Enterprise Desktop Alliance: Apple Macs cost a lot less than Windows PCs to manage

Apple Online Store“Macs in the enterprise aren’t just cheaper to manage—they’re a lot cheaper [to manage], according to a new survey released today by the Enterprise Desktop Alliance,” Tom Kaneshige reports for CIO.

“The group surveyed 260 IT administrators in large U.S. companies with both Macs and PCs who are involved in some degree with IT cost calculations,” Kaneshige reports. “Enterprise Desktop Alliance members include Centrify, Absolute Software, Group Logic, Web Help Desk, and most recently IBM.”

“The survey found that Macs were cheaper in six of seven computer management categories: troubleshooting, help desk calls, system configuration, user training and supporting infrastructure (servers, networks and printer). Nearly half of the respondents cited software licensing fees as roughly the same for both platforms,” Kaneshige reports. “A whopping 65 percent of respondents said it costs less to troubleshoot Macs than PCs, 19 percent said they spent the same on both computers, and only 16 percent said they spent less to manage PCs than Macs.”

Kaneshige reports, “Even more impressive, a majority of the respondents citing the low cost of Macs in nearly all categories said Macs were more than 20 percent cheaper to manage than PCs.”

“With Macs dominating in almost every cost category, why would 16 percent claim they spent less troubleshooting PCs? ‘It might be an [issue] of expertise of the IT staff,’ says Tom Cromlin, spokesperson for the Enterprise Desktop Alliance. ‘They’re probably more comfortable troubleshooting PCs,'” Kaneshige reports. “Enterprise Strategy Group analyst Jon Oltsik has another reason. He says top execs often prefer Macs, and thus supporting those machines take on more importance. ‘It’s not about managing [Mac] systems, which may be easier than Windows’ on a machine-by-machines basis, Oltsik explains. ‘It’s when the CEO wants IT to install software on his or her Mac, which will need immediate attention and take time away from other tasks.'”

Kaneshige reports, “Many small companies with limited IT resources told CIO.com that they moved to Macs after getting fed up with costly PC support issues… Many companies told CIO.com that the low cost of managing Macs more than makes up the cost difference between the computers.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yet more support of what many of us already know to be true.


  1. The last time that I saw the price list for my government agency, the monthly costs of PCs and Macs (desktops and laptops) were very close (within $10 to $20 per month). But I suspect that the vast majority of the help desk money goes to support PC problems. I pretty much only see the support guys every three years when it comes time to swap out my machine (and I make my own personal backup using CCC, just in case).

  2. Though I prefer and admire the Mac platform, I am unaware of even one large Mac network. Is there a single instance of a 1M or 500K-Mac network? Even 100K? Please don’t include single-site supercomputer installs. Also, are there tools available that support global network management and administration? My belief is that we haven’t reached the point where there are real enterprise networks with a significant Mac presence nor is there the necessary administrative ecosystem to support them, but I’m interested to read what you all may be aware of.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.