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Why Consumer Macs Are Enterprise-Worthy 449

Posted by kdawson
from the toys-no-longer dept.
cyberkahn tips us to an article in Computerworld that makes the case for Apple's consumer machines moving into corporations. (The article dismisses Linux desktops in the enterprise in a single bullet item.) With the press that Vista has been getting, is Apple moving into a perfect storm? Quoting: "There is no comparison between Apple's 'consumer' machines and the consumer lines of its competitors. All of Apple's machines are ready to move into the enterprise, depending on the job at hand. The company's simple and elegant product line, which is also highly customizable, will be Apple's entree to the business market — if IT decision-makers can get over their prejudice against equipment that's traditionally been aimed at consumers."
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Why Consumer Macs Are Enterprise-Worthy

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  • by EvilGoodGuy (811015) on Saturday March 10, 2007 @04:39PM (#18301648)
    "(The article dismisses Linux desktops in the enterprise in a single bullet item.)" And how is this still considered a noteworthy article?
    • by recoiledsnake (879048) on Saturday March 10, 2007 @05:17PM (#18301934)

      (The article dismisses Linux desktops in the enterprise in a single bullet item.)" And how is this still considered a noteworthy article?

      It's been written by the same scum that brought you the incredibly retarded and contentless article featured on Slashdot on Virtualization sucks [slashdot.org]

      We find that most PCs that are sold as enterprise desktops are actually stripped-down, lightweight versions of the computers the same companies sell to home users. These machines lack the basic technologies needed in the modern enterprise. Apple, on the other hand, simply doesn't sell a minimalist computer whose predominant 'feature' is its price point, aimed at businesses or any other market
      Care to specify what the basic technologies are? Oh here they do.

      For instance, you can't buy a Mac without at least 512MB of RAM, Bluetooth, 802.11g Wi-Fi networking, Gigabit Ethernet, FireWire and even a remote control -- and that's before you consider the included software. None of the base business models of HP or Dell even comes close to that.
      Yes, the modern enterprise needs WiFi on fricking corporate desktops, FireWire, BlueTooth and remote control. And what if you want just 256MB RAM for the secretary who doesn't use anything but Outlook? Nope, you can't buy a Mac without at least 512MB of RAM! And, you get to pay for it!

      Apple's desktop lineup has three families: the minis, the iMacs and the Mac Pros. The mini is a full computer -- sans keyboard and mouse
      Uhh, it's either a full computer or not. A full computer without a keyboard and mouse is NOT a full computer.

      IMacs are Apple's middle-of-the-road desktop line, but a better-looking computer doesn't exist at any price. Complete with a built-in webcam for video chats and LCD screen, it comes in 17-, 20- and gorgeous 24-in. varieties.
      Wow, another basic feature without which the enterprise cannot function. The webcam!

      There is no comparison between Apple's "consumer" machines and the consumer lines of its competitors. All of Apple's machines are ready to move into the enterprise, depending on the job at hand.
      Yes there is no comparison, on one hand you have multiple vendors some of who will pre-install Linux, and almost infinite hardware configurability and on other hand you have limited configurations shoved down your throat whether you need them or not. Macs may be enterprise-worthy, but this article sure doesn't make a case for it. I recommend that Computer World articles be blacklisted.
      • by Professor_UNIX (867045) on Saturday March 10, 2007 @05:23PM (#18301980)

        Uhh, it's either a full computer or not. A full computer without a keyboard and mouse is NOT a full computer.
        That's a stupid statement. It's not like you can't plug a keyboard and mouse into the Mini, it just doesn't come with one in the box by default because it's geared towards Windows switchers who have USB keyboards and mice already. You can order it with a keyboard and mouse if you want.
      • by AdmiralWeirdbeard (832807) on Saturday March 10, 2007 @07:51PM (#18303254)
        I've a couple of brief points of contention, tho i certainly agree with your opinion regarding the worthiness of TFA.

        1. RAM. How the fuck can you contend that 256 megs is sufficient for anyone? Do you use outlook? Its a hog. My work box has 512 megs and i use it solely for Outlook and internet, and i want more. Also, have you tried using Vista with only 256 megs? Hardly seems worth it.

        2. Definition of a full computer. The mini is a fully functional desktop computer. It happens not to be sold with keyboard, monitor, or mouse. This is problem for consumers, not for the enterprise, who's probably supplying everything to the users piecemeal anyways. I work at a large law firm, which is just a big corporate office, and I have never, *NEVER* seen anyone use a computer system that was purchased as a monitor, computer, keyboard, mouse bundle. The computers are all identical, Dell enterprise boxes, but everyone has a mishmash of Microfsoft ergonomic keyboards and optical mice, and mainly sony monitors. The mini is perfect for the corporate office box scenario where the computer should be quickly and easily swappable for repair and still run decent specs.

        3. Webcam. kinda silly. I'd never want to video-chat with the people whom i IM. But given the pervasive nature of the conference call in the enterprise environment, i fail to see how increasing webcam existence wouldnt benefit business. Face-to face conference calls? what's not to like?
    • by JebusIsLord (566856) on Saturday March 10, 2007 @07:30PM (#18303034) Homepage
      Yeah, its funny. I work at a major Oil & Gas company in Calgary. We're a Novell/Windows 2000 shop primarily, and a pretty conservative one. We DO have several engineers on Linux workstations, however.

      We're toying with upgrading to Vista clients down the road, and dropping Novell entirely (not my decision!). Linux workstations and Solaris VMWare servers aren't going anywhere. No one has seriously considered doing Mac anything, though... and lots of us run them at home.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rifter (147452)

      "(The article dismisses Linux desktops in the enterprise in a single bullet item.)" And how is this still considered a noteworthy article?

      Insightful, my eye. The bullet in question, from TFA, was:

      The learning curve and disparity of Linux distributions is too high for easy general office use.

      And that is different from this [hardocp.com] noteworthy article on using Linux on the desktop how? Because that is basically what I get from that article even though it is an article in which the author is actually *trying* to us

  • A little off base (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bconway (63464) * on Saturday March 10, 2007 @04:40PM (#18301660) Homepage
    if IT decision-makers can get over their prejudice against equipment that's traditionally been aimed at consumers.

    They really think that's what's holding back Macs in the enterprise? I'm pretty sure the problem isn't prejudice against hardware, but integration issues that arise when moving from an all-MS shop to a mixed environment with OS X. The ROI needs to outweigh the obstacles, and it currently doesn't.
    • by weg (196564) on Saturday March 10, 2007 @04:51PM (#18301752)
      Hmm.. I think it's actually the other way around: While the "all-MS shop" allows you to change the (hardware-)horse whenever you want, once you're using the "mixed environment OS X", you're bound to one supplier (Apple) once and forever. There's no way you can change that - if you find out that Apple's support isn't as good as you were expecting, you'll face the high cost of changing back your IT to the Windows world.

      If I had a business, I'd prefer to have options and I'd stick with Microsoft (while as a private user, I'm using a Mac and Linux).
      • you'll face the high cost of changing back your IT to the Windows world.

        This is not true.

        You can run Windows perfectly well on a Mac so if you decide to give up on OSX you can install Windows on them.

        Cost of Windows licenses should you choose to go back?

        You will have tons of old Windows licenses to reuse on them, in fact using Parallels, VMWare or Bootcamp you would probably still be utilising those Windows licenses .

        The only real cost in changing back would be changing back from Mac hardware to PC hardware
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by king-manic (409855)
          Corprate It guy: Hey boss I just bought a bunch of macs at 20% over retail of similiar PC's. It seems the key application we make most our money on doesn't function on it so I bought new copies of the XP and reinstalled them. don't worry they dual boot.

          Corprate IT VP: Ohh wonderful. Why don't you give yourself a raise and have sex with my wife. While your ate it do my 19 year old daughter too. I'm going to go give my mercded to the next homeless person I see and donate all the company bank accounts to UNICE
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by Dolly_Llama (267016)
            Ohh wonderful. Why don't you give yourself a raise and have sex with my wife. While your ate it do my 19 year old daughter too.

            Wow, is your company hiring?
      • So you just shot yourself in the foot, and didn't even notice?

        Your argument applies to Microsoft too. The difference is, once you have a mixed environment, you're not bound to Apple nor Microsoft. There's this little known thing called unix, and the future was 37 years ago.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by ClosedSource (238333)
          "There's this little known thing called unix, and the future was 37 years ago."

          I guess teletype machines and paper tape were the future too.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        You are all WAY off base. Looking at the total cost of ownership- anti-virus licensing, the cost of expensive deployment solutions for PCs versus the low cost of built in deployment solutions in Macs, the constant registry problems, driver issues, built in multimedia tools on Macs versus commercial solutions for PCs..all of these point to a MUCH lower cost for Apple hardware and software in the long run. I work in a dual platform environment and I have DOZENS of PCs in our repair area. I might have one or t
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by rtechie (244489)
          I work in a dual platform environment and I have DOZENS of PCs in our repair area. I might have one or two Macs a month with a software problem, and maybe a Mac ever other month with an actual hardware problem. And the best part is we have way more Macs in our organization than PCs.

          Where do you work and what are you doing? I suspect you work at either a design studio or higher education (the only places I've heard of large Apple installs are education and graphics shops).

          In the case of the former, you're de
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Divebus (860563)

          I work in a dual platform environment and I have DOZENS of PCs in our repair area.

          I'll second that. In our company of mixed Mac/PC, we track the lifecycle of the machines. Each Mac outlasts 2.3 PCs and when the Macs are done, we sell them to the staff because they still work fine but too slow for our purposes. The PCs all went into recycling long ago.

          In the last 3 years, we've introduced a lot of Macs to regular desktops in addition to the graphics areas. During that time, the simple exposure of the PC

      • I think the article's main thrust, however, is not that Mac OS X is the keye element making Apple ready for the enterprise, but the hardware. Since Macs can now run Windows through Boot Camp or through Parallels you can simply drop in a Mac where there once was a PC when you upgrade your machines. The point is that Macs deliver superior bang-for-the-buck. And the great majority of the article is dedicated to fawning over Apple hardware.

        Certainly the author does mention some aspects of OS X that are value
      • My own preferences for corporate desktops would be, in order, Linux, then Windows, then Mac.

        In a corporate network environment, the flexibility of Linux desktops is unparalleled. You can optimize your storage needs (and not pay for 300 copies of an OS sitting on 300 hard drives, for example), and you can move applications around the network seemlessly without the users even noticing (useful when one app server gets overloaded). Sure there is a learning curve for the IT department, but on the desktop side, just make sure that for the less techie people, that everything is easily accessible. In fact, I have never found the learning curve to be an obstacle ("we depend on Quickbooks and their support" is a bigger one). In short, an intelligent Athena-style deployment of Linux systems (along with a move to diskless workstations wherever possible) could save a company a bundle on IT and improve productivity. The big issue is that the migration takes time.

        Mac's have actually less flexibility than Windows despite the *nix base. You can only buy the systems from Apple, and the really nice aspects of an Athena-style deployment are not possible. Add to that the more limited choices of hardware, and you have some real concerns.

        I am not saying tht Macs have no place in the corporate network. THere are places where they are probably very helpful including media production and the like. However, they would not be my first or even second choice for a corporate general-purpose desktop.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jschottm (317343)
        once you're using the "mixed environment OS X", you're bound to one supplier (Apple) once and forever.

        A very good point. Related - Apple is very dependent on Steve Jobs as a figurehead and visionary. If something should happen to him, I suspect Apple would take a massive plunge.
    • by vought (160908) on Saturday March 10, 2007 @05:07PM (#18301862)
      They really think that's what's holding back Macs in the enterprise?

      It is at virtually every company I've worked at. IT department "professionals" resisted efforts to bring a Mac in for various bullshit techhnical reasons (AFP over IP is too chatty...in 2003?), then when called on their crap, they just stand there, cross their arms, and say "not gonna happen".

      It's a prejudice. Many times, these folks can't stand the thought of empowered users - or users who might know a bit more about getting work done than tinkering around with the guts of Windows.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by king-manic (409855)
        It's a prejudice. Many times, these folks can't stand the thought of empowered users - or users who might know a bit more about getting work done than tinkering around with the guts of Windows.


        It's a different machine, not a different dimension. Your users will be as good as you hire. The folks who couldn't set the wall paper before aren't going to miraculously learn. For most customization option or usage options, XP and OSX are similiar in difficulty. The gulf between OSX and XP is mostly in security and
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by pla (258480)
        It's a prejudice.

        "Discrimination" does not equal "prejudice".



        IT department "professionals" resisted efforts to bring a Mac in for various bullshit techhnical reasons

        As part of a corporate IT department, I would fight against bringing Macs in tooth-and-nail, for one simple reason - I'd then have to support them. No "bullshit technical reasons" needed.

        You might call that unreasonable, at first glance, but I can assure you I can justify that stance (thus the difference between "discrimination" and
    • by Sj0 (472011)
      I was thinking the same thing. I was thinking "Gee, it would be awesome to use a Mac at work. Let's see... Well, I've got Autocad, which doesn't exist for mac. Oh. I've got a big samba network that'll be a pain to access with the Mac. Oh. I've got a corporate intranet which can only be accessed with IE7. Oh. Finally, I've got a few dozen scripts I've written in FreeBASIC, which doesn't exist for Mac. Oh. Most of those arguements actually exist for Linux, too.

      It was about there that I decided that I'd best g
      • Re:A little off base (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Vancorps (746090) on Saturday March 10, 2007 @06:11PM (#18302394)

        The samba part really confuses me. I'm trying to figure out how Apple screwed up samba support so bad. I had an OS X box copying 80gigs of photos to a Windows file server. It was going to take 30 hours. After 20 minutes watching it consistently go that speed I said screw that, pulled the hard drive out, popped it into a Knoppix box and copied all the photos using Linux and it took a little over 2 hours. That's insane! Both gigabit nics into a gigabit switch. Plus there is a weird subnetting issue I run into every now and again where it won't connect to a samba box if its on a different logical subnet. Of course sometimes it works so it's even more baffling.

        I think Linux and Windows are definitely better options in the corporate world. Of course our corporate Intranet is fully accessible in Firefox because I didn't want to make my Mac users have to run Windows in addition to OS X which they are more comfortable with. It's all just crazy! There is no way Apple is ready for the big time. Perhaps in a few more years they'll get a clue but I doubt it, no one wants a single supplier of goods, it's dangerous to put all your eggs in one basket.

        • Re:A little off base (Score:4, Informative)

          by Deviant (1501) on Sunday March 11, 2007 @12:53AM (#18305414)
          I was having the same problem and I solved it with two changes to my Mac.
          1.) Add "large readwrite=no" to the [global] section of /etc/smb.conf
          2.) create a /etc/sysctl.conf with the following inside it
          net.inet.tcp.sendspace=65536
          net.inet.tcp.recvspace=65536
          net.inet.tcp.delayed_ack=0
          net.inet.udp.recvspace=73728

          The most important thing seems to be the net.inet.tcp.delayed_ack=0 - on UNIX systems and Macs they will hold off on sending ACKs to save Network/CPU usage and it is a good thing. Windows however seems to wait on things until it gets ACKs with SMB and so it kills performance. After making these settings changes my SMB connection speed to my Vista box is unbelievably improved - things that were taking almost an hour before are done in like 5 minutes.

          Not sure why Apple would ship with so anti-MS defaults considering how many of their users would be doing Samba stuff with Windows boxes though...
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by legirons (809082)
      "I'm pretty sure the problem isn't prejudice against hardware, but integration issues that arise when moving from an all-MS shop to a mixed environment with OS X."

      Assuming this is a troll. however...

      we've budgeted months of effort to integrate Windows Vista with the current all-MS environment...

  • That's funny... (Score:5, Informative)

    by dreamchaser (49529) on Saturday March 10, 2007 @04:42PM (#18301670) Homepage Journal
    I work in IT and do a fair it of consulting on COEs (Common Operating Environments)among other things. I see *far* more interest in Linux on the desktop than Mac OS among most of the enterprises who are entertaining anything different than Windows.

    This reads like a Mac fanboy wrote it. I can't think of any compelling reasons to recommend Macs in an enterprise environment. Properly implemented (that is with proper profiles and security), Windows 'Just Works' in business, and if one wants something different then there is Linux. The latter gives the benefit of being more customizable than either Windows or OS X in fact, given that all the source is available.
    • by laffer1 (701823)
      OK. How many enterprises customize linux when they deploy it? This is often given as a reason to choose open source over Mac OS or Windows solutions. I'm sure some do, but I doubt all do. Its not really a feature if the user/buyer don't care.
      • by oohshiny (998054)
        OK. How many enterprises customize linux when they deploy it?

        All of them. They "customize" it by picking the right distribution for their needs and they "customize" it by picking the hardware that meets their specific needs. For OS X, they get one OS distribution and four different kinds of machines to choose from, all from a single vendor, and that's not enough.

        And in any corporate environment, after purchase, there are plenty of customizations related to system and network management that are necessary
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Bishop (4500)
        Every company I know with an IT dept used a customized Windows install. Even when the IT dept was just one person. I don't see why Linux would be any different.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by troll -1 (956834)
      if one wants something different then there is Linux...

      Been a Linux admin for 10 years, running slackware as my sole OS for most of that time. The one thing people don't understand about Linux on the desktop is the nature of Linux and GNU development.

      Windows and Macs offer a relatively stable development environment with a limited number of options. By stable I don't mean "doesn't crash", I mean "not changing much over time". An app that worked on the first version of XP will likely work on the last.
  • Non-bloated link (Score:3, Informative)

    by McDutchie (151611) on Saturday March 10, 2007 @04:47PM (#18301708) Homepage

    The printer-friendly version [computerworld.com] is so much nicer to read on-screen.

  • by ynososiduts (1064782) on Saturday March 10, 2007 @04:49PM (#18301728)
    I want to know what the big deal is between not using Linux because it has too many options. Majority of the distros are either based on Debian or Red Hat. I haven't seen software that only worked on one distro, and things like apt-get, yum, synaptic, and all the other package managers can be installed on most of the distros. That just doesn't seem like a valid reason to automatically dismiss any Linux solution. Just use one distro throughout the whole comapny, problem solved.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by kosmosik (654958)
      > I haven't seen software that only worked on one distro

      Well because for software with source aviable it is no problem. The distributor just recompiles it and it works. And usually software on Linux is open it works this way.

      The trouble start when you have to deal with closed source software. I know there is not much of it in general use and it is usually kernel related stuff. Try installing some old nvidia drivers on recent Linux systems. Try installing Borland Kylix on any Linux system. Try installing
  • by st3v (805783) on Saturday March 10, 2007 @04:50PM (#18301732)
    Macs are not enterprise ready. The computers, save for the Mac Pro's, are not easily serviceable by IT departments, unlike, say, Thinkpads. Ever try changing a hard drive of a Macbook Pro? You don't wanna get stuck doing that. Also, Exchange dominates the corporation fields. Mac OS X has a long way to go in the aspects of group policy, and other details that Windows offers that admins need. Sure, you might be able to make hacks in the OS to make things work the way you want it, but Linux is a better option if you want a UNIX-like OS.
    • The typical large enterprise doesn't service laptops of any kind today. They buy the unit with support that spans the life of the machine. If it breaks, they call an 800 number, wait for a box, put the dead unit in the box, ship it off to be fixed and wait for the return. When the support contract expires, they retire the unit and buy a new one.
  • Apple doesn't sell "anti-consumer" (well, uh, you know what I mean) or "enterprise" computers, so why do you need to include such a marketdroid MBA word to describe it? Macs have never really been designed to be your typical boring "enterprise" desktop or notebook, so it's completely redundant to say it.
  • The "learning curve" (Score:4, Interesting)

    by The Bungi (221687) <thebungi@gmail.com> on Saturday March 10, 2007 @04:51PM (#18301746) Homepage
    Is the same for Linux, OS X, Solaris or CICS, at least from the standpoint of a workforce who has used nothing other than Windows.

    I do find it very interesting that these stories are all over the place lately. "Apple is ready for the enterprise". This makes what now, 5 or six in the past month alone? They always open with "IT managers are tired of spyware", as if spyware was a problem in large corporations (the targets of these articles), they always proceed to dismiss Linux as an alternative... could it have something to do with the release of Vista? Naaaah. Now if this were articles targetting Apple then of course Microsoft would be behind them.

    Maybe it's just a big coincidence.

    • by oohshiny (998054)
      Is the same for Linux, OS X, Solaris or CICS, at least from the standpoint of a workforce who has used nothing other than Windows.

      Linux can emulate the Windows UI so closely that users probably have a harder time moving from XP to Vista than from XP to Linux.
    • I use a Mac, but it always surprises me when people start advocating them for corporate use. First, support is simply not good enough. Even Dell is better (in the UK, maybe the situation is different in the USA). The real thing missing is the motivation. If a company is dissatisfied with Microsoft, then it is likely to be either due to vendor lock-in, or price. I am not convinced Apple wins on price, but they certainly don't win on vendor lock-in. Who in their right mind would trade vendor lock-in on
  • by crovira (10242) on Saturday March 10, 2007 @04:56PM (#18301780) Homepage
    And its utter bullshit.

    I suspect that Apple definitely does NOT want to enter a cut throat world of competition where it becomes just an also ran competing on price with a thousand corporate buyers, when it can design kick-ass product in the consumer market place.

    This was written by a misguided (and severely deluded,) fan-boy.

    The PC wars are long over. Get over it. Microsoft won. (So they're now tied to the office and that kind of ugly industrial design. [Think BROWN Zune. Yuck!])

    Apple is a whole lot better positioned to compete in the vastly more profitable consumer arena.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by CrankyFool (680025)
      The two -- enterprise and consumer -- are not necessarily mutually exclusive. You're right, of course, that "high-end stuff" and "best price for desktops we put on corporate drone desktops" are mutually-exclusive (though one would wonder if Apple can figure out how to leverage what it's doing in the high-end market to also deliver lower-end stuff -- isn't that partially what the Mini's about?).

      But I'll give you an example -- I work for a very large staffing company (10K corporate employees, 100K-350K temps
    • It is very difficult for any company to sustain a 90% marketshare. At this level it is very difficult for MSFT to distinguish truly exceptional programmers, managers, salespersons from the mediocre ones who just pile on to the juggernaut plowing through the fields. The truly exceptional are migrant and they leave, but the incompetents know it and they stay on. Thus over time it gets completely calcified like an old boiler. Even then it is very difficult for me to believe that Macs have a chance. Linux might
    • The consumer arena itself isn't necessarily more profitable, it is just that Apple's computers are more profitable. They tend to add gimmicky features to create in impression of value (remote? (crap) cell camera on a monitor? WTF?). They have very few models to maintain and each model sells a lot more than nearly any model that a competitor sells, and limiting the number of variations allows them to get a better discount on larger quantities of parts, I think.

      I'm surprised that Apple doesn't bother so mu
  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Saturday March 10, 2007 @04:58PM (#18301798)
    (The article dismisses Linux desktops in the enterprise in a single bullet item.)

    And just how is a Linux desktop different than a PC desktop (e.g. Dell/HP) different than an Apple desktop. While this article seems to talk about the hardware, the real answer is: THE OPERATING SYSTEM! With Apple, when you talk about the line-up you can't really separate the hardware from the software, yet Linux and Windows are run on current Macs, and OS-X is successfully (albeit illegally) ported to Dells. So what is special about Apple? The hardware, or the software, and why would Linux even be mentioned in any discussion of the hardware -- except that it runs on a lot more hardware than OS-X, and costs less. All this makes this article, and generally this whole discussion, hard to take seriously.

  • by dasOp (781405) on Saturday March 10, 2007 @04:58PM (#18301802)
    Well I do. And the rate of failure is just terrible. Without exact numbers at hand, I can definitely say we've sent over 30 iBooks to the local Apple service partner.
    Being an enterprise customer you definitely dont have to wait in line for consumer service, we just send the computers directly for service. Otoh, you definitely won't get 4hr onsite like all the major pc vendors offer.

    As for group policy and manageability, Apple got in the game late and will definitely catch up. The question is when (and what decade).
  • Mac (Score:3, Insightful)

    by edwardpickman (965122) on Saturday March 10, 2007 @05:01PM (#18301820)
    I think the new servers made everyone take notice in the business world. Now with Vista getting routinely bashed even in the pro PC press it's made everyone take a second look at Macs. This is a trend that started even before Vista was released and the release of OSX and the hardware price drops made a lot of people notice Mac. Last year saw record sales for Mac and this year is likely to continue the trend. OSX Leopard is probably going to cause a spike because from all reports it delivers on it's promises. What has never been pointed out is Mac managed record sales in the middle of a massive transition. When they launched the Intel Macs very little software was compatible. By summer that had changed and now most software has been ported. The switch to Intel did make a lot of people take notice and Bootcamp was a big help but to manage record sales during a transition with the normal chaos is very impressive. I will say there was surprisingly little chaos for such a major shift. They seemed to have learned their lesson with the early OSX mess and made the tranisition to Intel as smooth as possible. This is an amazing window for Mac and they are positioned well to take advantage of it. One prediction is Microsoft really tries hard to dump Office for Mac. Expect more problems with the Mac version and Microsoft to try to make a case for it not being practical to continue support. Microsoft doesn't like competition and Mac is likely to gain a few points of market share. I'm not sure that it'll ever pass 10% of market but that's still a huge amount of growth. The lack of the majority of software not supporting Mac, mostly lower end but by volume most doesn't where as most high end does, and a lack of options for equipment. They have a nice selection but it's a tiny fraction compared to Windows. Ultimately it's third party support that's Windows strength. If that ever changes they may be in serious trouble. Doubt it ever will though.
    • There are Mac servers?

      Yes, yes, you and I know there are...but that's the response you'll get from your 'everyone'...
  • Linux (Score:2, Interesting)

    by hax0r_this (1073148)
    "The learning curve and disparity of Linux distributions is too high for easy general office use." Has this person ever used Linux?
    • by dal20402 (895630) *

      Depends on the nature of the office.

      Of course in a big place with the resources and staff to centrally manage all the desktop machines this is a non-issue.

      But in a small business with no dedicated IT people, or one who has worked with Windows his whole life, the investment of time and effort to figure out which distro to use and how to use it could very well be unrealistic.

      These are exactly the businesses that Apple could make real inroads into, if it chose to... the unique aspect of Macs is that they

      • by Tony Hoyle (11698)
        OSX has a learning curve too - quite a big one if you're used to Windows (try to find *anything* on OSX when you've been using the start menu for 5 years for example).

        Both Linux and OSX have a chance now because Vista is such a major headache.. it doesn't work like Windows so it's back to square one with the training (no way I'd upgrade my mother's machine.. if even an icon goes out of place she phones me up for support - Vista would just have her putting it back in a box and forgetting about it!!).
        • by dr.badass (25287)
          (try to find *anything* on OSX when you've been using the start menu for 5 years for example).

          That's a terrible example. If you've been using Windows for 5 years, presumably you're used to the idea of a folder containing icons that open when you click on them, too.
      • by oohshiny (998054)
        But in a small business with no dedicated IT people, or one who has worked with Windows his whole life, the investment of time and effort to figure out which distro to use and how to use it could very well be unrealistic.

        Let me help you there: use Ubuntu with the default install. It will do everything you need. (So will most of the other well-known Linux distros, but you wanted a simple answer and if you want a simple answer, the differences won't matter to you).

        These are exactly the businesses that Apple
  • Apple do not offer (in the UK, for a several-hundred-person ecommerce company where I work) anything that we consider enterprise-grade service. If one of the desktop Dells breaks down, we call Dell and someone shows up the next day to wherever the machine is and fixes it. If one of our Apple machines breaks down, we send it to Apple or take it to the Apple dealer who sits on it for some days, at least, then fixes it and returns it to us. That's not acceptable for the whole enterprise, especially for people
  • from my experience (Score:4, Interesting)

    by t35t0r (751958) on Saturday March 10, 2007 @05:07PM (#18301866)
    They are not. just from trying to get them configured for the uni ldap, autofs, nis, it's a pita. We have to manually make changes in the nfs script because it makes 1000's of symlinks in 2 different directories. Many of the settings that can be modified with nss_ldap don't even exist on osx, for example loginshell overrides. There's no newgrp, we have to roll our own. It's going to be real fun transferring all our users from nis to open directory (slapd) when we start configuring that. Will padl's migrationtools work, I doubt it.

    OSX server comes with apache 1.3 ..wtf? we had to use fink and install 2.0.something (the apache2 monolithic build provided by serverlogistics.com has cgi bugs). The configuration files are all over the place /etc/hostconfig, /Library, /System/Library, netinfo gui while on more posix systems it's just /etc . The perl that also comes with osx is buggy (try installing Net::LDAP and all its prereqs using perl -MCPAN -e shell).

    How do I login to an xserve with ssh -C -Y or ssh -X and run gvim or an xterm or any X app, can't have to use vnc. Then there's HFS which we have to use to support all those nasty meta files. I guess Xsan will be nice when we use it but that's after we get all the data off our huge raid array just for a couple of mac clients.

    We haven't even started migrating postgres, mailman, request tracker, and sendmail yet. If it's anything like the way it has been already we're probably going to have to use fink again.

    And no I don't want quicktime on my headless Xserve, thinking differently is difficulty.
    • by Frumious Wombat (845680) on Saturday March 10, 2007 @05:47PM (#18302166)
      For security reasons, you should have abandoned NIS long ago, and OpenDirectory works just beautifully with OSX, Linux, and Windows clients. Turn on the ssh daemon, and your ssh -X, etc work just fine, and Macs understand NFS, as well as other file systems just fine. In other words, there is no reason to do anything to your RAID array other than tell the Macs where it is and what protocol to use to connect to it. There are also tools, of course, to enable you to make standardized disk images with configurable parameters and use those for future client installs.

      I'm running my entire lab off OS-X, with a compute cluster and file system integrated into distributed desktops (OSX and Linux. We had a windows but I sensibly turned it off when we bought the first IntelMac), and not so much as a hiccup. The main problems you're describing are the classic, "it looks unixy, so I'm going to treat it as if it were a Linux box." No, it's a Mac, descended from NeXTs. Get the Apple docs out (dreadful though they may be), read a little of "The Mac Way", and quit fighting it. I found most of my problems at first arose from trying to treat Macs as if they were just nice-looking RedHat boxes, rather than something different.

      Pardon for sounding rude, but it sounds like you've learned one system, and aren't willing to attempt to learn another. Current Macs are one of the easiest machine to integrate into a mixed environment that I've encountered, and this is after over a decade and a half of running various Unices, Linuces, Windows, and VMS systems in mixed environments.
    • by hab136 (30884) on Saturday March 10, 2007 @06:04PM (#18302342) Journal

      How do I login to an xserve with ssh -C -Y or ssh -X and run gvim or an xterm or any X app, can't have to use vnc

      1. Install X11 (it's not installed by default).
      2. Enable X11 forwarding (off by default in /etc/sshd_config).

      http://www.osxfaq.com/DailyTips/09-2004/09-23.ws [osxfaq.com]

      3. Profit!
  • I really like to buy a mac mini for work, but there is a glitch. I admit - I am a one person company, but I need a new computer for business.

    There is just one little issue. I'd like to use two monitors. I do this today, with Windows and Linux. This can really increase productivity. But the mac mini has only one DVI connector. There is a hardware solution to connect two monitors, but it supports only 1280*1024 for each display. I could buy a Mac pro, but this is far to expansice. and the support for two moni
    • by dal20402 (895630) *

      iMacs support a second monitor up to 1920x1200. They're not perfect for everyone, but there is a two-monitor option between the mini and the Pro.

      And what do you mean "the support for two monitors in OS X is not ideal?" It works flawlessly and completely transparently. In my experience it's easier to get two monitors working with OS X than any other OS (not that it's hard anymore on those other OSes).

    • by Baricom (763970)
      I don't know what you mean by OS X's dual-head support being "non-ideal." It works just as well as Windows for me - about the only thing I haven't figured out how to do is change the second monitor's desktop with AppleScript, which is somewhat low on the priority list anyway :). Do you have specific complaints? Maybe I can help.

      I'm using an iMac with a 17" CRT I had lying around. The original iMacs had a bad rep because spanning was crippled in software, but that hasn't been true for a while.
  • even if... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by oohshiny (998054) on Saturday March 10, 2007 @05:28PM (#18302018)
    Even if we assume, just for the sake of argument, that OS X is "enterprise ready", the fact that Apple hardware comes from a single company makes Macintosh an unacceptable choice. The fact that that company also has a very limited product range makes it even less feasible.
  • "With the press that Vista has been getting, is Apple moving into a perfect storm?"

    Uh... this would imply that Apple is about to get annihilated. While I'm sure some people are of that opinion, that's the exact opposite of what you (Mr. Article Submitter) are trying to say.
  • Are we seeing any evidence of Apple machines actually making an inroad here, even coming up in migration feasibility studies? I've seen nothing of the kind in Europe, yet magazines, blogs and newspapers seem to often tout various migrations to Linux, sometimes for the purposes of case-study.

    The reality is Linux is already being adopted in the enterprise, at least in Europe. Linux increases the longevity of the existing hardware installation and provides cost incentives where upgrading is concerned. Learn
  • Definte "Enterprise" (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jschottm (317343) on Saturday March 10, 2007 @05:32PM (#18302054)
    (As a note - I _am_ an OS X (and Linux and Windows) user and admin. I have dozens of Apples ranging from G4s, G5s, Mac Pros, Powerbooks, MPros, and Xserves.)

    The learning curve and disparity of Linux distributions is too high for easy general office use.

    As someone else noted already, dismissing Linux with a single line is a little silly. Ubunutu is starting to gather desktop momentum. But I'll ignore the Linux factor. There is also a learning curve for moving from Windows to OS X, some of which Apple refuses to deal with. Many users are very used to AND prefer keyboard shortcuts to access pulldown menus, for example. The lack of consistancy for what the green window size button does is fustrating. Even Apple's own software fails to consistantly follow their own UI guidelines. Again, for example, a few applications quit entirely when you close the window while the majorty close the window but the program continue to run.

    Many corporate applications have been ported to W3-compliant Web services that are OS-agnostic

    Um... yeah. Sure. Which Enterprises are these again? Most Enterprises run tons of legacy software that's connected to via local software (often written in VB) or IE only frontends. Part of being an Enterprise level business is that you have years and decades worth of IT cruft that's built up.

    Because Macs work with Microsoft's directory, enterprise administrators can now more easily manage Macs alongside Windows machines.

    OS X works with _some_ parts of AD. There is still no viable replacement for Outlook on OS X. Whether you like Outlook with Exchange or not (I don't), there's very little that can do everything it can, and most Enterprise scale businesses are wrapped around it. Remember, it's not just a mail client or a personal scheduler, it's a foundation that many other companies have built on top of the scheduling features.

    Yes, you can add virtualization, but then you're back to the problems of running Windows, plus now you have additional administration overhead of running and managing two OSes on each system plus additional user training and problems.

    I'm also unaware of a way that I can push updates and settings to OS via Group Policies without using third party software. This is a key factor to Enterprises. A huge factor in deciding whether to shift OSes is the fact that the IT staff must be trained and experienced in what they're going to move to. If they've put years into developing internal tools to manage and deal with Windows, the cost of moving to OS grows.

    We find that most PCs that are sold as enterprise desktops are actually stripped-down, lightweight versions of the computers the same companies sell to home users. These machines lack the basic technologies needed in the modern enterprise. Apple, on the other hand, simply doesn't sell a minimalist computer whose predominant 'feature' is its price point, aimed at businesses or any other market."

    For instance, you can't buy a Mac without at least 512MB of RAM, Bluetooth, 802.11g Wi-Fi networking, Gigabit Ethernet, FireWire and even a remote control..."


    My last big batch of Windows desktops were purchased nearly 3 years ago and have 1GB RAM, gigabit ethernet, and have been just fine.

    Firewire? Why do enterprise desktop users need firewire? The only reason you need it is for digital video and audio or extremely fast file transfers. Not desktop use.
    WiFi? I don't want desktop users using WiFi. That's why we have millions of dollars of copper and fiber infrastructure with security features and VLANs. Wireless is great for some things, but it does not scale and it is inherently less secure than hardwire. Even just having 802.11 means that every single desktop is a potential rogue WiFi station letting people inside the firewall. Great.
    Bluetooth? Sort of neat, but again, desktop users don't need it and it opens up security issues.
    And I can't believe they even tried to cite having a remote control
  • I am a bit too tipsy to count, but as far as I can tell *none* of the replies here agree with the title of this post, and about half of them take the drastic (that is, drastic for a slashdot audience) stand that MS is a better choice than the Apple.

    MS has made a lot of changes over the years to make their OS enterprise friendlier, it continues with Vista, and I don't think Apple has really even started down that road. I think that for a big enterprise there is not other choice than Windows, or maybe a custo
  • Poor fanboys (Score:3, Insightful)

    by suv4x4 (956391) on Saturday March 10, 2007 @05:44PM (#18302146)
    They'll never understand: people don't switch to your favorite platform simply because it's kinda viable and it could do it, if given a chance, and you blink on a few things.

    The market is overcrowded, the competition is fierce, and it has rock-solid and lightning-fast support, stability, compatibility, replacement commodity parts/hardware.

    Apple has nice looking hardware, OS built to target end consumers, and Steve Jobs shouting how they're best in the world. It's not enough, people.
  • Yep let me triple the replacement budget this year....dream on..

  • In a small network I managed (20 WinXP PCs and a Linux server), the question came up of buying one Mac. The reason was that one person received Mac CDs from graphics shops with Quark Xpress files, and only Macs could read the font files on these CDs. Since it was not possible to educate the various graphics designers from various places and countries to send the stuff correctly, the idea was to buy a Mac and a Quark license, and be done with the problem.

    The Mac + the Quark license would have cost around $3-
  • -Spyware/etc. point taken, but we have yet to see how well non-MS platforms hold up in the onslaught of common users faced with a large set of attackers. I've not seen any attempts at spyware/adware under linux yet, probably ditto for Mac. Some malware attempting to run without permission may be mitigated, but a lot of malware is invited in by users implicitly or explicitly installing it by their own free will, without realizing until later the consequences.
    -linux isn't actually that bad for common offic
  • by MsGeek (162936) on Saturday March 10, 2007 @05:59PM (#18302294) Homepage Journal
    ...for moving from a Windows office to an xNIX office. And by xNIX I mean Macs and Linux boxes side by side. I mean FreeBSD and/or Solaris too serving up your data. Mac OS X has a few advantages Linux does not have and never will: Microsoft and Adobe software. Adobe is even reintroducing Premiere for Mac OS X, something that the platform lost when Apple put out Final Cut the first time and Adobe got their noses out of joint over it.

    I hate MS and Adobe as much as the next geek, and will gleefully point out F/OSS solutions like OpenOffice.Org, Kino and The GIMP, but let's face it, what will someone completely unhip to F/OSS rather have in front of them: the F/OSS workalike or the reassuring name-brand? Will MS and Adobe ever port to Linux? When pigs fly.

    With Mac OS X, you have an xNIX under the hood, and a friendly face out in front. Give the office folks Macs, and use Linux or FreeBSD on those servers that used to run Windows Server. Heck, basically Mac OS X Server is Mac OS X plus ports of stuff like Samba and CUPS. Save your money you would have spent on an XServe and repurpose some PCs with Linux or FreeBSD.
  • by sloth jr (88200) on Sunday March 11, 2007 @05:36PM (#18310216)
    ... after 20 years, can we please move on a bit? I don't care what you run, really, I don't.
    Once again: run whatever the hell you want. I don't care.

    I mean jeez - vi versus emacs, anyone? VMS versus Unix? Criminey...

    sloth jr

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