Apple Macs are far easier, cost less to manage than Windows boxes

“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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23 Comments

  1. Just to make another point. Look at the article. It says “one tech support person can manage 50 to 75 Macs”. That number is seriously flawed. Ive seen one guy managing up to 400 Macs. So I would take these guys comments with a grain of salt. Things have changed since the initial release of XP.

  2. Apple probably needs a $1,000 PowerMac (slotless G5 clocked at 1.8Ghz?). The mini may not be gutsy enough for an office, and iMac’s are expensive if you already have monitors/keyboards/mice.

  3. You may say we should be careful of these articles KernelPanic, but the BIG difference between them and you is that they are out in the open stating what can be verified or shot down. They’re not likely to be lying unless they’re very dim which is probably least likely.

    You on the other hand cloak yourself in anonymity….

    Say no more.

  4. Sputternick says: “The “real IT world” is built around the superior products and services that Windows offer …”

    Yes, the “real IT world”, just about the most useless part of the computing world. They do serious stuff like spreadsheets, word processing, Email and databases. Ha Ha Ha! I think PC’s can cope with that sort of challenge … tee hee! Giggle!

    I think I’ll stick to more interesting and challenging fields like serious numerically intensive programming, supercomputing, GRID projects, scientific visualisation, bioinformatics, Grand Challenge Projects and the like. These problems are easily solved using a real operating system such as one that is Unix based (Mac OS X, BSD, UNIX, Linux) or at least something like VMS!

    Windows platforms may be OK to hook up for experimental data collection, but for powerful user/program/data interaction it doesn’t cut it … suffice to say that most calculations on Windows boxes likely happen inside spreadsheets … what a great problem solving environment! Great for tiddly problems but not much else!

    MW is “across” as in that it is probably futile to get this across to a Windows-glued Luddite!

  5. I find it very interesting that most of the discussion is focused on what IT departments want/need/use.

    When did the corporate world decide that the ‘revenue sinks’ would dictate company policy? I strongly believe that when company owners wise-up and realize that the profit centers of the company should use the tools that they want and the ‘revenue sinks’ like IT must suck-it-up and learn their real place in the corporate world.

  6. it would be refreshing if IT departments were not so fscking lazy. If i heard one IT guy, i’ve heard them all say it – you can’t (as in unpossible) use Macs one Windows networks, use Exchange, use Windows files, etc.

    I had one guy ask me if you needed some kind of thing to do email translation (as in, Windows speaks email differently than Windows)

    Most IT people are too lazy to give their users the tools that they want to get their job done most effectively. The IT geeks need to – but will never – learn is that they should be learning new things all the time, and that learning how Macs work would not cause them to spontaneously blow up.

    I often tell the IT people at my work that I’m smarter than all of them. I’m a Windows administrator as well as a Mac sysadmin, as well as an OpenBSD sysadmin. If i can do all 3 of those things, and they can only do one, obviously, i’m smarter than they are, so they need to leave me alone when i want to use a Mac for my tasks.

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