How to bring MAC OS into Windows Office Environment

By IntelliTechs ·
Hi guys

I have a client that wants to replace her current Dell laptop (with docking station) with a Macbook (and docking station) in her office. All the other PC's on the network are Dell and are Windows based.

I have never attempted this and would just like some more information and suggestions on how to go about doing this.

i.e - which Macbook and docking station you suggest,additional software needed for her work to continue as normal,any compatibility issues I should be aware of.

Thanks in advance.

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All Answers

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What exactly is it that she does?

by OH Smeg In reply to How to bring MAC OS into ...

If she wants or needs to use Microsoft Applications she needs to understand that most will not run on a MAC unless you load Windows which sort of defeats the purpose of the MAC to begin with.

But here are some TR Articles that may be a good starting point.


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Here's a "smart guy" answer...

go online and find images of the Apple logo...print them off and stick them over
the top of her Dell logo decals...VOILA...all done! Of course, you need to be
sure and remove her kit from her office first, take them to your work room,
give yourself a couple of hours to perform this magic, then with much fanfare
and whatnot about the difficulties she just perpetrated upon you, yet you have
slain the beast and managed to network her new Apple kit!

But seriously, check out Cols links for more advice, and as he says, it all depends
on what she does on her system.

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Reponse To Answer

by OH Smeg In reply to Here's a "smart guy" answ ...

I actually have seen things like that in the past.

One guy who has a MSI NB stuck a Apple Logo Sticker on his MSI that came with his iPod. From way outside the office it looked for all the world like a MacBook Pro and I just had to ask when did this place start using Apples?

Of course when I got inside the room it was obvious but from about 60 feet away it most certainly looked like an Apple.


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by ericbakes In reply to How to bring MAC OS into ...

This is not that big of a deal. Our office runs on Windows SBS and at least half our machines are Macs. Unless you're in an extremely restrictive environment, you can do this. Please don't be afraid... it's really a fun challenge that any systems administrator should be able to tackle.

Connecting a Mac to your network is no problem. Just plug it in and let the DHCP server do its job. If you have a proxy server, just enter the authentication information into the advanced network settings.

If you're running a modern version of Exchange Server, then Outlook 2011 (packaged with Office for Mac 2011) should work just fine. Speaking of Office, compatibility between Office for Mac and Office for Windows isn't a problem. We swap files all day without any major problems (occasionally, in documents that are very tightly formatted, you'll run into spacing issues caused by minor differences in fonts).

File sharing on the network is quite easy. Just connect to the server via SMB protocol and log in with your Windows credentials. Network printing is also not a problem.

The only area where you will run into major problems is if you have a website, say a corporate intranet site, that requires Internet Explorer. In that case, you can install Windows 7 on the Mac under VMWare Fusion and run IE9. Again, it's not a huge deal. I do it all the time.

As for docking station... you might not have much of a choice here. There are a few third-party docking stations, but you might have to forgo this feature.

As a systems administrator who has to manage multiple platforms, I decided to treat myself to an iMac. This allows me to do testing for OS X applications while still having access to Windows. I have found that I rarely even launch my Windows VM -- everything I do is now in Mac OS.

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Make sure you explain possible future problems.

by gdburton In reply to How to bring MAC OS into ...

In my view this is one where you need to make sure that she recognises the responsibility she needs to carry for the decision. For every problem that you help her to overcome there will potentially be another, at some time in the future, that will cause more trouble.
To cover all the bases, you would need a complete list of all the software that she is currently using, or expects to use in the future. Not all of these are likely to have a simple solution like "Office for Mac". So you should make it clear that you can only try to cover the current round of problems. There will be "future ones" that will require more effort and hence more cost.
Try to understand how much the client understands about the implications of switching to Mac. Although it is much easier to "bridge the divide" than used to be the case, it is still far from seamless. (Unless the requirements are very basic.) If this is just a "fashion statement" decision, then the customer needs to understand the potential for problems. But she needs to take responsibility for the decision and be ready to tackle the learning curve too.
As is often the case for 80% of users will only have problems 80% of the time. Its the other 20% that keep up us employed! :-)

Good luck.
Also it is not clear whether you are the sys-sdmin at the office, if not, has she discussed the proposal there?

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by IntelliTechs In reply to How to bring MAC OS into ...

Thanks for the replies. She basically needs to do general admin things. Word docs,spreadshhets,presentaions,Pastel,view mail etc.

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Pay no attention to the Mac-phobes

by kevin In reply to How to bring MAC OS into ...

First, the docking station doesn't matter just make sure it offers all the connections that you are trying to simplify when connecting/disconnecting, since that is really all a docking station does for you.
Second: The Microsoft Office software began on the Mac so integration should be and is pretty much seamless. Forget about what others may say about 'fashion statements'. The Mac is a better system, has more to offer the end-user, and it is easier to administer. If you get stuck trying to get some propietary software package to run use bootcamp or parallels and install Windows if you have to. (Heaven forbid you would have to relegate the Mac to run an inferior OS, but it does work better on a Mac than a PC. Lets just see a PC run OS X without having to HACK it into place)
Oh and for those concerned about Foxxcon and the working conditions, consider this: Where was the Dell built? Ah Ha! Same place!
37% increase in demand for Mac, 3% decrease for demand in PCs
Perhaps IT needs to bone up on what makes a Mac better instead of slamming them, or maybe they don't care about an IT job in the future. Whatever!

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Reponse To Answer

by OH Smeg In reply to Pay no attention to the M ...

And the question was

i.e - which Macbook and docking station you suggest, additional software needed for her work to continue as normal,any compatibility issues I should be aware of.

So exactly how did you address that?

Sure you said something very generic about a Docking Station the remainder had nothing at all to do with that the OP needs to know here.

Sure Microsoft began Developing Software for Apple Products but that in no way means that Microsoft developed Applications for OSX it was developed for the Lidia which ran a different OS and other than a Graphical Interface and the brand there is no connection between Apple and Microsoft Office. Even originally the Microsoft Products developed for the Lidia System there was no Office just a collection of Packages that had no integration.

Yes Microsoft make a Mac Version of Office which will most likely be needed here but you have in no way addressed the questions asked here.

Where will the OP get a Docking Station?

What "Additional" Software will be required. It's all very well insisting that Apple make a better Unit which they do but if it's not going to do the job that the User Requires out of the Box with no Additional Knowledge it's useless.

The Person asking the question here asked whick MacBook & Docking Station with the implication of where and what would be required and what Additional Software would be required and you failed to address any of those questions. :0


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Like all things in life it depends

by stephen.holland In reply to How to bring MAC OS into ...

Let's zip through a quick checklist:
1. Does the environment have an SOE (Standard Operationg Environment)?
2. Yes, what type of profile does the user have and are there are there any Business apps, other than productivity (Office, terminal etc)?, if no go to 4
3. List out the business apps and see if the user in uses them. go to 5
4. Review the Windows apps installed and list them out, again see if the user uses them.
5. For each app the user consumes, is there a Mac version? Some apps don't have a Mac version, such as, MS Access, Act!
6. Identify to your client the apps that need to be relicensed for Mac Versions, and those Apps they will lose.
7. If your user is content to lose some apps, then have them move to Mac OS.

We run a mixed platform, PC's and Apple, we are moving all Apps to be either web based where practical, Virtualised where we based is not an option.

Remember OS X Lion needs current Exchange and current AD infrastructure to be effective. As to comments re Office on Mac, who cares about the history, M$ is the largest developer after Apple itself for OS X.

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Reponse To Answer

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Like all things in life i ...

M$ is the largest developer after Apple itself for OS X. .

Hardly a glowing sales pitch for Apple that as Microsoft only has Office for Mac. If they are the biggest developer for Apple outside Apple there is a lot of Business Class Software that will not run on the Apple Platform and is not even contemplated on being developed.

But I do completely agree with your above post you really need to work with the End User here and define what is required and what she thinks that she wants then work out what is best for her needs.

Apple make some great products and the Mac is most defiantly one of them but if you need to Virtualize Windows on one of Heaven Forbid wipe OSX and Load Windows it's rather self defeating going to the Apple Platform in the first place. If you where to just run Windows on a Mac you would be missing so many of the features that comes with the better System.

However just because Mac is Technically Better than a Windows PC by no means implies that it's for everyone. You have to look at what the user will be doing and supply something that they require not what they think that they Must Have. Unfortunately those Must Have things are more to do with Fashion than any Technical Need so if they just use Office a bit and do some browsing I would suggest that this person sticks with a Windows PC as that is an application that is not the Ideal place for an Mac to prosper in. If anything it will do Apple a Disservice by being way more expensive than a PC and less functional which will do more harm to the Apple Brand than getting it used there in the first place.

I have no issue with a Mixed Environment provided there is a need as apposed to just a Want where the Full Potential of the Mac will never be utilized and worse still do the MAC a major disservice and place them even further back.

This is typical of a lot of people who believe if we could just get everyone to use Insert whatever name you wish here it would prove that it's a better product out of the box. For Graphic Artists it's most defiantly the case but for a General Purpose End User from a Windows Environment is most defiantly not the ideal candidate to start with a Mac to get a wider adoption through the company.

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