Wherefore Mac in the enterprise?

by Giles Turnbull

Hot on the heels of the release of Mac OS X 10.4.6 comes news that a large company in Japan plans to switch its corporate desktops to the Mac platform. The move is considered a milestone; but what exactly is the state of Mac OS X in the enterprise these days? Is this really a milestone, or just a blip?


Fraser Speirs
2006-04-04 15:02:38
In Scotland, it's not just a distrust of the Apple platform - there's also a significant distrust of a certain "leading Apple dealer". I have yet to meet anyone who has a good word to say about the one Apple-authorised warranty centre in Scotland.

They are the reason why Apple wants - indeed, needs - to open an Apple store in Scotland.

Nina Tovish
2006-04-04 16:14:32
I'd just like to say that "wherefore" means "why"... and if you mean "why," why not SAY why? Rather than sort of misquoting Shakespeare for no good reason, how about picking a headlines that actually says something meaningful?
2006-04-04 16:19:53
We're going through the hilarious step of banning developers using Linux from connecting via VPN to the company network, because the MSCE staff who administer the Windows network only want to allow machines they have built to connect in - because only then can they guarantee their security.

And this is in a software house, and despite complaints by the developers in question.

Anyway, it's a good demonstration of the power of the embedded MSCE mentality. (Actually the guys themselves aren't averse to Macs or Linux, it's more about making their job easy by having a standard installation).

John Handelaar
2006-04-04 17:49:47
Bulk OS license prices appear to be a secret (no info at apple.com/uk), which implies an uneven playing field for purchasers, which in turn provides a great barrier to purchasing.

I imagine the larger problem would be bulk remote management. Even if I did want to re-buy the OS for 100 machines every 18 months or so, I'll be damned if you're going to make me walk round the building doing them one at a time.

Plus they *are*, *very* expensive per unit. Managing office systems I was struck by just how much more likely hardware is to fail outright in a work environment compared to (say) my house - despite the fact that my house is full of cigarette smoke. People treat work machines with far less reverence and I'd hate to think how many of those weedy little keyboards I'd have to buy each week just to keep in stock.

Let alone "replacing the monitor" on an iMac...

Slightly worst-possible-outcomes there, but my basic point is: Apple seems way out of its depth for large rollouts compared to $otherhardware and $otherOSs.

Victor Panlilio
2006-04-04 21:40:41
Fortune recently named Genentech, the biotech pioneer, the best U.S. company to work for in 2006. 9000+ employees, lots of them with PhDs, the most promising anticancer drugs in development, and a market cap in the pharma sector exceeded only by Merck and Johnson & Johnson. Guess what? The entire company essentially runs an all-Mac environment for desktop and notebook computing. So that kind of puts a wrench in the argument that you can't run a successful tech-intensive corporation (or indeed, any kind of organization) using the Mac platform.
2006-04-04 21:41:24
So, let me get this straight: Big business won't buy Macs, because Apple won't provide a fixed roadmap of everything they're going to do, and when, for next two or three years (like any company would know). Aren't these the same companies that wait two or three years before updating to a new version of an operating system (why would anyone need years to qualify a word processor for corporate use)?

Why do they need to know the future, if they're constantly living in the past?

2006-04-05 03:25:45
Nina: yes, I know what "wherefore" means. I used it deliberately; I was actually trying to inject a little extra feeling into the title. When Juliet uses the word in Shakespeare's play, she's quite emotional; and much of the opinion I have read surrounding this issue includes some quite emotional rallying calls by those who are in favor of using Macs in business. But perhaps it was not the best choice of headline...
Paul Mison
2006-04-05 03:34:27
John Handelaar should know that there are certainly tools - provided by Apple - for remote management, including networking booting support, Apple Remote Desktop and software restore strategies. Mike Bombich's site, home of Carbon Copy Cloner, has a fair amount of info on these topics, for example.

Personally, I've never been in a position to run a decent-sized Apple network, but it seems that all the tools you'd need are in place. US educational establishments, in particular, seem to cope. Given all of that, it does seem odd that Apple isn't doing more to promote the infrastructure they've already developed.