There’s an article in PC World about corporations slowly considering Macs.
The article starts pretty typically, outlining the new iMac configurations and mentioning how they’re price competitive with PCs. Then we get this quote from IDC’s Richard Shim:
“”Apple isn’t necessarily selling on just hardware either,” Shim said. “They’re innovating on the experience that the customer has, and a lot of other vendors are disadvantaged because they haven’t done that.””
Any Apple supporter would agree with the above statement. The reason I point it out is that it’s a bit unusual for this type of article, because normally the customer experience is not used or even considered by corporate IT. If anything, a pleasant user experience has been used as proof by IT that the Mac is a “toy,” and not a “serious business machine.”
Of course we know the real reason many IT folks don’t like Macs: They don’t want to learn anything new that doesn’t come out of Redmond, WA, and they take issue with any technology you can use without their help.
Shim then discusses that Apple may not be all that interested in the enterprise market:
“”It’s not something Apple has said it is pursuing,” Shim said. “Large enterprises are different beasts because you are looking at server farms and more of a controlled and centralized computing environment. I don’t see Apple wanting to go there, and I don’t see large enterprises willing to adopt it to the degree that they have with Windows systems.””
Where are all the usual analyst quotes that Apple must court the enterprise because it’s exactly what Microsoft does? It’s nice to see an analyst who tries to, you know, analyze a little bit. Those who watch Apple and try to understand their pursuits have been saying for years that they’re not courting the enterprise. It’s not that Apple won’t take enterprise money, it’s just that they haven’t setup a sales and marketing machine dedicating to humping IT management’s leg. Still, that last remark about not wanting to adopt the Mac like “Windows systems” was a bit confusing to me.
The article then quotes other individuals about Macs sneaking in through the back doors of corporations and running Windows via virtualization. And that such virtualization, and Boot Camp, removes the argument of requiring Windows from IT’s anti-Mac repertoire.
All in all the article is looking good, but then they go back to Shim for a concluding quote about IT managers having the last word:
“”I just don’t see IT managers deciding to buy a whole fleet of them upfront for all their clients,” Shim said. “It just doesn’t make sense, because you have a bunch of infrastructure and a lot of investment already in a Windows platform. Despite the fact that a Mac can run Windows, it’s not a full Windows system, and I’m sure a lot of Mac fans would passionately agree with that.””
OK, now you lost me (though it explains the earlier comment about “Windows systems”). If Windows is running on a Mac via Parallels, I could perhaps understand thinking it’s maybe not a “full” Windows system. But when an Intel-architecture Mac uses Boot Camp to load Windows directly, how is it not a ” full Windows system?” I agree it’s not a PC, since it can also run Mac OS X, but when the hardware boots directly into Windows it is most certainly a Windows system. Was Shim conjecturing a new IT manager argument against the Mac (since the old ones have faded), or supplying one himself? Aside from semantic hardware discussions I’m not sure in what way an Intel Mac booting Windows is not a full Windows system.
This smells like FUD to me. First, the Mac wasn’t enough; it was a toy. Now, maybe it’s too much? Will the Mac be argued against because its hardware can do more than a PC? It runs Mac OS X and Windows, runs more applications, is cost-effective, lasts longer, and is actually liked by users. Maybe IT is afraid of the flexibility and future-proofing such a machine will provide. Won’t somebody think of the IT children?!
Personally, I think the biggest waste of a Mac would be to run Windows on it, whether via virtualization or direct boot. But this native ability cannot be denied, and opened a door that was closed by IT over 20 years ago. Unfortunately, instead of welcoming the new visitor, IT might be frantically setting about building a new door.