“Last month, Brandchannel.com dubbed Apple Computer Inc. the ‘brand with the most global impact.’ But you’d never know it by looking at corporate desktops today,” Mark Hall writes for Computerworld. “Windows machines are the undisputed personal computers of choice for corporate IT, the biggest single market for PCs. Research conducted by Framingham, Mass.-based IDC underscores the fact. IDC ranked the maker of Macintosh machines No. 10 on its market-share list in 2004, two spots behind the Chinese company Lenovo Group Ltd.—and the list was prepared before Lenovo’s planned acquisition of IBM’s PC unit.”
Hall writes, “Yet despite significant efforts by Windows suppliers, Apple still remains a dominant player in vertical market segments such as publishing and digital media. And with the growing popularity of its low-cost Xserve Unix servers, Apple has an opportunity to compete head-to-head with industry leaders like Dell Inc. inside the data center for general-purpose applications such as e-mail and Web serving.”
“At Genentech Inc., a multibillion-dollar biotechnology firm in South San Francisco, Mark Jeffries oversees nearly 2,500 Macs. The senior systems specialist says the OS X machines are used ‘for various purposes,’ from scientists doing pure research to executives toying with spreadsheets,” Hall writes. “According to Jeffries, the Mac’s place in the market today is the result in large measure to Windows-centric IT shops that ‘have always been trying to find some reason to get rid of Macs.'”
“Most Mac technical support personnel argue that the machines are far simpler to manage than Windows boxes. For example, when Genentech went through a recent upgrade on both its Mac and Windows systems, one technician could completely upgrade six OS X machines per day, while on the Windows side, one person could complete only two or sometimes three PCs each day. And for the entire company, seven technicians handle nearly 2,500 Macintoshes,” Hall writes. “Eighty percent of Digital Strata Inc.’s business is Windows users. Dan Fischler, president of the Scotts Valley, Calif.-based IT consultancy, estimates that one tech support person can manage 50 to 75 Macs, whereas ideally, there should be one for every 20 to 25 Windows PCs.”
Hall writes, “No one expects Macs to displace Windows as the desktop of choice for general-purpose computing. But Apple has deflected intense competition in its core vertical markets. And, for the first time, it’s becoming a credible contender as an alternative for servers inside the data center.”
Full article here.
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