Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Why Apple Doesn't Market Squarely To Businesses

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the zen-guerillas dept.

Advertising 510

snydeq writes "Despite feature enhancements that suggest otherwise, Apple remains lukewarm to any Mac and iPhone success in business environments. 'Apple has intentionally created a glass ceiling it has no intention of shattering. My conversations with Apple employees over the past decade have always been off the record when it comes to the topic of Macs in the enterprise. The company has had no intention of signaling any active plans to serve the enterprise,' InfoWorld's Galen Gruman writes. 'In a sense, Apple views enterprise sales as "collateral success" — a nice-to-have byproduct of its real focus: individuals, developers, and very small businesses ... likely because to do otherwise would greatly increase the complexity Apple would have to deal with.'"

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

A more important question to answer (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31104954)

Why does Rob Malda have a baby penis?

Re:A more important question to answer (0, Troll)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105454)

Why does Rob Malda have a baby penis?

Because
timothy wouldn't pay the ransom?

Macs are great for small business though (1, Informative)

donstenk (74880) | more than 4 years ago | (#31104972)

Seriously, if you have a couple of people in an office and no full time admin Macs save you a small fortune.

So, fit for business? Yes.

Ready for the enterprise?

Re:Macs are great for small business though (3, Insightful)

Knara (9377) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105034)

Totally. If you have only a couple folks and want something that is easily usable and interoperable, OS X is great.

Get beyond that, though, and it's not that you *can't* do it, but Apple isn't particularly interested in addressing the need with a wide array of enterprise solutions.

Which is fine, OS X integrates fairly well into an Active Directory setup with a little tinkering. It'll be a lot nicer again once Microsoft re-releases Outlook for OS X in the next version of Office.

Re:Macs are great for small business though (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31105206)

Which is fine, OS X integrates fairly well into an Active Directory setup with a little tinkering.

As somebody who has to try and get OS X working in our already existing AD environment... I think you're using definitions for "little" and "fairly well" which I'm not familiar with...

Re:Macs are great for small business though (2, Insightful)

Knara (9377) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105274)

Which is fine, OS X integrates fairly well into an Active Directory setup with a little tinkering.

As somebody who has to try and get OS X working in our already existing AD environment... I think you're using definitions for "little" and "fairly well" which I'm not familiar with...

The first time is the hardest :)

Re:Macs are great for small business though (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105692)

Are we glossing over the fairly good integration that Windows XP, Vista, and 7 have with AD, as well as the little bit of tinkering to make them continue to work?

AD administration is non-trivial no matter the platform. I wonder if Apple would be able to (or has already) delivered an imaging solution so you can roll out a few workstations that start out both identical and functional.

It's been a long, LONG time since I got entangled in Apple network management, and I remember mostly System 7 and the leap to OS X. The tools were pretty pathetic, even compared to NTAS and Windows for Workgroups. Fortunately, most of our Mac clients didn't expect much, just printer discovery and a file server. And to have AppleTalk work on phone wiring, like someone said on a bulletin board once...

Re:Macs are great for small business though (3, Informative)

v1 (525388) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105772)

and Apple uses open directory instead, which is a much more open system. But it too can become something of a tangle. But having worked with both, Apple's use of OD is a good deal more sane than Windows AD.

Re:Macs are great for small business though (5, Interesting)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105448)

Pardon the uninitiated, but with 10.6 supporting Exchange Mail and Calendar with setup time of about 2 seconds (to enter your email and password), why does one need Outlook?

Re:Macs are great for small business though (1)

Knara (9377) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105680)

Because it's great from a support standpoint to have only one email client across an organization (after all, Entourage already does what Mail.app does in 10.6, right?)

Re:Macs are great for small business though (1)

Anonymusing (1450747) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105224)

Just out of curiosity... what's your take on Xserve with Mac OS X Server [apple.com] ?

Re:Macs are great for small business though (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105288)

It probably doesn't run the obscure vertical apps that you've never heard of but everyone seems to need.

The Xserve might be able to handle the server backend part of such an app (like Linux) assuming it's supported. However, the frontend is going to be all WinDOS.

A shop could have just 3 machines and this could be the case.

Re:Macs are great for small business though (1)

Anonymusing (1450747) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105504)

It probably doesn't run the obscure vertical apps that you've never heard of but everyone seems to need.

Probably depends on that vertical app. According to Apple, "[As] an Open Brand UNIX 03 Registered Product, Mac OS X Server can compile and run all your existing UNIX code. So you can deploy it in environments that demand full conformance, complete with hooks to maintain compatibility with existing software."

Re:Macs are great for small business though (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105302)

It's basically Linux-designed apps running with the ultimate control panel. If you know what you're doing it's a waste of money. However, if you don't know Linux, then OSX Server can save you a ton of time showing you around with Mac-designed interfaces leading the way.

Re:Macs are great for small business though (1, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105738)

>>>no full time admin - Macs save you a small fortune.

Well let's see. I just bought an AMD X2 IBM PC-compatible for $300 plus 6% tax == 318. Out of curiosity I compared the equivalent Mac (3000 megahertz, 3 gig of RAM) to see what it would have cost - about $1500 plus 6% tax == 1590.

So that's about $1270 difference..... let's say $1000 to keep the math easy. Times 30 office workers (small office) yields $30,000 more money spent on the Macs.

Remind me again how Macs will save a fortune, because I'm not seeing it???

Oh and I don't buy the argument that Mac are less crashprone. That was true back in the days of Windows 3/95/98/DOS kludge, but since XP (NT 5.1) has become the standard, the PC-compatibles are as stable as any Mac. My NT-PC typically stays on 2-3 months before it crashes. That's as good as my OS X Mac.

I'd like to see Apple make a move, but... (4, Informative)

jcr (53032) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105000)

Apple's not very big on jumping into crowded markets. I'd love to see them take a good shot at unseating Windows in the server business, but they look at how much it would cost to try to push their way in, versus what they can make if they put the same resources into something like the iPad. So far, Apple's growing like crazy without doing much about the business market.

-jcr

Re:I'd like to see Apple make a move, but... (4, Insightful)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105176)

The truth is, Apple is a marketing based company even more than Microsoft is. That's not an insult at all (I happen to think marketing and sales are as important as the tech itself). Yes, apple has geeks working in company, but would it have enough geeks to put every knob and button on their applications to make them enterprise-ready? I would say no.

Again, it's not a bad thing, it's just not their focus. Apple doesn't want knobs and buttons, they want an intuitive UI and consumer friendly products. It's very difficult to marry that with the robustness required for enterprise software.

Re:I'd like to see Apple make a move, but... (5, Interesting)

samkass (174571) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105372)

Yes, apple has geeks working in company, but would it have enough geeks to put every knob and button on their applications to make them enterprise-ready?

This statement is interesting because it gets to the crux of the matter in terms of design philosophy. Microsoft designers probably get paid a lot of money to add the right knobs and buttons. Apple designers probably get paid a lot of money to remove the right knobs and buttons. It's like the old quote, "I made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make
it shorter." (Blaise Pascal, Provincial Letters XVI). Apple invests a lot of time and money in removing control elements to what an individual needs to make the device a fluid part of their lifestyle. That's not necessarily what most business needs, having to contend with all sorts of contractual, systemic, and other specifics that require tweaks not deemed essential by the Apple designer.

Re:I'd like to see Apple make a move, but... (1)

haruharaharu (443975) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105506)

The truth is, Apple is a marketing based company even more than Microsoft is. That's not an insult at all (I happen to think marketing and sales are as important as the tech itself).

The truth is, that's what steve jobs said when he, woz, and the other guy founded apple.

Re:I'd like to see Apple make a move, but... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31105188)

John, are you seriously saying that the personal music player market wasn't already a crowded market when Apple released the iPod?

Are you seriously saying that the cell phone market wasn't already a crowded market when Apple released the iPhone?

Are you seriously saying that the web browser market wasn't already a crowded market when Apple released Safari?

Or are we only considering the "hipster-targeting" markets, which Apple basically created?

Re:I'd like to see Apple make a move, but... (4, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105334)

John, are you seriously saying that the personal music player market wasn't already a crowded market when Apple released the iPod?

I wouldn't describe it as crowded, since it was so small. Look at the level of sales before and after the iPod came out.

As for the phones, I'd say that they went for badly-served segment of the market. Smart phones before the iPhone sucked, big time. The introduction of the iPhone has driven a great expansion of the smart phone market.

Safari they did because they had to. IE on the Mac was crap, and MS had no reason to care.

-jcr

Re:I'd like to see Apple make a move, but... (1)

Anonymusing (1450747) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105244)

Is the Xserve [apple.com] their attempt?

Re:I'd like to see Apple make a move, but... (2, Informative)

jcr (53032) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105490)

Not really. The Xserve is great for Apple shops that need servers, but they've put very little effort into convincing anyone to switch to it. They even left the storage business, despite the great success of the XServe RAID.

-jcr

Re:I'd like to see Apple make a move, but... (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105328)

Yeah, I think a big part of it has to be that they still don't want to get into a direct fight with Microsoft. In some ways, it's probably smart for them to keep to specific (sometimes niche) markets and nibble around the edges, building up their strength. By introducing products like iWork and the iPhone and slowly improving their server offerings, they can slowly erode Microsoft's markets over years while improving their technology. iTunes alone did Microsoft a lot of damage without declaring open war.

Re:I'd like to see Apple make a move, but... (0)

NotBornYesterday (1093817) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105804)

I think they have things settled behind the scenes. MS pulled Apple's bacon out of the fire at a fortuitous moment over a decade ago, when Apple was struggling and MS was facing an antitrust lawsuit. I'm sure their investment didn't buy them any control, but I wouldn't be surprised to learn that they have influence. MS is happy to let their former rival churn out iPhones and iPods and MacBooks, as long as Apple stays out of the server room. Sure, they have a friendly little set of sparring ad campaigns, but if you look at their commercials, they aren't really poaching each other's customers. Apple: If you don't mind paying for something that works (and hopefully makes you look hip) without making you work or think. MS: We're cheaper.

Re:I'd like to see Apple make a move, but... (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105330)

I'd love to see them take a good shot at unseating Windows in the server business

Then what was the Xserve & OS X Server?
Do you not recall their extensive ad-campaign?

Apple is still trying to increase their marketshare, this time by using Quad-Core Xeons to provide the performance their offerings should have had all along.

Consulting division (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105010)

Gotta have a stomach to run such an outfit.

Why Apple Doesn't Market Squarely To Businesses (0, Troll)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105012)

. . . because you can't bullshit bullshitters.

Re:Why Apple Doesn't Market Squarely To Businesses (4, Funny)

russotto (537200) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105174)

. . . because you can't bullshit bullshitters.

Oracle, SAP, and Microsoft would beg to disagree.

No Enterprise Offerings (1)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105014)

Businesses certainly run Macs but they really don't have any great centralized administration tools. Apple Remote Desktop and Open Directory aren't nearly as powerful out of the box as Active Directory and its accompanying tools. There's nothing comparable to Exchange server that I know of. MacOS is to business desktop computing in much the same way linux is...you can use it, but you need to develop the tools for administering it (or use some open source tools, etc).

Re:No Enterprise Offerings (4, Interesting)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105196)

Businesses certainly run Macs but they really don't have any great centralized administration tools. Apple Remote Desktop and Open Directory aren't nearly as powerful out of the box as Active Directory and its accompanying tools. There's nothing comparable to Exchange server that I know of. MacOS is to business desktop computing in much the same way linux is...you can use it, but you need to develop the tools for administering it (or use some open source tools, etc).

Problem: Adminstrating a lot of macs.

Solution: Products like Deep Freeze.

http://www.faronics.com/html/DFMac.asp [faronics.com]

Combine that with restricting macs to network logins with home directories stored on the server and you have one central point for configuration management and backup of user data.

Oh, wait. You wanted "enterprise" solutions that require your constant attention so you can justify your existence. Sorry about that.

Re:No Enterprise Offerings (1)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105742)

Good idea! So for, say, 500 Mac workstations Deep Freeze Enterprise licensing would only be a paltry $16,224.00 (and that's including the government discount). I'd be stupid not to buy it!

Re:No Enterprise Offerings (2, Interesting)

nine-times (778537) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105238)

There's nothing comparable to Exchange server that I know of.

Well Apple does have mail, calendaring, and address books built into their server software. It's comparable to Exchange but not as well fleshed out. They don't have as great control of delegation, for example, no ActiveSync support, and frankly the webmail isn't too hot (it's just Squirrel Mail).

The webmail thing is pretty frustrating to my mind. MobileMe has decent web applications for mail, calendaring, and address books, and meanwhile the included webmail in their server software stinks.

Steve Jobs wants Control (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31105036)

Apple wants to lock down your software and hardware every which way.

Businesses can't operate in such an environment.

Hell, the only major software released for OS X has either been (poorly) written by Apple, or has been writen by a company that Apple bought specifically so they wouldn't be able to release a Windows version of the software.

Apple is for people who don't mind having a turtle-neck ghestapo control their computer. Businesses need hardware and software that gets stuff don.

Re:Steve Jobs wants Control (2, Insightful)

Anonymusing (1450747) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105202)

Hell, the only major software released for OS X has either been (poorly) written by Apple, or has been writen by a company that Apple bought specifically so they wouldn't be able to release a Windows version of the software.

Huh??? What are you talking about?!

Re:Steve Jobs wants Control (2, Insightful)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105594)

It was 4:20 on the coast when he posted that.
What about the stuff about hardware open-ness? Seriously 90% of the hardware problems are because the supplier used 3-rd rate components, or shipped with faulty drivers. Granted, yes there are instances when you need a special card to drive a device, but when was a last time a legion of bankers or bean counters demanded some crazy hardware? Yes, clearly it's a great investment into my business.

Software open-ness? Certainly, that's why you can, you know, grab a copy of XCode for free and start developing for OS X. But that's just too much work, when you're doped up on info world and other pundits, it's much easier to whine.

Re:Steve Jobs wants Control (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105260)

Meanwhile, OSX's similarity to BSD makes it easy for Open Source Linux projects to be ported to Mac.

Re:Steve Jobs wants Control (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31105322)

0/10

Found the troll!

Re:Steve Jobs wants Control (1)

neogeographer (1568287) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105336)

And who is don?

Re:Steve Jobs wants Control (1)

bradrum (1639141) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105400)

Mod parent down for minor good point ghetto blasted by ignorance on the quality of Apple code.

Mod parent down for cliched bullshit mindless turtleneck comment.

Mod down parent because he is a tight wad who inserted his butt plug without enough lube today.

Software for Mac OS X (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31105494)

- Microsoft Office (poorly written but not written by Apple)
- Adobe Creative Suite (poorly written but not written by Apple)
- Maya (not written by Apple)
- Mathmatica (not written by Apple)
- Parallels Desktop Mac (not written by Apple)
- VMware Fusion (not written by Apple)
- TurboTax (not written by Apple)
- QuickBooks (not written by Apple)
- MoneyWorks (not written by Apple)
- All of the Omni apps (not written by Apple)
- All of the Stone Design app (not written by Apple)
- Apache (shipped with Mac OS X but not written by Apple)
- Firefaox (not written by Apple)
- Camino (not written by Apple)
- Skype (not written by Apple)
- Delicious Library (not written by Apple)

Just off the top of my head - Oh yah! and the AppStore.

Re:Steve Jobs wants Control (1)

ZombieRoboNinja (905329) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105670)

Apple wants to lock down your software and hardware every which way.

Businesses can't operate in such an environment.

Ahh, so THAT'S why no major corporations use Flash on their websites or Microsoft Office documents internally.

Re:Steve Jobs wants Control (1)

pauljlucas (529435) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105722)

Apple wants to lock down your software ... every which way.

And Microsoft doesn't?

Re:Steve Jobs wants Control (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31105762)

Apple wants to lock down your software and hardware every which way.

Businesses can't operate in such an environment.

Hell, the only major software released for OS X has either been (poorly) written by Apple, or has been writen by a company that Apple bought specifically so they wouldn't be able to release a Windows version of the software.

Apple is for people who don't mind having a turtle-neck ghestapo control their computer. Businesses need hardware and software that gets stuff don.

Why do these posts keep get modded up? I have an Apple that allows me to install all sorts of software like Fink packages, vlc, NeoOffice and my own creations. There is no lockdown of software and I've yet to find any software I had access to back when I ran linux that I don't have either the same of for Mac or functionally similar but better.

This isn't insightful, it's just flamebait

Of course not (2, Interesting)

onyxruby (118189) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105060)

Of course not, that would mean they would have to be more active about following industry standards like PXE boot and remote management. The enterprise tools that are available for apple are very limited compared to what they can do with Windows (Altiris etc). If apple wants to get into the enterprise market and out of their present niches they need to start working with enterprise management companies on enterprise management.

Re:Of course not (3, Informative)

Architect_sasyr (938685) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105268)

Actually the only thing I see is people complaining that "They're not in business so why should we have them". I can cite multi-floor buildings stuffed with lawyers that run exclusively on os x systems. The same for 5,000+ strong schools. The remote management tools (ARD, DeployStudio, SSH) are more than powerful enough for what the staff want and need and can be used to lock down a machine if necessary. Policy dictates that the whole "your machine must be locked down tighter than a cows arse at fly time" is no longer necessary, so it isn't put in like that - even in the law firms.

There are some things that are not enterprise ready - I would like to see a more robust printing system and their group policy replacement (Managed Preferences) could be fleshed out a bit more - but the idea that the tools are very limited is indicative of either a lack of training, or the Apple Tech you have needs to be re-trained severely.

Maybe Businesses Don't Want Macs (0, Troll)

TwiztidK (1723954) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105068)

I've never heard of anyone who works at a company that uses Macs. The company I work at uses PCs exclusively, and probably saves quite a bit of money by doing so. My work PC has never crashed, has never had a virus, runs relatively fast, and was probably quite cheap. I do have to have an IT person mess with computer every now and then, and thats usually because a poorly written application fails and needs to be reinstalled. For most businesses switching to Macs would require new IT people, retraining of employees, and finding applications that function in OS X. The computers would also likely cost considerably more than PCs.

Re:Maybe Businesses Don't Want Macs (1)

Knara (9377) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105096)

Advertising/marketing/ frequently used heterogeneous OS X / Windows environments. I've been with a couple of organizations like that, and it works surprisingly well from an admin viewpoint.

Re:Maybe Businesses Don't Want Macs (1)

Knara (9377) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105116)

That didn't work, let me try it again: Advertising/marketing/(insert creative field here) businesses frequently use heterogeneous OSX+Windows environments. I've been with a couple of organizations like that, and it works surprisingly well from an admin viewpoint.

Re:Maybe Businesses Don't Want Macs (2, Interesting)

1729 (581437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105370)

I've never heard of anyone who works at a company that uses Macs.

I work in a large research institution, and nearly every scientist or programmer I've met here uses a Mac on their desktop (though the HPC resources are mostly Linux/UNIX variants). One thing that would be great is if Apple would customize their computers for their corporate and government clients, since all of our Macs have to be modified to remove cameras, WiFi, etc.

Re:Maybe Businesses Don't Want Macs (2, Interesting)

Anonymusing (1450747) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105378)

Just because you've never heard of it, hardly means it doesn't happen.

Companies in creative industries (e.g. like R/GA) are typically a mix of Macs and PCs, but you probably knew that. But in 30+ years of supporting computers, I've seen plenty of mixed organizations. Usually they'll have 90% PCs with a handful of Macs for either (a) the creative types in the design department, or (b) the people who demanded one because it was "better" in some way. Heck, nearly 20 years ago I came across a lab full of heavily-used Mac IIci's and IIfx's at an IBM research facility, and that was in the old Motorola 680x0 heyday (e.g. before the IBM-Motorola PowerPC developments).

And your estimation of cost is not quite correct. Training and migration, yes. But overall total ownership cost is generally less over a Mac's lifetime than with a Windows computer, even if the original purchase price was significantly more. I have seen this over and over. A university I previously worked at had roughly 600 PCs and employed one full-time computer technician for every 50 PCs... and for their ~100 Macs, they employed one half-time Mac guy. Same level of support.

Re:Maybe Businesses Don't Want Macs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31105486)

sounds more like the university was hiring twits to service their pc's

dunno, my old beat up, lots of crap on it, pos 3rd person to use it without a new install of windows pc has not crashed in the 4 years its been on my desk

Re:Maybe Businesses Don't Want Macs (1)

TwiztidK (1723954) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105752)

Although I worded it particularly oddly, I meant to say that I don't know anyone who works at a large, or even midsize, company that primarily uses Macs. You are correct to point out that Apple computers used to dominate in the 80's, though I know a former Kaypro employee who would dispute that.

I agree that Macs tend to cost less over time, but I was trying to point out that the initial costs (computers, training, etc.) would be higher than if the company used PCs.

Re:Maybe Businesses Don't Want Macs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31105474)

And how much money do you think your company spent, beyound the cost of windows, to ensure that you have never been infected with a virus?

Re:Maybe Businesses Don't Want Macs (3, Interesting)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105568)

I've never heard of anyone who works at a company that uses Macs.

      I used to - and one of the biggest. We switched to PCs and nothing has worked quite right since, and really no serious attempt has been made to fix it for 12 years. Document control, in particular, has completely broken down. We still have a few Macs around (OS8.6 and OS X) to try to correct document corruption problems caused by PCs. Even on PC to another can't correctly read, render, or print a document correctly. Create it in Office 2000, move it to another Office 2000 machine, characters are screwed up. It's even worse with 2000/2003/2007 and NT/XP/Vista (for those poor saps who got stuck with it). Put them on the Mac, using Office 98/2001/VX/2004, and frequently, no problem, and/or you can fix it and have it work with any of the PC versions. But reports created on 2003 two days ago, into Windows-based document control, and try to extract them today, completely hosed.

  For critical items, we print it out (however we can get a correct version, PC or Mac) then scen them in as TIFF files. This was suggested by the senior Microsoft tech working the Platinum trouble ticket as the most reliable way!

        Brett

Re:Maybe Businesses Don't Want Macs (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Psychopath (18031) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105636)

I've never heard of anyone who works at a company that uses Macs. The company I work at uses PCs exclusively, and probably saves quite a bit of money by doing so. My work PC has never crashed, has never had a virus, runs relatively fast, and was probably quite cheap. I do have to have an IT person mess with computer every now and then, and thats usually because a poorly written application fails and needs to be reinstalled.

For most businesses switching to Macs would require new IT people, retraining of employees, and finding applications that function in OS X. The computers would also likely cost considerably more than PCs.

Ever heard of Cisco? We are free to run a Mac that the company will pay for, as long as IT doesn't have to support it. We have an internal user community that provides its own support in lieu of IT. There are thousands of Mac users here. I switched about four months ago thinking that the worst-case scenario is that I could still run Windows on the hardware if switching to a new OS didn't work out. So far, I'm still running OSX, but am also still running Outlook under virtualization; enterprise messaging on the Mac is currently not very good.

Obviously this type of solution is not for everyone, but it works for us.

Not worth it for them (4, Insightful)

UndyingShadow (867720) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105080)

Businesses demand a lot of esoteric features and are concerned with getting the cheapest hardware possible. They have no desire or tolerance for "cool" Completely not the market Apple is going for.

Re:Not worth it for them (3, Insightful)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105756)

You make a good point on the cheapest hardware possible. I haven't been in the windows world for a while, so what is the expected price and rotation in years on a machine. Back when I did virus cleaning for 50% of my "admin" time, we'd spend $1100 - $1500 on a machine and rotate every 3-4 years.
Are businesses now buying the $600 specials from Walmart? Or are they still spending over $1000?
$1199 will buy you a 21" iMac, C2D 3.06GHz and 4 GB of RAM, which should easily last you 3-4 years. Comes with Exchange mail and clients out of the box, that even a clueless user can set up on their own. (Provided they know their email and password, which I admit can be a tall order.)(Of course adding the 3 year applecare does add to the total.)

As far as being cool, I think that's just a byproduct of design. Take the iMac for example, yes it does look cool, but its all in one design makes it a breeze to set up/replace. You can carry two at the same time, plug in ethernet, power, keyboard and it's good to go. You don't need to manage 2 boxes and interconnects between them. Magic mouse is spendy, but it has no moving parts, no balls to gum up with hand lotion and should last a long long while.

Different markets (1, Insightful)

dave562 (969951) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105092)

Apple has traditionally had two target markets. Those markets are education and "creative professionals". Creative professionals aren't going to turn out enterprise applications, but they can sure come up with some spiffy product literature. The education culture is focused on learning, not application development. In the past decade Apple has expanded their focus to include the consumer market.

Apple is so far behind the curve in the business market that they'd run themselves out of money trying to play catchup. They can't compete in the desktop space. I've heard that their X-Serve boxes are nice, but even in the SMB market they'd get clobbered by HP and Dell. They don't have anything close to what IBM and Oracle/Sun are putting out for enterprise customers. Beyond that, there aren't enough developers targeting the platform to develop the accounting packages, ERP systems, groupware servers, etc. that businesses run on.

Re:Different markets (0, Troll)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105350)

that's very '90s. I'm fairly sure Apple's focus has moved on to "media consumers" and the "cool set", away from "knowledge workers".

May be for desktops and laptops (3, Insightful)

CSHARP123 (904951) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105094)

What does it offer that any other *nix would not? GUI (On server side it do not make that much sense). Linux license cost is free and there are lots of resources (people mainly) are available and the same cannot be said Apple OS.
Quite a lot of laptops are making inroads into the business environment which used to be just Windows Shop. But if you still see, they are runnig Windows OS on it for majority of the cases. I think Apple would face the same compitition like MS from Linux and other Open source OS.

Re:May be for desktops and laptops (1)

Knara (9377) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105140)

What does it offer that any other *nix would not?

Runs Adobe Creative Suite native, for the most part. Doesn't sound like much, but it's enough.

Re:May be for desktops and laptops (1)

nicolas.kassis (875270) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105214)

Hopefully the apple/adobe battle going on will push them to release for linux

Re:May be for desktops and laptops (1)

Knara (9377) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105300)

Don't think it'd really pull a lot of folks from OS X, to be honest.

Besides, Apple and Adobe will sort it out once they can figure out what will make the most money for each of them, at the expense of their customers :D

Re:May be for desktops and laptops (1)

omkhar (167195) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105218)

Linux license cost is free and there are lots of resources (people mainly) are available

sorry to be pedantic, but this is a common and incorrect assumption regarding Linux TCO. If you're running a production server, you get a production license/support agreement. You can't, and shouldn't expect there to be zero cost in a production environment.

Re:May be for desktops and laptops (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105380)

It depends on the server.

Linux runs on anything you want and is gratis. You might CHOOSE to buy an expensive service contract from Red Hat but it's hardly mandatory.

And yes, real companies do actually run production Linux servers with something other than RHEL or SLES.

The fact that you could prototype on Linux for free is what got Linux in the door in the sorts of corporations that don't take a crap without a service contract.

if you're pleasing the high-value individuals (1)

scbomber (463069) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105126)

people who value apple's simplicity + power and have the $$ to indulge are extremely likely to be thought leaders in their organizations...instant word-of-mouth

Re:if you're pleasing the high-value individuals (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105534)

I'm not so sure about power. Hardware specs are at par, no more; the locked OS on anything non-Mac is starting to alienate the more sophisticated users, as is the lack of hardware options. I'd probably have an iPhone if there was one with a bigger screen.

I'm not quite sure about ease of use either. It's no longer DOS vs MacOS, and as a Windows users that sometimes uses a Mac, I find MacOS does things not only differently, but not that intuitively either. My brother had to teach me how to launch apps that are not in the big bottom bar; changing networks params is at least as complicated as in Windows...

To me Apple is about design, not power, and ease of use at the cost of flexibility. Better for my retired parents and my high-school niece than for me.

Apple's doing the right thing (2, Insightful)

rsborg (111459) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105134)

Their market is consumers / end-users (ie, B2C).

Doing B2B sales is completely different (longer attention spans, bigger deals, but much more demand for customization/configuration).

Needless to say, Apple's image and culture is focused completely away from B2B type sales. Furthermore, they are focusing on what they're successful at. I wish other companies would take Apple's lead, and do something *really* well and only venture into other markets when they have aligned their brand with that market audience.

Apple needs to downsize Enterprise (2, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105136)

I don't mean downsize in the sense of "fire".

What I mean is, that right now if you want to do enterprise iPhone development, you have to have an employee base of 500 people. Seems fair enough at first...

But the trouble is, although you can have a normal developer account and distribute applications via AdHoc to your employees - where the limit is 100 separate devices.

Now you probably are not going to need one device per employee. You can kind of work around that with multiple accounts, but that's a pain - it would thus be way better if they made the step clear, by supporting 500 devices on any developer account OR dropping down Enterprise requirements to 100 employees.

To me what separates "small business" from Enterprise is a clear delineation of worlds... a small business does not mind having data exist all over the place, whereas an "Enterprise" studiously guards data and wants to keep as much of it in-hous as possible (and then send it all to India as an afterthought).

That's why the enterprise iPhone program is useful, because it keeps your business apps off the store. Basically anything Apple can do to support self-isolation helps the enterprise, and they've actually been much better about this in recent years (along with adopting ActiveSync all over and adding in good VPN support, which again goes back to that "separate world" thing).

XServe, OS X Server, XSan? (4, Informative)

Darth Sdlavrot (1614139) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105144)

If you ignore the products that they market to businesses, then it probably does look like they don't market to businesses.

Re:XServe, OS X Server, XSan? (1)

Knara (9377) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105170)

Those products do exist, but they're really not Apple's focus, and are a very small amount of their total revenue.

KNow your strength (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31105152)

Apple sells fashionable gadgets and a small number of Unix based computer systems. Entering the "enterprise" market would increase the quantity and variety of software and hardware they would have to support. Add in a dozen server form factor systems that have to cater to a wide variety of potential business needs and say goodbye to your reputation of being a company that sells products that "just work". That reputation is only just barely deserved as it is, and they only sell a handful of unique products.

Avoiding docking stations (1)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105160)

If Apple marketed to corporate america, they'd have to make docking stations... not the crappy third party ones that by pulling a handle, they plug in all your cables.

Support (4, Insightful)

0racle (667029) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105200)

They would have to provide and support their products longer then a consumer product cycle. Things like releasing a $3000 workstation then 3 years later releasing an OS update that doesn't support it don't fly well in enterprise environments.

Re:Support (1)

QuantumFlux (228693) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105726)

Things like releasing a $3000 workstation then 3 years later releasing an OS update that doesn't support it don't fly well in enterprise environments.

Almost every business I've worked for keeps workstations around only as long as their warranties before they're surplussed. Given that AppleCare is 3 years, it might not make such a difference.

Ask yourself: is it good for the businesses? (0, Troll)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105208)

Won't someone puhlEEZE think of the businesses! They're so deprived! They see their employees walking around with fancy iphones and they want one too! Not fair!

XServe? (1)

saccade.com (771661) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105230)

Apple does have at least some enterprise business, or they wouldn't bother continuing to sell and support products like the XServe [apple.com] .

Re:XServe? (2, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105424)

The Xserve? This is like the netbook equivalent of Enterprise computing.

Apple needs to kick it into gear. (1)

cHiphead (17854) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105262)

Doesn't market squarely to business, then why the hell do they sell Xserves with dual quad core xeons, 24GB ram, 3TB w/on board RAID, FC cards, XSAN (!) software, even reselling Promise vTrak raid storage, and Tandberg 80-tape storage libraries on the Apple store website. A SAN deployment among XServes and Mac Pros is not exactly a 'very small business' kind of situation. They took some big steps but it feels like Apple is dropping the ball on the business side beyond individual sales.

I went from the Windows world of all 'enterprisey' all the time to the Apple world of 'yeah it SHOULD work in your enterprisey solution unless you want reliable Active Directory/Open Directory integration without jumping through many hoops and crossing your fingers'

And don't get me started on the RAGE that occurred when I realized this spanking new MacBook Pro uses the magsafe connector and its patented with no third party options and NO DOCKING STATION. I'm used to having options, now I'm stuck with a very linear choice.

I'm just having one of those weeks. Apple needs to get it together and go full speed ahead on business oriented software systems, I'm running headlong into this in a business that is decidedly Mac but wants to expand greatly (and stay Mac). The OS X Server tools feel unpolished and/or unresponsive at times, and the command line support and documentation is wholly inadequate.

I guess I'm just turning into an old bastard IT Admin. Damn kids better stay off my lawn.

Cheers.

canards (1, Informative)

Gary W. Longsine (124661) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105618)

Always with the docking stations crap. When are you people going to learn to use that new fangled Google thing to find your bloody docking stations [bookendzdocks.com] . Must I always do it for you?

Re:canards (1)

HideyoshiJP (1392619) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105824)

As nice as that is, it's far more expensive and convoluted than my Dell E Series dock that has a nice port on the bottom and a handy eject button.

Enterprise Mac = War with Microsoft (5, Informative)

orient (535927) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105296)

AFAIK, Microsoft makes the bulk of its money by selling to the big corporations. By entering the enterprise market, Apple would attack Microsoft biggest and safest money source. If they do that, Microsoft will stop selling MSOffice for Mac and will prevent Macs from interacting with the AD. This way, Apple will lose more trying to enter the enterprise market than ignoring it altogether.

Sword of Damocles (1)

Gary W. Longsine (124661) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105768)

Microsoft might even agree with your assessment, and may still labor under the delusion that Microsoft Office is their very own Sword of Damocles [wikipedia.org] . However, I suspect that the sword may not be hanging by a thread above the seat in which Steve Jobs is sitting. Perhaps they haven't looked up, lately.

I've already said too much.

A load of bunk (0)

jvillain (546827) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105306)

What a load of bunk. If they thought they could be competitive they would be in there grabbing the cash with both hands. The fact is that they have done it internal reviews and concluded they would get slaughtered in that market. "We chose not to" just sounds better.

Why? (-1, Flamebait)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105308)

Because macs are for free thinkers - it's squares that use PCs, man!

Because they'd have to become like their customers (2, Insightful)

mileshigh (963980) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105346)

To properly cater and market to faceless corporations, you have to become one. There are no shortcuts, it takes a machine to relate to a machine. Case in point, Microsoft started losing its juice when it got serious about enterprise. Those MS guys used to laugh at the "old" IBM; they howled derisively when the IBMers tried to become cooler by switching from blue suits to sport jackets. Now Microsoft have become them and the enterprise customers love 'em -- they're on the same wavelength. They made lots of money but lost their soul.

Re:Because they'd have to become like their custom (1)

myowntrueself (607117) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105648)

To properly cater and market to faceless corporations, you have to become one.

And Apple are NOT a 'faceless corporation'!!!

Apple have a face and it is the face of GOD!!!

Yeah, right.

I can think of two reasons (4, Insightful)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105364)

Just off the top of my head:

1) Price.
2) Legacy (OS/applications).

The first one is pretty obvious.

The second, I need to define better. Apple generally limits new hardware to the version of the OS that was in production when the machine was built. So I can't work out all of the kinks in 10.4.11 relevant to my environment and load up all new systems with an image of that same OS. The most recent PowerMacs I've bought won't run 10.4. I had 10.4 locked tight and all of our software runs great on it. 10.5 gives me font cache problems similar to the ones I'd already ironed out of our 10.4 systems long ago. To me, that's not an upgrade. I don't want bleeding-edge in production. I want stable and reliable.

OTOH, every PC I've bought since Vista came out has been able to run XP just fine. In fact, I just got some new systems last week pre-loaded with XP. (Win7 license with XP downgrade.) This means the environment my company's been grooming and tweaking for years can be applied to brand new installations and I don't have to deal with, "I've never seen THAT before."

And getting back to the cost, I can get a decent C2D windows machine with 4 gigs and a 20" flat panel, keyboard, and mouse for about $500. A mini with 4 gigs, no monitor, and no mouse starts at $700. Apple wants another $50 each for a mouse and keyboard. Each. Don't even ask what they want for monitors.

Those are the two main reasons Apple won't be making it beyond the Creative departments in my company. And I'm actually a bit annoyed that we're still purchasing Macs for those departments since they're running Adobe suites that are available on the PC. If one of my hats wasn't "the only mac tech in the company", I'd consider making strong arguments against the continued waste of money. :)

Enterprises don't like getting work done. (3, Insightful)

Kyle (4392) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105392)

Apple builds OSs that largely get out of your way so you can get work done.

Enterprises like OSs that can be locked down until you can't get any work done.

Polar opposites in agendas really.

Training, Training, Training (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105414)

Here's the dirty little secret we all know:

Schools (and easy piracy) train people to use Windows and Windows-based software. If you're at home, who cares if you have to spend a few hours to learn the OS, or a new email system, or a paint program.

Go into a business office, and an employee costs $100/hr or more to train. With, say, 12 desktop apps the typical employee might use - half of which have no direct port - and maybe a dozen hours to get "fully productive" on the custom apps, you've got a $7000 price you have to add to every mac you put on a desk. (that's why corps also are loathe to upgrade within windows)

Of course, that's not the whole of it - there's the app side, too...

What about the custom s/w written for PC that the in-house foo group uses. Tack on another 5 (if you're lucky) to 7 figures to rewrite that app. How about apps that have no direct analog in the Mac world? You're fucked if you have to interact natively with businesses that use AutoCAD or Pro/Engineer. What? There are translators? Sure - but how much productivity will be lost (and now we're into higher paid workers - maybe $80-$150/hr in opportunity cost) if the translation isn't perfect - and it never is.

When you're at home, it may never matter - the embedded apps are "good enough". When you're in business, there's more in play.

I know some of you will cry that management is easier, so it's cheaper. Really? Is it actually cheaper to hire a competent Apple admin (do they even exist in significant quantity?). If you're a small to medium business, you've only got an IT staff of 1 anyway, so 1 Win admin isn't going to cost you more than 1 apple admin. Sure, you might outsource it, but if you have more than a dozen employees do you really want your whole office dependent on an outside firm with hundreds of other (larger) clients? You're still paying a retainer every month, and you know you'll take it up the ass (at $125-$200/hr) if anything does go wrong (and it will).

on managagement apps (2, Informative)

mehemiah (971799) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105442)

I work in the ITS of my university and whenever the faculty and staff using macs consider or even hear about management apps like puppit or how if they have a PC they MUST install (novell) zen they cringe. They HATE the idea of the IT department invading their computer because their PC(Linux, Mac or Windows ) still feels personal. Even the sub-departments of our IT infrastructure HATE it when our the central sysadmins push updates to computers without telling the departmental support teams.

IT companies' sales people advise against them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31105488)

There's not much markup to be had before you've outpriced yourself with Apple itself, at least in New Zealand anyway (I've worked for one of NZ's larger IT providers in the past) and a lot of IT companies also prefer to get cheap labour - which generally means people that only know Windows. MCSA / MCSE is more likely to land you a job than a degree, I know this from personal experience.

It's actually quite a shame considering the over all experience of using a Mac running OS X is relatively easy and maintenance free bar the occasional update that becomes available every now and then.

Steve Jobs (1)

macintard (1270416) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105532)

Apple was a dying company for quite a while, and had to buy back Jobs and NEXT to breathe life back into it. I'm inclined to believe that Apple's innovation is tied directly to one man more so than any other business. This relationship would not exude confidence if I was an IT Director or CIO.

Apple has no clue how to do enterprise (5, Interesting)

caseih (160668) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105554)

I maintained an OS X Server box for 4 years. Very nice hardware, but the OS had a lot of issues (10.3 and 10.4) and support from Apple was non-existent. We struggled with a race condition in Apple's directory services architecture (the glue between the system and LDAP) for years. Apple really wouldn't do anything about it until some guy on a forum managed to come up with step-by-step instructions on how to trigger the condition. finally Apple acknowledged the problem and, to my amazement, said, "we've fixed it in our new OS, please upgrade." We're talking a full OS upgrade from 10.3 to 10.4. I tried to explain to them that OS's are upgraded in an enterprise normally with the hardware cycle and that we cannot take a production server down for a full system upgrade. Even MS understands that.

Additionally, the lifespan of Apple's server OS was tied exactly to their consumer OS. So instead of 5-6 years that we expect from RH and MS, apple supports their server OSs for about 2 years only. Even within major versions, updating was a real pain. Each and every OS update required a reboot. It was just silly. Of course the bug brought our system down every month or so, so I guess that worked out.

Another time a disk died in our XServe RAID. So we called to get a warranty replacement. The guy on the phone said, "are you sure it has died? Put it back in the array and see what happens." Dumbfounded, I told him this was a production array with mission-critical data on it and that I simply could not trust any disk that had been kicked out of the RAID. The risk was too great for data loss. Had to go through a local rep to lean on apple to just replace the disk.

After I finally figured out how to make my OpenLDAP server on Linux look and act like Apple's OpenDirectory (making Mac client access seamless with no custom ldap mappings required), I ditched the OS X server and will never go back.

Apple doesn't care too much about the enterprise. (2, Interesting)

aussersterne (212916) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105558)

The bulk of enterprise space wants cheap whitebox farms of GateDellPaq machines interchangeable and uninspiring of possessiveness enough that the IT guy can drop by your desk and switch out your box four times a year and you won't care.

Apple, meanwhile, has a farm full of insanely loyal customers willing to pay premium prices to avoid precisely the GateDellPaq style of non-shiny nuts-and-boltism.

To get the part of enterprise space that they can't get with their current business offerings, they'd have to do things that would alienate a tremendously loyal, premium-paying customer base. And for what, exactly? To enter the tremendously crowded, cutthroat space of GateDellPaq where everyone competes on price and has to ensure compatibility with a massive ecosystem of devices and ISVs?

Why exactly would they do this?

Why does every other Slashdot poster seem to imagine that the goal of Linux, or Apple, or OLPC, must be to dominate the world and arrive in every home and business everywhere with all competition eliminated? I suspect many businesses would be more than happy to be in Apple's shoes right now, and I also suspect that their investors aren't too upset with them for not going out there trying to get every MBA farm on the block buying an Apple line of cheap-and-dirty-ware.

Cleaner version of article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31105628)

You can get a clean version of the article at http://infoworld.com/print/112907 and avoid having to flip through a half-dozen web pages.

It tried in the '80s (5, Informative)

ThrowAwaySociety (1351793) | more than 4 years ago | (#31105678)

Those with unusually long memories will remember that, in the '80s, the Macintosh (and while it lasted, the Lisa) were Apple's Serious Business Computers. The Apple II was the home/education line.

The Mac had networking built-in from the beginning. (Not very useful for home users, essential for offices.) It had a black-and-white screen. (Not very useful for games or creative work.) Advertising almost exclusively focused on how a Mac could make businesses more efficient by reducing training and support costs. Watch:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MaDXt30xSo [youtube.com]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dqLT0UBPx0 [youtube.com]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwcuSOfjR6w [youtube.com]

Print ads, too:
http://www.macmothership.com/gallery/newads10/Macad1.jpg [macmothership.com] and http://www.macmothership.com/gallery/newads10/Macad2.jpg [macmothership.com]

For about fifteen years, Apple desperately wanted to be taken seriously by business users, who dismissed Macs as incompatible and expensive (with good reason.) Apple lost loads of money during this period. Meanwhile, Apple's sales were coming entirely from home users, artists, and education sales.

One of the first things Steve Jobs did when he returned was shit-can that approach and release the cute, cuddly, home-student oriented iMac. And whaddya know, the company suddenly started making money.

I can never use Apple in the enterprise (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31105848)

Because their service level agreements are just not good enough.

I standard "business" laptop from Dell comes with next business day on-site service, wherever you are in the world (well, within reason.)

i don't care how attractive Apple's laptops are, unless they can give me that sort of coverage for USD$1500, I'm not interested. I continually hear horror stories from my friends with Apple laptops about what they need to go through for it to get fixed.

When you travel, and travel a lot, you discover that stuff does have a finite lifetime - especially hard drives. There's only so many bumps from being wheeled around or bouncing through air pockets that they will take.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?