Where Apple leads, Wintel follows years later

“Will it matter? Will the world really change now that Apple is rolling out a sub-$500 Mac named after a cute little car? Will the Mac Mini have any impact on corporate IT at all? The answers are pretty clear: Yes, no and sure, but not the way Mac lovers might expect,” Frank Hayes writes for ComputerWorld. “Let’s get the obvious analysis out of the way upfront: A $500 price tag won’t make corporate IT shops crave Macs. Heck, if Apple gave them away with a $500 bill taped to each machine, we still wouldn’t use them. The transition costs would be too high. But will the Mac Mini have an impact on us? Probably. And it’ll likely almost all be good news.”

Hayes writes, “We’re used to writing off Apple as irrelevant because Macs don’t run Windows software. (Strictly speaking, they can, but it’s usually not worth the trouble to make that happen.) There might be some Macs in marketing or some other odd corner of our corporate world. But Macs — with a measly 3% market share in desktop computers, by units shipped — aren’t mainstream. They’re not for us. That’s corporate IT gospel.”

Hayes writes, “But notice: Even at just 3%, there are still only seven companies in the world that sell more computers than Apple does. And most of those seven companies are sweating, because there’s not much they can do to innovate or differentiate in the lock-step, beige-box game… So if Apple wants to abandon floppy disks or sell computers in funny colors or shapes, it can. In contrast, PC makers have been trying since 1999 to get away from the beige tower and legacy features. So far, they haven’t even managed to get rid of parallel printer ports… Where Macs lead, PCs follow… For corporate IT, there’s no downside to the Mini. And any upside will take a year or so to hit us.”

Full article here.

41 Comments

  1. It works the other way around. How often do you have to wait for a Mac port of software?

    Where Windows leads, Macs (sometime) follow.

    I’m amazed at how easily you can make the same arguments either way and be correct. Yet… in every zealot’s eyes, you’re a trolling idiot.

    I use both Macs & PCs. They both work quite well for me. Right now though, I wish the PowerBook upgrades were worth the wait. 🙁

  2. I own a large construction business with over 100 macs linked together through ethernet and some airport. We do everything with them. It has save our company a fortune not having to use Windows. Anyone who says macs are not good for a business computer has no clue what they are talking about. I hope all of my competitors are wasting their time and money on Windows.

  3. The article’s title is nonsense. Small PCs have been around for years, and almost all PC makers manufacture a sub $500 PC. Apple is way behind the curve on both counts.

    Mac mini is just media hype that most PC users could care less about.

  4. The best quote from this article is “For corporate IT, there’s no downside to the Mini.” showing the total fanaticism or complete ignorance of the IT world, both of which are probably true.

  5. Does the inevitable price drop for Wintel mean the coming extinction of another pc maker or two– wasn’t there a recent article about this occxurring in the near future?

    Go Apple for initiating some other company’s demise…

  6. I’m proud that I can sit here and waste time surfing the net because all my servers are XServes running OS X, 10.3, and I don’t have to do much to maintain my network of 450 users. Piece of cake.

    See, laziness is a virtue.

  7. I don’t think big business is ever going to adopt the Mac. The mini should do wonders for Apple’s marketshare, but it will all come from home and small business users.

    Corporate IT would never allow the Mac into their space because it would strip them of their power. It would also lead to massive unemployment in middle-class America (which is probably why the gov’t went so easy on Microsoft). The world is too dependent on Windows right now. A quick, massive shift to something else could cause an economic tsunami that might cause more problems than it solves, at least in the short term, although I think it’d be really interesting to see what would happen in the long term when companies and governments start saving the huge amounts of money currently being spent on unnecessary IT.

  8. MCCFR

    I take it the 0.8 of an employee proves they’re an Equal Opportunities employer ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

    (OK, that’s bad taste, but what the hell)

  9. pc makers have been making small pcs(though they’re still monsters compared to the mmini)

    pc makers have been selling sub $500 pcs

    now find me a major pc maker selling a small sub-$500 pc.

    apple pretty much just destroyed the mini-itx market with the mmini. anything you can build or buy similar to the specs of the mmini would cost MUCH more and produce much LOWER performance.

    here’s the closest the pc world has come to the mac mini:

    http://www.nanode.com/

    it’s bigger than the mmini, not as powerful, and will cost much more once it’s available. it’s not available yet because the parts it needs don’t exist yet.

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