Apple takes No. 1 spot in western Europe education; next step: overcome corporate IT ‘mistrust’

Mark Rogers, Apple Computer’s UK managing director, “has good reason to be ebullient,” Graham Stewart reports for The Scotsman. “Apple has recently displaced the PC manufacturer Dell to take the No1 spot in western Europe, with a market share of 15.2%… ‘We’re very pleased with the progress we’re making in education,’ says Rogers. ‘It’s only in the last few years that we have emerged in Europe, and we’re seeing a similar increase in our share in the UK [which stands at 12.5%].’ Rogers says the iPod ‘halo effect’ is partly responsible for this upturn. ‘We’re seeing the iPod being used to deliver lectures to students and it’s also being used in podcasting.'”

“Apple’s success in education is particularly strong in Scotland, claims the dominant Apple dealer here, Scotsys, which recently merged with the Edinburgh-based IT company, the Adventi Group. ‘The uptake in further and higher education for courses based on Apple technologies has been increasing over the last few years,’ says Scotsys managing director John McAleenan… McAleenan says confidence in Apple is at an all-time high, but is nonetheless frustrated by the attitude of corporate IT departments. ‘There is a complete distrust of the Apple platform by IT professionals. I’m fed up with people saying they can’t have Apple in their networks. It’s not difficult, it’s just that they don’t want to understand the technology or they can’t be bothered,’ he says,” Stewart reports.

“Apple is clearly hoping that its recent decision to use Intel processors in its computers, in preference to IBM chips which are now targeted more towards games consoles such as the Xbox, will boost its fortunes in the corporate IT market, but it is likely to be a tough battle given Microsoft’s overwhelming dominance and the mistrust of Apple technology in this environment,” Stewart reports. “Apple is clearly hoping that its recent decision to use Intel processors in its computers, in preference to IBM chips which are now targeted more towards games consoles such as the Xbox, will boost its fortunes in the corporate IT market, but it is likely to be a tough battle given Microsoft’s overwhelming dominance and the mistrust of Apple technology in this environment. Apple’s decision to open its own worldwide network of retail stores is an attempt to change attitudes to its personal computers

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Corporate IT “pros” in general have hitched their wagons to Microsoft. Often in the name of vendor “choice,” they defend their decision, even though, in the end, it almost always results in ultimately depending on a sole vendor anyway: Microsoft. In our experience, IT “pros” will employ almost any convoluted logic to defend their choice, even in the face of overwhelming evidence that they made the wrong one. The Mac is more dependable, more secure, last longer, and the end user enjoys using the Mac more than Windows, which means they’re most likely to produce more since they are not fighting the user interface and Windows issues; this makes Mac users more productive than Windows users overall.

IT people have been given the role of “decision makers” when they should not have that power. If CEOs and upper management in many industries want the upper hand over their competitors, they’d be smart to learn about technology, investigate the Mac’s advantages, take back the decision-making power, and make the best technology decisions for their companies. If that means they’ll have to reduce their IT departments because Macs are less prone to trouble, so be it. Obviously, IT “pros” will not decide to move to the Mac platform if it means their staffing levels and power within the organization will be diminished. The open-minded IT person, one who will seriously consider the Apple Mac option, is a rarity in the extreme. Apple will have an uphill battle breaking into corporate environments unless and until the decisions are made by people focused on benefits to the entire company, not by those who are choosing technology that helps bolster their own job security and power.

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Related MacDailyNews articles:
Apple Mac is #1 in European education market, pushes Dell down into second place – February 03, 2006
Apple Mac hits #1 in Western Europe Education market – February 02, 2006
Defending Windows over Mac a sign of mental illness – December 20, 2003here.

52 Comments

  1. The answer is simple

    Western Europeans are smart, they know what’s best and have the best intentions for their children.

    Here in America it’s all about greed, school officials getting kickbacks from salespeople from the likes of Dell and Gateway.

    That’s right, salespeople get commissions, which they share with school IT officials who sign on the dotted line.

    It’s common practice, and that’s why Apple’s school sales are down in the great USA.

    Corruption kills.

  2. This might be possible if Apple actually had business applications that ran on OSX. Except for Office (which is missing Visio, Access and Project) nothing in the corporate world runs on a Mac. Who wants to run Safari which is incompatible with virtually every interactive site on the planet instead of IE?

    And what few tools exist are usually years behind the Windows equivalent. From Adobe, Macromedia, Microsoft to Stellent and Siebel any software out for OSX is old, broken, and has a completely different look and feel to the Windows version. No company is going to purchase overpriced computers with an unproven OS and no applications. Everyone in corporate IT departments are trained to work with Windows and fully understand how to set up network shares based on user logins (Something OSX falls flat on its face on).

    Apple should stick to producing stereos and cheapo computers for schools and stop trying to break into the real world of business computing. They don’t have hardware, software, consultants, applications or know how to keep businesses running.

  3. MDN’s take is right on the money. We see this kind of thinking from these “IT pros” and worse, getting really snotty at times.
    However there are a few that will come around when we show them what a Mac can do and how easy it is to integrate into their existing networks.
    Schools are pretty much the same, but the school systems buy a lot of Dells because they are dirt cheap.
    One school superintendent likes the software that is bundled with the Macs, but is waiting for Apple to make some computers that are as cheap as their Dell boxes.
    A lot os schools buy entry level iMacs (sans the optical drive).

  4. Knowledge is power, and most IT pros enjoy their monopoly on IT knowledge in their corporation. Introduce a technology they know little about and they feel threatened, and will attack it rather than risk admitting their lack of knowledge.

  5. Exactly, exactly, exactly!
    You cannot believe the crap I hear from IT types. Every kind of excuse, new and very old.

    I just send them a polite e-mail with the info disputing their ideals.

    What is really funny is in the big companies, they have a marketing department of 10-30 Macs that they ignore. Strange, this group runs fine with no help from IT.

    That is what really drives the point home.

    Later

  6. Mac Realist, I think you’re living in a surreal universe.

    Apple isn’t trying to break into corporate IT; it has said on numerous occasions it’s not interested in that market (yet). Such moves are all in the imaginations of the pundits.

    Adobe and Macromedia are in the creative industries where Apple still has a strong presence, and the Mac and Windows versions are normally released simultaneously (Lightroom is even out for Mac first). And since when is a different look and feel to the Windows version a bad thing??

    Anyhoo, with the business market maturing the real money to be made is in the consumer space, and Apple has the best-in-class products it needs to grow market share in that sphere.

    Oh, one last thing: In what respect does the network-centric OS X fall flat on its face…?

  7. Ok lets talk corporate and why they don’t switch to Mac, except in certain situations/graphics etc.

    1: Hardware flexibility, there is none with Apple since the OS is tied to hardware.

    Buisnesses like to choose similar platform hardware vendors because they know some come and go, at least they don’t have to throw away all their investment in software if Gateway kicks the bucket.

    2: If Apple sells Mac OS X seperatly, their hardware sales will suffer because they make more profit selling hardware that can’t be copied vs a OS that can.

    3: Microsoft, this beast has grown so big it’s not going anywhere. They have provided a OS (although not as good) that caters to everyone. Apple doesn’t do that.
    Competition with M$ will result in both OS’s given away for free, resulting in no income for Apple.

    4: Apple history, Bill Gates is still in charge of M$, Steve Jobs (and many other CEO’s) have come and gone at Apple and this resulted in instability of the company. Corporations don’t like that. It costs them money to retrain and lost productivity from too much change.

    Mac’s are good in locations where change is occuring and the people can adopt because it makes them better at what they do.

    Mac’s make good personal, educational computers, also they make good computers where reliability of the OS is very important, like deadline operations at newspapers.

    5: Volume: Apple can’t provide the world’s computers, nobody really can. Only lately with the Intel proccesors does Apple have a chance to increase market share because they are not hindered by their suppliers.

    6: Developers: most developers don’t bother with the Mac platform becuase the developement cost for profit ratio is too high. Now that Apple is on Intel processors, perhaps they will make it very very easy to take a Windows code and compile it for Mac OS X with little trouble or cost to developers.

    Then we can start seeing Mac OS X and Windows versions on the same software disks again.

    This would be a significant marketing boost for Apple.

  8. MacRealist

    “This might be possible if Apple actually had business applications that ran on OSX. Except for Office (which is missing Visio, Access and Project) nothing in the corporate world runs on a Mac. Who wants to run Safari which is incompatible with virtually every interactive site on the planet instead of IE?”

    Corporate IT does not use Access. Everything database related is done via an ODBC connection to either SQL or Oracle. Merlin is a good Project alternative, and OmniGraffle does the work of Visio. As for Safari, the best browser for corporate Macs is Firefox due to it’s NTLM authentication and better compatibility.

    “And what few tools exist are usually years behind the Windows equivalent. From Adobe, Macromedia, Microsoft to Stellent and Siebel any software out for OSX is old, broken, and has a completely different look and feel to the Windows version. No company is going to purchase overpriced computers with an unproven OS and no applications. Everyone in corporate IT departments are trained to work with Windows and fully understand how to set up network shares based on user logins (Something OSX falls flat on its face on).”

    Everyone? Even the Cisco or UNIX team? I’ve said this before on this site. Don’t confuse the desktop support drones with the IT Dept. They are the bottom of the food chain in most companies when it comes to decision making.

    “Apple should stick to producing stereos and cheapo computers for schools and stop trying to break into the real world of business computing. They don’t have hardware, software, consultants, applications or know how to keep businesses running.”

    Real IT World? Haven’t I heard that somewhere before? ©

  9. MacDude is way off. There’s one reason and only one reason IT “professionals” keep buying PCs with Windoze… IT KEEPS THEM IN A JOB. If Bob in accounting keeps getting crashes, if there’s always a threat of some virus, etc., THEY HAVE A JOB.

    I was at a school board meeting the other night. All the members use a laptops which tap into an “agenda” program which gives the members all relevant supporting documentation as votes are being cast. NOT ONE worked right and two members couldn’t even discuss points they wanted to because they couldn’t get the computers to work right. The IT guy came in all smug, going computer to computer, showing he’s worth his taxpayer’s funded salary. They all laughed over it, I found it appauling.

    To top it off, they play these Student of the MOnth videos using a Windoze laptop that is projected on a screen. Two tries and finally the first video played. It got the end and had some sort of errors pop up left and right. The second video never did play. Yeah,.. IT Departments are just a real brain trust… They waste so much productivity in our economy it’s sickening.

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