back to article Close encounter: Apple Macs invade the business world

Companies big and small are running Macs. They are showing up everywhere, from IBM to Google to the SMB. It has been a few years since I seriously looked at OSX in the enterprise and it is time to revisit the topic to see how things have changed. When discussing Apple in the enterprise a clear line has to be drawn between …

  1. Craig Foster

    Just ask the colleges and private high schools...

    ARD is used in a hurry, Casper Suite is used for *everything* else.

  2. ckm5

    Funny enough....

    NextStep had really, really good enterprise tools (for the time). They were just dropped from OSX somehow.

    I remember that you could set a huge amount of configs in directory, down to stuff like homepage URL. And because it was inherently Unix, you had desktop portability to any machine. It was pretty cool in the mid-90s...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "In the real world, the cost of an Apple desktop or notebook is not very much higher than a Windows-based box. The cost of the management tools required, however, can easily be double or even triple the price."

    And what World is this? Its not planet Earth! Cheapest iMac (one that's useable) is £1050inc VAT 2.7Ghz i5 8Gb RAM. 1Tb 5400RPM (really!)HDD

    DELL 7020 3.3Ghz i5 8Gb RAM 1Tb 7200RPM HDD + 21.5" LCD 3yrNBD onsite (not the shtie 1yr Apple warranty) £612

    So no the Apple isn't very much more expensive at all! So we have an estate of around 300 PC's so that's only £131k more if I buy Apple. Great value

    1. FartingHippo

      Re: really!

      Maybe, but the £400 a seat difference is three-quarters of f*ck all compared to the total cost of running 300 boxes in an enterprise. Staffing, software, 24/7 support, servers, bandwidth, peripherals, etc. Over three years it's pennies per seat, per day. Rounding error, in other words.

      If you have a half-way compelling reason that Macs offer an advantage over PCs for your particular business, then the cost difference is so small as to be an irrelevance.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: really!

        but of those things are a cost with Apple, and as the article has said most tools are an additional cost. And I wouldn't call £130k a rounding error for an SME, every penny counts with us

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: really!

      You neglected to calculate the effect of resale value on the Total Cost of Ownership.

      You point may very well be valid, but do show your working!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: really!

        who resells their IT kit? You're daft not to lease desktops so you don't own it to sell it!

    3. chr0m4t1c

      Re: really!

      Where are you looking?

      Dell don't appear to offer the 7020 with a 1Tb drive (only 500Gb) and when you add a monitor it comes to £1142 (inc VAT). The dell website offers £335 off at the moment, but you can get discounts and better support from Apple if you speak to the business team instead of just buying off the website.

      Also, you're comparing a consumer offering with a business offering.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It would be handy if Apple would make OS X completely AD happy instead of just using it for auth.

    Imagine having group policies apply to all users in a group regardless if they used pc's or macs...

    Come on AC, comparing Apples with Dells?? you might aswell compare Yamaha Pacifica with a Fender Strat -not really in the same league are they.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      but at the end of the day bottom line counts (last time I looked things were tough out there) We could be well facing redundancies where I work £134k is several peoples jobs for the sake of a bit of shinny shinny with a God awful keyboard and mouse!

      PC's are commodities but if your happy paying well over the odds for something that is actually LESS capable than the DELL then fill your boots sunshine!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        no real dog in the hunt but

        >that is actually LESS capable than the DELL

        Unless your company develops iOS apps for example. Honestly the one use case I have seen where Apple computers clearly are viable in enterprise in my limited exposure is for some cross platform software development. You can run Windows and Linux quite easily on them and technically its illegal to run Mac OS X in a VM. Yes you can develop iOS/OS X apps on other hardware (and OSs) but those same tools would also work on the Mac and you still have more freedom for not that much extra cash (price developer labor, where you can buy a Mac every few days for what they cost). Granted the OS X app market is fairly small but the iOS sure isn't.

  5. Mike Dunderdale

    Comparing Apple to XXXX

    Yes, the Dell is a far superior product in my experience.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Comparing Apple to XXXX

      That must be why Apple is so jealous of Dell's financial position huh? I do tend to agree with you for enterprise desktop though. As for mobile all I have to say is the Dell Streak (in your underpants). Even the Android Venues are a bit of a joke.

  6. David 138

    The last time i tried to add the Macs to AD I was surprised to find it worked really first. Then when the time came to update there domain password it all went to hell. OSX would not update the changes properly logins suddenly started taking 20 minutes. I never worked out what was causing the issue, we have so few i dropped them off the domain and let them use local accounts. Apple make nice hardware but they are useless at software.

    1. Stevie

      useless at software

      Well said.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: useless at software

        Software exists solely to purposely obsolete hardware. You don't get to have the ultimate hipsters club by not requiring heavy dues as frequently as possible. -- Tim Cook (privately).

        Funny how freetard Linux (and sadly even Windows) can support a Mac with updates long after Apple stops.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      'Apples' hardware manufacturers make nice hardware'


  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There are mindset issues at play here, too

    A lot of companies have a strange and illogical "if it's configurable, it must be configured" attitude to Windows, and they want to apply that same attitude to every other platform they can get their hands on.

    Group Policy is powerful and it lets you configure a lot of things, but it doesn't mean you NEED to configure EVERYTHING that it lets you configure.

    Rather than applying the lightest possible touch, ie doing as little configuration as possible to allow the device to function correctly on the corporate network and be reasonably secure, they tweak every knob they can get their hands on and deploy all kinds of management "agents", generally with no real rhyme or reason.

    It's going to take a pretty big culture shift to get enterprises out of that mentality.

    1. MyffyW

      Re: There are mindset issues at play here, too

      Well said @AC you have articulated an uneasy feeling I have had for sometime. In the pursuit of "saving users from themselves" I think corporate IT have become control freaks.

      It's certainly important to protects yourself from malware, data leakage etc. but once the essentials are served leave it to the users, and have a way of returning the device to a ground state configuration should they tinker.

    2. Naselus

      Re: There are mindset issues at play here, too

      OK, I'll bite here.

      It's tricky. Fact is, Least Privilege is a principle for a reason, and over the years we've learned to apply it zealously. Maybe overzealously? Perhaps, but if you ask a security guy about it he'll say there's no such thing as over-zealous application of a security principle. 'Reasonably secure' isn't a thing for the security guys, there's just 'secure' and 'insecure'. It's black and white. And if you've not locked down enough, then you are insecure.Bear in mind this is going to be effecting your insurance premiums in the next few years. Post-Sony, we're already seeing some insurance companies demanding regular pen testing. A culture shift to reduce lockdown is going to hit you in the pocket if you want to insure against data breaches.

      I do think that there's certain organizations I've worked for which take lockdown too far - they reach a point where people can no longer do their jobs properly because they need an admin to do anything outside of opening MS Word. That invariably backfires, as you find that staff spend more time trying to break security so they can get anything done, and so cease thinking for themselves (you end up with the inevitable password-post-it-note on the monitor, the security door propped open with fire extinguisher etc). I've always felt that what's needed isn't just a cultural shift in IT away from the obsessive control aspect - you also need a wider culture shift in businesses themselves to actually make staff appreciate the idea of IT security before IT can release it's fervent grip on the reigns.

      If people can be trusted not to act like idiots then there can be a little more leeway; if you're gonna hire monkeys and give them 20 seconds training before sticking them in front of a PC loaded with customers personal details, then you need IT to lock the system down to hell and back. If you actually teach them about security the same way that IT guys tend to get taught about it, then they might take it all a bit more seriously and not need to be treated like naughty children.

  8. DNTP

    Maybe not a 'typical' business

    For my bioinformatics work I have a preference for OSX. I like the easy POSIX compliance which is a requirement for many of the open-source or community developed tools in the field, but it's mainsteam enough that there's OSX versions of general commercial software available. And ninety percent of my development work is basically scripting in bash and awk which is downright convenient and testable. Sure, all these needs could be met on a Windows or Linux box, but for my work OSX is a happy intersection.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Maybe not a 'typical' business

      we do a fair bit of bioinformatics work and our user generally have DELL precision workstations running Linux, with a virtual win7 box for doing office stuff etc

      1. P. Lee

        Re: Maybe not a 'typical' business

        I'm currently doing this (i.e Linux + Windows VM) for a year or so.

        Quad-core i7 dell laptop running Linux and a Windows VM. Mostly its ok. Managing a large Checkpoint firewall ruleset in a Windows VM seems to be an absolute nightmare though. It runs like treacle. We're talking 5-7 seconds to page down. MS Office is fine though. There must be something which CP does which vmplayer does badly.

        I also ran another checkpoint command line translation tool. About 3 hours on the laptop (i7-740 1.7G quadcore 16G RAM, SSD, not memory bound, running a single thread) but around 30 minutes on my 3.2G i7-3930k desktop.

        It just goes to show a laptop isn't always a desktop replacement and just because they are both i7's, it doesn't mean the clock-speed is the indicator of power.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Try connecting them to a Windows Server and watch performance drop. Autocad save times increase dramatically

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Apple is the best company all over world.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022