“Now that Apple Computer has started using Intel chips, is it time for businesses to replace their Windows PCs with computers from the company that introduced personal computing to the world? Probably not,” Thomas Claburn and Darrell Dunn report for InformationWeek.
“By using standard Intel chips in its computers, Apple is assured of an abundant supply of state-of-the-art silicon at commodity prices. It also means that its Macintosh computers can keep pace with Windows machines as Intel keeps improving processor performance. And by rolling out Intel-based computers last week, six months ahead of schedule, Apple avoids a slowdown in sales, as customers won’t be waiting around for the new models,” Claburn and Dunn report. “For Apple users, the news is all good: The new computers using Intel’s Core Duo dual-core chips offer two to five times the performance of previous Apple computers. And Apple is selling the PCs for the same price as its older, slower computers.”
“But for companies that mainly use Windows computers, the faster Intel-based Macs don’t provide many reasons to make a quick switch to new hardware and a new operating system. The reasons most businesses don’t use Macs–insufficient software availability, compatibility, and interoperability–won’t disappear simply because Apple switched processors. David Frederickson, program director for defense contractor Northrop Grumman Corp., has long used Apple computers at home. But the company’s move to Intel processors probably won’t change the computer systems Northrop buys, mostly because government contracts generally require the use of Windows. ‘The current version of the Mac OS is far superior to the Windows OS as far as the user interface and the security you can set up,’ he says. ‘But the type of chip in the system isn’t the deciding factor. It’s basically the operating system and functionality they wrap around it.’ That means Apple is unlikely to increase its share of the business market any time soon. But the “halo effect” of the spectacularly popular iPod and Apple’s easy-to-use digital-lifestyle computer software, along with the move to Intel chips, may help the company grab more of the consumer market,” Claburn and Dunn report.
“Apple is starting to gain some ground. It sold 1.25 million Macs during the last three months of 2005, up from 1.05 million a year earlier. That increase helped fuel record quarterly revenue of $5.7 billion, though most of the growth came from sales of 14 million iPods, up 10 million units from the same period a year ago,” Claburn and Dunn report.
“Eric Seiden, a VP at wholesale distributor and importer Interstate Screw Corp., which has five Macs and two Windows computers. ‘It’s not necessarily a pro-Mac thing, but it’s an anti-Microsoft and -Windows thing,’ he says. ‘Windows is prone to viruses and security flaws. My whole goal is I want the computer to work for me, and I don’t want to spend my whole life fixing the damn things.’ [But], as long as crucial business apps from vendors such as Oracle and SAP aren’t available on the Mac, Apple’s computers–regardless of which chip is inside–won’t be a serious option for many businesses,” Claburn and Dunn report.
Full article, with interesting survey results about why some businesses use and for what purposes, here.
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