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Why Consumer Macs Are Enterprise-Worthy

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the toys-no-longer dept.

Businesses 449

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

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Who wrote this crap? (5, Insightful)

EvilGoodGuy (811015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18301648)

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

Re:Who wrote this crap? (5, Insightful)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 7 years ago | (#18301934)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Re:Who wrote this crap? (3, Informative)

Professor_UNIX (867045) | more than 7 years ago | (#18301980)

Uhh, it's either a full computer or not. A full computer without a keyboard and mouse is NOT a full computer.
That's a stupid statement. It's not like you can't plug a keyboard and mouse into the Mini, it just doesn't come with one in the box by default because it's geared towards Windows switchers who have USB keyboards and mice already. You can order it with a keyboard and mouse if you want.

Re:Who wrote this crap? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18302100)

Looks like someone has sand in their vagina...

Re:Who wrote this crap? (1, Troll)

vought (160908) | more than 7 years ago | (#18302256)

To sum up your comment:

Macs suck for the enterprise because they come with too much stuff.

Please, enlighten me as to how having a webcam during the twelve hours of netmeetings I had last week would make things WORSE - because my speakerphone is decent, but being able to see someone does help. Explain how having more RAM than absolutely necessary is a BAD thing, given that corporate desktops typically have at least one software upgrade cycles.

Your entire argument seems to revolve around dissing this article and macs because the author stresses the additional capabilities (at very little extra cost or for less than the PC equivalent) that Macs have for Enterprise use. Pardon me if I happen to think that adding productive capabilities to my employees' toolset is a good idea. Typically, the more that people can do, the more they will do.

You're an awfully small-minded thinker. I'm glad you don't work for our IT department.

Re:Who wrote this crap? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18301978)

Um... because maybe it was focusing on the mac, not linux?

Or am I wrong in assuming that /. is about computer technology in general, not just Linux evangelism.

Re:Who wrote this crap? (1)

wildBoar (181352) | more than 7 years ago | (#18302206)

Oh great, the Linux whinge has started already.

I remember the first decent desktop I used - was a Mac back in 1990/2 ... was first system I ever saw that could drive 2 monitors. We used workstations a lot (Sun, Apollo, VAX), which was just as well as PCs were utter shite.

I worked at a place in 95 that had Macs on the desktop as corporate policy. All I can say is that it worked, and everyone down to the secretaries could get on whith their jobs with a minimum of fuss - which was a damn sight more than you could say of PCs at the time. Needless to say the beancounters decreed a move to PCs - even worse all the servers went to NT.

I'm not sure how their IT survived that - but certainly in the short term it was a disaster, MS exchange was full of problems for instance.

Anyway I guess the points I'm trying to make are
1) Linux is not a desktop OS (if it has changed in the last couple of years perhaps I should take a second look)
2) Macs have been and I guess are used in corporations here and there - so what exactly is the story. The reason they are not widespread is for the same reason PCs predominate int the Consumer market, ie cheapest option.

Which is ironic considering at one point the Amiga was cheaper and better than the PC... all down to marketing I suppose... I guess earlier in my rant i discounted the Amiga as a desktop system ;-) but that is ok, most other people did as well.

Re:Who wrote this crap? (1)

kgwagner (611915) | more than 7 years ago | (#18302248)

"There is no comparison between Apple's 'consumer' machines and the consumer lines of its competitors. All of Apple's machines are ready to move into the enterprise, depending on the job at hand. The company's simple and elegant product line, which is also highly customizable, will be Apple's entree to the business market -- if IT decision-makers can get over their prejudice against equipment that's traditionally been aimed at consumers." Signed, Apple's Mother

Enterprise-ready? Hardly. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18301654)

You don't get 4-hour on-site service with Macs, you get to cut in line at the nearest Apple Store. You also don't get things like group policy or centralized (to a server in your enterprise) updates.

Apple has a long way to go before Macs will be ready for widespread enterprise use.

dom

Re:Enterprise-ready? Hardly. (5, Informative)

jcr (53032) | more than 7 years ago | (#18301720)

You don't get 4-hour on-site service with Macs

That kind of service is available [ondecktech.com] if you want it, although not directly from Apple.

-jcr

Previous dicussion on AppleCare and businesses (1)

Lord Satri (609291) | more than 7 years ago | (#18301810)

right here [slashdot.org] . This very discussion made me wonder if the Apple is ready for the enterprise, customer-service wise.

That said, I'm personally thinking of bringing my old Mac Mini from home to work (and buying a new one for home ;-) even if the organization won't pay for it. Why? Mainly Mail and Spotlight. Those two really make me more efficient, yes, to the point of buying one for work on my personal money. (the only challenge is making IT to allow this Mac on the network)

Re:Previous dicussion on AppleCare and businesses (1, Funny)

Basehart (633304) | more than 7 years ago | (#18302114)

Fuck IT! Take your Mac to work and plug it in. If it doesn't work tell IT to make it work.

Re:Enterprise-ready? Hardly. (1)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 7 years ago | (#18301834)

Actually (and I know you know this, jcr), this service is available from Apple as well, albeit for the server grade products:

http://www.apple.com/support/products/premium.html [apple.com]

The AppleCare Premium Service and Support Plan delivers up to three years of 24/7 telephone and email support -- with 30-minute response. For Xserve, the plan covers server administration and network management issues using the graphical user interface of Mac OS X Server. For Xserve RAID, the plan covers RAID Admin software, as well as connectivity issues between your Mac or Xserve and your Xserve RAID storage system.

The hardware repair coverage provides worldwide onsite response for Xserve and Xserve RAID. You get onsite response within four business hours, and next-day onsite response when you contact Apple after business hours.

Re:Enterprise-ready? Hardly. Maybe. (2, Interesting)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 7 years ago | (#18301818)

Apple has a long way to go before Macs will be ready for widespread enterprise use.

While Apple has a ways to go, I wouldn't call it a long way. You are completely correct in you listing of their corporate-important deficiencies, however these are fixable, if Apple wishes to fix them, in relatively short order. Apple has to want to fix them, and that's the real battle.

Re:Enterprise-ready? Hardly. (1)

hedrick (701605) | more than 7 years ago | (#18302056)

It's closer than you think. I don't know whether the Apple services are exactly equivalent to the best you can get for PC's, but they are better than you imply. > You don't get 4-hour on-site service with Macs, you get to cut in line at the nearest Apple Store. The Apple store is only one source of support. Furthermore, the business version of Applecare provides onsite service at many locations (they have a web page where you can enter ZIP code to check). For servers, they promise 4 hour response time during business hours. It appears that even the consumer Applecare will do onsite for desktops within 50 miles of a repair center. > You also don't get things like group policy or centralized (to a server in your enterprise) updates. The OS X server documentation appears to describe this kind of thing. They have ways to restrict what users can do, and force specific applications on them. They permit you to distribute updates to your systems, controlling which updates are distributed and when. You can also netboot systems, which can provide better control in some situations. I haven't used this myself, but I wonder whether you've actually checked what's available.

Re:Enterprise-ready? Hardly. (1)

imemyself (757318) | more than 7 years ago | (#18302210)

Exactly, Apple does not get enterprise IT. Apple Remote Desktop and OS X Server are half-assed attempts at this sort of thing - and may work OK in a small workgroup but not in a real Enterprise. Apple has a long way to go before they start attract lots of corporate customers.

A little off base (4, Insightful)

bconway (63464) | more than 7 years ago | (#18301660)

if IT decision-makers can get over their prejudice against equipment that's traditionally been aimed at consumers.

They really think that's what's holding back Macs in the enterprise? I'm pretty sure the problem isn't prejudice against hardware, but integration issues that arise when moving from an all-MS shop to a mixed environment with OS X. The ROI needs to outweigh the obstacles, and it currently doesn't.

Re:A little off base (5, Insightful)

weg (196564) | more than 7 years ago | (#18301752)

Hmm.. I think it's actually the other way around: While the "all-MS shop" allows you to change the (hardware-)horse whenever you want, once you're using the "mixed environment OS X", you're bound to one supplier (Apple) once and forever. There's no way you can change that - if you find out that Apple's support isn't as good as you were expecting, you'll face the high cost of changing back your IT to the Windows world.

If I had a business, I'd prefer to have options and I'd stick with Microsoft (while as a private user, I'm using a Mac and Linux).

Re:A little off base (0)

EsbenMoseHansen (731150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18301864)

By that logic, moving to Linux would be the perfect move... all choices available both hardware and software. Unsatisfied with Novel support? Just move to Ubuntu. No wonder we almost exclusively see Linux in the workplace ;)

Macs run Windows (1)

myowntrueself (607117) | more than 7 years ago | (#18301940)

you'll face the high cost of changing back your IT to the Windows world.

This is not true.

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

Cost of Windows licenses should you choose to go back?

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

The only real cost in changing back would be changing back from Mac hardware to PC hardware and thats hardly difficult; all you have to do is buy PC hardware as your Mac hardware reaches the end of its servicable life.

Re:Macs run Windows (2, Funny)

king-manic (409855) | more than 7 years ago | (#18302118)

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

Corprate IT VP: Ohh wonderful. Why don't you give yourself a raise and have sex with my wife. While your ate it do my 19 year old daughter too. I'm going to go give my mercded to the next homeless person I see and donate all the company bank accounts to UNICEF. ... I doubt any IT decision maker will really risk changing and changing back. The cost of conversion sttill exists even wiht dual booting. Unless there is a seriously compelling reason to change, people and organizations won't change.

Re:A little off base (1)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 7 years ago | (#18302014)

So you just shot yourself in the foot, and didn't even notice?

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

Re:A little off base (2, Insightful)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 7 years ago | (#18302244)

"There's this little known thing called unix, and the future was 37 years ago."

I guess teletype machines and paper tape were the future too.

Re:A little off base (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18302070)

You are all WAY off base. Looking at the total cost of ownership- anti-virus licensing, the cost of expensive deployment solutions for PCs versus the low cost of built in deployment solutions in Macs, the constant registry problems, driver issues, built in multimedia tools on Macs versus commercial solutions for PCs..all of these point to a MUCH lower cost for Apple hardware and software in the long run. I work in a dual platform environment and I have DOZENS of PCs in our repair area. I might have one or two Macs a month with a software problem, and maybe a Mac ever other month with an actual hardware problem. And the best part is we have way more Macs in our organization than PCs. Get your facts straight.

Re:A little off base (1)

anaesthetica (596507) | more than 7 years ago | (#18302168)

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

Certainly the author does mention some aspects of OS X that are value-ads (lack of spyware, increasing OS agnosticism in general, some administrative apps), it's principally about the hardware. As such, your point about vendor lock-in doesn't apply in all cases, because if you don't like the Macs, and you've been using Windows on them anyway, you can simply buy Dells the next time around.

More than a little off-base (3, Insightful)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 7 years ago | (#18302220)

My own preferences for corporate desktops would be, in order, Linux, then Windows, then Mac.

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

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

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

Re:A little off base (3, Insightful)

vought (160908) | more than 7 years ago | (#18301862)

They really think that's what's holding back Macs in the enterprise?

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

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

Re:A little off base (1)

Sj0 (472011) | more than 7 years ago | (#18302122)

I was thinking the same thing. I was thinking "Gee, it would be awesome to use a Mac at work. Let's see... Well, I've got Autocad, which doesn't exist for mac. Oh. I've got a big samba network that'll be a pain to access with the Mac. Oh. I've got a corporate intranet which can only be accessed with IE7. Oh. Finally, I've got a few dozen scripts I've written in FreeBASIC, which doesn't exist for Mac. Oh. Most of those arguements actually exist for Linux, too.

It was about there that I decided that I'd best get used to Windows, because I'm going to be staring at it for a while.

But where's the MacBook Pro docking station? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18301664)

Seriously, Apple needs to start making these if they want enterprise customers. Third party solutions that arrive months later are not a real solution.

Re:But where's the MacBook Pro docking station? (4, Informative)

dal20402 (895630) | more than 7 years ago | (#18301806)

Remember, Apple is an idealistic company, and likes to push its idea of future tech...

Instead of a docking station, Apple would suggest that you use

  • a Bluetooth keybard and mouse
  • a wireless network connection
  • network-attached printers and mass storage at the other end of that wireless connection

This leaves you with only a power cable and a DVI cable to hook up. When the laptop has ports on both sides (with the power and DVI on opposite sides), so you have to hook up two docks, docks won't save you any effort at all.

I know this won't work for everyone, but it's perfectly representative of how Apple tends to think.

Even if you can't use any of the wireless stuff, you still only have power, DVI, USB, and Ethernet to hook up. (Your monitor probably has a USB hub that you can use to hook up your KB, mouse, printer, mass storage, audio interface, etc., etc.) That's a long way from the old days when you might have had separate connections for your KB/mouse, monitor, printer, external hard drive, network, audio, and power.

Re:But where's the MacBook Pro docking station? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18301848)

Okay, so where's my bluetooth split ergonomic keyboard? Why won't somebody PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE make one. I'd seriously pay $200 for one.

Re:But where's the MacBook Pro docking station? (2, Interesting)

Junta (36770) | more than 7 years ago | (#18301876)

-Wireless means more maintenance in the context of Bluetooth, batteries to keep charged, etc.
-Wireless networks do not scale well. Even at small scale performance isn't that great but at large scale the shared medium takes its toll beyond that.
-Third point taken (network printers are more logical generally, centralized storage for data management also makes sense), but the mass storage on the other end runs into the above-mentioned performance aggravations.

A docking station shouldn't have to plug into the normal ports (you say a docking station would have to be on both sides of a mac). Generally laptops have a dedicated, frequently blind-mate, connection for docs that allow video, power, usb, and many more things.

Your last paragraph has more truth in it. Generally speaking the most painful thing anyone might deal with is external video. Power and USB connectors are so easy to manipulate that a docking station nowadays doesn't have to be the only way. Use HDMI for the video connector and everything is easy, except no VGA adapter possible for old projectors..

Re:But where's the MacBook Pro docking station? (1)

MsGeek (162936) | more than 7 years ago | (#18302120)

Wireless networks do not scale well. Even at small scale performance isn't that great but at large scale the shared medium takes its toll beyond that.

So if you don't want to use a wireless network, don't. There's a nice little Giga Ethernet port right there ready to plug into your network. Problem solved.

Re:But where's the MacBook Pro docking station? (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 7 years ago | (#18302218)

Even having the wireless there is a security risk. Someone will enable it, then bang goes your carefully crafted firewall.

Keybard? (1)

EonBlueTooL (974478) | more than 7 years ago | (#18302088)

Does that sing every key you press?

That's funny... (5, Informative)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 7 years ago | (#18301670)

I work in IT and do a fair it of consulting on COEs (Common Operating Environments)among other things. I see *far* more interest in Linux on the desktop than Mac OS among most of the enterprises who are entertaining anything different than Windows.

This reads like a Mac fanboy wrote it. I can't think of any compelling reasons to recommend Macs in an enterprise environment. Properly implemented (that is with proper profiles and security), Windows 'Just Works' in business, and if one wants something different then there is Linux. The latter gives the benefit of being more customizable than either Windows or OS X in fact, given that all the source is available.

Re:That's funny... (1)

laffer1 (701823) | more than 7 years ago | (#18301962)

OK. How many enterprises customize linux when they deploy it? This is often given as a reason to choose open source over Mac OS or Windows solutions. I'm sure some do, but I doubt all do. Its not really a feature if the user/buyer don't care.

Re:That's funny... (1)

oohshiny (998054) | more than 7 years ago | (#18302060)

OK. How many enterprises customize linux when they deploy it?

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

And in any corporate environment, after purchase, there are plenty of customizations related to system and network management that are necessary and that Linux supports far better than OS X. In fact, every place I have ever worked has wiped off vendor pre-installed Windows and replaced it with an in-house version. That's what buyers of business systems have to do.

Its not really a feature if the user/buyer don't care.

But they do.

Re:That's funny... (2, Insightful)

troll -1 (956834) | more than 7 years ago | (#18302212)

if one wants something different then there is Linux...

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

Windows and Macs offer a relatively stable development environment with a limited number of options. By stable I don't mean "doesn't crash", I mean "not changing much over time". An app that worked on the first version of XP will likely work on the last.

Linux isn't like that. Linux and the core developers have said many times they're not really interested in going out of their way to support backwards compatibility of legacy apps because doing so would hinder the nature of kernel development.

Add to that the gazillion combinations of kernel features, libs, etc. and you begin to see why it's so difficult for a company like Dell to sell pre-installed Linux to consumers who expect everything (including third party apps) to just work.

In Linux an app that was developed for one configuration won't necessarily compile under a different configuration. It often depends, not only what kernel version you have and how that kernel was compiled, but what libraries you have, not only what libraries but what versions, are you running gtk-1.2 or gtk-2.0?

The great thing about Linux is there are so many choices, you can make the system to almost anything. I work on a 2000+ Linux cluster and what we do with Linux is limited only by our imaginations.

But as far as the desktop goes, for folks who expect everything to be like it is in a Windows and Mac world, there remain a few challenges.

customizable? (1)

BigBadBoston (808564) | more than 7 years ago | (#18301678)

ask me or any other mac bigot: the mac is many wonderful things. customizable? the consumer macs? they are not.

Re:customizable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18302134)

I'm not even sure what this means. I pulled out the stock drive in my MacBook, replaced it with a 7200 RPM Hitachi, bought some third part RAM and bumped it to 2 GB. Now I have Mac OS X on one partition, Mac OS X Server on a second partition, Windows XP on a third partition and Ubuntu in a Parallels virtual machine.
Crack kills.

So the hardware is up to par... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18301690)

...now what about paying almost 2x for Apple hardware over non-proprietary PCs running Windows or Linux? And getting stuck in the Apple upgrade/repair cycle...also very expensive.

Re:So the hardware is up to par... (4, Informative)

dal20402 (895630) | more than 7 years ago | (#18301882)

Do we really have to have one of these trolls in every Mac-related discussion?

For the last time (until next time...)
1. Macs are NOT significantly more expensive than comparably equipped commodity machines, for the most part.
1a. On the high end, they tend to be *cheaper* than comparable commodity machines (esp. Mac Pro).
2. However, Apple does not sell barebones configurations; that is not its business.
3. Therefore, *base* prices of Macs tend to be higher.

Anyone who says Apple hardware is 2x as expensive is comparing a barebones PC to a fully loaded Mac (and there really isn't any other kind).

Of course, businesses may want those cheap barebones PCs, but if they do, they are not businesses who would ever buy Apple, even if Apple had flawless enterprise-level support. Apple is a maker of highly capable multimedia PCs with lots of easily configurable connectivity options. That, not barebones commodity hardware, is its business.

slashdot (1)

alfs boner (963844) | more than 7 years ago | (#18301694)

I would never socialize with a slashdot user. sorry!

true story (0, Offtopic)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 7 years ago | (#18302172)

I socialized with your mom last night. I was at the local dive. I saw her from across the room, and her brother talked me up to her (Thanks!). She came over, bumped into my shoulder when I wasn't looking, and introduced herself. We talked for a little bit, but nothing really came of it.

Later, when the bar closed, I went to a convenience store. As I was walking away, I heard someone call my name. I turned around, and it was your mom again! She was going to hang out with her brother, sister, and a few of the bar regulars, and asked me if I wanted to come. I got in the car and had a great time.

Your mom is nice, and I want to see more of her.

Non-bloated link (2, Informative)

McDutchie (151611) | more than 7 years ago | (#18301708)

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

Disparity of Distros (5, Insightful)

ynososiduts (1064782) | more than 7 years ago | (#18301728)

I want to know what the big deal is between not using Linux because it has too many options. Majority of the distros are either based on Debian or Red Hat. I haven't seen software that only worked on one distro, and things like apt-get, yum, synaptic, and all the other package managers can be installed on most of the distros. That just doesn't seem like a valid reason to automatically dismiss any Linux solution. Just use one distro throughout the whole comapny, problem solved.

Re:Disparity of Distros (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18302216)

As if there is just one distro of Windows. [microsoft.com]

This will never work (4, Insightful)

st3v (805783) | more than 7 years ago | (#18301732)

Macs are not enterprise ready. The computers, save for the Mac Pro's, are not easily serviceable by IT departments, unlike, say, Thinkpads. Ever try changing a hard drive of a Macbook Pro? You don't wanna get stuck doing that. Also, Exchange dominates the corporation fields. Mac OS X has a long way to go in the aspects of group policy, and other details that Windows offers that admins need. Sure, you might be able to make hacks in the OS to make things work the way you want it, but Linux is a better option if you want a UNIX-like OS.

Re:This will never work (1)

oddaddresstrap (702574) | more than 7 years ago | (#18301868)

Ever try changing a hard drive of a Macbook Pro?

You'll save yourself a lot of trouble if you just shoot yourself now.

Re:This will never work (1)

dal20402 (895630) | more than 7 years ago | (#18301918)

Meh. MBP is not so bad. Try a 12" PowerBook G4.

Re:This will never work (1)

foobsr (693224) | more than 7 years ago | (#18302072)

Impressive. http://www.sterpin.net/uk/ddibookg4uk.htm [sterpin.net] has a photo adventure. CC.

Re:This will never work (1)

oddaddresstrap (702574) | more than 7 years ago | (#18302110)

Ugh. More justification to shoot yourself now.

Re:This will never work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18301872)

I will give you the point of apple computers being a pain to dissect, but they are not alone in his field; have you ever taken an HP apart? They even put a custom connector on their Hard Drives! And while there may be a shit load of things to take off to get to the part you are trying to fix, at least things are laid out logically (you CAN tell what connects to where).

Anyhow, with laptops any intelligent IT department would know it is far more cost effective to buy an extended service plan than to try to do it in house. Laptop components in general are too proprietary and expensive to try to replace or even stock. I have my own computer repair business and my laptop LCD has a connection on the fritz - haven't fixed it because there is no way to access it without literally destroying it (there have been major strides in LCD design since this laptop was made). A replacement would be $600+ plus my time, but had I purchased an extended warranty for ~$300 it would be covered and would be in my hands in less than 48 hours.

This said, I would love some standardization in laptops like there are for generic ATX PCs. There really should be Mounting and connection standards!

enterprise laptop support (2)

Gary W. Longsine (124661) | more than 7 years ago | (#18302250)

The typical large enterprise doesn't service laptops of any kind today. They buy the unit with support that spans the life of the machine. If it breaks, they call an 800 number, wait for a box, put the dead unit in the box, ship it off to be fixed and wait for the return. When the support contract expires, they retire the unit and buy a new one.

Abusing the word "consumer" once again... (1)

jZnat (793348) | more than 7 years ago | (#18301738)

Apple doesn't sell "anti-consumer" (well, uh, you know what I mean) or "enterprise" computers, so why do you need to include such a marketdroid MBA word to describe it? Macs have never really been designed to be your typical boring "enterprise" desktop or notebook, so it's completely redundant to say it.

The "learning curve" (3, Interesting)

The Bungi (221687) | more than 7 years ago | (#18301746)

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

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

Maybe it's just a big coincidence.

Re:The "learning curve" (1)

oohshiny (998054) | more than 7 years ago | (#18302098)

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

Linux can emulate the Windows UI so closely that users probably have a harder time moving from XP to Vista than from XP to Linux.

Re:The "learning curve" (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#18302126)

I use a Mac, but it always surprises me when people start advocating them for corporate use. First, support is simply not good enough. Even Dell is better (in the UK, maybe the situation is different in the USA). The real thing missing is the motivation. If a company is dissatisfied with Microsoft, then it is likely to be either due to vendor lock-in, or price. I am not convinced Apple wins on price, but they certainly don't win on vendor lock-in. Who in their right mind would trade vendor lock-in on software for vendor lock-in on hardware and software?

This surfaces every now and then... (4, Insightful)

crovira (10242) | more than 7 years ago | (#18301780)

And its utter bullshit.

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

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

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

Apple is a whole lot better positioned to compete in the vastly more profitable consumer arena.

Re:This surfaces every now and then... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18301884)

I suspect that Apple definitely does NOT want to enter a cut throat world of competition where it becomes just an also ran competing on price with a thousand corporate buyers, when it can design kick-ass product in the consumer market place.
Whether they want to enter it or not, they can't prevent businesses from buying the machines. If Apple happens to make a big "consumer level" profit on it, Steve will just have to cry "boo fucking hoo, what am I supposed to do with all this damned money?"

The PC wars are long over. Get over it. Microsoft won.
Maybe, but people don't want their products. And the nice thing about buying a Mac, is that it's one of the few machines you can be confident doesn't have Windows preloaded.

Re:This surfaces every now and then... (2, Interesting)

CrankyFool (680025) | more than 7 years ago | (#18301888)

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

But I'll give you an example -- I work for a very large staffing company (10K corporate employees, 100K-350K temps/contractors, etc). I manage the UNIX server side of the house. Desktop-wise, we're all Windows (including my unfortunate UNIX sysadmins :( ). Except that we have a bunch of ye olde creative people who use Macs. We recognize these people's value and we aren't inclined to mess with it by forcing them to use another platform, so we support Macs.

Our challenge is that we do not (yet) have a holistic vision as to how we'll support Macs -- who does Tier 3 support? How do we do file services (I hear Macs still prefer AFP, and it's easier to use for them than SMB/NFS)? At this point, it's pretty lame -- we have one technician who's doing all the Mac support, and she's both incredibly busy and doesn't quite have the enterprise support she needs -- we're working on that. And to most quickly deal with her users' file server needs, we just got her an XServe.

Apple is poised to make more inroads in our corporation, I think. Certainly, my group is on the verge of officially taking responsibility for how we use their products. Will it mean we wholesale replace everyone's $200 desktop with a Mac? Of course not. But I'll bet you we'll see moderate, steady gains in mindshare in our environment. Especially once our engineers start totting MBPs around :)

Re:This surfaces every now and then... (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 7 years ago | (#18301896)

It is very difficult for any company to sustain a 90% marketshare. At this level it is very difficult for MSFT to distinguish truly exceptional programmers, managers, salespersons from the mediocre ones who just pile on to the juggernaut plowing through the fields. The truly exceptional are migrant and they leave, but the incompetents know it and they stay on. Thus over time it gets completely calcified like an old boiler. Even then it is very difficult for me to believe that Macs have a chance. Linux might.

Re:This surfaces every now and then... (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18302008)

The consumer arena itself isn't necessarily more profitable, it is just that Apple's computers are more profitable. They tend to add gimmicky features to create in impression of value (remote? (crap) cell camera on a monitor? WTF?). They have very few models to maintain and each model sells a lot more than nearly any model that a competitor sells, and limiting the number of variations allows them to get a better discount on larger quantities of parts, I think.

I'm surprised that Apple doesn't bother so much with businesses, they only offer 3% volume discounts when they can clearly do more in order to land a deal, because a lost deal is no profit, cutting your net profit in half to land a deal is still far better than not having that deal. High-volume business might not have a high per-unit profit, but they often win out just because of economies of scale.

Hard to take seriously (3, Interesting)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 7 years ago | (#18301798)

(The article dismisses Linux desktops in the enterprise in a single bullet item.)

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

Ever had 250+ consumer macs in the enterprise? (5, Interesting)

dasOp (781405) | more than 7 years ago | (#18301802)

Well I do. And the rate of failure is just terrible. Without exact numbers at hand, I can definitely say we've sent over 30 iBooks to the local Apple service partner.
Being an enterprise customer you definitely dont have to wait in line for consumer service, we just send the computers directly for service. Otoh, you definitely won't get 4hr onsite like all the major pc vendors offer.

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

Re:Ever had 250+ consumer macs in the enterprise? (1)

soupinpa (1074180) | more than 7 years ago | (#18302202)

The iBooks were machines that were great so long as they never left a desk. The internal design was such that you have screws going in opposing directions, and failure by screws coming loose and coming in contact with important components was inevitable. Fortunately, with the 13" MacBook, these issues have been addressed - all the screws are going in one direction as the machine is now using a tub based design (as has been used on the aluminum powerbooks and macbook pro's). Also, with the 13" macbooks, changing out the hard drive is dead simple. I wouldn't be surprised if the next revision of the MacBook Pro had a similar arrangement for the hard drive. I've been working on enterprise level support of Macs for a few years now. The last job was supporting a 1k unit deployment of iBooks, aluminum powerbooks, and iMacs in a k12 environment. Now, I'm supporting a 250+ unit deployment of various macs in a research environment. If you have a good local Apple reseller/service provider locally - getting prompt, efficient service isn't difficult. (taking machines to the apple store or sending to apple's svc depots is not the quickest way to get things taken care of). With the users at my current work environment, I am seeing users migrate to the new intel based macs on a weekly basis. Since windows can be run (either natively or through virtualization) - no end user loses capability or compatibility. On the whole, MacBook Pros and iMacs are proving to be apple's best values. With any piece of equipment - the three year applecare agreement isn't terribly expensive and provides end users with the sense of security they need. I recommend it. As for the common sentiment about Macs not being upgradeable, it's not as bad as it was. Granted, on the laptops, iMacs, and Mac Minis, you won't be able to upgrade the graphics, but memory, hard drive, and the optical drive can be upgraded. On the iMacs and Mac Minis, the CPU is socketed - so the CPU can easily be upgraded. Sure, you can't change the motherboard - but can that really be done on any of the machines you typically see in an enterprise environment. How often are computers really upgraded in an enterprise environment? In my career (doing both mac and pc stuff), computers are replaced within 3 years instead of upgrading at any of the enterprise level employers I've worked at - so lack of hardware upgradeability really isn't such a liability there. Now, my big issue with Apple has been the server. The Xserve is a great machine, but it is far too limited. There aren't enough PCI slots. Since fibre channel is not onboard, there goes one pci slot, if you need scsi - there's the other. Now, if you need another fibre channel card, or another network card on top of this, you're going to be in a tight spot - you have no more room to grow. If there was a 2U or 3U Xserve with more PCI slots and drive bays, there would be a stronger argument for Apple taking the enterprise market seriously. The Xserve is far more limited than many Windows based servers from IBM, HP, and Dell, and almost laughable compared to some of the UNIX based offerings from IBM and Sun. (despite being cheaper)

Mac (2, Insightful)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 7 years ago | (#18301820)

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

Re:Mac (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 7 years ago | (#18302240)

There are Mac servers?

Yes, yes, you and I know there are...but that's the response you'll get from your 'everyone'...

Linux (2, Interesting)

hax0r_this (1073148) | more than 7 years ago | (#18301828)

"The learning curve and disparity of Linux distributions is too high for easy general office use." Has this person ever used Linux?

Re:Linux (1)

dal20402 (895630) | more than 7 years ago | (#18301972)

Depends on the nature of the office.

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

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

These are exactly the businesses that Apple could make real inroads into, if it chose to... the unique aspect of Macs is that they can save time and effort even for people who don't know that much about them.

Re:Linux (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 7 years ago | (#18302136)

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

Both Linux and OSX have a chance now because Vista is such a major headache.. it doesn't work like Windows so it's back to square one with the training (no way I'd upgrade my mother's machine.. if even an icon goes out of place she phones me up for support - Vista would just have her putting it back in a box and forgetting about it!!).

Re:Linux (1)

oohshiny (998054) | more than 7 years ago | (#18302142)

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

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

These are exactly the businesses that Apple could make real inroads into, if it chose to... the unique aspect of Macs is that they can save time and effort even for people who don't know that much about them.

Configuring and installing a Mac is a lot more work than configuring and installing an Ubuntu system; I know from first hand experience. The Ubuntu system will have everything you need for business use, including the office suite, installed and running out of the box and everything is upgraded automatically and consistently.

Re:Linux (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 7 years ago | (#18302160)

okay what i would suggest is distros code a "im a windows convert please make it look like windows" selection in the welcome applet
this would
1 scan the existing windows install and id programs
2 hide the current menu and create a if you want X then Y is the linux version menu
3 put a My Computer icon on the desktop (this would be the KD media:/ window)
4 attempt to copy the data over
5 match the system theme to windows

these steps would solve 80% of the problems from day 1

too difficult to use? (1)

EaglemanBSA (950534) | more than 7 years ago | (#18301842)

From my experience, Linux isn't significantly harder to pick up than the next OS. In the end, it seems like it would be better suited to adapt it to the many different applications businesses might demand from it than something as standardized as Mac O/S.

Enterprise kit needs enterprise support (2, Informative)

nicolaiplum (169077) | more than 7 years ago | (#18301860)

Apple do not offer (in the UK, for a several-hundred-person ecommerce company where I work) anything that we consider enterprise-grade service. If one of the desktop Dells breaks down, we call Dell and someone shows up the next day to wherever the machine is and fixes it. If one of our Apple machines breaks down, we send it to Apple or take it to the Apple dealer who sits on it for some days, at least, then fixes it and returns it to us. That's not acceptable for the whole enterprise, especially for people who travel, which all of the upper management.
We love using Apple laptops, they are UNIX and they just work, for sysadmin and programmer staff - but we have to take account of the fact that their laptop might break and keep a spare or make sure they have other ways to work. Our web design team of 4 all work on Macs. We have to carry a spare G5 for them because Apple take so long to repair them. We can't roll macs out to everyone without the same level of service that Dell give us at the moment, which Apple Just Doesn't Do.

from my experience (4, Interesting)

t35t0r (751958) | more than 7 years ago | (#18301866)

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

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

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

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

And no I don't want quicktime on my headless Xserve, thinking differently is difficulty.

Re:from my experience (4, Insightful)

Frumious Wombat (845680) | more than 7 years ago | (#18302166)

For security reasons, you should have abandoned NIS long ago, and OpenDirectory works just beautifully with OSX, Linux, and Windows clients. Turn on the ssh daemon, and your ssh -X, etc work just fine, and Macs understand NFS, as well as other file systems just fine. In other words, there is no reason to do anything to your RAID array other than tell the Macs where it is and what protocol to use to connect to it. There are also tools, of course, to enable you to make standardized disk images with configurable parameters and use those for future client installs.

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

Pardon for sounding rude, but it sounds like you've learned one system, and aren't willing to attempt to learn another. Current Macs are one of the easiest machine to integrate into a mixed environment that I've encountered, and this is after over a decade and a half of running various Unices, Linuces, Windows, and VMS systems in mixed environments.

I'd like a Mac Mini, but not with one monitor (1)

tmk (712144) | more than 7 years ago | (#18301912)

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

There is just one little issue. I'd like to use two monitors. I do this today, with Windows and Linux. This can really increase productivity. But the mac mini has only one DVI connector. There is a hardware solution to connect two monitors, but it supports only 1280*1024 for each display. I could buy a Mac pro, but this is far to expansice. and the support for two monitors in MacOS X is not ideal, too.

Re:I'd like a Mac Mini, but not with one monitor (1)

dal20402 (895630) | more than 7 years ago | (#18302024)

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

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

Re:I'd like a Mac Mini, but not with one monitor (1)

Baricom (763970) | more than 7 years ago | (#18302028)

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

I'm using an iMac with a 17" CRT I had lying around. The original iMacs had a bad rep because spanning was crippled in software, but that hasn't been true for a while.

Linux comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18301924)

Clicking office is a high learning curve?

9 out of 10 preschoolers prefer Macs (-1, Troll)

dcdz78 (813610) | more than 7 years ago | (#18301948)

I love this quote " if IT decision-makers can get over their prejudice against equipment that's traditionally been aimed at consumers." Yeah, as if thats the reason Macs have stayed in preschool classrooms and not in the enterprise arena. Maybe it's because back in the day, IT heads got wind of the lone IT director who tried to implement AppleTalk instead of IP and later committed suicide...

Re:9 out of 10 preschoolers prefer Macs (1)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 7 years ago | (#18302154)

AppleTalk
do not speak the name of that which shall not be named!

even if... (4, Insightful)

oohshiny (998054) | more than 7 years ago | (#18302018)

Even if we assume, just for the sake of argument, that OS X is "enterprise ready", the fact that Apple hardware comes from a single company makes Macintosh an unacceptable choice. The fact that that company also has a very limited product range makes it even less feasible.

I do not think that means what you think it means (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 7 years ago | (#18302042)

"With the press that Vista has been getting, is Apple moving into a perfect storm?"

Uh... this would imply that Apple is about to get annihilated. While I'm sure some people are of that opinion, that's the exact opposite of what you (Mr. Article Submitter) are trying to say.

Right Said Fred - I'm So Chic (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18302048)

O look at me. I sport a Mac.
I'm too chic.
I'm too chic I don't need no geek.

Too chic for my shirt too chic for my shirt
So chic it hurts
And I'm too chic for work too chic for work
perks and jerks

And I'm too chic for your party
Too chic for your party
No way I'm Vista dancing til it hurts

I'm a Lindsay you know what I mean
And I do my rehab on my iMac.
Yeah on my iMac, on my iMac yeah.
I do my rehab on my iMac.

O look at me. I sport a Mac.
I'm too chic.
I'm too chic I don't need no geek.
Too chic for my Redhat what do you think about that

I'm a Paris you know what I mean
And I do my rehab on my iMac.
Yeah on my iMac
I shake my little touche on my iMac

I'm too chic for my too chic for my too chic for my

'Cos I'm a Britney you know what I mean
And I do my rehab on my iMac
Yeah on my iMac, on my iMac yeah
I do my rehab on my iMac.

I'm too chic for my iMac too chic for my iMac
Poor Steve Cat.
I'm too chic for my iMac too chic for my iMac
Office's going to leave me

And I'm too chic for computers

Tinted glasses (1)

delire (809063) | more than 7 years ago | (#18302050)

Are we seeing any evidence of Apple machines actually making an inroad here, even coming up in migration feasibility studies? I've seen nothing of the kind in Europe, yet magazines, blogs and newspapers seem to often tout various migrations to Linux, sometimes for the purposes of case-study.

The reality is Linux is already being adopted in the enterprise, at least in Europe. Linux increases the longevity of the existing hardware installation and provides cost incentives where upgrading is concerned. Learning curves will always be an issue switching to a new OS, but for most purposes it's new applications that are being learnt, not the OS itself: one advantage of Apple in this area is that a variety of MS tools already run on the platform whereas they don't on Linux. A poor example, but I've personally seen students and teachers familiar with Windows really struggle with OS X and also a GNOME desktop whereas they're at home in a KDE environment within a few hours. I think the author has little hands-on experience in this case.

Whatever is said, if you want evidence of Linux in the enterprise look at the employment boards: the demand for Linux admins with experience in SLED or RHEL (even so specific as citing KDE and Gnome environments) is truly on the rise.

Definte "Enterprise" (3, Interesting)

jschottm (317343) | more than 7 years ago | (#18302054)

(As a note - I _am_ an OS X (and Linux and Windows) user and admin. I have dozens of Apples ranging from G4s, G5s, Mac Pros, Powerbooks, MPros, and Xserves.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Firewire? Why do enterprise desktop users need firewire? The only reason you need it is for digital video and audio or extremely fast file transfers. Not desktop use.
WiFi? I don't want desktop users using WiFi. That's why we have millions of dollars of copper and fiber infrastructure with security features and VLANs. Wireless is great for some things, but it does not scale and it is inherently less secure than hardwire. Even just having 802.11 means that every single desktop is a potential rogue WiFi station letting people inside the firewall. Great.
Bluetooth? Sort of neat, but again, desktop users don't need it and it opens up security issues.
And I can't believe they even tried to cite having a remote control as a benefit for Enterprises...

Laptops - as someone else also pointed out, docking stations are effectively standard for most Enterprise laptop users.

Desktops - the lack of a midrange system between an iMac and the Mac Pro is a negative.

so you get consistent coverage on all Apple equipment.

That has not been my experience. Some repairs are effortless and problemfree, some never get properly resolved.

Support turnaround is a major Enterprise issue. My Dell's come with next business day onsite repair. Applecare does not. When my Powerbook needed to have a fan repaired and the DVD drive swapped, even with Applecare, I still had to mail it off, taking nearly a business week.

Apple doesn't have the Enterprise mindset. A specific incident that infuriated me was when Apple was dueling with Real and putting out iPod updates to break Real's Harmony DRM. Apple Update tried to put that update on my X Serves (running OS X Server). Regardless of trying to perminently remove it from the update list, it was listed in every future update. The attitude is not an appropriate one for the server level. There's stuff about the Xserves that they still don't get. Why is there no USB port on the front like every other rack mounted server? There's firewire, but that doesn't help me too much with USB keys.

Apple refuses to release roadmaps. This is fine and well with a consumer product where surprises and hype just help to build the reputation, but that's not the way that Enterprises function. There are generally specific purchasing periods (sometimes quarterly, sometimes yearly) when much of the purchasing is supposed to be done. Not having a roadmap makes that difficult.

I'm not saying that Apples are inappropriate in the Enterprise (although they're better suited for small and medium sized businesses), but the story is a complete piece of fluff. If you want to push a concept, admit to the shortcomings and talk about how to deal with them, don't ignore them or claim they don't exist.

Slashdot does not agree (1)

mark99 (459508) | more than 7 years ago | (#18302106)

I am a bit too tipsy to count, but as far as I can tell *none* of the replies here agree with the title of this post, and about half of them take the drastic (that is, drastic for a slashdot audience) stand that MS is a better choice than the Apple.

MS has made a lot of changes over the years to make their OS enterprise friendlier, it continues with Vista, and I don't think Apple has really even started down that road. I think that for a big enterprise there is not other choice than Windows, or maybe a customized, carefully designed Linux distribution. But I don't see anybody doing the latter yet.

Possibly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18302124)

I work for NSC/HDS, whatever you want to call it, we do a large amount of support for Verizon's internal users. I recently got an email asking if there were any consultants with previous Mac support experience. This might be be cause Verizon bought MCI which is now Verizon Business and they have some marketing department, I am totally unsure as to what they're planning.

Poor fanboys (2, Insightful)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#18302146)

They'll never understand: people don't switch to your favorite platform simply because it's kinda viable and it could do it, if given a chance, and you blink on a few things.

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

Apple has nice looking hardware, OS built to target end consumers, and Steve Jobs shouting how they're best in the world. It's not enough, people.

I see developers switching to Mac (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18302158)

This is a strange trend: I don't see that much companies switching to Mac besides... Software development companies! I start to see developers that, basically, only ever used Windows that are now buying Mac laptops. Those people still use a PC (with Windows) at work and at home, but their laptop is now a Mac.

Several software development companies are now even buying Mac laptops for all their developers. This "switch" is possible because many, many, developers are now writing Java apps (insert mandatory Java is lame jokes here, but Java took the real world by storm and it won't stop anytime soon) or Webapps. In any case, this is not Windows-only development anymore and they can slowly get away from the lock-in.

I see OS X usage rising at many software development SMEs and also on the blogs of "high-profiles" Java developers (James Gosling himself being a Mac addict ;)

And you don't see this trend only in SMEs: more than a few Google employees are carrying OS X laptops around... From the "expensive toy for hip people", the Mac image is changing to "machine that mean business".

As a long time Unix user (I was lucky to discover Unix for the first time with Irix, on a SGI), I don't like MacOS X that much yet, but I've got to admit that it's because I don't know it very well. I find it very funny to see all these long time Windows-only-I'm-afraid-of-the-Unix-command-line developer now using a desktop-friendly Unix system :)

It's good to see those previously alienated, locked-in, developers now slowly starting to give the finger to MS. And what is really frightening for MS: you hardly ever see a Mac user switch to Windows (sure, there are a few exceptions, but most people who switch never look back).

Triple (1)

codepunk (167897) | more than 7 years ago | (#18302174)

Yep let me triple the replacement budget this year....dream on..

Biz8atch (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18302178)

ALL; IN ORDER TO GO I've never seen product, BSD's I'll have offeNded FreeBSD used to

Re:Biz8atch (1)

ettlz (639203) | more than 7 years ago | (#18302242)

Parent poster must be either too dumb or too pissed to troll properly, so here, I'll do it for you [goat.cx] .

Why I advised against a Mac (1)

rduke15 (721841) | more than 7 years ago | (#18302186)

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

The Mac + the Quark license would have cost around $3-4000, + setting it all up, etc. And it wouldn't be able to run the old MS-Access application on which the whole business relies.

I had nothing against Mac, and am not particularly fond of Windows, but all that money and trouble seemed far too much for an additional machine which could not replace the existing PC and would only run Quark a few times per week. I must say that the insane price of the Quark license was probably the deciding factor in the decision to drop the idea and just cope with the fonts problem.

His points.. (1)

Junta (36770) | more than 7 years ago | (#18302204)

-Spyware/etc. point taken, but we have yet to see how well non-MS platforms hold up in the onslaught of common users faced with a large set of attackers. I've not seen any attempts at spyware/adware under linux yet, probably ditto for Mac. Some malware attempting to run without permission may be mitigated, but a lot of malware is invited in by users implicitly or explicitly installing it by their own free will, without realizing until later the consequences.
-linux isn't actually that bad for common office use if the apps are sufficient in functionality. Start up a modern distro, and the manual install is easy and particularly brain-dead with automated network installs. Once in, it's very familiar, you click on nice menus/icons. To some extent, they mimick Windows more than OSX, so the migration may be easier to Gnome/KDE desktops than OSX, which embraces the filesystem structure with docked shortcuts more than a special-purpose menu as a means to find applications. On some level, I like the Apple approach, but most are familiar with the menu based approach.
-Just because a fair number of webapps the author likes replaces some standalone apps or have grown to support firefox more, doesn't mean that Mac would do any better than PC or that this assessment is appropriate at a wide enough scale.
-The intel chips are no more relevant to the discussion than ppc was a detractor. You are moving from one entirely different platform to another. PPC hypothetical cost difference (*if* true, only would matter if Apple were willing to pass on such savings to their consumers. Their price points really haven't budged. Well, there are exceptions. The Intel Mac Mini on release was $100 dollars more than the PPC based ancestor). In the past PPC was faster than x86 processors, but that performance delta meant little then, and now means absolutely nothing since they are just running equal with everyone else. The point on virtualization is somewhat interesting, but suspecting this comment made in the context of a desktop. Running Windows copies virtualized on desktops just means you have all the headaches of before, including license management, except you add OSX and application variants to the mesh. Not only that, but MS has taken interesting license stances on Windows running as a guest, so you may end up having to pay MS even *more* for the privilege of doing it. If they meant the PPC platform is not appropriate for virtualization in general, they obviously are not familiar with IBM's heritage of virtualization on Power servers (JS21 has a PPC970 dual core platform and includes hardware virtualization). Not with a Windows guest obviously, but it all depends on what he thought the promise of virtualization is.
-Dunno about their integration to industry-wide directory schemes and whatnot, but it won't be any *better* than their competition at this point.
-Creeping in from the home desktop is not that likely. Windows achieved it only through a combination of nearly complete home desktop market domination and a enterprise marketing/sales effort. Linux has done so more because it mimicked the featureset of expensive Unix solutions for both a reduced software cost and lower hardware investment that also happens to be a more vendor-neutral investment. The grass-roots component of the Linux growth is only because initially it had no explicit costs and the implicit costs were hidden through extra effort, frequently without extra billing, of the linux enthusiasts who wanted to make it work. More widespread adoption has required the corporate structures of the likes of RedHat and Novell, with partnerships of multiple hardware vendors. This is one *huge* area the Apple systems will probably *never* cope with. The whole point for a lot of companies going to the likes of Linux and Windows is the promise of vendor-neutrality. Dell x86 hardware or service pissed your company off, go to HP, and vice-versa. Don't have the budget for a Tier-One vendor for a peripheral project that doesn't demand tier-one support? Go to the cheap whitebox and run your same platform. The flexibility of being able to mix and match and abandon hardware vendors without significant software pain was perhaps the main motivation for the x86 platform in the enterprise.

Next thing he suggests is that Macs are great because while other companies offer reduced-cost models with some frequently non-essential functions removed to target budget-conscious companies, Mac *only* sells expensive models. Great logic there. If a company finds the budget model insufficient for a task, they step up to the next model. They aren't forced to buy the cheaper one unless it fits their business needs. With Apple, they have to pay more even if that budget one were appropriate.

Performance he just talks about low end Apple v. high end Apple. It's moot to the discussion about Apple v. non-apple (particularly since there is no difference one way or the other now).

Durability, don't make me laugh. I've dealt with a few laptops, and iBooks broke just by looking at it wrong. The MacBooks at least appear to be similar to the iBook generation I dealt with. ThinkPads have held up much better, but if you care about durability, other brands target that better (i.e. Panasonic which I've not gotten to try).
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