Why do workers have to suffer with Windows PCs at work when they have superior Macs at home?

Parallels Desktop 5 for Mac “At the office, you’ve got a sluggish computer running aging software, and the email system routinely badgers you to delete messages after you blow through the storage limits set by your IT department. Searching your company’s internal Web site feels like being teleported back to the pre-Google era of irrelevant search results,” Nick Wingfield reports for The Wall Street Journal. “At home, though, you zip into the 21st century. You’ve got a slick, late-model computer and an email account with seemingly inexhaustible storage space. And while Web search engines don’t always figure out exactly what you’re looking for, they’re practically clairvoyant compared with your company intranet.”

Wingfield reports, “This is the double life many people lead: yesterday’s technology for work, today’s technology for everything else. The past decade has brought awesome innovations to the marketplace—Internet search, the iPhone, Twitter and so on—but consumers, not companies, embrace them first and with the most gusto… For a look at how sharp the divide between work and home can be, consider my experience. The Wall Street Journal gives me a laptop with Windows XP, an operating system I found satisfying when it came out eight years ago but that lacks a lot of modern touches, like a speedy file-search function. My home computer, meanwhile, is a two-year-old iMac running the Leopard version of Apple’s Macintosh operating system. Among other virtues, it’s got a search function called Spotlight that lets me track down files in a flash.”

Wingfield reports, “Some companies have decided the best solution is to start giving workers what they want. [Recently] executives [at Kraft Foods] began to worry that the company’s technology policies were preventing employees from staying in step with trends… So, the IT department stopped blocking access to consumer Web sites, and the company started a stipend program for smart phones: Workers get an allowance every 18 months to buy a phone of their choosing. (Over 60% picked iPhones.) Kraft has also started a pilot program to let some of its employees pick their own computer. One catch: Employees who choose Macs are expected to solve technical problems by consulting an online discussion group at Kraft, rather than going through the help desk, which deals mainly with Windows users.”

Full article here.

58 Comments

  1. I know Mac users with sluggish Macs running old software also. Ironically, in contrast with the article, they’d be happy with shiny new Windows machines or shiny new Macs. It’s all about money.

  2. This is blasphemy. Let employees choose their computer and the majority will be moving to Mac. What will IT do with all their free time–standing in the unemployment line.

  3. If the price for getting a Mac here where I work was to consult an online discussion group for technical problems, I’d be all over it like fur on a wookie. The IT people here are certainly intelligent and nice enough (so long as you don’t bring up Apple), but it drives me nuts to get the “Ewww! You want a toy computer!” BS whenever the topic comes up. Besides, one of the brightest IT members is a Mac guy, who really would like to get Macs in here, so I know there wouldn’t be any serious problems.

  4. One catch: Employees who choose Macs are expected to solve technical problems by consulting an online discussion group at Kraft, rather than going through the help desk, which deals mainly with Windows users.

    Fear not! That’s exactly the Mac support situation I had at work and it was no problem because there were no problems.

  5. Workers at workplace suffers a lot due to the fact that the computers at their work is really old and in need of a refresh. I strongly recommend companies with old computer to upgrade or buy a new PC preloaded with Windows 7 with medium to high specifications.

    Buying a MAC won’t solve those problems instead it will bring more headaches since there will be a lot of software/hardware that’s not compatible with the MAC operating system regardless of bootcamp running Windows 7.

    Why buy a Mac while you can get everything you need on a PC for a fraction of what CRAPple pays to their idiot costumers.

    http://www.bing.com When it comes to decisions that matter, Bing & Decide

  6. Unfortunately, good IT is to work behind the scenes, putting pieces together so that users can solve problems for themselves. Bad IT is to always determine what the solution will be before the problems are even presented.

    The result? If you practice good IT, the executives think you aren’t doing anything and cut your department. If your IT organization is awful you’ll get a lot more face time with the decision-makers and your budget will skyrocket. No surprise that the industry is in such a sorry state now.

  7. @ron,

    Would that it were so simple. Unfortunately, I work in the defense industry, which means corporate security is extra paranoid (for good reason) and IT security is extra tight. IT has made it so that one can’t get on the domain without a Windows PC. You also have to have the company’s approved anti-virus installed (they check for it, and it IS Windows-only), and they insist that they be able to remotely access your machine and install whatever they want on it at any time. So, I do bring in my PowerBook (yeah, I know, it’s a little dated, but still works well), but I can only access the network’s DMZ (at least they threw me that bone). For the project on which I work, all my communication and task documentation must be done on this Dull laptop, which runs XP. It’s actually not too terribly bad, only crashes once in a while, but it’s still Windows.

  8. Two years ago my company allowed is to choose which machine to work on. In our unit alone we’ve acquired 8 Macs since then, almost a third of our developers have gone to the Mac. With VMWare for those company apps we can’t do without I know for a fact my blood pressure at work has been reduced simply from not having to dink around in XP all day.

    They have now restricted purchases of Macs due to their “high costs” but since we have to do our own maintenance on them I’m really unsure what they are talking about. I think it’s more a knee jerk cost cutting reaction.

    OTOH Love working with my MacBook Pro and not having it controlled by the IT in the company. Makes life so much more enjoyable.

  9. @I’m a pc

    Why buy a Mac while you can get everything you need on a PC for a fraction of what CRAPple pays to their idiot costumers.

    After reading that statement, I’ve decided English is your second language or your stupid, which is it?

  10. @I’m a PC.
    I’m using my own MacBook Pro at work (±3000 employees) for 10 months and have rarely encountered compatibility problems. In fact, it avoids me using dreadful softwares like MS Project and heavy Excel sheets. Thank you Mac!

    I can’t stop laughing in the morning when my PC colleagues spend 10-20 minutes waiting for MS Office to open due to a ‘wrong shutdown’. That’s another MS tax.

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