Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Digg this

Apple in the Enterprise: Maybe not as Crazy as it Seems?

Apple Logo
If you work in a Microsoft shop then it's easy to believe that the world runs on Microsoft.  But the reality is desktop PC's by majority run on Microsoft.  Tablets, smartphones, and servers (especially high performance servers) predominantly do not run on Microsoft.  And even Microsoft's majority share on the desktop has been steadily eroding over the past few years due to Apple's emergence as a major computer manufacturer and the public's poor reception of Windows Vista.

For those of you who dispute my assertions, consider this: of the top 500 supercomputers in the world, less than 2% run Windows HPC, compared to over 80% that run Linux (  Also, according to, OS X has over 15% operating system market share (not including iOS devices) in the United States.  Compare that to 3
years ago when OS X had half of that market share.  Yes, indeed the technology world is more diverse now than it was just a few years ago.

So, what does this mean for the enterprise?  Organizations that use predominantly Linux or UNIX based servers are now considering Apple workstations for software development.  Why?  Underneath that nice Aqua desktop is a UNIX operating system, complete with a UNIX shell.  When working with Linux or UNIX based servers, it's a much more streamlined environment when your workstation is also UNIX.

Apple workstations are being considered for front and back office usage too.  Part of the reason why has to do with cost.  We've all heard that Macs are more expensive than comparable computers made by one of the other large PC manufacturers.  I, myself had that same concern prior to purchasing my MacBook Pro a few years ago.  So, side by side I configured my desired MacBook Pro with a comparable Dell computer, feature by feature.  And to my surprise, I found the MacBook Pro to actually be $50.00 less than a comparable Dell laptop.

Microsoft, Dell or HP pundits will claim that you don't actually need all of the features that you pay for in a Mac and there is some truth in that.  I don't need a high-res LED screen on my MacBook Pro, nor do I need bluetooth or a webcam or a backlit keyboard.  But I am going to pay for those items whether I need them or not if I want a Macbook Pro.  However, price point aside, TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) is typically less with a Mac, or so claims a 2010 survey by the Enterprise Desktop Alliance (  According to the survey, Macs require less troubleshooting time, less configuration time and less training time.  And all that less time means a lower TCO for the life of a Mac compared to that of a PC/Windows equivalent.

There was a time when Windows was not a common sight in the workplace.  Who's to say that 5-10 years from now people won't be saying, "I remember when Macs weren't a common sight in the workplace?"

No comments:

Post a Comment