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Apple's Macworld Looking To Corporate Users

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the hi-i'm-a-business-mac dept.

Apple 287

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

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Frist post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17476484)

first post...

Article text (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17476502)

<base href="http://www.networkworld.com">
<body bgcolor="#FFFFFF">
<font size="1">Sponsored by:</font><BR>
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<img src="http://www.networkworld.com/graphics/i/logo.g if" width=218 height=40 border=0 alt="From Network World:"><br>
<img src="http://www.networkworld.com/gif/4shim.gif" width="2" height="5" alt=""><BR>
<font size="-1">This story appeared on Network World at<BR>
http://www.networkworld.com/news/2007/0107 07-apple-mcworld.html<P></font>

                     <!--startindex-->
                     <a id="top" name="top"></a><h1>Apple&#8217;s Macworld opens arms to corporate users </h1>
                     <H3>OS X upgrade, new iPod and possibly the oft-rumored iPhone too take center stage</H3>
                     <p class="byline">By&nbsp;<a href="/Home/jmears.html">Jennifer Mears</a>,&nbsp;Network World,&nbsp;01/04/07
                     </p>

                     <!-- CONTENT GOES HERE-->

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                     <p class="first">When the Macworld Conference &amp; Expo kicks off next week, attendees can expect the usual buzz around consumer products &#8211; Steve
                        Jobs is expected to formally unveil iTV, a video streaming device, during his keynote address on Tuesday and there is speculation
                        that a new iPod and perhaps even an <a xmlns:o="urn:www.microsoft.com/office" xmlns:st1="urn:www.microsoft.com/smarttags" xmlns:w="urn:www.microsoft.com/word" href="http://www.networkworld.com/news/2006/111606 -apple-iphone-rumors.html">iPhone</a> will be introduced. But there also will be a heightened focus on enterprise customers as Apple has in the past couple years
                        bolstered its standing as a viable server alternative in corporate data centers.
                     </p>
                                         <p>Attendees can expect more details on <a xmlns:o="urn:www.microsoft.com/office" xmlns:st1="urn:www.microsoft.com/smarttags" xmlns:w="urn:www.microsoft.com/word" href="http://www.networkworld.com/news/financial/a pple.html">Apple&#8217;s</a> next release of its <a xmlns:o="urn:www.microsoft.com/office" xmlns:st1="urn:www.microsoft.com/smarttags" xmlns:w="urn:www.microsoft.com/word" href="http://www.networkworld.com/topics/unix.html ">Unix</a>-based operating system, OS X 10.5, code-named Leopard, for instance. Leopard&#8217;s debut is slated for the spring, but industry
                        observers say Jobs may give an earlier date for its release during his talk. <a xmlns:o="urn:www.microsoft.com/office" xmlns:st1="urn:www.microsoft.com/smarttags" xmlns:w="urn:www.microsoft.com/word" href="http://www.networkworld.com/news/2006/080706 -wwdc-apple-touts-new-os.html">The operating system,</a> which Jobs previewed at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco in&nbsp;August, has a number of new features,
                        including an updated version of Boot Camp, software now in beta that lets Windows run on Apple machines.
                     </p>
                     <!--#include virtual="/includes/ads-ata.html"-->
                     <p>Other updates in Leopard include easier setup and search on the server side, a well as iCal Server, which lets users share
                        calendars and perform other collaborative tasks. On the desktop, Leopard updates include an automated backup system called
                        Time Machine and expanded Spotlight search, enabling users to search across networked machines.
                     </p>
                     <p>In line with Apple&#8217;s growing enterprise focus, Macworld attendees will find an enhanced MacIT Conference, three days of training
                        sessions designed for corporate Apple customers. The conference runs Wednesday through Friday and is aimed at educating IT
                        executives about a range of issues, including integrating Macs into heterogeneous environments, imaging and deploying Mac
                        systems and securing Mac environments.
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                     <p>About 40,000 people are expected to attend Macworld, which runs Monday through Friday at the Moscone Center in San Francisco,
                        compared with some 38,000 attendees last year, according to show organizer IDG World Expo, a sister company of Network World.
                        As for the MacIT Conference, about 750 attendees are expected, compared with 375 who showed up for the debut conference in
                        2003.
                     </p>
                                         <p>About 400 exhibitors, with more than 100 first-timers, will pack both the north and south halls of the convention center,
                        says Paul Kent, vice president of MacWorld.
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                     <p>Dan O&#8217;Donnell, collaboration coordinator and Macintosh administrator at RAND, a nonprofit research organization based in Santa
                        Monica, Calif., says he&#8217;s heading to Macworld to attend sessions primarily on security issues and also to &#8220;kick the tires&#8221;
                        on new hardware that may be introduced. In addition, O&#8217;Donnell is presenting at the MacIT Conference on Friday regarding his
                        use of Common Criteria tools to ensure Mac OS X is as secure as it can be.
                     </p>
                     <p>&#8220;The show has really evolved. For a long time it was a consumer-oriented show and those of us who are from the enterprise
                        space &#8211; there weren&#8217;t very many of us &#8211; would use it as a place to meet and compare notes,&#8221; O&#8217;Donnell says. &#8220;Now Macintosh
                        in the enterprise is becoming more recognized and there are tracks that are specifically for us enterprise people. We don&#8217;t
                        have to sneak off anymore.&#8221;
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                     <p>Macworld&#8217;s Kent agrees, noting that the show has increased its offerings for enterprise professionals during the past four
                        years.
                     </p>
                                          <p>&#8220;People have come to know that Macworld is the place where they can get enterprise training,&#8221; he says. &#8220;And this is training
                        on Apple&#8217;s enterprise products, everything from the Xserve to the RAID products to their parallel computing products and also
                        how Macs integrate with other technologies. One of the hottest topics right now is this rapidly converging world of Mac OS
                        and the <a xmlns:o="urn:www.microsoft.com/office" xmlns:st1="urn:www.microsoft.com/smarttags" xmlns:w="urn:www.microsoft.com/word" href="http://www.networkworld.com/topics/windows.h tml">Windows</a> operating system.&#8221;
                     </p><!--#if expr="${compare} != /^page\=full/" --><!--#endif -->
                     <p>Schoun Regan, who owns Mac training firm ITInstruction.com in Lexington, Ky., and is this year&#8217;s chair of the MacIT Conference,
                        says he&#8217;s seeing more interest in Apple systems among Windows shops.
                     </p>
                     <p>&#8220;This is because of [Macs now running on] the Intel chipset and because people are understanding that Mac OS X is a robust,
                        scalable and secure operating system,&#8221; he says.
                     </p>
                     <p>At MacWorld last year, Jobs introduced <a xmlns:o="urn:www.microsoft.com/office" xmlns:st1="urn:www.microsoft.com/smarttags" xmlns:w="urn:www.microsoft.com/word" href="http://www.networkworld.com/news/2006/011006 -macworld-notebook.html">the first Intel-based Mac product</a> and announced that the company&#8217;s entire product line would transition from the PowerPC to Intel processors during the course
                        of the year.
                     </p>
                     <p>&#8220;The impact of Apple&#8217;s migration to Intel is really very large,&#8221; O&#8217;Donnell says.&nbsp;&#8220;It allows running Windows on Apple hardware
                        either native or virtualized, and this is good for users, systems administrators, Apple and <a xmlns:o="urn:www.microsoft.com/office" xmlns:st1="urn:www.microsoft.com/smarttags" xmlns:w="urn:www.microsoft.com/word" href="http://www.networkworld.com/news/financial/m icrosoft.html">Microsoft.</a> Everybody wins and nobody loses. More than anything I think we&#8217;ll see this increase the usage of Macs in enterprise space.&#8221;
                     </p>
                     <p>As a result, IT executives who may be taking a first serious look at Macs should consider Macworld a testing ground, O&#8217;Donnell
                        says.
                     </p>
                     <p>&#8220;A lot of my peers in IT or systems administration are really Windows people and when someone mentions Macs to them, they
                        remember way back when, when they were in college. It&#8217;s all different now,&#8221; he says. &#8220;They need to be cognizant that [Mac
                        OS X] is a much more robust operating system and works better with Windows. They need to keep an open mind.&#8221;
                     </p>
                     <p>&nbsp;</p>
                     <p>&nbsp;</p>
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                     <p>
<font size="-1">All contents copyright 1995-2007 Network World, Inc. <a href='http://www.networkworld.com'>http://www.netw orkworld.com</a></font>

I for one.... (0)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 7 years ago | (#17476538)

...welcome our new Corporate Apple overlords.

I think it's merely speculation at this point though, unless they introduce something for the corporate world that will really make people stand up. They have already started by essentially making all their machines Windows compatible, while still maintaining the OS X train.

I think they'd need to introduce something huge to really shake the corporate spenders into moving away from Dell+Windows+Office in the cheapest possible configuration. Who knows? I seriously doubt it will be an Office suite, put it that way. heh.

Re:I for one.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17476632)

I'm hoping this means updates in the Pro line. I've been holding off getting a new MacBook Pro until after MacWorld to see if they're going to announce anything interesting to help with the corporate environment. Docking stations anyone?

Re:I for one.... (2, Interesting)

Total_Wimp (564548) | more than 7 years ago | (#17476978)

They have already started by essentially making all their machines Windows compatible, while still maintaining the OS X train.

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

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

TW

Re:I for one.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17478582)

Knock Windows all you'd like but MS and third party software makes it so one person can deploy a standard corporate image to hundreds of PCs a night including backing and restoring all of the users specific customizations and printers with almost zero trips to an actual desktop computer. You can do the same with OS service packs, Office installs, IE upgrades, Avery label Wizard, etc. Apples has tools and is expanding that lineup in the right direction but they are just not there yet. Apples tools seem to lean towards updating and maintaining Apples software. Third party support is lacking.

Plugging an iPod into a Mac and using it as a source hard drive to upgrade that machine to the newest OS or patch level is great but that is not going to be an effective use of resources for an enterprise.

It's hopeless (-1, Flamebait)

realmolo (574068) | more than 7 years ago | (#17476592)

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

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

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

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

Re:It's hopeless (2, Informative)

MBCook (132727) | more than 7 years ago | (#17476678)

I'm guessing they were referring to the OTHER side of the corporate network (authentication, web serving, database, e-mail, etc) instead of the client boxes. Of course this ignores the argument that Macs are cheaper because of the lack of spyware/viruses/etc which you may or may not buy.

There is no dispute that most custom business apps are written to Windows, although Parallels can fix that (though not cheaply at $80 for Parallels and $75 for an OEM windows).

Re:It's hopeless (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17477082)

There is no dispute that most custom business apps are written to Windows, although Parallels can fix that (though not cheaply at $80 for Parallels and $75 for an OEM windows).

OEM Windows? That's a violation of the licensing agreement, and if you are lucky enough to receive a Microsoft audit, you will be presented with a bill for ((number of macs running OEM windows on parallels) * (current cost of a windows license of their choice)).

I like how your solution to running windows apps on the mac will get your ass sued in a corporate environment.

Re:It's hopeless (0)

Albanach (527650) | more than 7 years ago | (#17477206)

OEM Windows? That's a violation of the licensing agreement...

Why would it be a violation of the license to buy a new mac and an OEM copy of Windows - isn't that exactly what OEM copies are designed for, purchase with a new computer?

Re:It's hopeless (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17478638)

Why would it be a violation of the license to buy a new mac and an OEM copy of Windows - isn't that exactly what OEM copies are designed for, purchase with a new computer?

It's probably okay if you buy it all as a bundle. However, Apple doesn't sell such an option. And when you buy a Parallels bundle it doesn't come with the OEM version, either.

If you purchased from an Apple reseller who was also a Windows reseller, then ostensibly they could bundle OEM Windows. And if they sold more than a couple copies, Microsoft would just prevent them from getting OEM windows for resale.

Re:It's hopeless (2, Insightful)

AliasTheRoot (171859) | more than 7 years ago | (#17477238)

Which the grandparent hadn't even bothered to read up on. "It's a Mac it can't do those stuff". Yet OSX Server is a drop in replacement for an NT Domain server without the honerous CAL pricing (It's SAMBA/LDAP/CUPS etc etc with a decent centralised management toolset).

Re:It's hopeless (1)

Zaurus (674150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17477450)

There is no dispute that most custom business apps are written to Windows...


I'll dispute it. My company's been writing custom business apps on only Linux/BSD/OS X for 6 years now. Never written a single custom business app for Windows. I don't make any claims about the rest of the world, but in my sphere of influence ALL custom apps are NOT "written to Windows."

Flame on!

Apple is nowhere in servers (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 7 years ago | (#17477758)

In 2002, Apple made it up to 5th place in servers with a 1.5% US market share. [macobserver.com] (Outside the US, zilch.)

By 2005, they were in 10th place with an 0.5% worldwide market share. [macsimumnews.com] (Article title: "Apple gaining momentum in server market". Maybe 2004 was worse.)

Re:It's hopeless (5, Insightful)

Ignignot (782335) | more than 7 years ago | (#17476730)

Unless those apples cost less to keep up / maintain / their software is cheaper / they use less power.
 
By far the largest cost in IT is man hours. If you drop those by a little, you can save more than an apple will cost you.

Re:It's hopeless (2, Interesting)

balsy2001 (941953) | more than 7 years ago | (#17476988)

I was thinking about this exact thing the other day. The office I work in has about 300 people in it and 6 (that I know of) IT staff that do nothing but fix our computers. If you assume that each one costs the company $150K/year you could pay for a new macbook every year (just throw the old one out) for every employee if you could get rid of just 2 of them. I don't know if Macs would make that possible though.

Re:It's hopeless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17477488)

Hell, why not really go nuts? Keep the MacBooks for a couple of years, and instead of throwing them out when you upgrade, hire someone whose sole job is to eBay the old ones to recoup some of their costs.

Re:It's hopeless (1, Troll)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17477002)

Unless those apples cost less to keep up / maintain / their software is cheaper / they use less power. By far the largest cost in IT is man hours. If you drop those by a little, you can save more than an apple will cost you.

It doesn't matter at all because the vast majority of business applications are not available for the mac. Period. If macs fill your needs, well, that's great; if not then you either have to choose windows or have a mix of machines which complicates your environment and raises the cost of support because you either need people who know both platforms and are thus ostensibly worth more money (especially if there actually were any real demand for people with mac skills, which we all know there is not) or you more people.

The single biggest cost in the typical windows shops I've seen has been dealing with viruses and malware. But if you lock the systems down a bit, then you can protect them from most of that. Meanwhile the mac simply doesn't serve all your business needs, so you will need something else, and homogeneity makes life MUCH simpler in IT.

Re:It's hopeless (1)

realmolo (574068) | more than 7 years ago | (#17477156)

Eh. Macs would be somewhat workable if you had a SMALL network, I guess. But on a large network, you WANT the control that Active Directory and GPOs give you.

Hers's how it works. You buy a zillion Windows machines. You create a "standard" image of Windows for these machines, and keep the image on the network, and use Ghost (or equivalent) to push images onto the client PCs. This image has everything locked down. Users can't tweak or install anything. Their "My Documents" folder is redirected to a share on the server, which gets backed up. If you need to install software on a machine, you do it with SMS, and don't even have to touch the client machines. If you want to REALLY get crazy, you give everyone a roaming profile, so any machine they login to has all their stuff. For anti-virus, you buy a Fortigate unit to block viruses and spyware at the "gateway" level.

The end. Any problems, you just re-image the machine.

Yes, it's a lot of work. But it's a one-time thing. And big networks NEED this kind of functionality. Not to mention they probably need Exchange/Outlook, too. I personally think Exchange sucks balls, but it does do a lot of neat stuff, and lots of companies use it.

As for "internet servers"...you should use Linux in almost all cases.

Re:It's hopeless (4, Informative)

larkost (79011) | more than 7 years ago | (#17477946)

The problem in your argument is the assumption that Apple does not have something that competes in all of those spaces. But Apple has actually had centralized management for much longer than it has been available for Windows, and it is generally an easier-to-administer system. And system imaging is much easier on the Mac side.

Now for the details:

For the AD/GPO side you have MacOS X Server's OpenDirectory and Workgroup Management. The later product stared out in the MacOS 7 days as "Macintosh Manager" and was available as part of AppleShare IP product. You can do an awful lot of locking down on the computer with the point-and-click components, including setting the users to use network home directories (pretty much the same avrients as are available on Windows). A good begining point for this would be Apple's page on MacOS X Server: http://www.apple.com/server/desktop_management.htm l [apple.com]

For imaging you have a number of choices: You can make up a computer as you would like it imaged, then use the free imaging tools that are included with the OS (Disk Utility has absorbed this capability, it used to be part of ASR). Then you can either push it back onto the computer using Disk Utility again, or use the image to NetBoot computers from a MacOS X Server (technically you don't need server, but it makes it easier), use the free NetBoot/NetRestore [bombich.com] system to allow you to cause network-based imaging to happen, use the free tool Radmind [umich.edu] to keep the image in sync (complex settings possible, and you can update one computer then let the rest follow it automatically), or use any of the other techniques that are out there (LANRev, NetOctopus, etc).

Oh... and an image you make of one computer will boot all computers that that OS supports (computers much older, or newer than the OS won't work), there are a few tricks and traps to that, but not many that matter. And there is currently the caveat that you need 2 images: one for PPC and one for Intel.

And on the remote software install party, Apple Remote Desktop does this wonderfully. It even allows for broadcast installing and leaving a package on a server so that disconnected users will get it the next time they connect.

Oh, and then you can also use AD servers to do all of this management if you would like, either through schema modification or adding a MacOS X Server on the side.

Mod parent up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17478440)

informative and useful info

Re:It's hopeless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17477960)

All this that you ask for is built in to Mac OSX Server. Disk Image, NetBoot an NetInstall and Server Based user account for desk top and mobile machines, and Mac and Windows users. I use it in my lab, albeit small, but I have read about this being used in Mac networks of over 500 machines. It appears to be scalable.

Re:It's hopeless (2, Insightful)

towermac (752159) | more than 7 years ago | (#17478052)

And big networks NEED this kind of functionality
You mean NON-functionality. You just said they can't do anything but the narrow tasks you specifically allow them to do. That's what a Windows network needs to function. I don't get how most techs today strip the office machines down to slightly more functional than the terminals we had 15 years ago and then act like they've built something special. You think the majority of the users show up for work wanting to break things? Anyway, you guarantee that office drones will never rise to the level of power user that way.

Re:It's hopeless (1)

BlowChunx (168122) | more than 7 years ago | (#17478074)

Why not netboot the macs (keeps the "image" consistent), and have a file server that has the users' home directory on it (old school "roaming profile")? Wouldn't that do the same thing? (excuse my lack of windows networking expertise, I have managed to avoid that...)

Re:It's hopeless (2, Informative)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 7 years ago | (#17478168)

Almost everything you just described can be done with a Mac OS X Server box and Apple Remote Desktop [apple.com] . Macs support Active Directory [apple.com] . They also support remote installation of software [informit.com] , NetBoot and Network Install [apple.com] , and Network Home Directories [apple.com] .

About the only thing on your list that's missing is Exchange/Outlook. :-)

Re:It's hopeless (1)

otis wildflower (4889) | more than 7 years ago | (#17478574)

About the only thing on your list that's missing is Exchange/Outlook. :-)

Mail.app + iCal + AddressBook + iChat + iSync + internal .Mac substitute >>> Exchange/Outlook.

Here's hoping we see that internal "enterprise .Mac"!

Re:It's hopeless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17478382)

And big networks NEED this kind of functionality.

Everything you described is available on Mac OS X, and IMHO, easier.

You create a "standard" image of Windows for these machines, and keep the image on the network, and use Ghost (or equivalent) to push images onto the client PCs.

Mac OS X server does this easily, except you don't need Ghost, because you just boot the image over the network. And if you want to change the image, you just change it on the server and reboot the clients. If you just want to install some new software on the clients, you set up a Network Install image and they auto-discover and auto-install it. Or you can use Apple Remote Desktop if you want to schedule it. It's even better than SMS because building your own packages is not a pain in the ass. There's even an Automator action for it.

If you want to REALLY get crazy, you give everyone a roaming profile, so any machine they login to has all their stuff.

How is this crazy? Networked home folders are nothing new. Mac OS X even supports roaming profiles for Windows (it's NT4, not AD, but it still works).

Yes, it's a lot of work.

It's much less work on Mac OS X. I suggest you actually get informed [apple.com] before saying things like "Macs would be somewhat workable if you had a SMALL network, I guess."

Re:It's hopeless (2, Informative)

Graff (532189) | more than 7 years ago | (#17478428)

You create a "standard" image of Windows for these machines, and keep the image on the network, and use Ghost (or equivalent) to push images onto the client PCs. This image has everything locked down. Users can't tweak or install anything. Their "My Documents" folder is redirected to a share on the server, which gets backed up. If you need to install software on a machine, you do it with SMS, and don't even have to touch the client machines. If you want to REALLY get crazy, you give everyone a roaming profile, so any machine they login to has all their stuff.

You DO realize that you can do the same under Mac OS X? In fact it's even easier!

NetBoot [apple.com]
Workgroup Manager [apple.com]

These services are extremely simple to set up and manage. In my opinion they are much easier to manage than Ghost and Active Directory or their equivalents on the Windows side of things.

Re:It's hopeless (1)

swb (14022) | more than 7 years ago | (#17477222)

The challenge, though, is reducing costs in a way that produces savings that actually translate from the spreadsheet to real-world operations, whereas up-front purchase prices are guaranteed savings realizable without any effort.

Man-hour reductions are even harder to realize since unlike dollar savings, it's often impossible to accrue the savings in a way that makes eliminating a FTE realistic -- employees who save 5 minutes here, 5 minutes there can't always have that time savings turned into either less work or fewer people.

And then there are the intangible considerations -- managers who don't want reduced headcount for power/empire reasons, fears of reduced QoS from lower headcounts, more complicated time/personnel management, let alone the challenges of switching a computing platform.

And then there's the issues of "general" expenses like power savings that almost nobody notices or cares about except at the most macro level where switching platforms might not even be noticed as anything other than a statistical abberation.

Wrong, or that can be wrong (1)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 7 years ago | (#17478172)

It's been well noted for the last 20 years that apples have lower techinician to user ratios than say windows. That means in heterogenius envirnoments there are relatively fewer mac IT folks. This leads to two problems 1) when it comes time to vote on things or downselect on platforms the Windows people out number the mac folks. and 2) when something really difficult needs to be done, like getting some active directory to fail over properly on a heterogenous network, or to figure out why NFS is slow off of the apple raid server, then there's less of a critical mass of expertise and manpower make the change. Without that depth chances are some problems will be insurmountable despite the system being on the whole easier to maintain.

Thus if it's the IT dept that is advising corporate decsion making you get people voting for their jobs and expertise and saying they can't solve the problems on the macs. In reality if they just had a slightly bigger mac IT department that most of the time twidded it's thumbs like the maytag repairman but was ready to fight the big fires, they could overall have a smaller IT dept.

There's simply no question that macs are easier to maintain on a day to day basis. But you need the depth of IT staff to fight the big fires and few mac IT depts have that.

Over and Over I see the same happening to the linux techs who, after being hired for unix, are sucked in to the Windows vortex that consumes all IT resources, leading us to want to hire yet another unix tech.

Re:It's hopeless (0, Offtopic)

mcho (878145) | more than 7 years ago | (#17476754)

Macs are more expensive.

Oh crap, the flood gates are going to open...head for higher ground!

Re:It's hopeless (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17476880)

Macs also last longer and require less day-to-day maintenance which negates the increased upfront costs.

My last job, I admin'd a network and supported over 100 users at an all-Mac shop, by myself. This was in the late 90s, so it was pre-OS X. Most of my day was spent reading and surfing the web in my office. I dealt with the occasional hardware failure. Once in a while a Mac would get cranky and I'd have to go run Norton Utilities on it to fix it up, which it very seldom failed to do. Most of my support calls were to help people deal with Office documents sent from Windows-based clients/vendors/etc, because this was before the antitrust stuff really kicked into gear and Microsoft was merrily using their ever-changing Office file formats to force upgrades and keep competitors at bay.

Eventually the company decided to migrate to Windows "to be compatible with the rest of the world." Fantastic choice. The IT staff quickly tripled, and we really needed a fourth because of all the shit that went wrong with Windows and the crappy Dells the company settled on. I very quickly got tired of it and left.

Apple has made great strides since then with OS X, and would already be a force to be reckoned with in the enterprise if it weren't for empire-building PHBs who must preserve their big budgets and staff of minions to tend to temperamental Windows boxes.

Re:It's hopeless (2, Insightful)

JavaLord (680960) | more than 7 years ago | (#17477746)

The funny thing to me is, the PHB's never calculate the employee downtime into the picture. For example, sure maybe you can save yourself a $40,000 tech if you are running macs and you have less problems, but they don't take into account the $100,000 of lost sales when the sales team can't work because their PC shit itself.

Re:It's hopeless (1)

PPGMD (679725) | more than 7 years ago | (#17478110)

The question was how well was the transition handled? How much did they budget for locking the network down?

As a consultant I have dealt with many shops that have one admin type person for up to 100 PC's. It just requires pre-planning and a good initial infrastructure. Of course that won't solve hardware issues, but software issues can be nipped in the butt.

For me setting up a new shop of about 100 PC's would be easy. And I could easily have it done by a single person on day to day activities with 3 maybe 4 servers (DC, file server and secondary DC, SMS/AV server, and an ISA server with filtering software to prevent spyware sites) But then again I have years of Windows experience, and enough Mac experience to know my way around them.

Re:It's hopeless (4, Interesting)

armada (553343) | more than 7 years ago | (#17476898)

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

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

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

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

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

Re:It's hopeless (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17477454)

I'm a big mac fanboy, but it sounds like *you* don't know what you're talking about.

A lot of business apps, nasty as it is, are VB based, or require IE.

Also, OS X/Open Directory doesn't come close to Windows/AD. You simply can't lock down a Mac environment the same way you can on Windows, and you don't have near the number of management tools or control that you do with AD.

I wish you could do all this stuff on the Mac...I really do, but you can't.

Re:It's hopeless (1)

linuxpng (314861) | more than 7 years ago | (#17477464)

You made your point yourself, even if it's not glaringly obvious. "most of the important" and "most of the "custom stuff"".

I own several semi recent macs, so lets get that out of the way. I can do "most" of my business needs, you're right. Here are a few apps I can't use...anything to open a 1-2-3 spreadsheet (it might exist, hadn't looked to hard), avaya IP phone software, lucent phone monitoring software. These are not every business applications but they are ones I am forced to use. That means no mac for work, and there are probably hundreds of little proprietary applications that can't be reproduced that companies use like this.

I'll agree once you get a mac that has no hardware problems, you're going to have less work to do than windows. The trick is getting that mac with no hardware problems. If you haven't had one, you're lucky. I've had 5 macs with major hardware issues out of the box....and if you've had them repair your machine flawlessly, you're lucky there too. None of mine have been repaired where they didn't cosmetically damage something or just mess up the repair completely. I just don't expect to see companies dealing with high failure rates. If their published failure rate is low, I would be suprised because I've had many other and off brand PC's that haven't had these issues.

Your mileage might have varied, but I can't believe I am the only one this happened to.

Re:It's hopeless (1)

armada (553343) | more than 7 years ago | (#17478416)

Thanx for the lucid comment. Something I'm sure this thread will be low on. You are correct in pointing out that currently some specialized tools are not available and un-replaceable on the mac platform. The point is that the news story we are commenting on was about Apple looking seriously at the Enterprise IT market not about Apple claiming they could replace it in the second quarter of 2007. The original comment poster for "it's hopeless", by the very title of his comment, implies that there is no chance in hell it could ever become possible. And those of us who think with our mind and not with our lemming node know that it is more than just possible. As far as your issues with hardware and repair are concerned. I am no aware of such widespread problems but don't doubt they happen. I have not had that happen in any of my large mac implementations (and unlike the poster suggests most are not in design firms). Conversely, I have had Dell ship me 8 servers and 150 workstations that were nowhere near the ones their "Sales Tech Expert" and I discussed/designed and I subsequently ordered for a client. The process of getting this little problem resolved became so complex and impossible that my client just "ate" the systems and compromised where needed.

Re:It's hopeless (2, Insightful)

dan828 (753380) | more than 7 years ago | (#17478132)

The Mac Mini at $599.00 is really a different animal than the ~$500 Box you'd get from dell or the like. And the first Minis (the PPC ones) were woefully underpowered such that it had difficulty running the supplied OS in its standard configuration. I bought one and was very disapointed with it. The new ones may be better, but I'm sure not going to fork out another $599 to find out. Also, they are only a viable option if you already have usb keyboard and mouse plus a monitor. If you need those, you'll end up, price wise, in the Core 2 Duo desktop with 19" flat panel range.

If Apple was serious about this space they'd come out with a ~$1000 expandable box, or even a Mini that you could easily open and upgrade (poping the case open with a pair of putty knives and voiding the warranty isn't a viable option most places). Frankly, Apple equipment is aimed at consumers and high end video/audo workstation users. None of their equipment, IMHO, is appealing to enterprise.

Re:It's hopeless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17478152)

Hiperbole = weak

Hiperbole = not a word. :-)
In English, anyways.

Re:It's hopeless (0, Redundant)

armada (553343) | more than 7 years ago | (#17478650)

Hiperbole = weak

Hiperbole = not a word. :-)
In English, anyways.
Associated press release: "Today a combatant in the region of Dar Five was seen attacking a tank in the streets of Mogadefoot. Since he was only armed with a toilet plunger he resigned himself to strongly criticize the fact that they tank's camouflage color scheme did not match the paint of the house behind it. Followup at 11!

Re:It's hopeless (2, Informative)

enterix (5252) | more than 7 years ago | (#17476942)


Maybe you can check facts first.

Check Leopard MacOSX Server:
Apache, Samba, OpenLDAP, Kerberos, Postfix, Cyrus, SpamAssasin, Jabber, CUPS, POSIX, Wiki, Xgrid, QT Streaming... all 64-bit, not mentioning DTrace and ZFS

Dude! That makes is coolest server on the block!!

MacOSX 10.5 Leopard Server [apple.com]

Apple's new motto (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 7 years ago | (#17476986)

Apple, its what Windows runs best on.

One thing Apple could do is sell business Mac's running Windows (either through Bootcamp or just Windows). Why? Because they have such a tight grip on what does and does not work on their machines they can eliminate many of the issues that plague windows PCs.

or they could just try to get into the backend servers... but thats even more locked up than the PCs themselves at most places

Re:It's hopeless (3, Informative)

AliasTheRoot (171859) | more than 7 years ago | (#17477188)

http://www.apple.com/server/macosx/ [apple.com]

$499 for 10 users, $999 for unlimited.

http://www.apple.com/xserve/raid/ [apple.com]

Very competitive pricing.

I don't have experience in running it in the Enterprise, but it's a very solid choice for running a SME off of - at a far lower cost than Microsoft. We had around 200 users running on OSX and Windows with roaming profiles, centralised user management, 5TB of network shares, network printing all on a couple of Tiger servers.

Yes, the hardware costs are greater - but the software costs are much much lower.

Re:It's hopeless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17477278)

The Mac Mini is only $600 and comes with more software than a typical $500 PC. My experience is that Macs require much less maintenance than Windows PCs so the total cost of ownership is significantly lower even for the more expensive models.

Isn't Apple's Open Directory for Mac OS X Server equivalent to Active Directory? Also GPO support is available for Macs via Centrify's DirectControl software for those that insist on living in a Microsoft Active Directory world.

Re:It's hopeless (2, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 7 years ago | (#17477498)

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

The article discussed mainly enterprise applications like file and print servers. Quietly Apple has been positioning itself in this area with hardware like XServe and XRAID. Software is slowly developing, but remember OS X is Unix based so many Unix applications will require porting and not full re-writes. At least one application, XSan is interesting. The ability to turn any and all your Apple servers into a huge SAN. There is potential. Corporate desktops may come later.

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

The last time I checked the vast majority of businesses use applications like Office and Quickbooks which are available for OS X. Custom applications will not work, but the vast majority of businesses are small businesses which can't afford custom software.

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

True, nobody but only MS has Active Directory. For Windows file compatibility, you can run Samba and OS X does support all sorts of other LDAP protocols.

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

Many small businesses could benefit from the lower TCO of running Macs. Less IT staffing for example. Many of the core business software like Office and Quickbooks is available for OS X. So why not?

Re:It's hopeless (1)

MPHellwig (847067) | more than 7 years ago | (#17477814)

No indeed no click and drool tools comparible to MOM, but why should I need that if I can use Open(LDAP) Directory, why do I need GPO's when I got remote shell access, it's a unix in it's base you can script the hell out of the system. For coroporate you need: Authentication, Authorization, shared resources and policy based restrictions, now all that can be done from the comfort of a command line, you know the thing you use when you want to automate a repetetive task in a corporate situation where you got more boxes then fingers and toes.

However some fine tuning will be needed to fully mimic GPO, MS did really a great job there, althouhg GPO are usually used to prevent uncorporate behaviour like installing unauthorized software, automatic distributing of MSI packages and logon/off scripts to set resources. But keep in mind the the NT philosophy of user friendly is quite the opposite of unix in general, though MacOSX has made some improvements for the GUI handicapped users.

We just need customers (4, Insightful)

Soong (7225) | more than 7 years ago | (#17476634)

to start using Macs and then my company will port our software to Mac. Or is it the other way around, where we port and then our customers can switch to Macs?

Re:We just need customers (2, Funny)

BlowChunx (168122) | more than 7 years ago | (#17477772)

Just wait and your competitors will make a better cross platform app that will hurt your bottom line. Then you will start "innovating"...

Re:We just need customers (4, Interesting)

FellowConspirator (882908) | more than 7 years ago | (#17477790)

If the software was well-written, it would be platform independent. There's no excuse in this day an age for anything other than system software and utilities to be platform-dependent. Platform independence was hard years ago, but not today. Not only do you have Mac and Linux (particularly on the server side) gaining market share (and Windows slowly decreasing), but you increasingly have situations outside the US where government mandates preclude the use of Windows for many purposes.

You company is reducing it's potential customer base.

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

There's some historical reasons for those positions (UNIX and its variants is more or less the exclusive platform for modern biology and chemistry, for example), but I see similar situations appearing in other fields where Linux and Mac are dominating in academia today.

Mac OWNER, Windows Administrator. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17476704)

You could NOT pay me to admin a Mac computer. I run a G5 for FCP, Apeature, and use the MS email client. Beyond that, I would not use it. Hell no.

I also (use to) maintain Windows networks. Active Directory, even with it's flaws, is so *#%&#% powerful. The tweakery that one can impliment it just awesome.

The Mac is great. It MAY even work in the Corporate world provided it was used for EMAIL, SURFING and EXCEL. Beyond that, I wouldn't touch it. Of course, if you are only using it for those applications, you just paid an additional 20-40% for the same thing a Windows box can do (yet you lose the administration).

The Enterprise world will never touch anything OS X related. It is incompatable with their Enterprise enviornment.

The Medium business class could possibly use it but they don't want to pay for the additional hardware, software (if it exists) or the maintenance cost.

The SMALL business could possibly use Macs. I know some small shops but it's always based on Application or Image. Rarely cost.

Re:Mac OWNER, Windows Administrator. (2)

megaditto (982598) | more than 7 years ago | (#17477178)

The Enterprise world will never touch anything OS X related. It is incompatable with their Enterprise enviornment.

Totally agree here. OSX, FreeBSD, linux, and OpenVMS are for "n00bs".

Everyone know that the real "l33t h4ck3r admiz" chose Windows.

Re:Mac OWNER, Windows Administrator. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17477236)

We talking desktops or servers?

If desktops, then you are a troll.
If servers, why pay more for a peice of hardware with an expensive OS when you can just get FreeBSD.

Linux is for the fanboy. BSD is for the paid. /AC parent

Re:Mac OWNER, Windows Administrator. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17477358)

Yeah! Because it's fucking wrong to have a BSD-based OS on a desktop. Burn OS X, BURN IT!!!!11!!

Re:Mac OWNER, Windows Administrator. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17477988)

and oddly enough, Mac OS X works great with Active Directory. An OS X Server is considerably easier to maintain than a Windows XP server, and allows for things like Netboot, network homes, etc. along with fun stuff like VTC (iChat), distributed computing (Xgrid), and the like. Also includes built-in two factor authentication capabilities for those people who might have to deal with PKI. Oh.. and the server also works great with Active Directory and does WINS, master browser and stuff like that for those people who haven't yet migrated to Active Directory.
With unlimited clients for around $1000, it's even cheap compared to an average price on windows XP server environment.

nope. Can't see that anyone would ever want to set up something like that in an enterprise environment.

Re:Mac OWNER, Windows Administrator. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17478532)

The killer app with active directory is group policy. Even though OS X server works with active directory, it doesn't have ANYTHING that can touch the granularity to control your client base that Active Directory provides. I believe that is what the grandparent was talking about.

Re:Mac OWNER, Windows Administrator. (1)

Beer_Smurf (700116) | more than 7 years ago | (#17478044)

"You could NOT pay me to admin a Mac computer." Is that your way of saying that if your customers had Macs you would be out of a job?

Great strategy (2, Insightful)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 7 years ago | (#17476782)

Run ads making fun of spreadsheeting, budgeting and other IT tasks and promote the ability to do video, photo and music. Then go the IT shops and try to sell a brand identified photo video and music to do spreadsheets and budgeting. Wow! Apple's strategy is not comprehendable to mere humans like us.

Look at all the DRMs it is pushing in iPod. Look at how they stymie interoperability. Look how cavalierly they ignore all my settings and repeatedly install iPodhelper and other junk in the start up tray. Look how aggressively they try to associate Apple executables with every damn file type there is. Make no mistake, Apple is just a Microsoft wannabe that failed miserably to be Microsoft.

Re:Great strategy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17476956)

Look how cavalierly they ignore all my settings and repeatedly install iPodhelper and other junk in the start up tray.

Umm, are you sure you're on a Mac? If there's a "Start" button in the lower left corner, the problem might be that you're actually using Windows.

Re:Great strategy (1)

Andrewkov (140579) | more than 7 years ago | (#17477364)

Apple does make software for Windows, and it does behave as the grandparent describes.

Re:Great strategy (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 7 years ago | (#17477514)

iTunes in windows does this.

Re:Great strategy (5, Insightful)

Bemopolis (698691) | more than 7 years ago | (#17477518)

Okay, it's a slow Friday and I'm bored enough to feed the troll...

Run ads making fun of spreadsheeting, budgeting and other IT tasks and promote the ability to do video, photo and music. Then go the IT shops and try to sell a brand identified photo video and music to do spreadsheets and budgeting.
Because we all know the way to get an IT shop to shift platforms is to run ads on broadcast TV. "Hey boss, don't get Macs — their ads mocked my fiefdom of valuable spreadsheeting." *Cue sad violins*

Wow! Apple's strategy is not comprehendable to mere humans like us.


Yes, all of us "mere humans" in IT and on Slashdot can't comprehend why Apple would target consumer Macs with consumer apps to consumers. Why aren't they advertising their exciting BUDGETING SOFTWARE on their U1 SERVERS!! THEY'RE CRAZY!!

Look at all the DRMs it is pushing in iPod.


All of which were forced on it by content providers. Of course, you can always rip your CDs into one of a few DRM-free formats and add them at will. It's not like iTunes ever, say, defaults to add DRM to CDs you rip, or tacks it onto files you *shudder* "squirt" to your friends. Either that or you misspelled Zune.

Look at how they stymie interoperability. Look how cavalierly they ignore all my settings and repeatedly install iPodhelper and other junk in the start up tray.


Yes, because Apple's strategy is to make using an iPod on a Windows machine difficult and pedantic. Or maybe, just maybe, this is symptomatic of the inherent byzantine shittiness of making things work with Windows. I have no relevant experience, really, as I am not a spreadsheet budgeting monkey and hence not a target of their blatantly IT-offensive advertising.

Look how aggressively they try to associate Apple executables with every damn file type there is. Make no mistake, Apple is just a Microsoft wannabe that failed miserably to be Microsoft.


Yes, if only it were possible to, say, set all files of a given type to open by default with a different app. And if only it were as simple as using a pull-down menu in a Get Info box. And if only I could travel back in time 10+ years or so I could come up with that idea before Apple incorporated it into their OS. THAT WOULD BE AWESOME!

This post seems a bit longer than my inital reaction, which was to suggest that you go FUD yourself. But as I said, slow Friday.

Hahahaha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17476784)

It's funny to see geeks in certain countries (I suppose it's the US) dreaming about the day the Mac will be used widely. IT WON'T HAPPEN. Apple itself doesn't want to! If they really wanted compete with Windows the software would be installable in any PC, otherwise they are just a company that produces expensive hardware for "special people".

There's no way they can match the price of a standard PC + Windows, so why bother?

The world is bigger than the US, the day Apple realizes that there might be a (very) small hope.

Not unless they address Corporate needs (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17476798)

We deployed many tens of machines in an environment largely dominated by Linux machines. Support for key services like NFS and other standard network protocols (NIS, etc.) was a horrific nightmare. Some of these issues were resolved but the key problem that we had was there is simply no mechanism in place for supporting large corporate enterprise level customers with real adult IT staffs at apple. My room full of 10-20 year veteran engineers was so frustrated with Apple's inability to address enterprise level support issues let us to nearly drop the entire investment into the dumpster. If Apple wants to play in the real world (other than the odd creative suite or home PC market) they had better learn real quick that real businesses have real IT staffs with real networks that have services like kerberos, NFS, NIS and they had better learn to play nice with them instead of expecting people to buy a wall of X-Serve machines. Just my $0.02.

Re:Not unless they address Corporate needs (1)

EvanTaylor (532101) | more than 7 years ago | (#17477254)

I'm wondering what your problems were exactly, mac os x ships with a kerberos auth client, and I thought it supported NFS out of the box.

I've been doing a project where I may want to setup NFS or kerberos (future planning, nothing like that now) and was just interested in any problems I may run into. Basically I have the option of deploying some cool networking stuff, and may end up doing it as a learning experience.

Re:Not unless they address Corporate needs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17478672)

when Mac OS gives me DFS support like my windows and unix based servers...

and the easter egg from MacWorld will be some podCAST tools and LDAP proxy that allows you to not have to double bind to get authentication services from AD and policy settings from Open Directory binding. still no DFS which is pathetic.

go sell some kids some ipods apple, thats all you are really good at.

If Apple wants corporate market penetration (1)

Asshat Canada (804093) | more than 7 years ago | (#17476820)

surely there are dozens of gay friendly companies that are already familiar with their products! It's like a license to print money! Money to buy LUBE with!

Think different; Just Say No to Apple (2, Informative)

micromuncher (171881) | more than 7 years ago | (#17476932)

Apple has never got it. Ever. It means Corporate or Enterprise IT. If you look at their history in dealing with Big companies, you see recurring mistakes over the past 15 years. Some examples... In the early '90s, Apple was IN BASF. One of the things BASF liked was Apple seemed to be actively supporting the platform. They chose to over look the lack of engineering tools for the great support Apple was giving them. Then Apple Europe restructed and all the close working relationship was dropped. By '95, Apple was pretty much out of every european production/manufacturing company.

I was working as an Apple developer for 10 years in engineering. Every WWDC I would argue (with the sci-eng evangelist; a position they found hard to staff) that incentives to VARs would not break into corporate IT. Productivity alone doesn't cut it. The world needs Apps, and Apple needed to bend over backward to support developers brave enough to try for that 1%. Suffices to say... the strategy has not changed. Incentives to VARs and pushing the illusory ease and security envelope.

Where's the Windows AD Integration? (4, Insightful)

Nutsquasher (543657) | more than 7 years ago | (#17477028)

The thing is, unless Apple can seamlessly integrate their desktop OS into Active Directory like how 2000/XP (and soon Vista) already do, they're not going to be considered as a major player in corporate IT land. They need to be able to plug into currently existing infrastructure, be centrally managed, and offer an improved Net Present Value over PC's.

I just don't see that happening for a number of reasons, asides from having to wait for Samba-4. It's going to be really tough to convince a CFO to buy new $2,000 MacBook Pro's for its users, plus copies of Parallels/VMWare Fusion, plus a Windows OS (not sure if MVL applies to Apple-based hardware - anyone?), and any other number of pieces of software that they need.

With bulk-licensing programs, it's much cheaper to replace old PC hardware with new while not having to worry a whole lot about licensing (so long as you did your homework when you spent the money). That's because you're moving from Windows 2000 to Windows XP, per say. There are very few vendors that'll let you move a license across different OS's.

Also, you have to re-train end users on how to use a different OS with its own quirks, provide HelpDesk support for dual-OS's (unless you ditch windows entirely; good luck with that), and you can't centrally manage them like you can with 2000/XP boxes in a properly implemented Active Directory environment.

Exchange support in Entourage is crap too since it relies on WebDev (IMAP/POP are your other options, which aren't good corporate solutions). Mac Excel != PC Excel. You get the point.

I do see Apple making inroads in the SoHo (Small Office, Home Office) area. Here you don't need a Domain infrastructure, workers are their own help desk, and so long as your work doesn't rely on some PC-only software, you can get by. The problem here is these customers are very price sensitive, so a Dell $500 special is much more appealing than what Apple offers.

On the IT side of things, I use a MacBook Pro with OS X, XP, and Gentoo Linux loaded on it, running in Parallels. It's my main box, and I love it for a few reasons:

1) 3 OS's on one machine instead of 3 OS's on three machines. Wonderful!
2) I personally like OS X as my main desktop environment over XP and Gnome.
3) I need access to all 3 OS's to do my work, which is pretty rare.

On the downside:

1) No docking station support.
2) No Serial/Parallel/Modem cables - all needed by IT Pro's to hook into existing networking gear, and to provide legacy support.
3) The battery sucks relative to previous PC laptops I've had (2-3 hours use vs. 5-6 on a PC laptop).
4) No floppy drive.

Ready for Corporate IT land? It still has a long ways to go. For a power user like myself? Yeah, it fits nicely.

Re:Where's the Windows AD Integration? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17477272)

"The thing is, unless Apple can seamlessly integrate their desktop OS into Active Directory like how 2000/XP (and soon Vista) already do, they're not going to be considered as a major player in corporate IT land. They need to be able to plug into currently existing infrastructure, be centrally managed, and offer an improved Net Present Value over PC's."

http://www.apple.com/itpro/articles/adintegration/ [apple.com] ... you were saying?

Re:Where's the Windows AD Integration? (2, Insightful)

SlamMan (221834) | more than 7 years ago | (#17477458)

I've set it up. It's not as good as actual AD integration on an XP/2k box. You can use it for authentication (most of the time. there's issues with mandatory password changes), but AD does much more than that.

Its definitely a step in the right direction though.

Re:Where's the Windows AD Integration? (1)

PPGMD (679725) | more than 7 years ago | (#17477782)

Have you ever tried it? It works, most of the time, but overall it's rather hit or miss.

Re:Where's the Windows AD Integration? (5, Insightful)

SlamMan (221834) | more than 7 years ago | (#17477412)

Not going to dispure your #1, I'd love a docking station for Apple's portable line (yes, BookEndz makes something they call a docking station, but those are rubbish).

#2 is a no issue, you can get USB serial adapters for $10. Modems (when necessary), can be handled via USB adaptor. I'm scratching my head on why you'd need to worry about needing a Parallel connection though.

3) I'm in the 4 hour range on my laptop with moderate energy savings set up (dimm the screen a bit, no cd in the drive).

4) My office hasn't bought a laptop with a floppy drive in it in something like 5 years. There's a few USB one around if someone needs it, in the IT office near the old Zip drives.

Re:Where's the Windows AD Integration? (1)

PPGMD (679725) | more than 7 years ago | (#17477902)

Sure serial, modem, and floppy adapters are available, but that's another 2 little adapters that we have to carry with us, combine that with the fact that it only has two USB ports (where we are often holding it, and typing one handed in a router closest).

Most of us are trying to cut down the crap we have to carry with us. With older laptops all I had to do was throw in the console adapter and console cable of the right type for the router and I was good to go. Now I have to carry a half dozen little adapters and such to do the same job. But I can't really blame Mac except for the removal of the modem, most PC makers are removing those ports.

Re:Where's the Windows AD Integration? (1)

Guy Harris (3803) | more than 7 years ago | (#17477468)

The thing is, unless Apple can seamlessly integrate their desktop OS into Active Directory like how 2000/XP (and soon Vista) already do, they're not going to be considered as a major player in corporate IT land. They need to be able to plug into currently existing infrastructure, be centrally managed, and offer an improved Net Present Value over PC's.

I just don't see that happening for a number of reasons, asides from having to wait for Samba-4.

How is Samba involved with this? (Only a tiny amount of OS X's client-side code to handle Microsoft protocols comes from Samba.)

Re:Where's the Windows AD Integration? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17478084)

Hum, Item (2) is not a problem. I connect to my router and radio to copper bridge via serial console with no problem on my MacBook Pro. As said before, you can get a USB->Serial adapter.

Item (3). My MacBook battery lasts longer than my work-issued Dell Latitude by a a long shot. The Dell has dark keys with blue fonts for alternate Fn features. Try see those in low light. My MacBook has keys that light up automatically in low light.

Given a choice, I'd rather have the MacBook Pro in lieu of the Dell for work any day.

Yep & you're also eligible for upgrade pricing (1)

HABITcky (828521) | more than 7 years ago | (#17478380)

not sure if MVL applies to Apple-based hardware - anyone?
Yep, it applies. In fact last summer when we were setting up our labs with dual-booted Intel iMacs we learned that you're even eligible for the upgrade pricing because the Macs already have an OS installed (OS X). According to our MS sales rep, Microsoft doesn't care what OS you have pre-existing on your workstations. If you're dual-booting your Macs with OS X and Windows XP Microsoft still feels that you're "upgrading" to their OS.

Apple needs to offer more flexibility for business (-1, Flamebait)

snuf23 (182335) | more than 7 years ago | (#17477080)

Just yesterday I needed to price an Xserve and two client computers for use with a classified advertising system my company had already purchased (Mac only). Budgets are tight for this project because the initial revenue stream is not very large. The server software requires at least 120GB of hard drive space while Apple only offers Xserve SATA drive configurations of either 80GB or 750GB! I also need RAID 1 on this unit which means two drives. THe 2x750GB configuration adds $1000 to the system total and is excessive. I can't even do 3x80GB in a RAID 5 because OSX (as far as I can tell) doesn't support RAID 5 and there is no hardware RAID controller option.
We use a lot of Macs at the office but Apple's so called "Enterprise" options are a joke compared to major vendors such as HP, Dell, IBM or Sun.

Re:Apple needs to offer more flexibility for busin (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17477604)

The Apple store lets you configure an XServe with 3x80gb drives, if you want, and you can purchase SoftRAID to provide RAID 5 capability. http://www.softraid.com/ [softraid.com] is $129.

Re:Apple needs to offer more flexibility for busin (1)

Ramble (940291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17478400)

Why on Earth would an enterprise server want software RAID 5? Seriously, don't even bother without a RAID card that supports RAID 5.

Re:Apple needs to offer more flexibility for busin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17477796)

You know that cou can buy drives elsewhere and put them in, do you?

Re:Apple needs to offer more flexibility for busin (1)

snuf23 (182335) | more than 7 years ago | (#17478728)

I need to have the server here and operational in one week for installation of the server software by the vendor. Of course this installation was scheduled BEFORE hardware approval was given and IT was only notified of the hardware need two days ago. Purchasing the system (which you cannot purchase bare without drives anyway), purchasing additional drives and then doing hardware install plus server OS reinstall will take time that I don't have. Besides which why should I have to go purchase additional drives from another vendor?

Heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17477104)

*** Now Macintosh in the enterprise is becoming more recognized and there are tracks that are specifically for us enterprise people ***

He made a funny. Mac in widespread enterprises will happen when hell freezes over (i.e. Linux becomes widespread in home use)

I'm a Mac... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17477106)

Eh? How does this work? The advertising strategy seems somewhat flawed.

From the Apple adverts I'm under the impression Macs can only blog and print photos. Maybe make a home movie or two... Other than resulting in all system administrators suddenly becoming good looking, young, thin and trendy, I don't see what real use Apple systems have in a corporate setting.

Re:I'm a Mac... (1)

Lord of Hyphens (975895) | more than 7 years ago | (#17478190)

Other than resulting in all system administrators suddenly becoming good looking, young, thin and trendy, I don't see what real use Apple systems have in a corporate setting.
That sound you just heard was the stampede of sysadmins trying to get the finance people to let the put Apple boxes in their shops.

Bad Apples (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17477116)

Check out this company's wrongdoing and malfeasance at:

http://malfy.org/ [malfy.org]

Nitpick on term "consumers" (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 7 years ago | (#17477138)

"For a long time it was a consumer-oriented show [...]"

Unless they're now catering to people who don't "consume" their computers, it's still a consumer-oriented show, only now they are including corporate (would-be) consumers. Hmmm, corporate consumers... a literal one of those would be nice to have around.

Apple won't go anywhere unless (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17477194)

1) A fully working version of Outlook needs to be available on OS X. This means proper support for public folders (email, contacts, and calendars), accessing directory information (GAL), task requests, etc. Outlook Web Access sucks, having to make Mac users use Citrix to access Outlook on Windows sucks, and Entourage is a joke.

2) Proper support of Active Directory integration, without third-party utilities.

3) Support for something similar to Group Policy (or having GP objects for OS X able to get added to an existing Active Directory setup) so we can control user's machines.

We can deal with Office lagging a bit, or not having Access available on the Mac. But these three things, especially #1, are what's keeping Macs from coming into the office both here and at many other places. Given how weakly these items have been implemented over the past few years, I'm not holding my breath for any major improvements in the near future.

Head less desktop? (0, Flamebait)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 7 years ago | (#17477226)

This is what apple needs the mini does not count as you can get in as easy as an desktop, it uses higher cost laptop parts, and it has the pos gma 950 that is very slow with vista and likely will be with 10.5 3d desktop.

Apple needs a head less desktop with desktop parts and the mac pro costs too much for basic desktop uses.

Also APPLE IF YOU RELAY WANT TO GET IN TO CORPORATE MARKET coming with mac osx for all hardware!

Re:Head less desktop? (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 7 years ago | (#17477434)

Why on earth would they need a headless desktop? When corporates provide new computers for their employees, they tend to supply the whole bundle.

Re:Head less desktop? (1)

slide-rule (153968) | more than 7 years ago | (#17477618)

So you want a headless Mac desktop machine with smokin' hot video capable of running vista?? I don't think we have the same general understanding of "headless" or "desktop."

Re:Head less desktop? (1)

DDLKermit007 (911046) | more than 7 years ago | (#17478196)

Corporate users need super cool 3D effects in their OS? This is news to me. Vista is just bloatware, and 10.5 should run just fine on the current systems. Certain psycotic visual effects may get turned off, but it'll run just fine, if not better than 10.4.8.

Exchange (1)

chiller2 (35804) | more than 7 years ago | (#17477384)

These days even SMBs want e-mail, tasks, calendars and contact lists that follow them around. Exchange and over the air sync services like Good Mobile Messaging provide that. When Apple can offer that they *might* get a foot in the door.

Re:Exchange (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17478596)

Wow, I better go run and tell my contact at the client where I am right now that they actually can't do what they've been doing for the last few months: Running an all-Mac shop with e-mail, tasks, calendars and contact lists that follow them around.

They're running OS X Server with Kerio MailServer, which supports OTA sync with any device that uses ActiveSync. Sure, it's third party, but if Kerio can do it, Apple can do it.

My rather large lumbering employer (1)

gelfling (6534) | more than 7 years ago | (#17477554)

Has adopted a 'do it yur damn self' approach to desktop and deskside support. So from the perspective of which costs less to maintain Windows vs anything else, they've already made the decision that they don't care and it makes no difference. Reduced productivity is preferable to hiring someone to fix it. Of course wherever possible patch and software maintenance and updates are automated and desktop builds are standardized in as much as a such a diverse bunch of desktops are deployed and they do a good job of it(and make no mistake - corporate desktops are often the models that vendors can't sell so they're weird orphans to begin with). But if someone came to them and explained how if they deployed Macs which cost 20% more and would incur far less maintenance overhead, they'd be laughed out of the room because the suits already assume that the financial cost to THEM is zero.

If you don't believe this then why is so much IT work going to India and South America where the pure productivity derived from projects that have to connect and communicate North America with these locations is so much worse, and so popular at the same time?

Corporate car fleets are cheap ass Fords, not Camrys. We should learn from this example.

Are you guys crazy? (1)

Octatonic (808510) | more than 7 years ago | (#17477656)

1. Macs do run XP now. 2. You can run most apps via virtualisation. 3. A Mac Mini is $599- who knows what kinda discount a corporation would get for buying 3000 of them. 4. We DO NOT know what is coming at Macworld. Maybe wait and see huh?

Re:Are you guys crazy? (1)

micromuncher (171881) | more than 7 years ago | (#17478116)

The machine you mention is being pushed near cost under the "nice dock for your iPod." Apple got out of discounting volume ten years ago. From a source, still at Apple, when I asked about this was... "We can't afford to give stuff away."

Apple also got out of discounting hardware to developers... but that's another story.

gn4a (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17478226)

pro-h+Omosexual BSD style.' In the

Group policies vs workgroup manager (1)

zerofoo (262795) | more than 7 years ago | (#17478372)

Apple is going in the right direction. Active Directory in terms of failover and replication still beats the pants off of open directory. Open directory is good, but it feels like NT 4's style of domain architecture: Master and slave replicas, manual promotion/demotion, and no seamless failover. Active Directory is nice, multi-master replication with inter/intra-site DC failover.

Love Microsoft or not, Group Polices rock. They are very flexible, and can tweak very detailed settings right out of the box. You can even make custom ADM templates if you are so inclined.

Workgroup manager is a start, but it is not very flexible (no ability for machine specific settings VS user specific settings). I expect OD and AD integration to keep getting better, but as it stands now, it isn't really ready for enterprise use.

Still, Microsoft should look over its shoulder. Apple is coming to eat Redmond's lunch. The next few years should be fun to watch.

-ted
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