Why not just use Windows!?! I seriously doubt the support cost argument you make. I've been in several ad agencies that have no IT staff and 30+ PCs and less than 6 Macs. These same shops have the local Mac repair shop on retainer and no contract with anyone for PC support.

kcgil
kcgil

I agree with your premise. With Virtualization and Dual Boot and now direct Exchange support Macs can easily fit into any environment. At my company 3 out of about 80 employees had Macs and the company wrote software for the Windows environment. There was less support the 3 of us than any 3 Windows-based employees. Regarding someone else's comments on HIPPA and FERPA- There are many applications that use Macs and meet those requirements.

pjb
pjb

Bootcamp or Parallels is fine for the small design firm that needs PC functionality from time to time or a home user. But the idea of a large company installing bootcamp on thousands of desktops is just stupid when you can give the same user a much less costly PC that meets their needs perfectly well. Windows might someday fade away but when it does, it'll be replaced by something equally utilitarian and dull. Not a slick OS that reinvents itself (and obsoleting it's installed base of software in the process) every three or four years.

reggaethecat
reggaethecat

Having your staff running Windows on top of OSX means you have to support twice as many operating systems so your administration is more, not less, complex. Plus you will need to buy a Windows licence to run on it as well. Add to this that you then have to train your staff in central OSX administration (different from just using it at home). Then add to the mix the fact that an Apple laptop will cost up to FOUR TIMES as much as an equivalent Windows one, and a desktop around the same. It makes no sense whatsoever to run Macs unless you need some particular software which isn't available for Windows. This same reason goes for Linux too. Until most applications are run remotely, either via a browser or some kind of remote client like RDP or Citrix, everyone will continue to use Windows. It makes no financial sense to do otherwise.

emile.vandermerwe
emile.vandermerwe

My organisation specialises in supporting a wide variety of platforms for the software we support. One of the wisest decisions we'd made was to standardise on the Mac platform. Those who specifically need windows applications are quite happily using bootcamp or VM's. Our MacBooks outperform anything else in this organisation. Across the board, our engineers, developers and architects are exceedingly happy with their machines and more productive as a result. As an added bonus, you can go weeks and months without having to restart (!). Blue screens are now defined as being devoid of a desktop wallpaper. The exorbitant premium these machines come at is to Apple's detriment and the sole reason why my home infrastructure remains pure linux.

beechC23
beechC23

Pretty much my only personal use for Windows now as well (well, I prefer classic jets like the DC-8, which I fly when the weather's too bad to fly a real plane). Also when I want to shoot up some planes with Combat Flight Sim... great stress breaker! With Boot camp, no problem. The only issue I have is that it's usually been so long since I've run Vista (I do use XP more often on my other machine for work, for application testing), I waste an hour waiting for all the updates to download and install....

JulesLt
JulesLt

Most IT departments are still undermanned, so I can really sympathise as to why they like to standardise on one platform and typically one or two hardware vendors - if you're going to be supporting and repairing kit, it makes life a lot easier if there are few variations. Of course, you could see it as an opportunity to increase your skills ? or that it?s the IT departments job to provide what the users need. The problem is that the IT departments often don?t know what their users need, and are often pressurised to reduce costs, so end up making decisions that affect user productivity. Looking at the CIO comments, the biggest disappointment is to see that the stereotype of ?Macs are graphic design machines? is still holding true ? as anyone who write software knows, this isn?t true ? they?re a great development, and general computing platform too. Equally, I think many people, when stating that Macs don?t run Windows software (without the cost of a Windows licence anyway) have never really looked at the Mac software market to see what they?re missing ? I?ll take OmniGraffle over Visio, and Keynote over Powerpoint anyday, because the end results look far better, and they are both far cheaper products (most like-for-like software on the Mac does tend to be cheaper, possibly due to reduced development costs). However, I do realise that most ?line of business? apps locked themselves into Windows a long time ago - most of them are still pre .NET - and porting that kind of software is relatively hard and expensive ? you cannot usually just buy another off-the-shelf file compatible program. It was also interesting to see a couple of education CIOs in there, as this is an area where Mac specific software is strong, and in certain subjects pretty much defines the industry standard (Final Cut Studio, Logic) in a way that MS Office does for offices. I?d expect at least some Mac presence there, if only under the ?industry experience? line, and I think an outright rejection - or standardisation on any single platform - is a foolish move in education. Equally, there?s just the general ?productivity? of the operating system. For instance almost all OS X software has shared a common dictionary from the off (any text widget gets spell-checking and a variety of other services for free). It's actually these minor details, added up, that make it a more productive platform to me, rather than the eye-candy. Windows 7 (and IE8's data detectors) close the gap, a lot, but the point is that OS X was there with a lot of this 5 years ago. Then again, no one counts user productivity against IT costs, just the IT costs - I know of at least one client who pulled CPU capacity from their d/b servers, to save licencing costs, even though that directly affected the performance of the system for hundreds of staff. Yet if someone said they could boost staff productivity by 5% for $15 a year, I'm sure senior management would back it. To me this emphasises the point - IT delivers what it is asked for. For what it?s worth ? Exchange Support strikes me as one of the least interesting aspects of Snow Leopard ? the interesting parts are all around changes in the underlying development tools ? blocks, GCD and OpenCL ? which will make it easier for developers to write concurrent software, and the rapid adoption of new versions of OS X tends to mean that new features get used.

JulesLt
JulesLt

Another BSD GUI, please! OS X certainly includes GPL and BSD components, but definitely does not include the Linux kernel (which is surely what defines a system as Linux?). Also, let's not underestimate the effort that goes into developing a good consistent GUI. Agreed on the pricing - you can get an adequate (not equivalent) machine for far less, and the gap continues to widen. Fewer and fewer people need the extra performance high end machines offer - the only mitigation against that is if people seriouslty get into video.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Who said rip and tear, that's how you could (if you are some sort of loon) implement the switch. How on earth did you get the bean counters to go for that? Whether it was blackmail, persistance, or being lucky enough to find one that thinks past year end, congratulations. The way this sort of thing should be looked at and they way it is, are generally two different things. I work for one of the most successful IT firms in the world, not sure what their rules are for this sort of investment, but no way is it five years. You should hand out some tips by the way, it's all I can do to get permission to change a variable name....

MKleinpaste
MKleinpaste

Submitted and approved, thank you smart@$$. We already have been doing this. And yes, we crunched the numbers and in the long run, Macs are in fact cheaper. Macs requires MUCH less management software, suffers far less hardware failures, are compromised even less often (read: none) and thus have less overall support requirements. Apple also has one of the highest customer support satisfactions in the industry resulting in streamlined support calls. Up front costs are not the big picture and any C-level executive should know this. Initial purchase costs are only a fraction of the overall cost for any system. Any CIO/CTO that bases their purchases on up front costs alone should be fired. Every purchase should be made with expected costs out to 5 years. And anyone suggesting a rip and tear conversion should be fired as well and never allowed back into the IT field either. Not for spending the money, but for suggesting a conversion so invasive as that. Conversions should be phased across several fiscal periods. Firstly so liquid assets aren't depleted too quickly on equipment that would sit unused and depreciating at the same time and secondly a phased deployment eases the overall transition for the employees as well as allowing your IT team to deploy the new systems while doing their day-to-day duties. What tail light consulting service do you work for?

JulesLt
JulesLt

The foundation of OS X is BSD, the foundation of Safari is WebKit, and the included programming languages and compilers are all open source too - even the Apple-led ones like Clang/llvm. Which is not to say there are no opaque parts - notably, the weakest part of OS X seems to be Quicktime - a constant source of security problems on OS X and Windows. But it does draw a lot of strength from open source Unix.

darpoke
darpoke

I've got a FreeBSD install on a spare Mac Mini at work, and just installed one of the latest versions of Puppy Linux to a USB flash drive. It's a gorgeous little distro. I play with both in my lunch hour. The puppy's just for me but the FreeBSD build is the same as the virtual server we lease to host our company mailserver so I'm learning the directory structure to better administer it remotely. It's so good to work with alternate OSes, in a way it really blows the whole Mac/Windows debate into irrelevancy... All the best!

lonepsycho
lonepsycho

"It seems the sensible choices, given this, are to use something that has fewer eyes on it - OS X - or that was developed with many eyes - Linux. " Couldn't agree more. I'm not windoze evangelist. I use it as I need it but now I love Linux or BSD more. in both later cases it depends what i love more o tasks i do :)

lonepsycho
lonepsycho

"And what I was driving at was that the fact that the Mac platform is virus free is due to the miniscule number of Mac clients online as opposed to Windows boxes - the MS users represent a far, far larger target. This is the true source of the safety in OS X. It's fairly well accepted." My English must be really terrible, because that's exactly what I've said. "But please, please - don't try to compare IE with Safari, or Firefox or any other browser you care to mention. It's a crime against software." What points of "software" are we trying to compare? security? (remember? firefox... botnet...).

darpoke
darpoke

I think what you were paraphrasing was "Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow" - it's a quote from Eric S. Raymond's The Cathedral and the Bazaar, attributed to Linus Torvalds. Check out the Wikipedia entry. I completely agree with you on that. It's a strong argument against monolithic software design, particularly in something as basic, low-level and fundamental as an OS. It totally explains the reason why Windows and IE in particular have suffered so at the hands of malware propagators. It seems the sensible choices, given this, are to use something that has fewer eyes on it - OS X - or that was developed with many eyes - Linux.

darpoke
darpoke

How many people are going to spout that fact as though it ends an argument? PWN2OWN is hardly an indictment of the Mac platform. That kid spent over a week honing the hack that won it for him. The whole manoeuvre was contingent on him convincing a user to browse to a malicious site. It's not quite the 30-second pants-down hack everyone seems to think. Really, now. And what I was driving at was that the fact that the Mac platform is virus free is due to the miniscule number of Mac clients online as opposed to Windows boxes - the MS users represent a far, far larger target. This is the true source of the safety in OS X. It's fairly well accepted. But please, please - don't try to compare IE with Safari, or Firefox or any other browser you care to mention. It's a crime against software.

lonepsycho
lonepsycho

"Of course, if the market leader had any kind of security or stability, and wasn't reliant on crippleware IE, the malware situation would be nowhere near as dire as it's managed to get." it almost has nothing to do with authors efforts to make software malware proof. every software is not bugsfree. actualy numer of bugs (functional or security related it doesn't matter) in software is proportional to how popular software is. I mean there's always is a bug but more peaple find it quicker thats a fact of life. and by the way, in last two PWN2OWN events MAC fell first, this fact sais something, doesn't it?

wdewey@cityofsalem.net
wdewey@cityofsalem.net

I am glad the citrix client works fine for you, but look at the documentation and you will find that it does not support everything that the Windows client does. There are also known issues with the client that do not exist on the windows version. Also, I did not say the client didn't work, rather that the glitches causes the user to dread connecting with her Mac. Bill

MKleinpaste
MKleinpaste

As far as the article, the content of the article is pure drivel. Interviewing 10 people that don't use it gives a skewed perspective on it's actual value to "the enterprise". 90% of these people still think OS X works like OS 9, which is tantamount to comparing Windows 98 to Red Hat ES5. OS X is a complete rewrite from OS 9. On top of that, the misconceptions about it's enterprise management capabilities are staggering. As far as the vulnerability of OS X. There's hyperbole on both sides of the fence. On the marketing side (which is typical for marketing) they spout how OS X has no viruses. True in the fact that there are none "in the wild". False in that they do in fact exist. On the other side of the fence is the "Market Share" argument, which never sets well with me regardless of the platform being targeted. It seems to make sense because we assume ubiquity equals validation. However, the real argument is that of "Quality vs. Quantity". People assume that because Windows has more market share that their products are targeted more often and thus get penetrated more often. This is tantamount to saying, "Joe Cool is a stud because he gets gonorrhea more often." This argument does not take into account the percentage of actual "in the wild" viruses which can't simply be discounted because of "market share". Statistically speaking, if "market share" were the only contributing factor, then OS X should have at least a few "in the wild" viruses floating around causing havoc with unsuspecting user's Macs. One at the very least. The fact that there has not been a single virus "in the wild" proves that "market share" alone is not a valid, or at least not the only metric involved in determining an OS's overall security profile.

GoboSlayer
GoboSlayer

Was the number of vulnerabilities clearly tipping higher on the Mac in later years. This kind of makes sense. The Mac user base is growing... so too will it's problems.

MKleinpaste
MKleinpaste

Before you post better make sure you know what the hell you're talking about. First off. I am not Mac fanatic. I am a Windows admin that's been converted. I never said OS X was invulnerable. That's foolish. All operating systems have vulnerabilities. And all OS's get patches for them. However, OS X is a full Unix system. The Unix security subsystems prevent autonomous installation of applications (including viruses) as services. OS X being a fully compliant Unix system benefits from the Unix security paradigm. Therefore, OS X being a Unix system is just a hell of a lot harder to compromise than a certain "other" OS. Learn your terms before you spout off as well. The existence of a vulnerability or virus/Trojan does not automatically put them "in the wild". For a virus to be classified as "in the wild" (As defined by the man who coined the term, Paul Ducklin, now with Sophos), "it must be spreading as a result of normal day-to-day operations on and between the computers of unsuspecting users." Spreading ...normal operations... ...between computers... ...of unsuspecting users. That means the virus has to replicate itself, between systems, without the user(s) interaction. The problem with every virus that has been created for OS X so far is that they have required user interaction to install. And even so have, as of yet, never compromised the root user. Every single one. To date, no virus for OS X has been able to self-replicate between hosts. Ergo, there have been no viruses "in the wild" for OS X. Call me a liar all you want, it doesn't change these facts. You find me a US-CERTS statement saying as much and I'll retract my statement. Any article that claims they "found a wild virus for OS X" are crap as soon as they also report that a user has to actually download and install it themselves. Here's the WildLists. Find me an "in the wild" OS X virus listed there. Good Luck. Avira Full Wild List - http://thurly.net//4l2 FortiGaurd Wild List (as of 8/2009) - http://thurly.net//4l3

Antediluvian Paladin
Antediluvian Paladin

What Planet Are You From MKleinpaste? There have been more then just the one hack of MAC OS X, many more. And viruses in the wild? If you'd been keeping up with your reading, you would know of the increase of visuses in the wild for MAC. It's bloody awesome how often MAC morons cling to the idea that MAC is a secure system when there is so much evidence out there to the contrary.

GoboSlayer
GoboSlayer

I'll grant that they've nailed the sleep functionality. It's definitely bounds ahead of most PC manufacturers. As a developer, I make extensive use of keyboard shortcuts, specifically using the SHIFT+Page up/down keys and the Home and End keys (the MacBook i use does not have these, yet any PC laptop does). I can get the Page function by holding down on Command (i think) and hitting the up arrow, but I frequently highlight large bodies of text using shift+page up/down. On a Mac this would be Command+SHIFT+Up Arrow. Sounds trivial, but that kind of thing wears over time. But the absence of the Home and End keys are the biggest beef I have because I use these to quickly navigate through lines of code. These key combinations have become so useful to me that I use them when writing code, documentation, emails... anything really. Again it sounds trivial (and I know the Mac has other shortcut solutions), but the absence of this is critical to me. So, can you fill me in on why Apple doesn't have these keys? Is it to keep the keyborad looking even? I honestly don't know... I've heard and seen the expose argument. I think it's valid when comparing OS X with XP, but it kind of dwindles when Vista/7 flip 3D achieves the same thing. Again, just my opinion. I guess I don't entirely understand the backward compatability argument. This is a huge savings for anyone using legacy software on the Windows platform. A clear check in the win column for PC vs. Mac if you ask me.

JulesLt
JulesLt

Can you not see the merits, or have you never actually seriously looked at the differences? For me, the merits are largely in the implementation of small details - things like the way that even the cheapest Mac laptops have implemented S3 sleep properly - rather than full hibernation, you can just shut the lid, open the lid two days later, and carry on typing a couple of seconds later. This completely changes the way you use a laptop - I can just pick mine up, check something on Google, and close the lid again, without waiting even for it to boot from hibernation. Of course Windows machines can do this too - but the majority of vendors do not bother. The ability to select a piece of text, or web link, and then drag that into the dock to open a new document (say a mail) is something I regularly do. Expose is also something that I miss every day on XP (although with the changes in both Snow Leopard and Windows 7, both operating systems now have an almost identical approach). Having a system wide dictionary, grammar checker and thesaurus, implemented in any text widget is a great idea too - especially when you can easily extend that dictionary - you can add foreign language support to all your third party software. The concept of services is also a great way of connecting programs - which has been nicely refined in Snow Leopard - where basically programs can publish a list of services they offer on a specific type of data (similar to how a clipboard allows you to move data between programs - imagine services as methods on the clipboard - that's a simplification). Drag'n'drop actually works between most programs too, to a degree where you can depend on it working. These features are largely due to the underlying development framework - Cocoa. I wouldn't say it's 100% better than .NET - experienced developers praise and curse it just as much - but the key point is that unlike .NET/C# - most OS X desktop software has (had) to be rewritten, and largely using the same integrated framework. In contrast, Windows emphasis on backward compatibility, and larger number of third-party development tools (Delphi before Visual Studio, etc) means that there is far less consistency / integration between third party applications. None of this strikes me as 'fashion', but is the kind of thing you will miss, if only looking at the surface. Regardless of whether Macs are generally suitable for the Enterprise (and I think in most cases, there are good arguments against) I do think that as IT people, we should be making informed judgements, rather than ones based on opinions. For Mac advocates, that also means spending time with Windows 7, and Linux KDE and Gnome desktops, before mouthing off.

GoboSlayer
GoboSlayer

A friend of mine bought a MacBook ($1400 or something like that and not the aluminum one) and the case cracked 6 months later. I on the other hand, am still working on the same HP ($700 at that) two years later without blemish. They look nice. People like them. That's fine. I just can't see them ever being my product of choice nor can I see the merits that possess (which are mostly fashion in my opinion) ever out weighing the merits of the PC in business.

Intellicomm
Intellicomm

Your key phrase is "up to" four times the cost. Then don't spend that. A well decked out Macbook Pro is $1,500. A WELL decked out Dell is about the same. I can't argue with you on the cost of running two OS's. We do it on 2 Macs, that's enough.

t.rohner
t.rohner

I work with both Macs and PC's for the last 20 years. Both sides had their share of broken compatibility: Mac 68000, PowerPC, Intel, SCSI, USB, ADB, IEEE1394 PC DOS, Win16, Win32 -------------------Vista I would say, that Mac users had to upgrade their hard and software more often to new standards, that were incompatible with their ancestors. I can still run win16(Win3.0) software on XP/Win7 and i think this makes it interesting for business and production environments. I don't need flashy or transparent icons to run a 200+ k$ production machine, but i need to be able to replace the controlling PC with a new one that runs my software. Sure, it's possible to rewrite a business software for MacOS, but why should i. I even had compatibility issues in different OSX versions. Macs have their heritage in the graphic world, since they came out with a GUI from the start.(Although MacPaint or MacWrite were unusable to do DTP) Apple needed 3rd party Software to be useful,the same as Windows. Apple makes very nice hardware, always did. A little overpriced, especially in the beginning, but i always liked it. I also think, that OSX is the only usable desktop-unix for the masses and may be superior to windows. There is software for most tasks as well. But there are some tasks, some company specific tailored software, that runs on windows only and would be very expensive to rewrite, just to do the same thing on a Mac. I always chuckle over the almost religious fights between Mac and PC proponents. (Where Apple seems to have the better preachers ;-) I just can't recommend a Mac, where a PC fits perfectly into the puzzle. Not for me, not for our customers...

ekeith
ekeith

I agree with the cost of keeping up two OS types for one purpose. Needless redundancy can only cost more money. On the laptop issue, however I must challenge you a little. If you can do what you need to without windows, I believe the Mac makes a good case. 1) Up front cost is more - hardware for hardware. 2) Longterm costs are much less. I have several friends who bought macs for their kids in highschool which are still useful until after college. They have spent almost ZERO time on maintenance, driver problems, malware/spyware removal etc. I cannot say the same for any of the laptops we have at work with much more competent users. Bottom line is, if you do not mind the tinkering and administration, a Windows laptop will cost less hard $$ (if you can get it to last as long as the mac). I think overall it is a wash.

JulesLt
JulesLt

There's an element of 'the laptop hunters' to this comparison - choose the comparisons you like (RAM size, screen size) and consider the others to be irrelevant - i.e. the motherboard chipset, GPU and the specific model of CPU all have very real and noticable impacts on the performance of the machine. I'm not making any case that this makes them suitable for work - for the vast majority of employees, client performance is no longer an issue - even the lowest end laptop can run XP and Office with good performance - and I'm well aware of the cost of changing existing (working) systems. Equally, there are still places where performance matters - I was talking to our finance director yesterday about how much productivity we are losing through slow compilation time - biggest cause - slow disk speeds in laptops - and the standard disk speed in a MacBook Pro is still as slow. On the other hand, if I was setting up a firm from scratch, I'd certainly consider using Mac Minis - especially given the ability to cut out Exchange licence costs with OS X server, and the generally cheaper cost of OS X software / lower running costs. Presuming no business dependency on Windows only software, of course!

beechC23
beechC23

We often confuse "price" with "value". When I bought a new laptop for my kid's first year in college a couple of weeks ago, I sprung extra for the MacBook Pro because I figured the solid aluminium case would better stand the rigors of a 17-y.o. than the plastic case of the MacBook. I've since converted the whole family to Mac, and since the application my employer produces runs on both Mac and PC I have a 15" MacBook Pro for work, dual boot into either OS X or XP, and with virtualization (VMWare) to run a virtual Windows Server 2003 machine. It all works seamlessly, and at home I no longer have to be the family Tech Support guru. You get what you pay for. I've been running my Intel Mac Pro at home for 3 years now and there's no immediate need to upgrade other than maybe add some RAM. By the time 3 years were up on any previous PC I owned, I was desperate to replace it with a better machine.

reggaethecat
reggaethecat

Find the cheapest Windows laptop of the spec I named that you can. Then compare it to the cheapest Apple laptop of a similar spec. 4 times the price. If you want a desktop (including a flat screen monitor) then it is about 3 times the price. No point splitting hairs. The thing is, Apple obviously don't want 95% of the corporate business as they want to be a niche player. It suits them to be seen as cool and fashionable which is fine by me, but you can't just wish things into being the way you want.

lonepsycho
lonepsycho

lets take all the machinery to drive in the freakin' nail into the wall when a simple hammer is required. a man simply compaired what you can get to do the business not "just get". everything has it's purpose, and MAC's purpose is to be luxurious computing device, its nice, its shiny, it has all those whitles and bells, but so what? do I need a superb car to make five steps down the road?

ExCorpGuy
ExCorpGuy

A search of leftover laptops runs around $900 USD for your model. If you believe that your laptop specs and design compare to the MacBook Pro, I wish you the best of luck. Obviously nothing such as the design of the MacBook nor its use of OS/X will change your mind. One more person who does not think beyond the norm is too bad.

reggaethecat
reggaethecat

My current work laptop cost about ?360, it is an HP Compaq 6730s with a 15" screen, dual core, 3GB RAM and 250GB disk space. Do I care about the graphics card or what chipset the motherboard uses? No I do not. It runs Windows 7 fine and therefore all the apps I need to do my job. The cheapest 15" Macbook on the Apple UK website is ?1299. Add to that the cost of a Windows licence (say ?65) and the cost is around 4 times as much. Like I say, add to that the training and extra admin and it makes no sense whatsoever. I speak as someone who uses an iMac at home and I love it, but do I want to double my workload and effectively support twice as many computers at 4 times the cost? Nope. Or manybe my employer would like to take on extra staff? I don't think so. What do you think my finance director would say?

JulesLt
JulesLt

Your 4 times figure is incorrect. You can certainly get Windows machines at nearly a quarter of the price, but they are definitely not 'equivalent'. Take a look at Dell's pricing for it's cheapest machines, and play around with changing the CPU - you can rapidly add hundreds onto the price. When I looked last year, you needed to go quite a way up Dell's range before you found anything with the DDR3/1066 FSB architecture used by the MacBook (which adds about 15% onto the performance). By the time I'd created a machine with the same spec, the gap was actually ?75 before VAT (comparing list price - smart shoppers get discounts on both Apple and Dell). So there is definitely a premium on Apple hardware, but it is - in no way - four times. For personal use, I think this is offset by the benefits (single-piece case, magsafe power adaptor, instant off/on on closing/opening the lid) but I can understand the case in business to always go for cheapest option. The problem is that Apple refuse to engage in the low-end/low-profit end of the market (their claims about performance of low-end machines are daft, seeing as they were using the same CPUs and memory that is now cheap, in their machines 3 years ago). But . . . well, I don't try and say that my 850cc car is 'equivalent' with a BMW, just because they both do the job.

ExCorpGuy
ExCorpGuy

Macs do not cost four times the cost of PC hardware for the same specifications. Sure you can get bare bones laptops for under $500 USD, but what if you compare the specs of components per machine? In the US, you can purchase a 13 inch MacBook Pro for $1,199 USD or a 15 inch MacBook Pro for $1,699 USD. Tell me that a bargain laptop can withstand the rigors of daily abuse that a single block of aluminum body can. Go ahead and spec them out the same and see what the price really is part per part. A typical Dell laptop will run around $1,200 USD in their 14" and 15" machines. I personally would not bet the farm that such a machine would stand up against the rigors of daily use like a single block of machined aluminum in the Mac.

darpoke
darpoke

- despite the fact I'm a Mac user. The truth is, it makes financial sense to run things as they tend to be run, with predominantly Windows architecture. Why spend money buying decent food for your employees when you can feed them cheap rubbish in the canteen? Why get professional office furniture when you can buy SOHO cupboards from Ikea? They might fall apart after six months but they cost a tenth of the price, hey? Why buy a proper laser printer when you can get a cheap one from Argos? It will break down, jam, and report toner as being empty at 20% capacity. But it'll save money on a one-off purchase. The simple fact is most business decisions are made with the bottom line in mind, and this mindset punishes higher expenditure when there is a cheaper alternative and the only difference is quality. Monolithic companies that view employees as chattel are unlikely ever to re-examine this practice, and as a result will remain tied to the Windows upgrade, broken compatibility and proprietary standards path. As long as this continues, the companies that produce critical software that is magically only Windows compatible will neglect to support any other platform. Because they have bottom lines too. The whole cycle of bloody closed-mindedness has probably kept many businesses afloat for a long time. It will also prevent most from ever realising that there are better ways out there. It may not be wise or productive, but that's the way the world works. I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for it to change.

rpollard
rpollard

This is the policy I want to adopt but am fighting the battle with management to make it policy. This is truly the way it should be. If users want Linux, Mac, Windows or even Open Solaris it shouldn't matter to IT. Just so long the user is happy and productive. Managers in companies tend to dictate the platforms and don't understand this. Kudo to you for bringing to light what is really important.

len.whitten
len.whitten

Well said - our Mac users are typically very self-supporting - they just do not have the same level of issues that Windows users have. Things in general are much more intuitive, and the spirals of death do not occur as much. What we find works the best though is simply to enable our users to be the most productive that they can be, whether it is on a Mac or a PC. It is EXTREMELY important for corporate IT support to realize that they are there to make things better, easier, and more efficient for users, and not for users to conform to what makes things easier for IT.

bluwtrsal
bluwtrsal

Like you, David, I worked in an environment where I was the only technogeek in the building. I served as IT/Support/IS/network builder/maintainer/fixer for an elementary school. We had over 150 Macs in the lab, in the office, on teacher and admin desks, in classrooms. We went from a thin net to a fibre optic net through 4 convolutions in as many years. We ran every program on our computers that ran in the Windows schools, as required by district policy. When it came to the district trying to force us to replace our Macs with Windows machines, I brought to the table several items: Cost per machine to purchase, upgrade, new software, training -$1,200 per unit. District response: Well, you would, of course have to limit your purchase to 50 computers, including the computer lab, of course. From 150+ computers throughout the school to a 35 computer lab and no class computers, 2 teachers sharing a computer, office staff and admin sharing a computer because Win machines were "so much cheaper to purchase." I brought in cost of ownership and return on investment reports - a quarter of same, with more machines, than their Win counterparts. District response: these figures are obviously false. Although the backup to each and every figure was on the table, not a single person even looked at them. Cost of IT/support for current and 2 previous years. Number of calls to district tech support: 0. Number of outside consultants:0. Number of times outside consultants were required to perform networking/upgrading/dating/virus issues: 0 District response: Inaccurate figures - despite District IT department being there and confirming. Total overall cost ratio 12 to 1, with Windows machines being 12 times more expensive to purchase and maintain. District response: Inaccurate figures. I cannot fathom where their brains were parked, but we kept our Macs. Which gave us more money to use to improve our school and students.

Slayer_
Slayer_

So my framerates, tends to spike a lot and be weak under load. But I tried the crysis demo and average roughly 30-60 FPS on mid graphics

Partners in Grime
Partners in Grime

Significant numbers of teachers are literally begging to use Macs and its iLife applications. The IT drones, superintendent, board, and bean counters won't remotely consider the idea. Upsetting and sad. What can we do?

Intellicomm
Intellicomm

$3k? I have two new Macbook Pro's and they cost $1,500 each, decked out. Maybe the shop broke the video card. Maybe they didn't connect a cable properly (most likely). It sounds like you are ranting because some people look down on Windows machines. Relax. I love building PC machines, but I use Macs when I can to get things done faster. And I seriously doubt you can play Crysis on your old piecemealed system. I have a new top end gaming PC (custom built by me) and my framerates are only 55fps. This gaming PC cost $3k.

Intellicomm
Intellicomm

I think you are right, to a point. Spending a little time training goes a long way. I have spent over 100 manhours training staff how to use Office 2007 (from 2003). Over 80% of my tickets are Office related, not OS related. But that volume dropped to almost zero after a few training sessions. We have both Macs and PC's and I field less calls from the Mac side for software and hardware issues. It's about a 5 to 1 ratio right now (PC being the 5). But I also have to take into account that the PC users are all over 60, and have trouble logging in, let alone trying to resolve a problem on their own. No-one but me is a technophile.

Slayer_
Slayer_

I built a system from scratch using retail parts for 400 bucks. Some pieces of reused hardware are now 12 years old (The primary HDD alone is 6 years old, going on 7 very soon, 100% performance, 99% fitness). But I don't need DDR3 to have snappy performance, I don't need a 1k dollar processor to do graphic editing. And unlike a Mac, I can play the latest and greatest games, and use the latest and greatest software that can properly take advantage of my hardware. And when my hardware falls behind, I can spend another 400 bucks and be right back ahead. Meanwhile my neighbor dropped his Mac off at my house last week claiming it wouldn't start. HDD was shot. He got it fixed two days ago (Mac shop fixed it, not me), but now claims his screen is turning green and yellow randomly and occasionally there are coloured blocks showing up in his movies... Video card is dying??? Piece of crap... Probably just luck of the draw, but still, for 3k, it should be perfect.

darpoke
darpoke

for presenting a succinct and well-reasoned argument. It's head and shoulders above anything I've managed to contribute thus far. And it's good to see someone else has bothered to research what new developments this OS updates actually represents. For my two cents, Vista and Leopard marked a similar move for both Redmond and Cupertino - a shift towards 64-bit computing without distancing the existing client base, and Snow Leopard and W7 similarly are shedding a lot of the bloat of their predecessors while beefing up processing capabilities. With this in mind I'd like to know why people have failed to see that at ?25, Snow Leopard represents on of the cheapest OS upgrades ever offered. I'd love to see where W7 will weigh in at but I'm fully expecting no fewer than 7 price point, ranging from the deliberately crippled, artificially reduced ?70 version, to the fully featured ?200-?250 'ultimate' edition. (It's a cheap comment but I can't resist pointing out that 'ultimate' is aptly named, meaning as it does 'final, or last' - Windows indeed being the last thing I would think of installing on any machine of mine.) I'd also like to mention how disappointed I am that educators would not consider straying from Windows machines in their classes/faculties. I personally feel that indoctrinating children from the stage of full-time education onwards on a single platform is bad enough without making that platform Windows. No wonder our schools and colleges do little but churn out computer-illiterate Windoze users who cause the 'stumbling block' that moving to Mac appears to represent to these CIOs. It seems that unless people have specifically studied computing or IT they are doomed to a lifetime of Luddite incomprehension of the little glowing box on which most of their careers depend. I don't think that the fact they've grown up using Windows at school is a coincidence, nor do I think that the vast market adoption of Windows machines in the home or the workplace is unrelated to the start these future employees get in school. The proliferation of Windows machines and the proliferation of books 'for dummies' seem to go hand-in-hand. PCs so simple a dummy can use them? No wonder most of the userbase end up dummies. Better keep them on the bottle, now, hey?

Slvrknght
Slvrknght

Now, this argument will have more holes than a block of swiss cheese, but here goes. Hardware tickets might go down, but depending on your shop, you may be looking at a flood of calls regarding usage. Users who have never blinked at Macs before would cause unknown headaches. Personal experience has taught me that, when a largely computer illiterate group of people follow the hype and grab a Mac (not even being forced to use one in an office) they really have no idea what they are getting themselves into when it comes to a new (read=different) operating system. That being said. After enough time goes by, those calls will drop as well.

FLphotodude
FLphotodude

Many people fail to realize that with slightly more expensive hardware comes significantly improved reliability. This means a cost savings and understaffed IT departments would enjoy a drop in tickets. In addition, even though these systems would still be running Windoze and still subject to its mannerisms, users would still see a bump in overall OS/user experience reliability IMO. These factors would actually end up saving the IT department time and allow them to become more proactive. Scott

Editor's Picks