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The Mac In the Gray Flannel Suit

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the apple-of-my-eye-t dept.

Businesses 392

oDDmON oUT points us to a BusinessWeek story about the increasing use of Apple products in the corporate sector. Many companies are finding that their employees are pushing for the transition more than Apple itself. Quoting: "While thousands of other companies scratch and claw for the tiniest sliver of the corporate computing market, Apple treats this vast market with utter indifference. After a series of failed offensives by the company in the 1980s and 1990s, Chief Executive Steve Jobs decided to focus squarely on consumers and education customers when he returned to Apple in 1997. As a result, the company doesn't have ranks of corporate salespeople or armies of repairmen waiting to respond every time a hard drive fails. He believes it's difficult for any company, including his, to be effective at satisfying both corporate buyers and consumers."

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Repairing em' (4, Insightful)

Hawkeye05 (1056362) | more than 6 years ago | (#23292278)

I can't imagine what it would be like having to fight that shiny white plastic in able to swap out parts... No Thanks.

Re:Repairing em' (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23292318)

I can't imagine what it would be like

I'm sorry you have no imagination. Here's some help:

My wife's shiny white plastic iMac (3 years old) died on Thanksgiving. I took it to the nearest Apple store the next day, the busiest shopping day of the year. They replaced the power supply for free. I was in the store for half an hour.

I now have a mac, too.

Re:Repairing em' (2, Interesting)

v1 (525388) | more than 6 years ago | (#23292444)

I have to admit you got lucky. There are very few parts you could count on them having in stock, and that's one of them. There was a recall (REP) on the imac g5 power supplies so they would have had a few on hand if they were sensible.

Otherwise you have to wait one whole day for the parts to come in.

Re:Repairing em' (1, Informative)

d34thm0nk3y (653414) | more than 6 years ago | (#23292790)

Otherwise you have to wait one whole day for the parts to come in.

In a business environment "one whole day" of downtime can be very expensive.

Shouldn't be expensive (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23292940)

If one desktop computer being down a whole day is very expensive, you might want to reconsider your business organisation.

Every company I was in (and that ranges from the very small to humongous worldwide behemoths) had a couple spares at the department level.

And you surely wouldn't store your critical data on one desktop?

/and don't call me Shirley

Re:Repairing em' (5, Insightful)

multisync (218450) | more than 6 years ago | (#23293250)

Not sure how you could do better than a day. We get next day from Dell, and we pay a lot for that coverage. Spend five minutes answering the usual questions (capacitors budging? LEDs flashing? Did you try turning it off and on again?), and the next day I receive either a power supply, a mother board or one a new drive via UPS. Return old part in same box and never give it another thought.

Blackberrys, OTOH, just get wiped and returned to RIM. I would think you would do that with a Mac, too. I wouldn't even know how to open one up, and if I did manage to get it open I'd feel the same way I feel when I look under the hood of any modern vehicle. Where's the damn carburetor?

So I guess the question for me would be does Mac offer a next day replacement service, and what does it cost? We'll leave aside for now what to do about the proprietary, Windows only software that our customer base compels us to use.

Re:Repairing em' (2, Insightful)

jimicus (737525) | more than 6 years ago | (#23293438)

In a business environment "one whole day" of downtime can be very expensive.
They're called spares.

At current PC prices, you'd be nuts not to have at least one or two (more if you're a large business).

Re:Repairing em' (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23292450)

You went to the Apple store and had it fixed? This is why Slashdot is no fun any more.

Where's the story about using a Dremel, an old VCR, a soldering iron, and a Perl script to fix it yourself?

Re:Repairing em' (3, Insightful)

Hawkeye05 (1056362) | more than 6 years ago | (#23292578)

What Im talking about is in a corporate environment.
"Oh wait lemme just take it to the Apple Store and have them fix it."
Yeah, not gonna happen.

Re:Repairing em' (4, Insightful)

v1 (525388) | more than 6 years ago | (#23292512)

Shiny white is relatively easy. When you get to the shiny black ones, there you have trouble. All the parts are behind the LCD panel, which is behind the display bezel, which is behind that really thin large sheet of glass.

(that's 21 screws, five cables, two suction cups, and 15 minutes to get past)

And care to imagine how difficult it can be to keep from getting a spec of lint between that glass and LCD panel when servicing it?

Re:Repairing em' (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 6 years ago | (#23292896)

Any of the iSight or newer white ones have much the same arrangement, actually, but sans glass (I thought it was plastic, but I may be wrong). The worst of it is the adhesive metal tape around the LCD - it's difficult to remove, sticks to everything and generally gets in the way.

The repairability of Apple machines seems to be very oddly hit or miss - the original white G5 iMacs are a pleasure to work on; the main components are even held on their own sub-assembly meaning that it's a relatively quick job to separate the computer from the LCD despite them being in the same case. Suddenly they switch to the setup you described above and it's almost more effort than its worth to deal with the things.

Re:Repairing em' (1)

Kreschurb (159275) | more than 6 years ago | (#23293126)

I agree about Apple products being hit or miss for accessibility to components. I have a PowerBook G4 550 that I replaced the hard disk in a couple years ago and it was a simple exercise. This weekend, however, I had to remove the hard disk from an iBook and it was a nightmare!

Re:Repairing em' (2, Informative)

aesiamun (862627) | more than 6 years ago | (#23293266)

The macbook is three screws. Remove the battery, remove the three screws on towards the inside of the machine in the battery door, remove that cover the screws were holding onto, pull the drive out.

Re:Repairing em' (1)

aesiamun (862627) | more than 6 years ago | (#23293134)

I just replaced the keyboard, bottom case and battery connector to my first gen macbook (white). It took about 2 hours and about $200. Apple would have charged me more than that and I refuse to pay for apple care from a previous debacle.

I don't see the problem with fixing it yourself. The parts are easily available from iFixit and the time it took wasn't that far above what I expected for a complete tear down and build up of a laptop.

Re:Repairing em' (4, Funny)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#23292880)

3-step process for repairing Macs:

1. Throw away defunct Mac
2. Buy new Mac
3. Profit!!!

Re:Repairing em' (4, Interesting)

Henry V .009 (518000) | more than 6 years ago | (#23293220)

We support 3 Macs out of 200 computers in our labs. We used to have a lab full of them, but nobody ever used it.

Apple's warranty service is execrable. We had one machine sit there broken waiting on a new motherboard for 6 months.

The replacement motherboard gave out last month (the extended warranty expired last year), and we had to take it down to the Apple store, because we can't just buy a replacement part like we could for a PC.

Macs are just fine for personal use, but Windows is far better in a lab environment. It's easier to administrate, reasonably easy to keep secure, and very easy to buy hardware and software for.

well, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23292284)

i for one, welcome exploits

I welcome reasonable standards. (1, Insightful)

gnutoo (1154137) | more than 6 years ago | (#23293210)

With significant Mac deployments in big companies, Microsoft only stuff won't fly. This is not as good as free software deployment but it's helpful. Increasing choice of tools in big companies is good for everyone but everyone's least favorite monopoly.

As long as common dissasters like Flash are used in all platforms, the diversity will only create marginal security improvements.

Server is not quite there yet.. (5, Interesting)

TheVoice900 (467327) | more than 6 years ago | (#23292292)

Now if only Apple would get their shit together when it comes to their server products. Anyone who has had to administer OS X 10.5 Leopard Server knows that the entire release was a complete gong show. From crashing AFP and directory services, to a half-implemented calendaring solution, a laughably broken server administration GUI (I mean, who would want to mark reverse zones as transferable _anyway_), and countless other problems... Microsoft , Red Hat, SuSE and Ubuntu are just walking all over them when it comes to the server offering.

Sure the Apple stuff is integrated and works for the basic case. However, if you try to move past what is written in the sparse user manual, you not only lose support for your basic "AppleCare" but also have to spend time figuring out how Apple has mangled the pieces of the open source offerings that hold their stuff together.

That all being said, I think with some work and polish the server side of things could really become a viable solution. It's just not quite there yet. This is coming from someone who administers these things for a living...

Why not just use BSD then? (4, Informative)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 6 years ago | (#23292326)

OS X is a desktop OS, that's why it comes with all the (unnecessary) eye candy.

If you need a server OS, you don't need eye candy on it. OS X is built on a BSD core, therefore just use BSD for your server.

Re:Why not just use BSD then? (1)

the_B0fh (208483) | more than 6 years ago | (#23292726)

Wait, are you trying to make sense in a OS Holy War? Please check your guide book, this is strictly forbidden.

Re:Why not just use BSD then? (5, Informative)

caseih (160668) | more than 6 years ago | (#23292862)

Sounds like someone who's a) never used OS X server and b) never had to wrangle OpenLDAP, Kerberos, Samba, and SASL on a regular Linux server.

It's fine to say, stick with BSD or Linux, but they only ship with pieces of the puzzle, not integrated at all. This is especially apparent in the Directory Services area. Sad to say but nothing except Apple's offering comes close to competing with ActiveDirectory. OpenLDAP itself is great (and we use it to serve up information on thousands of users), but it's just one piece. Then you have Kerberos, Samba (with its own password schemes), SASL Authd, Radius, etc. With BSD and OpenLDAP, Kerberos, and Samba, you can get it working pretty well but you still have to deal with changing passwords in two or more places, different password expiry schemes that all have to be kludged together sometimes with spit and baling wire.

Apple's solution, on paper, is more ideal. Directory Services exports both an authentication layer and an authorization layer, welded together in a common API and common admining tools. Change the user's password and the password server, which integrates SASL, Kerberos, NTPassword, and LMPassword hashes, everything, no matter what protocol, keeps everything in sync. There are no passwords stored in LDAP at all, which is as it should be. Samba, PAM, SASL clients, etc, all talk to the password server. Contrast this with most LDAP installations on nix. There's a userPassword field, which can have any number of hash types in it. Then there's the shadowAccount attributes for password expiry. Then there's sambaNtPassword, and SambaLMPassword fields with their own hashes. Then there's Kerberos off to the side, never really integrated (except for certain kinds of SASL binds). It's honestly a mess. I hope that in the future, other products like Fedora Directory will take care of many of these problems. Samba 4 certainly will be a huge leap forward. One which I hope (with it's integrated LDAP system) will finally compete with ActiveDirectory.

In short, what Apple has done with OS X Server is a tantalizing idea of what we could do in the *nix server space if we put our minds to it. Sadly Apple's solution is lacking in many areas including just being half-baked and their enterprise support is non-existent. They have also never published their APIs to develop pam-DirectoryService and nss-DirectoryService for conventional Unix OS's, either, which is very short-sighted. So Apple's solution has promise, but tends to fall down outside of the base cases. But the standard alternatives are also very bad.

Re:Why not just use BSD then? (1)

XorNand (517466) | more than 6 years ago | (#23293046)

SASL Authd, Radius, etc. With BSD and OpenLDAP, Kerberos, and Samba, you can get it working pretty well but you still have to deal with changing passwords in two or more places, different password expiry schemes that all have to be kludged together sometimes with spit and baling wire...
I'm doubting that you have Kerberos properly implemented if you're having problems unifying authentication since that's the whole point of Kerberos. OpenLDAP for directory services and Kerberos for authentication works just peachy.

Re:Why not just use BSD then? (1)

caseih (160668) | more than 6 years ago | (#23293400)

And I doubt you've ever worked with Samba in an LDAP environment. Kerberos as authentication for Windows clients in conjunction with Samba does *not* work easily. Most of people I know give up on the idea and just revert to Samba hashes in LDAP. It is possible, but it's not an easy or "out-of-box" task on any distro. Even getting LDAP and Kerberos together is a challenge that's not well-documented and there are many other problems (see below).

I certainly have more experience in this entire area than most, and would be interested to hear your experiences. My LDAP is tied into Kerberos for authentication, but most LDAP-enabled applications on the planet (including our printers) do not support SASL binds in anyway. Only simple binds, plain-text over SSL. So I have userPassword fields set to SASL pass-through. This eliminates the need to store some password information in LDAP, but not all.

Even still, though, I have to change the password in three places:
1. Samba hashes in LDAP
2. Kerberos
3. SASL database (used in conjunction with Radius, etc)

Hence changing passwords on the unix command line with "passwd" does not work.

It's still a huge, non-integrated mess. It's not "just peachy" in any sense of the word. There is a *lot* of work to be done to improve the situation of directory services on Linux.

Re:Why not just use BSD then? (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#23293446)

I guess it's interesting that Apple sells an OS with "Server" in the name. OS X uses a BSD system, but the kernel isn't BSD. The intention was to make it all easier with a GUI front end rather than having to deal with command lines and text files. Not having used OS X server, I don't know how well they do that.

Re:Server is not quite there yet.. (2, Insightful)

grommit (97148) | more than 6 years ago | (#23292380)

Have you seen their XServe? horrible. The first iteration didn't have any hardware RAID available. If you wanted fault tolerant hard drives, you had to do it in software.

Re:Server is not quite there yet.. (2, Informative)

TheVoice900 (467327) | more than 6 years ago | (#23292876)

The newer XServe hardware is thankfully much better, although I'm still pissed that Apple only supports FC SANs for XSan.

Re:Server is not quite there yet.. (2, Insightful)

Lord Aurora (969557) | more than 6 years ago | (#23292382)

With their history of indifference to the corporate market, do you think that Apple is going to spend the necessary resources to make their server offerings any more palatable? TFA notes the trouble MS is having with companies switching to Vista from looks like this could be the foothold Apple needs to launch some newer and more powerful products for the corporate user base. Of course, many of the Vista-vs-XP complaints are echoes of the XP-vs-2000 complaints we heard when XP first came out, so Apple is going to have to act quickly before MS does to Vista what it did to XP and the opportunity is lost.

Re:Server is not quite there yet.. (2, Insightful)

arminw (717974) | more than 6 years ago | (#23292820)

....Apple needs to launch some newer and more powerful products for the corporate user base...

A smaller brother, both in size and power, to the MacPro, priced between the lowest and highest price iMac would probably be a very popular item they should add to their list. It could have one expansion slot and let the customer use their old PC keyboards and monitors. This would save money and help the environment with less electronic garbage to dispose of.
Apple could sell a sexy monitor, keyboard and mouse as an option.

Re:Server is not quite there yet.. (1)

Nullav (1053766) | more than 6 years ago | (#23292966)

Of course, many of the Vista-vs-XP complaints are echoes of the XP-vs-2000 complaints we heard when XP first came out, so Apple is going to have to act quickly before MS does to Vista what it did to XP and the opportunity is lost.
You mean Vista was rushed to market less than two years after XP was released because of the mountain of legitimate complaints?
No matter how big the planet is, there's still fat people. This extends to operating systems as well.

Re:Server is not quite there yet.. (1)

Tim99 (984437) | more than 6 years ago | (#23292384)

For true pain, you should have tried the early versions of MS Small Business Server. OS X Server has a similar basic philosophy to SBS - You are not really meant to go much beyond the standard set up...

Re:Server is not quite there yet.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23292522)

Agree. True pain.
Worked for ms-support when this garbage was released. The customers came to our facilities to kill us.

Re:Server is not quite there yet.. (4, Interesting)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 6 years ago | (#23292600)

Now if only Apple would get their shit together when it comes to their server products.

Or conversely they could get out of the server market entirely. They do the consumer electronics thing very very well. They should continue to focus and improve on that, let some other company do the server thing well. Trying to be "all things computer" is a mistake. Apple has done well by ignoring the corporate world, and they should continue to do so. If they happen to have some proprietary architecture that would be a wonderful blessing to the server market, they can always lease the rights to Cisco.

Re:Server is not quite there yet.. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23292804)

Good points, but Cisco doesn't make servers.

Re:Server is not quite there yet.. (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 6 years ago | (#23293100)

Good points, but Cisco doesn't make servers

There are lots of things that Cisco would never make, but then they went and purchased Linksys.

Re:Server is not quite there yet.. (2, Interesting)

Firehed (942385) | more than 6 years ago | (#23292860)

Perhaps. I think that if anything, they'd try to rework their server software so it'll be more useful in the educational sector. I've called Apple about business inquiries and they are apparently able to arrange a 5% discount, if your business rep ever calls you back (which obviously didn't happen in my case). However, you can get a larger discount when dealing with their education side, often on more products - hell, they knock 50% off the cost of Leopard Server if you get it as a BTO option on a Mac Pro (which are already $200 off).

I doubt they'd ever abandon business entirely, but it seems like the kind of thing where they'd want to sub-contract out the maintenance aspect of things (even if it's some sort of internal thing, an Apple for Business, Inc, if you will). I'd put my money on them actually putting a lot of development efforts into a long-term business architecture while they focus almost entirely on getting people to the platform for the next few years. Let's not forget how they've gone and positioned the iPhone after that roadmap event - they're definitely looking to penetrate more into the business market. I have no reason to think that they wouldn't want to do the same in the desktop/notebook market.

Re:Server is not quite there yet.. (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 6 years ago | (#23292792)

I really see no reason to use any commercial Unix variant on servers given the maturity of Linux and BSD in that space. As another poster said, maybe they should get OUT of the server buisness altogether.

Re:Server is not quite there yet.. (1)

TheVoice900 (467327) | more than 6 years ago | (#23292898)

Believe me, if it was possible to do managed OS X clients with a Linux server, I'd be there in a snap. And as another poster mentioned, you'd be hard pressed to find a complete directory service implementation (LDAP, Kerberos, etc) that matches what Open Directory gives you.

Re:Server is not quite there yet.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23292974)

who would want to mark reverse zones as transferable _anyway_
Err, someone who runs more than one nameserver for their reverse zone? Am I misunderstanding your question?

Re:Server is not quite there yet.. (1)

TheVoice900 (467327) | more than 6 years ago | (#23293038)

I was being sarcastic. My point is that you can't (easily) do that with the DNS server on OS X. Nor can you (easily) create a secondary reverse zone. Major oversights in the UI. I'm not even going to get in to the numerous other problems with regards to managing DNS on OS X...

Re:Server is not quite there yet.. (1)

defected (908047) | more than 6 years ago | (#23293270)

it takes 5-10 years to get your foot in the enterprise.. assuming you have decent product out we're not going to see mac's in the enterprise any time soon.

Re:Server is not quite there yet.. (1)

TheVoice900 (467327) | more than 6 years ago | (#23293330)

Not sure what you mean by that. We're an enterprise, we use macs pretty much exclusively. I know of at least a few other companies in the area that do the same thing. I guess I am imagining things then?

Great for Entrepeneurs (4, Insightful)

MyDixieWrecked (548719) | more than 6 years ago | (#23292348)

So having this gap in the market for corporate mac support really opens up the possibilities for businesses to spring up and take advantage of these needs. Apple authorizes repair shops so they can repair systems under applecare... one problem is that a lot of things aren't supported under applecare and applecare is only valid for 3 years after the purchase date.

All it would take is a shop to stock up on parts, offer extended care, data recovery and on-site services. In Manhattan there are a couple of shops that offer some of this, but they are mostly targetting users who don't want to ship their machine to apple or need a quick answer for unsupported systems (TekServe and others), but I don't feel that they are taking advantage of the corporate market.

I, being one of two apple users in my department, have realized that although apple has added the capability to join a windows domain, the SSO support is lacking and there are a couple of shortcomings in their implementation. Running a mac in a windows environment isn't quite as seemless in some critical places (SSO, as I said, but also browsing the network, connecting to sharepoint and if the network is flakey or goes down, logging back into the machine can take a long time if the machine has trouble communicating with the directory server). OSX also offers no default lock-screen option like windows does... Although you can have it "show login window" from the fast users witching menu, activating that with the keyboard requires 3rd party add-ons. I use Quicksilver's FastLogout option.

Re:Great for Entrepeneurs (5, Informative)

v1 (525388) | more than 6 years ago | (#23292422)

OSX also offers no default lock-screen option like windows does

Open Applications/Utilities/Keychain Access. Select Preferences, Show Status in Menu Bar.
Now anytime you want to lock the screen, just click on the padlock up by the clock and select Lock Screen.
This will require a password to exit the screen saver, even if you have your screen saver not set to require password.

I use Quicksilver's FastLogout option

FYI, fast user logout sans QuickSilver is Shift-Opt-Cmd-Q. (you have to hold the keys about 1/3 second)

Re:Great for Entrepeneurs (2, Informative)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 6 years ago | (#23292782)

You can also go to System Preferences, Accounts and turn on fast user switching.


Re:Great for Entrepeneurs (1)

MyDixieWrecked (548719) | more than 6 years ago | (#23292900)

FYI, fast user logout sans QuickSilver is Shift-Opt-Cmd-Q. (you have to hold the keys about 1/3 second)

I'm not in front of my mac at the moment, but I'm pretty sure that that keyboard shortcut logs you out-out... like... quits all applications, etc. no? Or, actually... maybe that keyboard shortcut is cmd-shift-q. I really need to look into that, because it would be very exciting if you're right.

if it just brings up the login screen, that would be awesome.

And, regarding the keychain-screensaver option, I'll have to look into that. I wasn't aware that that was even there, but if it's just a screensaver, I dunno how much I like that; especially if it's not accessible from the keyboard.

Re:Great for Entrepeneurs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23293316)

What's the difference between a locked black screen and a locked screensaver screen?

Re:Great for Entrepeneurs (1)

solios (53048) | more than 6 years ago | (#23293336)

OSX also offers no default lock-screen option like windows does

Open Applications/Utilities/Keychain Access. Select Preferences, Show Status in Menu Bar.

That's hardly DEFAULT, now is it? Having it there is one thing - burying it is another.

The login window / screensaver bogging down or locking up is yet another story. :P Any way you cut it, a "locked screen" on Windows feels a lot more responsive than the screensaver "workaround" that OS X uses.

Re:Great for Entrepeneurs (4, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 6 years ago | (#23292496)

It's not just for the hardware though. One of the bigger problems pointed out in TFA is that his Jobness just won't tell anyone where Apple is going. No roadmap (other than the cheesy map for the iPhone on the current Apple homepage). No ability to plan years ahead. Just do what Steve says.

Of course, it's not like Microsoft sticks to their roadmaps. But having a plan is comforting to Enterprise-types.

And yeah, they need to improve an OS X client to hook into a AD network. That should be relatively easy (even Microsoft did it).

Re:Great for Entrepeneurs (2, Insightful)

peragrin (659227) | more than 6 years ago | (#23292712)

What is better?having a road map and fail to be able to drive on the road 2 years after it is supposed to be due? or not having a roadmap but having good solid roads to drive on?
other than Intel I have yet to see a reliable software roadmap. Half the shit they just make up as they go, and drop it when it isn't possible.

Besides software roadmaps aren't meant to plan your business around. if that was the case more people would be upgrading to Vista. They are only for slowing down your competitors.

Re:Great for Entrepeneurs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23292892)

You must not have a lot of experience in corporate IT.

Having a roadmap IS more important. You need to be able to make a case for doing everything, and you can't do that if the future of the product is completely undefined.

At least you know Microsoft PLANS to do something, even if they fall short or go past their expected release windows. That's something you can make a case against... as opposed to NOTHING to make a case against.

Will OSX implement XYZ feature that it doesn't have now? Only Jobs knows. Will MS implement XYZ feature? Well, the plan is to have it ready for release 3Q 2009.

Re:Great for Entrepeneurs (1)

MyDixieWrecked (548719) | more than 6 years ago | (#23292976)

No roadmap.

Yeah, another great point.

I know when apple first switched to intel, everyone was happy to finally have an approximation as to what kinds of processors they'll see in the future since intel publishes their roadmaps and projections. Before, you had no idea what kind of chips they had in their labs (although, there were rumored 1ghz G3s before the G4 came out and 2ghz G4s before the G5 came out), and just because there were rumors, it didn't mean that those chips would ever see the light of day in any products.

I found an interesting add-on for linux and OSX a couple weeks ago (actually, it was posted in one of the linux mailing lists that I'm subscribed to, and I can't find the name of it at this very moment) that advertises itself as being a more robust AD client and allows your machines to take advantage of AD's centralized authentication and SSO facilities. I havne't actually installed it, but I downloaded it and am looking forward to checking it out. I feel a little wary about testing somethign like this out since I don't have an extra mac handy nor can I run OSX in a VM. I don't want to install it on any of the machines that I actually need to use. So, I can't vouch for it. But it looks promising since you don't need to run win2k3 R2 or update your current win2k3 schema to use it with a linux machine (OSX auths fine with a default win2k3 schema).

You confuse server with user roadmaps (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 6 years ago | (#23293068)

It's not just for the hardware though. One of the bigger problems pointed out in TFA is that his Jobness just won't tell anyone where Apple is going.

For business USER (not server) use, what more do you need to know than what you can plan for already:

1) You know the web browser is roughly CSS compliant and will continue to be so.
2) You know how to integrate the existing OS X security infrastructure into your own to manage authenticatication and authorization
3) You know how to update groups of OS X systems.
4) You plan to migrate systems every three years or so (if you are the one buying them), which gets you free OS X upgrades

You and other people are confusing the need for SERVER roadmaps vs. what kind of roadmaps you would need for business USERS. If you are wise you develop systems that care less exactly where a user desktop is going, or what it is. Until you reach that state just let corporate Mac users have the ability to integrate into the network, and use Parallels if they must for any stupid intranet remnants that require IE (likely at this point in time). That's all most people need to keep them happy, most could easily handle their own updates as well.

If you were really fancy you'd provide centralized Time Machine support with a mac sitting somewhere sharing a large TM volume.

Another thing you and other people are not considering is, that many people would willingly use their own equipment. Honestly who wants to use some minspec computer corporate IT has deemed "acceptable"? The truth is that many people are ALREADY DOING SO (bringing in personal systems and monitors and so on) and IT had damn well better figure out how to make that work for the business, instead of just complaining about it.

Re:Great for Entrepeneurs (1)

Hymer (856453) | more than 6 years ago | (#23293324)

A plan you're ignoring/changing (Microsoft) is worse than no official plan (Apple).

Unfortunately (4, Interesting)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 6 years ago | (#23292636)

The "all it would take" bit is huge. Slashdotters frequently have no idea just how big some of the things that they regard as trivial in fact turn out to be. A corporate basically wants to see long term stability from its outsourced support, along with years of experience and huge economies of scale. So you build that and wait three years for the corporate replacement cycle to click in - but when it does, you have been bankrupt for nearly 3 years. It is simply not possible to scale such a business because it is very expensive per seat to provide high quality support in niche markets.

My consultancy is currently working with several support companies who are starting to change their offered product mix. You would simply not believe how slow it is as the culture has to change, the training has to take place, the systems have to evolve. In my view, Apple is right to stay out. Eventually the wheel will turn and the fashion will revert to in house support. Then they will be in with a chance.


Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#23292356)

And a lot of corporate users are on mid towers they also like to reuse displays from older systems and like to swap out hard disks / not have to send them off to have them replaced.
The imac / mini are not that easy to be opened up and you can void the warranty by doing so. They also don't have send off a hard disk with data on it. HP and others let's you keep the bad hard disk and get a new one.

also the mini is not a good buy next to other systems at the same price and the mac pro is over kill for most users. AIO do not fit in to corporate use of systems and other AIO out there make it a lot easier to swap out HDD's as well.

A good $700-$2100 mid tower will be a nice fit in a corporate setting.

There laptops can use some work as well like an 15" screen at $1200-$1900 not $2000 and up.


cabjf (710106) | more than 6 years ago | (#23293256)

For home use a mid tower may be a good choice. However, I cannot think of many people in enterprises who would need a mid-sized tower. Most businesses either need small computers to access internal web apps and run office (such as customer service, finance, etc) or heavy machinery to power desktop crushing apps (like a developer running a test server or analyst running data manipulation apps). And, from what I've seen, most developers and management want laptops anyways to use in meetings, at home, or just on-the-go. Now as to any other issues with using Mac, I really don't know. I'm just commenting on what I've seen regarding the need for a mid sized desktop in enterprise.


Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23293404)

This is just your opinion that the mini is unsuitable. I've visited companies where the mini is used like a portable network client for users. Companies often own piles of VGA monitors & USB keyboards/mice already. Desk and office space are at a premium. A mac mini lets them reuse monitors/keyboards/mice they already have and replace the oversized beige/black box under the desk with something faster and lighter. The mini is easy to carry back to the IT room if you need to work on it, and it's actually not hard to open if you have a putty knife. The new intel minis can boot straight into Windows XP, and that's how I've seen them used.

The achilles heel of the mini (and the other mac models except the mac pro) is the slot loading optical drive. If a disc gets stuck in there, sometimes you can pull it out with strong tape -- otherwise, you have to take the computer apart to get the jammed disc out. So you have a good point, that Apple desktops don't seems to be designed with IT in mind, but I see IT departments using them more and more despite this, often to run Windows of all things. But that's in southern California where there's less Anti-Apple sentiment. Up north in Washington in Microsoft's backyard, the pro-Windows, anti-Mac vitriol is much stronger and more absurd.

I agree with you though: I want a mac mini with a TRAY-loading optical drive, and room for two 3.5" desktop hard drives so you can RAID them, and the hard drive should be removable without taking the whole f*ing computer apart. SATA *is* hot-swappable, so you should just be able to open the front and pop out the drive. And a pony. The computer should come with a pony.

Send in the clones (1, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 6 years ago | (#23292370)

It's time for one of the major desktop manufacturers to cut a deal with Apple to make Mac desktop machines. It's time for Apple to exit desktops anyway; laptops are taking over in the personal market. But in business, where there are desks, desktops will be around for years to come. Since they're just x86 machines, there's no technical obstacle.

Psystar may be on to something.

Re:Send in the clones (1, Insightful)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#23292406)

it's to bad with apple laptops that you need to $2000 just to get a 15" screen and a real video card.

Re:Send in the clones (1)

Tim99 (984437) | more than 6 years ago | (#23292436)

Psystar may be on to something.
- A legal thrashing?

Re:Send in the clones (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 6 years ago | (#23292552)

Right now the sales are about 2:1 in favor of laptops. I don't think dropping a third of your market in the name of consolidation is a good idea? Not yet anyway. Maybe give it 3-5 more years and it may be worth it.

Re:Send in the clones (4, Funny)

Dystopian Rebel (714995) | more than 6 years ago | (#23292868)

From The Desk Of Steve Jobs, Apple Inc

Dear Slashdot Member 122034 ("Animats"),

It has been brought to my attention that you understand my business better than I do.

As you know, Slashdot is full of people who have far more opinions than money and far more enthusiasm for offering their opinions than for doing any real work.

Of course, I have no reason to believe that you are one of these foolish, idle creatures that can be seen pontificating on Web sites every minute of every day while able-minded people are accomplishing things.

Congratulations on having brilliant, instantaneous insights into my own affairs that I can only begin to understand after spending more than half my life in the computer industry and running one of the most successful electronics companies in the world.

I've instructed my assistants to alert me to any future guidance that you have time to offer.


Steve Jobs

Re:Send in the clones (1)

ncryptd (1172815) | more than 6 years ago | (#23293442)

It's time for one of the major desktop manufacturers to cut a deal with Apple to make Mac desktop machines.
With your UID, you should know what happened last time they tried that...

So license the right to make "business macs" (3, Insightful)

Per Abrahamsen (1397) | more than 6 years ago | (#23292412)

License the rights to someone who cares. I'm sure Lenovo would love to market a range of "ThinkMac" laptops to business users.

Where are all the GAMES then!!?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23292458)

You would think that a company that was so "squarely focussed" on consumers would take the time to be "squarely focussed" on what consumers use their computers for when they're not at work.... GAMES!!!!.... So... Mr. Jobs... Apple... where are all those GAMES!!!???.... It's a great platform.. and... yes... there are games available.... but there needs to be PLENTY more (as well as many cutting edge that are unavailable on other platforms) to attract "Joe Consumer" to your platform.

Games moving off computers (4, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 6 years ago | (#23292520)

Apple is not focused there because that need is being rapidly assumed by consoles.

Some console games even support mouse/keyboard for FPS control.

With HD TV even just at 720p, you have resolution that is acceptable to just about anyone, and you don't have to do all the work of updating drivers and such - the platforms handle updates quite well as to the games.

Re:Games moving off computers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23292828)

You watching too much MTV Cribs my friend, or you are not a real slashdotter...
Consoles are for kids, rappers, girls and other sort of impaired people. Real geek gamers play games in huge computer rigs with water-cooling and 4 512mb video cards.
How can you hack your games databases and change the characters' powers if you playing on a console?
I need to do assembly editing on my game DBs!!! I spend most of my time doing that instead of playing!!!

Re:Games moving off computers (1)

failedlogic (627314) | more than 6 years ago | (#23293288)

I argee with you in principal. I don't have a lot of time to game but still enjoy it. Most console games are impossible to cheat on so I waste a lot of time and sometimes don't finish it.

At least on the PC, if there are not cheat codes, there's always a way.

Re:Where are all the GAMES then!!?? (2, Insightful)

ceejayoz (567949) | more than 6 years ago | (#23292786)

Just because you're a consumer and a gamer doesn't mean all consumers are gamers. There are plenty of consumers out there who don't game.

I don't think one can really fault Jobs for first targeting "people who take photos", "people who listen to music", etc. over "people who play Half Life".

Tech Support (1)

Zoole (1276372) | more than 6 years ago | (#23292468)

My previous job was tech support of PCs and Macs in an educational setting. Hardware support wasn't much of an issue. Just keep spare macs around to swap in when something breaks down.

The software side of things is a bit more tricky. I can attest to a much longer time invested in learning workarounds and resolutions for problems, and some problems where the only solution meant waiting when you didn't have that time to waste.

That said, the macs were generally not an issue once they were configured and set up. Once or twice there would be a software update that broke some of our outdated settings, but support on the software end of things was fairly smooth once things were in place.

I expect that the corporate world would be much more fast paced and I'm not sure if macs are ready for that setting, but now that I'm part of that world, I can see the demand from end users bubbling up. I don't think existing techs would need much more than google and a willingness to learn in order to solve issues, and perhaps tech support isn't being given enough credit for being able to adapt. It seems like it's only a matter of time before macs break into this market and my hope is that GNU/linux will become more of an option as well. Sounds like a nightmare for tech support.

The least pleasant thing about my previous position was dealing with certain mac users, but not the macs themselves.

Adminware (3, Insightful)

Joutsa (267330) | more than 6 years ago | (#23292540)

The problem with Windows at my workplace is that it comes pre-crippled with Tivoli Endpoint, mandatory anti-virus and various other pieces of adminware. If even some of these were not available for Mac, that would be a good reason to switch. Of course, that would also prevent the change, but one can always dream...

Re:Adminware (1)

JimCDiver (1217114) | more than 6 years ago | (#23292942)

Double++ ditto. The crap/adminware that comes installed on the default image at work grinds my laptop to a halt.

Forced to 'Upgrade'? (1, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 6 years ago | (#23292542)

Perhaps for 'most' people, Vista is just fine. It uses more memory to do the same stuff in Windows XP, so it's less efficient by that definition. But for contemporary machines, memory is pretty cheap. (I upgraded my laptop to max capacity 4GB for about $80 recently and it's even cheaper now) But for quite a few, there are still instances of lacking hardware support under Vista. On the Dell page for a small XPS laptop I was configuring, it ships with Vista only and describes in clear detail that specific features and functions do not work under Vista even while previously it worked under Windows XP. (Shockingly, Dell isn't offering XP as an option for that model... not that it matters to me since I use Linux for everything anyway, but it was for a friend, not for me.)

I guess what I'm saying is that "Vista" is not an upgrade when it reduces efficiency and support for your hardware. People should not use the word "upgrade" when it's actually a downgrade.

Vista is a downgrade and it's being forced onto users who don't want it. Perhaps Microsoft is attempting to reduce their market share... who knows.

It's a matter of time. (1)

rindeee (530084) | more than 6 years ago | (#23292558)

I honestly believe that it's only a matter of time until Apple decides to try their hand at the SMB market once again. To some extent they've simply come in the back door in terms of popularizing certain aspects of their product line to the point that it's ubiquitous with computing in general (iPod). While having a iPod/iPhone doesn't translate directly to buying their schtuff for the front/back-office, it does have an affect on general acceptance. If Jobs puts his mind to it, he can improve XServe and associated management/server services to the extent necessary to be a major player. Apple has enormous cash reserves and they understand the power that yields in terms of RDT&E success. Maybe I'm dead wrong and Jobs has no intention of entering the market. I can't imagine him leaving that kind of money on the table, though.

Re:It's a matter of time. (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 6 years ago | (#23292698)

Small Business != Enterprise.

OS X (with the possible exception of Leopard Server (see above)) is perfectly fine for a small business. It works well with Windows (other than some flakiness with Active Directory which IT assures me that They Are Working On). They're great client machines assuming you aren't locked into some Windows only critical business software.

What Apple is ignoring is Big Business. Fortune xxx. Companies with Billions and Billions of dollars to spend on IT. Sure, lots of folks are showing up with Shiny Mac whatevers, that's different from having corporate accounts, long term strategy maps, service agreements and other buzzword things to warm a CTO's heart.

One gets the impression that Apple doesn't particularly want to go there and it's hard to argue with the company's near term performance. To break into Enterprise would take lots of time and money and focus - things that his Steveness may want to utilize elsewhere.

Secrecy is going to kill them (5, Interesting)

goaliemn (19761) | more than 6 years ago | (#23292582)

as touched on in the article, Apple is overly secretive on new upcoming things. This is not what companies want. I work in an IT department and I've seen what both IBM and sun have coming in the next few years. Its called a non-disclosure. This helps my bosses shape future purchasing requirements, because they know whats coming ahead of time, versus a big flashy presentation at a conference and it being available in afew days.

Apple has to realize if they want to compete, they need to open up a bit to their larger buyers. Yes, the consumer market is great, but now that users are becoming apple savvy, you want them to have the opportunity to bring it to their workplace. Its a similar thing happening with Linux. My bosses were very anti Linux, but the latest batch of graduates have so much experience with it, its being rolled into our environment. You get people using it at home/school and they will want it at work.

Re:Secrecy is going to kill them (3, Insightful)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | more than 6 years ago | (#23292840)

I think you missed reading the summary of the story as well as perhaps taking a glance at the story itself. Apple is not trying to compete in the corporate market.

You don't generate consumer buzz by talking about the things you're going to be releasing in, oh, five years or so. People forget about it and by the time it comes out it's already old news. Apple is much better off doing what they do now and letting the pressure of their consumer user base continue to help them in the work place.

Apple is growing. A few years ago the place where I work started offering Mac desktops and laptops for people who wanted those instead of a Dell. Judging from the amount of people I see walking into meetings with Macs I'd say that Apple has at least a 25% share at our business.

Re:Secrecy is going to kill them (1)

goaliemn (19761) | more than 6 years ago | (#23292922)

They need to start competing in that market.. I think the market is right now for a new entry into the corporate market, as well as the added consumer use is making this a good time to introduce them to a workforce.

Plus, with the iphone adding activesync support, they do realize some corporate use will help their bottom line.

Re:Secrecy is going to kill them (1)

laffer1 (701823) | more than 6 years ago | (#23293368)

The first step is fixing OS X server and creating more than one server product. Expensive 1u fits all is a bit lame.

Re:Secrecy is going to kill them (1)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#23293026)

How many of these people are running Windows on these Macs during their business activities, as opposed to using Mac OS X for everything?

Re:Secrecy is going to kill them (1)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | more than 6 years ago | (#23293106)

For business activities it's mostly OS X for everything. I mean really, why bother if all you're going to do is run Bootcamp or Parallels? I have Parallels installed and I use it once every couple of months.

Re:Secrecy is going to kill them (1)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#23293002)

You get people using it at home/school and they will want it at work.
It's a double-edged sword. Companies will use the OS that their workers are most familiar with, but schools/homes will teach/use the OS that is most likely to be used in the workplace. This is one of the reasons why Windows has been so sucessful in keeping their market share.

Careful what you wish for... (2, Interesting)

moore.dustin (942289) | more than 6 years ago | (#23292692)

If Apple becomes a significant player in the corporate market, it will almost certainly destroy the image the company currently has among its customers. To think that as Apple products creep into the business world more they would not be the new target for hackers/malware is silly. There is a point where Apple's success will make it attractive enough to write exploits for. Say what you want about the current state of affairs, but you are ignorant if you think that OS X isn't as vulnerable as XP or Vista.

Once they reach the point where they have the focus of new malware they will almost immediately begin to lose their image as the secure system. A venture into the corporate world could invite attacks on their machines which would hurt their consumer offerings. If they were to lose their image as the easy AND safe machine it would completely change Apple marketing(which is very important to the company) and thus lose their fanatical base over a year or two.

Re:Careful what you wish for... (1)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#23293054)

Firefox has gained considerable market share, as well as the attention of malware authors, and hasn't lost its fanatical base yet.

Hard choice to justify (4, Insightful)

Realistic_Dragon (655151) | more than 6 years ago | (#23292730)

What is the real requirement that would make you pick Macs over Linux or Windows?

Excluding creative firms, most companies have a really short list of genuine requirements. Track a few gigabytes worth of numbers (total, across the company), deal with e-mail, exchange a few documents. You don't exactly need expose to do an accounts receivable reconciliation or fill out a goods received note yet _these are the things that most computer users do in most companies_.

Once you take user preference out of the equation what genuine benefits does Apple really offer? Linux offers commodity hardware sourcing plus no software overhead. Windows offers the same hardware advantage and conformity with the rest of the market. After you amortize setting up a standard, well locked down image over 10k+ users are the costs of that really different enough to be significant?

What companies should be doing is deploying Macs where they could really have some benefit. I'm sure that there are some people who need access to things like FCP at work are suffering an old Windows XP box with inadequate tools. But for every 1 of those people there are 20,000 people who right now are tapping out yet another form debt collection letter and could do it just as easily from a $200 box running Linux.

Macs are here. (5, Interesting)

BrianRagle (1016523) | more than 6 years ago | (#23292806)

I work at a MAJOR cable television network, based in Atlanta, with branch offices all over the country and about to be global. Our in-house Mac inventory has only been steadily increasing over the last few years and is expected to go even higher in the next budget. Whole departments are switching to MacBook Pros, en masse, and not just the "creatives". Even the engineering department is switching over to Mac, as most of their applications have OS X versions or they BootCamp/VMWare Windows if need be. Even Blackberries are being supplanted by iPhones, since the recent patch allowing Exchange integration and the next version of the device being fully Exchange compatible (according to our Apple vendor).

From a support standpoint, the transition is a little rougher, as others here have noted, but the company is paying to have their support staff become Apple certified techs (myself included) in order to do the work in-house and keep our warranties intact.

The server side is also increasing, for the specific purpose of running the data ingest software used to manage clips for our HD transition.

Some of us have even messed around with the hacked OS X kernals floating around and I can report that it runs BEAUTIFULLY on a Dell GX520. If companies like Psystar are indeed a harbinger of things to come, I see Apple's market share in the corporate environment only continuing to rise.

Re:Macs are here. (3, Interesting)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | more than 6 years ago | (#23293058)

" If companies like Psystar are indeed a harbinger of things to come, I see Apple's market share in the corporate environment only continuing to rise."

As I see it, Apple will die a quick death if companies like Psystar are a harbinger. Apple creates great software at cheap prices in order to sell hardware. In my mind that's a good business model because it's easier to control copying and theft of hardware than it is of software. Plus it allows OS X to be easy and user friendly to install, without a crippling and restrictive licensing/software key scheme.

And before some bozo says that means that Apple hardware is inferior I will point out that I have a house full of Macs that are several years old and still running great. The problem for me is that Apple hardware lasts too long. I want to get something new before the old one is actually worn out.

How this happened (1)

jrothwell97 (968062) | more than 6 years ago | (#23292832)

MR DREARY BOSS IN A SUIT, SHIRT AND PLASTIC-COATED FEDORA: I don't know... XYZ Corp. has such a dreary image. I am certain it is affecting sales. Jenkins, what do you suggest?

MR LONG-SUFFERING, YOUNG, ENERGETIC JUNIOR: I know. You need to modernise. I suggest that after work today, you go to Dixons and buy an iPod.
MR DREARY: What's an iPod?
MR JUNIOR: It's like a gramophone that you can carry around with you. You can put Wagner and opera on it.
MR DREARY: OK, I'll try that. If it doesn't work, you're fired.

(one week later)
MR DREARY: Jenkins, you're a genius! This A-pod is fantastic! What else does this Apple company do?
MR JUNIOR: Well, they make computers.
MR DREARY: Computers? Aren't they those modern TVs with typewriters attached?
MR JUNIOR: Sort of, sir.
MR DREARY: GREAT! Put in an order for ten thousand!


OK, to be brutally honest, I think the Mac is suited very well to small businesses, but is, at present, simply too expensive for bigger businesses with, say, thousands of internal users. That is, I'd happily order ten iMacs and an Xserve RAID for something along the lines of a local newspaper, and would order a few for a supermarket company with around 10,000 users, but in the latter case I'd make the main workforce up of cheaper Windows, Linux or BSD boxes. (Don't forget that, with sufficient package installation, even Darwin can be installed on a PC. Or Mac OS X, but that would attract the wrath of the lawyers and a hefty fine.)

I'm unsure about the upgrading arguments: my Mac (an iMac) can be upgraded in much the same way as any other computer: that is, undoing a couple of screws, and swapping out the hard drive, RAM, whatever. The iMac has the problem that the CPU is soldered to the logic board, making it impossible to swap the components independently, but the Mac Mini and the Mac Pro don't have these problems to my knowledge.

Alternative to Intuit needed for SMB market (3, Insightful)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 6 years ago | (#23292858)

If Mac, or Linux, is to succeed in the SMB market, an alternative to Intuit is needed.

Somewhat surprisingly, Intuit is very hostile to anything non-microsoft. The Mac version of quickbooks does not work very well. The online version of QB was specifically designed to not work with Linux. The enterprise version of QB is certified to run on certain linux distros, but that starts at $3000 USD, whereas the standard version of QB is $130 USD.

I am aware of the f/oss accounting apps, like gnucash, or ledgersmb, but none of those are adaquate for most SMBs. I think a viable alternative to QB would need a good sized company behind it.

Dear Apple (4, Interesting)

J05H (5625) | more than 6 years ago | (#23292866)

My company bought a white Macbook for me about 6 weeks ago, it arrived with broken internal speakers. The nice kids at the Mac store ordered the parts and said to bring the machine in for a quick fix. Being all cool and slack, the Apple store does not take appointments, so I brought the machine in last nite to see if they could fix it. The nice technician told me it would take 1-2 days and there was nothing to speed the process. This Macbook is my work machine, it's not for school or personal use - it's part of a (small, agile) global enterprise that runs 24/7 and I can't be without it for that long. HP and Dell send technicians onsite to service problems like this, no questions asked. It's like pulling teeth to get repairs out of your people. Until you figure out how to fit into business customer's needs, you will self-limit your reach.

Of the 4 new Macs I've worked on in the past year, 1 Macbook, 3 silver towers, 3 of the machines had hardware problems out of the box or within 1 week of unpacking. Specifically the broken speakers and dead Firewire ports. FIX YOUR QA PROBLEMS, CUPERTINO.

In the meantime I will be recommending HP, Lenovo or other for laptops and desktops.

A Burned Customer.

PS - why is it called the "Genius Bar" if they are such idiots about these things?

Re:Dear Apple (1)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#23293102)

PS - why is it called the "Genius Bar" if they are such idiots about these things?
The same reason Bust Buy calls its tech assistance "Geek Squad," even though it seems that most of them are completely inept at computers once you get past what the marketing department taught them.

Re:Dear Apple (1)

Mix+Master+Nixon (1018716) | more than 6 years ago | (#23293244)

Being all cool and slack, the Apple store does not take appointments
Say what, now? My experience with the Apple Stores on Fifth Avenue and in Soho is that if you don't make an appointment for the Genius Bar, you'll be standing around for a couple of hours waiting for a no-show. You'll probably be lined up behind several other people who also thought they could get the time of day from Apple without making an appointment. If you're there to purchase, no appointment required. Anything else, yeah, good luck with that. Even if you do make an appointment, expect them to be running a half-hour fashionably late. And if your problem involves one of their godawful slot-loading SuperDrives crapping out, they will fight you tooth and nail, every step of the way, claiming it's your discs that are defective if they can manage to get it to read ANYTHING. Bring a large pistol and be prepared to whip some smarmy little bastard across the face with it.

Consumers go to work and brag (2, Interesting)

v(*_*)vvvv (233078) | more than 6 years ago | (#23292984)

about how wonderful their macbook/ipon/iphone is. Apple's really got a lot of people by the balls. It's too bad that Macs are more expensive and less productive in an office environment than PCs, and these advocates don't know what's best for them.

That is why I cringe at Macs in schools because they aren't business computers and the cost of education is high enough without Apple making a buck. Again, these schools don't know what's best for them.

I'd say Linux is perfect for schools. It's free, it's a gateway to everything free, and it'll teach students how to work with computers better than any Mac or Windows will. The hardware can also be kept cheap.

Re:Consumers go to work and brag (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23293310)

It's too bad that Macs are more expensive and less productive in an office environment than PCs

Got any unbiased statistics to back that up? Yeah, didn't think so.

They're going about it the right way (2, Insightful)

iabervon (1971) | more than 6 years ago | (#23293042)

Apple cares more about high margins than market share in computers. There's no way that corporate purchasing is going to be sold on high-margin items by a vendor, because the things a vendor can offer aren't going to be sufficiently compelling in a marketing blurb to overcome the fact that the price is out of line. On the other hand, Apple can sell well to individuals based on getting people to like products that aren't available from other companies regardless of price. And individual employees at companies influence how the company spends its per-employee overhead (does the company buy nicer chairs? new cubicles? better snacks? macs?). This means that Apple is in a position where companies will be looking for the most cost-effective way for them to acquire Macs. Apple could put together a whole corporate program and send an account rep to companies that are considering buying from Apple, but all that would do is give the company somebody to negotiate a better deal with. Apple actually does better to ignore the company and leave it no choice but to go to the Apple Store and buy from people or computers that don't negotiate but just charge what the price tag says.

I think the only thing that Apple would want to change is that corporate IT is afraid of getting support and repair calls they don't know how to handle. To a certain extent, this isn't a problem so long as employees only get Macs if they ask for them, because Apple puts a lot of effort into motivated individual users being able to take care of their Macs without a help desk. But they'll probably want to streamline the process of selling out-of-warranty repairs in large numbers for the same owner. And they may want to work on getting corporate IT workers to buy Macs as their home computers.

Good news for free OSs? (1)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#23293142)

If employees can successfully persuade employers to let them use Macs for productivity, does this mean that it has become easier to do the same for GNU+Linux as well? After all, a distro can easily be installed on the original hardware. No need to go out and buy a new machine. Users can also dual-boot if they still need Windows around for that occasional Windows-only task.

Status symbols (1)

Thaelon (250687) | more than 6 years ago | (#23293158)

That hasn't stopped the executives where I work from buying up macbook airs and iphones seconds after they come out.

Apple Customer Service explained by the boss . . . (3, Informative)

TXISDude (1171607) | more than 6 years ago | (#23293414)

Quote: "He believes it's difficult for any company, including his, to be effective at satisfying both corporate buyers and consumers." from the article/posting. Maybe this explains why they don't even try to do either . . . just go down the list of failures,

Apple vs. Java []
Apple Safari not ready for primetime (no anti-phishing) []
iphone SDK [] and []
their treatment of Adobe (loss of Photoshop CS4 64bit) []

need I go on? And I only went back a month!

True Apple believers will stick their heads in the sand and ignore this long running trend of contempt for customers, but enterprises do notice, and remember bad behaviors from their suppliers. Until the corporate culture changes (and evidently this belief comes from the top) Apple does not belong in the enterprise.
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