Apple Macs for enterprise: yes, change does happen

Apple Store“I have a pet peeve: people who insist that tomorrow will look like today. Wall Street analysts often fall into this camp,” Roger Ehrenberg writes for SeekingAlpha.

“Unfortunately, I frequently find myself peeved because this type of myopic thinking is everywhere, and always has been. Why? Probably due to the social psychology concept called framing, e.g., we are systematically given the messages that dominant companies, technologies, social and political mores, etc. will persist indefinitely, and therefore find it hard to move away from these beliefs,” Ehrenberg writes. “It could also be just plain idiocy, but I’ll opt for the more textured and academically-appropriate answer for now. We clearly know this to be the case yet we keep on making the same stupid, short-sighted judgments again and again and again.”

Ehrenberg writes, “Given the investment community’s poor track record of long-term prognostication, why should we believe them when we hear “Microsoft owns the enterprise. Apple is and will continue to be a non-player in the enterprise space.” Answer: we shouldn’t. Because they are consistently wrong and are likely to be wrong in this case as well. And besides my somewhat irreverent tone, there are actually really good reasons why investors should wake up to the possibility that XP/Vista/etc. won’t be the dominant desktop platform forever, and that Apple could represent a new paradigm in enterprise computing.”

“I’ve written a little bit about Apple and its leadership in the rise of the Consumer Era of Computing. This does not mean that Macs are only for the consumer, but that Apple as a company is laser-focused on delivering the best user experience, be it in the home or at the office,” Ehrenberg writes.

Ehrenberg writes, “I know from my own experience in my company how this transformation takes place. We started out being a Dell/Intel/Windows XP Professional-based shop. Then our developers needed better machines, several of whom had Macs at home, and requested hi-test Mac machines for development. They loved them. Told everyone. Then anybody doing graphics/visualization wanted a Mac. Then anybody in a client-facing role who did presentations, online demos, etc. wanted one. Now pretty much everybody has one. It has become “the” supported platform in my company. And it happened in a stealthy, inside-out way, where a core of passionate Mac users got the ball rolling, showed others how awesome it was after which people were beating a path to my desk asking for one.”

Full gorgeous article – highly recommended, please click through and read the whole thing – here.
MacDailyNews Take: Ehrenberg was triggered to write this article by a recent Wall Street Journal article by Nick Wingfield (see: WSJ: Apple makes inroads with Macs that can run Mac OS X, Linux, Windows – March 20, 2007).

This is what we wrote in our MacDailyNews Take regarding that WSJ article this past Tuesday:

Wingfield also writes: No one believes Microsoft’s dominance of the professional market, which includes businesses, education and other nonconsumer fields, is in any imminent jeopardy. Analysts say such organizations, especially big companies, have far too much invested in Windows for Apple to ever win a big share of the market.

Analysts are wrong every day; often multiple times per day. If Apple Macs can run WIndows and people who have access to both find they like Mac OS X better than WIndows, why does “no one” supposedly believe that Microsoft’s dominance is in any imminent jeopardy? We guess it depends on your definition of “imminent.” Microsoft’s dominance is in imminent jeopardy, Mr. Wingfield. Refuse to count us, if you will, but we believe that implicitly.

In the full article, Wingfield even reports on Wilkes University’s move to dump all Windows PCs and replace them with superior Apple Macs precisely because only Apple Macs can run Mac OS X and Windows (and Linux). Make the leap, Nick; logic is your friend.

We often see variations of Wingfield’s two sentences in many articles. Basically, they go something like this: “It’s okay, Apple’s growing fatser than the PC industry average, only Apple Macs can run all of the world’s software, if you buy a Mac, you get two computers for the price of one, the vast majority of people who are exposed to both OSes overwhelmingly choose Mac over Windows, there are myriad reviews that say ‘Windows Vista disappoints, so get a Mac,’ and Mac market share is growing; taking share from Windows, but, don’t worry, Microsoft Windows will continue to dominate.” That makes no sense. Zero. We favor logic here.

Why are so many people so afraid to imagine an end to the dark ages of personal computing? Too many MSFT shares in the mutual fund? We have no such problem. Apple Mac will embrace, then extinguish – whether analysts grasp what’s happening or not.

Related articles:
WSJ: Apple makes inroads with Macs that can run Mac OS X, Linux, Windows – March 20, 2007
More on Wilkes University’s plan to dump all Windows PCs, replace with superior Apple Macs – March 16, 2007
Network World: Need a new PC for Vista? Switching to Mac may cost less and give you more – March 16, 2007
USA Today on switching: Apple Macs can also be screaming-fast Windows machines – March 15, 2007
BusinessWeek: Microsoft’s Windows Vista is ‘slow and dangerous’ – March 15, 2007
Analyst: Microsoft’s Windows Vista is very good for Apple Mac – March 13, 2007
Windows expert dumps Windows, switches to Apple’s Mac OS X, finds software plentiful – March 12, 2007
InfoWorld: 9,000 people switch to Apple Mac every day (plus testing ‘Embrace and Extinguish’) – February 28, 2007
Netscape founder Marc Andreessen switches to Apple Mac – February 28, 2007
Computerworld: Windows expert dumps Windows, switches to Apple’s Mac OS X – February 08, 2007
Embrace and Extinguish in action: TechIQ’s ‘The VAR Guy’ dumps Windows, switches to Mac OS X – September 25, 2006
Windows sufferer spends six hours trying to ‘upgrade’ to Vista, says: ‘I should’ve bought a Mac’ – February 07, 2007
Windows Vista woes push BBC News editor to regret never having ‘defected’ to Apple Mac – February 06, 2007
Bill Gates unhinged with Apple envy; Microsoft on path to become high profile casualty – February 06, 2007
Apple takes dead aim at Microsoft’s Windows Vista in latest ‘Get a Mac’ ad (with video) – February 06, 2007
Digit: Don’t buy Vista; Microsoft may be driving millions to stick with XP or move to Apple Mac – February 05, 2007
Bill Gates has lost his mind: calls Apple liars, copiers; slams Mac OS X security vs. Windows – February 02, 2007
TIME Magazine: Microsoft’s Windows Vista ‘an embarassment to the good name of American innovation’ – February 02, 2007
Microsoft’s Windows Vista: Five years for a chrome-plated turd – January 30, 2007
Those unfamiliar with Apple’s Mac OS X may be impressed with Windows Vista – January 29, 2007
Digit: ‘Microsoft’s Windows Vista may be the best reason yet to buy an Apple Mac’ – January 29, 2007
Pioneer Press: Windows Vista shows ‘Apple is an innovation engine; Microsoft, not so much’ – January 29, 2007
Windows Vista disappoints, so get a Mac – January 29, 2007
Microsoft emails reveal serious Mac OS X Tiger envy – January 26, 2007
Analyst: Microsoft’s Windows Vista could be an opportunity for Apple – January 26, 2007
CNET Reviews Windows Vista: Is that all? Clunky and not very intuitive vs. Mac OS X; warmed-over XP – January 24, 2007
Mossberg: Microsoft’s Windows Vista offers lesser imitations of Apple’s Mac OS X features – January 18, 2007
Windows Vista disappointment drives longtime ‘Microsoft apologist’ to Apple’s Mac OS X – January 17, 2007
InformationWeek Review: Apple’s Mac OS X shines in comparison with Microsoft’s Windows Vista – January 06, 2007
NY Times’ Pogue reviews Microsoft’s Windows Vista: ‘Looks, Locks, Lacks’ – December 14, 2006
Unlike Microsoft’s Windows Vista, Apple’s Mac OS X Leopard will create no new jobs – December 12, 2006
A Windows expert opts for a Mac life, finds the experience ‘superb’ – December 07, 2006
15-year Windows vet tries Apple Mac: ‘My God! This is amazing!’ – December 04, 2006
Dave Winer: ‘Microsoft isn’t an innovator, and never was – they are always playing catch-up’ – December 01, 2006
Harvard Medical School CIO picks Mac OS X over Linux and Windows – November 30, 2006
A Windows expert opts for a Mac life – November 06, 2006
Apple Macs can run more software than Windows PCs – October 30, 2006
Embrace and Extinguish in action: TechIQ’s ‘The VAR Guy’ dumps Windows, switches to Mac OS X – September 25, 2006
Top Windows developer dumps Microsoft’s ‘pile of crap’ for Apple’s Mac OS X – September 12, 2006
$399 for Windows Vista Ultimate?! (Hint: Get a Mac) – August 29, 2006
Apple’s Mac OS X Leopard is 64-bit done right, unlike Microsoft’s Windows Vista kludge – August 14, 2006
Microsoft Windows Vista: If you can’t innovate… try to impersonate Apple’s Mac OS X – August 10, 2006
Analyst: Apple’s new Mac OS X Leopard sets new bar, leaves Microsoft’s Vista in the dust – August 08, 2006
Microsoft botches another copy job: Windows Vista Flip3D vs. Apple Mac OS X Exposé – June 26, 2006
Windows Vista rips-off Mac OS X at great hardware cost (and Apple gains in the end) – June 13, 2006
Computerworld: Microsoft Windows Vista a distant second-best to Apple Mac OS X – June 02, 2006
Dude, you got a Dell? What are you, stupid? Only Apple Macs run both Mac OS X and Windows! – April 05, 2006
Apple Macintosh simply does more and costs less than Windows PCs – February 14, 2006
Defending Windows over Mac a sign of mental illness – December 20, 2003


  1. I don’t like it when i read quotes like, “a core of passionate Mac users”. Yes, i love my Mac but it’s a tool. If someone comes up with something that’s even better for my needs i’ll use it.

    That being said, i’d be nice to hear more about Mac users’ passion. Hopefully this ‘passion’ extends beyond computer love? =)

  2. When Apple allows most Windows apps to run in Mac OS X without the hassle of Bootcamp or even Pararells, then you will see more acceptance in enterprise.

    Actually enterprise likes getting their hardware stripped and cheap so they can place what they want on it.

    Why pay for the expense of 10,000 OS X licenses (incorporated in the hardware cost) and firewire, digtal optical and optical drives etc when enterprise doesn’t need to use it?

  3. I always had this vision of Apple computers stripped down to the basics and being sold to enterprise customers and government establishments. You get the safety, reliability, and ease of use via OSX…all the while not costing you a fortune if you were to place a huge order for them.

    Seems like a plan to me…

  4. Doesn’t anyone remember the time before there were PCs on everyone’s desk and people accessed mainframe computers with VT100s or IBM 3270s? IBM generally “owned the enterprise” And they continued to own the enterprise until some upstarts at Compaq figured out how to clone the IBM PC leading to the rise of Microsoft.

    There was a time BEFORE Microsoft, and there is likely that there will be a time AFTER microsoft’s domination of the enterprise. Change is slow, but it does happen.

  5. Macaday,

    yeah, ‘tipping point’ is another good way of seeing it.

    For the last few years I’ve pictured a dam: the leak turns into a small hole, the water starts pouring and then gushing; but a point quickly comes when the whole thing just colapses.

    I believe this point will come either in the second half of this year or the first quarter of 2008 …

    … and AAPL will do a Google.

  6. Hey WiseGuy! Yeah, I mean you!

    Actually enterprise likes getting their hardware stripped and cheap so they can place what they want on it.

    Why pay for the expense of 10,000 OS X licenses (incorporated in the hardware cost) and firewire, digtal optical and optical drives etc when enterprise doesn’t need to use it?

    Enterprises are already paying MSFT through the nose for those stripped down, cheap hardware.

    At work, all I needed was a calendar app on my desktop… that’s it. Because of MSFT’s oppressive contracts with businesses, my company was forced to spend $500 for the entire MS Office suite. IT needed to lock down the apps in Office I didn’t need, everything except Outlook’s calendar. So my employer paid $500 for the calendar!!

    If a large corporation like that has to pay $500/seat for MS Office, then how much per seat is MSFT ripping them off for the OS? The “expense” of 10,000 OS X licenses would be a bargain in comparison!!

    Stripped down, my eye !!

  7. WiseGuy has a valid argument. Most of the PCs on Enterprise desktops cost less than you would pay for a new Mac. Much less. OK, sure – and they DO less, and they do it less quickly. That might be important if they needed to do more, or do it more quickly, but that isn’t the case. I had second or 3rd hand systems at each of my two previous jobs because that was all I needed to do the work! My avocation – what I do at home – and my gaming each take more power than what I did at work … they need the Mac’s power. So … why should the corporation spend more money for systems that over-power the jobs they are set up to do? They shouldn’t! If Apple grabbed every sale that demanded their power levels, they still might not out-sell Microsoft.
    Why buy a Mac?
    – status (front desk)
    – power for the task
    – Unix integration
    – security sensitivity
    personal preferences
    Less than one ‘PC’ in four, maybe in five. Growth opportunities remain.

    DLMeyer – the Voice of G.L.Horton’s Stage Page

  8. DLMeyer — So get Mac Minis for everyone and there you go — a cheap box that runs OS X. And believe you me, the “cut-rate cheap is better” is not how the enterprise works, anyways. They’re paying through the nose for service contracts from Dell, Compaq, and so forth, when they’re not maintaining an armada of PC techs to fix the stuff that fails.

  9. Analysts are wrong so often because all they do is sit behind a desk all day…they never get out into the real world to see what is actually happening out there. They just live in their own little isolated world where things never change.

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