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Apple Businesses

Apple's Macworld Looking To Corporate Users 287

coondoggie writes to mention a Network World article about a focus on corporate users at the upcoming MacWorld Expo. Along with the consumer announcements (iTV, iPod stuff), there will be several elements dedicated to introducing IT pros to Apple hardware. From the article: "The show has really evolved. For a long time it was a consumer-oriented show and those of us who are from the enterprise space - there weren't very many of us - would use it as a place to meet and compare notes ... Now Macintosh in the enterprise is becoming more recognized and there are tracks that are specifically for us enterprise people. We don't have to sneak off anymore."
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Apple's Macworld Looking To Corporate Users

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  • Re:It's hopeless (Score:4, Interesting)

    by armada ( 553343 ) on Friday January 05, 2007 @02:26PM (#17476898)

    Macs are more expensive. A lot more expensive, when you consider you can buy a basic Windows box that is more than sufficient for most business uses for around $500.

    The vast majority of "business apps", especially custom stuff, don't run on MacOS.

    Macs don't have anything to really compare with Active Directory, and especially GPOs.

    So...why would a business run on Macs? Unless they are a pre-press or video-production house, of course.

    You gotta love the nay sayers that speak authoritatevly about something they have done zero research on. The more expensive macs are more expensive. You can buy a Mac Mini [] for $599 and it is a much better quality machine than the equivalent pricepoint pc. There is a Mac version or equivalent of the most important "business apps" and most of the "custom stuff" get's rewriten quite often and normaly relies on core technologies (SQL, PHP etc..) that thrive on the Mac platform. Mac's do have something to compare and completely integrate with Active Directory it is called Open Directory [] Research = good. Hiperbole = weak. /steps off soapbox
  • Re:I for one.... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Total_Wimp ( 564548 ) on Friday January 05, 2007 @02:31PM (#17476978)
    They have already started by essentially making all their machines Windows compatible, while still maintaining the OS X train.

    That's the big news. I know it's not exactly "news" as in "new," but this is the only thing that will make many Windows shops even seriously consider Macs.

    Outlook, web apps that need the Windows version of IE and IT ignorance about OSX were killers for bringing Macs into the enterprise in any large numbers. With Windows on Mac hardware, at least it looks possible.

  • Re:It's hopeless (Score:3, Interesting)

    by balsy2001 ( 941953 ) on Friday January 05, 2007 @02:31PM (#17476988)
    I was thinking about this exact thing the other day. The office I work in has about 300 people in it and 6 (that I know of) IT staff that do nothing but fix our computers. If you assume that each one costs the company $150K/year you could pay for a new macbook every year (just throw the old one out) for every employee if you could get rid of just 2 of them. I don't know if Macs would make that possible though.
  • by FellowConspirator ( 882908 ) on Friday January 05, 2007 @03:13PM (#17477790)
    If the software was well-written, it would be platform independent. There's no excuse in this day an age for anything other than system software and utilities to be platform-dependent. Platform independence was hard years ago, but not today. Not only do you have Mac and Linux (particularly on the server side) gaining market share (and Windows slowly decreasing), but you increasingly have situations outside the US where government mandates preclude the use of Windows for many purposes.

    You company is reducing it's potential customer base.

    I work for a big biotech company and we definitely give preference to vendors that are platform agnostic. Research users are given a choice of Mac or Windows platform, so we've got 1:4 Windows Mac at the desktop with all computational chemists and biologists have an additional Linux workstation. We no longer purchase applications that require Windows servers. We no longer purchase apps that are of general interest to research unless they support at least Mac and Windows. Linux is preferred for instrumentation control. All compute-intensive, modelling, and simulation software is expected to run on Linux. All web-apps have to work with Firefox on Windows/Mac/Linux.

    There's some historical reasons for those positions (UNIX and its variants is more or less the exclusive platform for modern biology and chemistry, for example), but I see similar situations appearing in other fields where Linux and Mac are dominating in academia today.
  • by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Friday January 05, 2007 @04:20PM (#17479152) Homepage Journal
    Apple has never got it. Ever. It means Corporate or Enterprise IT

    That's true. Fortunately NeXT took over Apple, and NeXT was exclusively Enterprise. So they have the talent to do it. Now that they have the hardware and the software necessary to do it on a large scale, here's hoping they actually pull the trigger.
  • bah (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Gary W. Longsine ( 124661 ) on Friday January 05, 2007 @04:37PM (#17479570) Homepage Journal
    "It doesn't matter at all because the vast majority of business applications are not available for the mac. Period. "
    It's not that simple, and you probably know it. Most business transactions are apparantly still conducted by COBOL applications [] so I'll see your Windows Server and raise you a mainframe: Windows will never be accepted in the Enterprise market because everybody knows most business apps are COBOL apps on the mainframe.

    Most new application development in the Enterprise market seems to be web based and can work fine with Macintosh clients. This nonsense about "most business apps are Windows-only" is based on the erroneous assumption that just because there are lots of tiny little companies pooping out their custom apps (which nobody else uses) in visual basic that the Macintosh can't play in the Enterprise market. That's definitely wrong in both the server and the client desktop/mobile markets. There is a Macintosh in the Enterprise future.
  • Re:It's hopeless (Score:3, Interesting)

    by wass ( 72082 ) on Friday January 05, 2007 @05:44PM (#17480856)
    Not to disagree with your other points, but regarding the Mac Mini, my GF and I had the very first one that came out, the 1.25 GHz G4. The stock 256M of RAM is too little we 'upgraded' to 512M of RAM. It worked great for most stuff, occasionally we'd get the pinwheel of death w/ too many applications going. Did you run with only 256M of RAM? That was a mistake, IMHO, Apple should have started with at least 512M RAM at the first go, although they fixed this with the first revision to the mini.

    A few months ago we got the stock version of the latest mini, the dual-core Intel. It is $100 more than the older mini, but comes w/ 512M Ram default, and a faster dual-core processor. Much better performance.

    But IMHO for businesses, if they're seriuosly looking at the mini, it's probably worth going just $400 more, at least to the 17" iMac, which gives you the built-in display, dual-core processor, keyboard/mouse, all in a nice small-footprint. At $1000 a pop, it's not a bad desktop solution for most situations. (yeah, yeah, i know you can buy a dell w/ screen for $500, but let's compare apples to apples).

    Other than that I totally agree with you, lamenting the lack of a middle option between the iMacs and the $2500 Mac Pro. Ie, it would be nice if Apple had a headless box w/ expandable slots, in the $1000 to $1500 range.
  • Re:I for one.... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Friday January 05, 2007 @05:55PM (#17481032) Journal
    They introduced something new for corporate customers in the UK; a new repair policy that violates their own AppleCare agreement []. Now they require you to take defective Macs to an authorised repair centre, rather than having them collected and shipped back to you. Since AppleStores are still very rare in the UK, and there aren't many resellers left since Apple started direct selling over the Internet, this means a drive of at least an hour (each way) for most people to drop it off, and the same later to collect it. For home users this is bad enough, but how many companies can spare a technician for a day for every faulty machine?
  • Re:I for one.... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by misleb ( 129952 ) on Friday January 05, 2007 @07:10PM (#17482294)
    I think OS X might also be lacking somewhat on the enterprise management side. Despite using LDAP for OpenDirectory, it is still more like NT domains. For example, Workgroup Manager just displays a flat list of users/groups. It doesn't take advantage of the hierarchal nature of LDAP. And AFAIK you can to fancy things like partitioning your tree or doing that forest/tree thing that ActiveDirectory does (I'm an old Novel NDS/eDirectory guy, I'm not too familiar with the details of ActiveDirectory) You also have less control over users. I'd hate to deploy OpenDirectory in a very large org. OS X is still workgroup/education class, IMO. Hopefully Apple is adding more Enterprisey management features to Leopard.

  • It's about time someone took notice of what is hopefully going ot be an emerging trend in the corporate world. Myself I administer a WAN of 10 user to about 7 machines. It used to be a commodity hardware+windows solution maintained by one person (me). I konw I'm opening myself up to a lot of criticism here, but for this small environment windows was a big problem. It's easy to say this, but securitywise it's a total PITA to be one guy administering a LAN/WAN of windows machines, especially when logins are shared (yes, bad I know... but we are small). Every other day I'd get calls about network issues or printers just disappearing for what seems to be without reason. A simple reboot would usually take care of whatever the problem was.

    I think anyone reading slashdot would say that a reboot isn't such a big deal. I would tend to agree. I don't think the average person trying to enter in medical billing charges or look at a medical schedule of patients would agree however. In a service based industry, I am not a fan of keeping the customer any longer than ness. which means things just need to work. Something that windows was just not doing for me/our organization.

    About a year and a half ago now, a friend came to me with a new 12" powerbook she had purchased with a question about configuring wireless networking. Apparently the (large enterprise) that she works for didn't have any IT staff skilled enough to figure out how to configure Airport to operate on their (windows centric) secure wireless network. So, sitting in her car in an Applebees parking lot I took a look at it (first time ever touching a mac with OS X on it) and had it figured and configured in about 30 seconds. I fell in love with it.

    So after that short experience I did some reading and learning about how it works and what it is and isn't. I made a small leap. I gave my boss a 15" powerbook and ordered up a 17" powerbook for myself. After a couple of months and with the introduction of the mac mini and great pricing on the iMacs I had our organization switched to an all apple solution, and haven't had any issues with any of the machines running currently. In fact a windows application that we used to use for our medical billing and scheduling is now something holding us back, and to tackle that I use virtualization. Thankfully, the use of windows in a VM is for older patient accounts, since everything has been moved to a new mac based application ("Macpractice" if you're curious... We've been happy with it, as it runs on MySQL instead of PostgreSQL like our former application "Intergy" for those that want to know).

    Even migrating everything to an Xserve just recently has proven painless and everything that I had running our enterprise on a G4 mac mini running tiger server migrated smoothly and only took a couple of hours of my time to get back to where it should be. The fact that the architechture changed (from G4 to Intel quad Xeon) wasn't even an issue. In fact the only issues I'm having at the moment is getting our legacy software back up and running in a VM so that we can continue to close out old accounts (as db conversion was cost prohibitive, so we still need to run it). And this is slightly trivial, since I don't need to run it in a VM, I just choose to, so I can take the former windows server and put it to use as a (free)NAS (server) somewhere else.

    In summary, making the switch to Apple has left me with little to do outside of educating people to use only one mouse button and counseling them in their state of "culture shock" when confronted with somehting different than what they use at home or elsewhere. What I anticipated to be a hard switch has been more painless than upgrading to the latest version of windows. At the very least, I'm glad I'm salaried, otherwise I'd be making very little, considering how little I actually have to do anymore. To my windows counterparts (a friend of mine sells service contracts for PC's like craaazy), kudos to you for keeping the service industry alive.

Exceptions prove the rule, and wreck the budget. -- Miller