IT survey finds Macs in the enterprise easier, cheaper to manage than Windows PCs

Apple Online Store“Shocking: A recent survey of enterprise IT managers that administer both PCs and Macs finds that Macs have a better TCO (total cost of ownership) than Windows boxes, and require less user training and help,” David Morgenstern reports or ZDNet.

MacDailyNews Take: “Shocking” to whom, or was Morgenstern simply being sarcastic?

Morgenstern continues, “The Enterprise Desktop Alliance survey took results from organizations that had 50 or more servers or over 100 Macs, what the organization said were enterprises, academic sites and government agencies.”

The respondents were given the option to select from a range of cost differences. Not only did the administrators across the board say that Macs were less expensive, in all but one category the majority of administrators who said Macs cost less said they were more than 20 percent less expensive to manage than PCs. Of those who asserted that PCs cost less, the majority always asserted that PCs were between 0 and 20 percent less expensive to manage than Macs.

Morgenstern reports, “The figures that pop out are those for the time spent troubleshooting problems (16 vs 65 percent, [Macs and PCs, respectively]), dealing with help desk calls (16 vs 54 percent), training users (16 vs 48 percent) and managing system configs. (25 vs 50 percent).”

“Another recent EDA survey found that 66 percent of IT administrators in large organizations that currently have both Macs and PCs will increase the number of Macs in their sites. The reasons? In addition to the ease of support (and the associated cost reductions found in the survey above), user preference, and increased productivity,” Morgenstern reports. “Whatever the combination of reasons or just the fact that the Mac is better, users seem to have shaken off the past FUD from Redmond and Intel that fell on the Apple platform.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Edward W.” for the heads up.]


  1. Oh- I’m so “shocked” by this ‘news’.

    We have approx. 400 workstations in our organization with about 40 – 50 Macs; take a guess which 10% we don’t worry about when there’s a new virus or malware alert. On more than one occasion- we had to literally walk around and shutdown all the PeeCees just to find the one’s clogging the network with out of control malware activity. We left the Macs on.

  2. Used to work on 2000+ network with 150 macs… was the lone Mac support guy. All the PC support guy could never figure out why I hardly left my office.

    Even had a Maytag commercial style photo of myself, with feet on my desk, posted in my office.

    Eventually I told them my secret. Whenever I got a call or email from someone having a problem, I pretended to be as busy as the PC guys and by the time I made it to the user, he had already figured out the problem.

  3. I think part of this is because people who are using these macs in the workplace do so mostly by choice, and so they likely are more computer literate. That translates to a lower help-desk call ratio. People who don’t know what they’re doing are more likely to be on a PC, thus they’ll be calling the PC support team.

    My grandmother is a smart lady, but wasn’t computer literate when we got her a mac. It took a LOT of support to get her used to it. That said, I think it would have been worse with a PC.

    To compare apples to apples, a study needs to find a location where Mac usage is the norm (meaning computer illiterates have to use them), and then compare *those* IT support numbers to other institutions. When they turn out to be better, then it will really mean something.

  4. This is the kind of reporting that is scaring the hell out of IT/CIO Windows drones. I can see meeting right now with these groups coming up with counterpoints and scare tactics to management when asked about this report.

  5. @sn

    Your conclusion that given an illiterate computer user, getting them competently to use a PC is far more difficult and support intensive than a Mac is backed up by my experience:

    Case study #1: Single mother, 38 yrs, immigrant from SE Asia, never had her own computer (had always used her father’s to browse the Internet), I gave her an old XP box (sitting in my garage), computer illiterate (worked in a hair salon), so not even word processing experience. After the first week, she became frustrated with it, worse yet, she had opened a spam email and the next day, the computer slowed down to molasses. I got it back to fix, ended up reinstalling the OS (ugh!). Lasted 2 more weeks during which she was always calling to ask [support] questions. I suggested she bite the bullet and buy a Mac. Finally got her an older Mac Mini with OSX for $350, showed her how to use it and in over 6 months, haven’t had a single call.

    Case Study #2: Minister, 49 yrs, gave him the XP from above (figured being a 49 y.o. guy he’d be OK), within days, he was calling me for tech support (sorry, but they were really dumb questions), completely computer illiterate (little did I know). After becoming frustrated myself (how could I just “cut off” support to a Minister friend?), so pulled a dual 1.8 Ghz G5 out of retirement (from my garage), running OSX and taught him the basics, over the first week, answered some support calls and since then, no more calls (about 3 months).

    Having spoken to both, asking how they’re doing with their Mac’s, they say they’re fine, “no problems”. My conclusions are: compared to the XP box, they don’t get the malware or viruses which would otherwise make their user experience frustrating and I believe because it’s was easier to teach (for me) and understand (for them) the basics of “using” OSX vs XP.

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