Jonathan Blum, “tech guru” for Fortune Small Business, asks “Is it time to consider moving your small business to Macs?”
Blum writes, “First, you should know that I’m no Apple fanatic. I’ve used the gear steadily since the Reagan era; the early Apple II and the computer-as-Cuisinart lookalike that was the original Mac were both college tools of mine. But overall, I have found Apples, as lovely as they are for certain applications, just not worth the hassle for most small businesses.”
MacDailyNews Take: Typical ham-handed set-up that attempts to establish impartiality: I’m no Apple fanatic, but I’ve used their products for a long time, so, even though no iMac model ever made even remotely resembles a Cusinart, get ready to believe the mountain of bullshit I’m about to shovel.
Blum continues, “Still, even I have to admit that the latest Apple line of desktops and laptop computers is flashing some serious small-business form. Apple computers now run on the same basic electronics guts – Intel chips and the like – as any PC using the Microsoft operating systems. Peripheral support for Apple is strong: Every gadget vendor wants a piece of that sexy iPhone/iPod pie.”
MacDailyNews Take: Shouldn’t a real “tech guru” implicitly understand “Apple computers” are referred to as “Macs?” We ask, not only because Blum does it repeatedly and awkwardly throughout his piece, but also because the last “Apple computer” rolled off the assembly line in December 1992. Now, can someone please explain how a printer or scanner or whatever peripheral maker is getting “a piece of that sexy iPhone/iPod pie” by writing Mac drivers?
Blum continues, “Many smart shops I chat with are dumping their Windows machines for Macs. Take Jaffe Associates, a Washington, D.C., marketing and business-strategy consultancy. This 25-person firm recently unplugged its traditional Windows server architecture to install a similar system from none other than Apple. The company considered upgrading its aging Windows XP terminal server but endured Microsoft sticker shock when it calculated the cost of deploying collaborative software: Chief Operating Officer Shani Magosky got a quote for $100,000. Then she priced Apple technology for same functionality and found she could build a similar system for about half the price… To see if Steve Jobs’ brainchild really does have game for the average small business, I ordered up an iMac several months ago and installed it in my little digital world. “
MacDailyNews Take: So, instead of stopping with a nice example of how a smart person dumps Windows for Macs and saves a lot of money, Blum proceeds to conduct his own experiment to see just how much meaningless nonsense a cretin can generate for Fortune Small Business.
Blum continues, “My verdict? Though Apple computers can produce excellent results for small business, expect issues: Macs remain a niche product. No matter what you do with a Mac, you have to deal Apple’s peculiar vision of all things computerish. First off, the packaging is seriously overdone: ‘Designed by Apple in California’ is prominent on the box. Like I care.”
MacDailyNews Take: Well, there you have it. Because Macs come in award-winning packaging that prominently displays the words, “Designed by Apple in California,” small business should expect “issues.”
Blum continues, “Why should locating the ‘on’ switch be such struggle? Just stick the thing where I, and my employees, can find it: right up front.”
MacDailyNews Take: We hereby apologize; we had no idea Fortune Small Business was employing the mentally-challenged as a tech writer. Jonny is obviously “special.”
Jonny continues, “As promised, setup was a two-click, plug-and-play affair: Plunk the iMac on the desk, plug it in and turn it on. Setting up peripherals and Web access was also dead easy. But – as ever, with Apple boxes – there were not enough USB ports. A USB hard drive had to be dumped in favor of Ethernet enablement unit.”
MacDailyNews Take: “Ethernet enablement unit?” Jonny, all iMacs come with built-in 10/100/1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet via RJ-45 connectors. There’s no need for an “Ethernet enablement unit,” Mr. “Tech Guru.” Match the ends of the wires with the holes on the iMac, Jonny. Spend a bit more time with your Sesame Street shape cube before setting up your next computer, okay?
Jonny continues, “No question, running native 64-bit Apple code on the Mac is blazing… But again, there are issues: Offsetting all this speed are some curious features clearly not aimed at the average small business. The desktop is divided into quadrants that exist beyond the screen’s edge. Only with some complex keyboard commands can I slide from one to another. All the goofy Apple-centric commands leave users trained on PCs constantly fighting to parse out what the control, option and command keys do. And there is the very odd mouse. Apple devotees swear by the touch-sensitive shell of the ‘Mighty Mouse,’ but its top left- and right-click buttons still look an awful lot like just one.”
MacDailyNews Take: Jonny, the ability to conceptualize virtual screens and mouse buttons requires an IQ above 70.
Jonny continues, “The real eye-rolling winner is Time Machine, quite possibly the silliest operating system extension in history. Must I really sit through a full round of special effects – the desktop slides away to reveal some mysterious star in full supernova disappearing into infinity behind my various back ups – just to find a what I said to a client in a lost e-mail? Honestly.”
MacDailyNews Take: Yes, by all means, replace an intuitive visual representation with a typically opaque Microsoft dialog box festooned with badly-labeled tabs that offers only text descriptions and buttons. That’ll help you more quickly find your files. Most people would appreciate things being thought out to such a degree and made simpler (and – gasp! – more fun) for them. Not Jonny the “tech guru.”
Jonny continues, “On balance, is there money to be made with Apples? Depends… But other than raw speed, I had a very difficult time measuring any quantifiable improvement over the PC for average business chores – that kind that ultimately affect your bottom line.”
MacDailyNews Take: How quickly poor Jonny forgets his own perfectly measurable and quantifiable example of Jaffe Associates’ Chief Operating Officer Shani Magosky and how “she priced Apple technology for same functionality and found she could build a similar system for about half the price.”
Jonny continues, “Yes, Apples can be easier to use, but with some things, like as syncing your Apple to not-Apple portable devices such as BlackBerrys and smartphones, expect real trouble. I and my assistants had terrible problems getting all of our company programs to work properly.”
MacDailyNews Take: Color us wholly unsurprised that poor Jonny and his attendants had terrible problems syncing their ancient and outclassed mobile devices. Jonny seems to know that Macs can also slum it with Windows, so why doesn’t they just fire up that ancient and outclassed OS to sync their ancient and outclassed devices until they can afford iPhones?
Jonny continues, “Yes, more businesses can now go to Macs – I would say they now make sense for maybe 20 companies out of 100, up from just 5 a few years back. But for the rest of us – particularly those that need basic computing and basic features – Apple is still more expensive and simply not worth the integration headaches for the average small shop.”
Full article, Think Before You Click™, here.
MacDailyNews Take: How fitting that Jonny ends his FUDfest with a random concoction of nonsense numbers and then caps it off with an outright contradiction of the very real-world example he cites, Jaffe Associates, which shaved half of their costs by dumping Windows for Mac.
In all seriousness, the fear is palpable. Expect the volume and vehemence (along with the ridiculousness) of the FUD to increase as Apple Macintosh continues to take share from Windows PCs.
[Thanks to virtually every MacDailyNews Reader on the planet for the heads up.]