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Are Macs Taking Over the Enterprise?
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melgross
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melgross,
User Rank: Ninja
7/9/2014 | 10:14:21 AM
Take over?
While I doubt that Macs will take it over, there is no doubt that they will continue playing a bigger part. In other studies, Macs have a 5.5% share in enterprise, so the numbers themselves are malleable. But, according to IDC, Mac sales in enterprise have been growing at a 50% a year rate for over three years now. IDC has also said for over 20 years, that the more Macs in an organization, the less expensive it is to run. That hasn't changed. In all previous studies I've read, Macs ARE easier to maintain than Windows machines. This is the first one that says otherwise.
soozyg
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soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
7/9/2014 | 12:25:59 PM
Re: Take over?
"71% of organizations support Macs"

Now that Macs provide the Office Suite--and I'm sure other products that I don't use--the systems are more compatible. Time was a PC couldn't read a Mac document at all and vice versa.
Henrisha
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Henrisha,
User Rank: Strategist
7/9/2014 | 1:26:58 PM
Re: Take over?
I'm a little surprised at that number/percentage. I was always under the impression that most offices only have Windows support, so this is a bit of good news. Shows inter-platform support and makes the job for many people easier.
soozyg
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soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
7/9/2014 | 12:27:11 PM
Re: Take over?
Mac sales in enterprise have been growing at a 50% a year rate for over three years now.

I wonder if that's solely due to iPhones and iPads.
Henrisha
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Henrisha,
User Rank: Strategist
7/9/2014 | 1:27:29 PM
Re: Take over?
I would think that iPhones and iPads make up a huge bulk of that. Will be interesting to see how other platforms respond, specially Windows.
Technocrati
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Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
7/9/2014 | 1:36:51 PM
Re: Take over?
@Henrisha    I think a lot of companies are not too impressed with Window 8.1 and this view is probably the biggest reason Macs are invading the enterprise.    So I agree it will be interesting to see how MS responds to this real threat to it's enterprise market share.
cafzali
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cafzali,
User Rank: Moderator
7/9/2014 | 2:37:13 PM
Re: Take over?
@Technocrati Windows 8.1 quite simply isn't really a factor in the enterprise. I'm currently consulting for one of the largest insurers in the world and it hasn't even completed migration to Windows 7 yet and isn't set to do so until late this year. 

And while they may be late to the Windows 7 bandwagon, large enterprises are generally one OS cycle behind. 

I'd be hard pressed to be convinced that Macs are invading any enterprise, with the exception of a relatively limited number of folks in creative roles. Macs are quite simply something you just don't see in large corporate environments, as a rule. 
Technocrati
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Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
7/9/2014 | 3:23:43 PM
Re: Take over?

@cafzali     I agree in the traditional enterprise, Mac's are not making the inroads that I suggested in my earlier post. I work in the creative field so as you say, I am adapt to see this more often than most.  I should have provided context to my response.

What I find interesting is that the company you refer to is not even on Windows 7.   They are still running XP ?   I have worked in a traditional environment and I am familiar with OS's being a release behind, but I must say I am surprised to learn this.

As far as Windows 8.1 is concerned.  I agree it is not made for the enterprise, but this OS will start to make it's way inside the enterprise just like the Mac OS did as a result of the other devices it rests on.

I really worry that companies are still using Windows XP given the fact MS will eventually stop supporting it.

cafzali
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cafzali,
User Rank: Moderator
7/9/2014 | 4:21:33 PM
Re: Take over?
@Technocrati Yes, they're still using XP. Microsoft offers the option for companies to pay for continuing XP support as they migrate to Windows 7. That's what these enterprises are doing. 
Technocrati
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Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
7/9/2014 | 1:31:54 PM
Re: Take over?
@soozyg    I don't think it is due solely to iPhones and iPads.  Many companies are using the mac mini as a desktop or backend server.
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
7/9/2014 | 7:10:28 PM
Re: Take over?
@soozyg

The iOS devices definitely helped. iPhones and iPads helped create BYO programs, which opened the floodgates for people to bring all kinds of Mac devices into the office. Once that happens, other dominoes start to fall.
ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Author
7/10/2014 | 9:05:31 AM
Re: Take over?
Interesting you make this connection to the iPhone Michael -- I have a company-provided Mac and iPhone for work, and I have pretty much zero connections between the two.
Gary_EL
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Gary_EL,
User Rank: Ninja
7/9/2014 | 1:19:01 PM
Re: Take over?
Many younger folks' first computer experience is smartphone devices, almost none of which are Windows-based. There is also the continuing disgust over Microsoft's planned obsolescence, forcing users to abandon perfectly good XP machines for 7 machines that do nothing new for them. If they pull the same thing with 7, forcing their users to adopt Window 8, 8.1, or the upcoming Windows 9, anything can happen. Microsoft is poisoning its own waters.
Shane M. O'Neill
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Shane M. O'Neill,
User Rank: Author
7/9/2014 | 2:04:51 PM
Re: Take over?
"Over 70% of respondents said employees perceive Macs as easier to use than Windows PCs."

Wow, that's high. Macs are definitely prettier and they pass the cool test, but I disagree that they're easier to use. Windows UI is arguably more intuitive than a Mac. But the problem is not the UI, it's that Windows is loaded down with too many updates, and AV software, and has not caught on with young people because it never made any headway in mobile. Add to that Macs coming in the back door through BYOD as more millennials join the workforce, and you can see this situation not getting better for Microsoft.
Technocrati
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Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
7/9/2014 | 3:27:14 PM
Re: Take over?

@Shane    That number is surprising, but I would not believe it either until I tried to get used to Windows 8.1

My initial difficulty rate was sky-high.  I don't remember such frustration using a Mac for the first time.

Shane M. O'Neill
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Shane M. O'Neill,
User Rank: Author
7/9/2014 | 3:31:39 PM
Re: Take over?
I agree, Windows 8 has been frustrating, no question. I was referring to Windows 7, which in my experience has a better UI for getting work done than OS X.
Technocrati
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Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
7/9/2014 | 4:03:32 PM
Re: Take over?

@Shane    Ah yes Windows 7.   I agree.     I hope MS continues to build on Windows 7 - I like it and I did not find it to be a difficult transition from XP.   

 

And I would also agree  Windows 7  is just as user friendly as OS X espcially for getting work done.

Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Ninja
7/10/2014 | 7:43:38 AM
Re: Take over?
Technorati,

"Over 70% of respondents said employees perceive Macs as easier to use than Windows PCs."

And you said: 

"That number is surprising, but I would not believe it either until I tried to get used to Windows 8.1. My initial difficulty rate was sky-high. I don't remember such frustration using a Mac for the first time."

So, you use a Mac at home and a PC at work?

I have never used Windows 8.1, or have the intention of even trying it. But what I do remember is that when I switched from PC (to never, ever come back) to Mac I had no difficulty at all. Oh, yes, the first five minutes I was trying to use things that worked on PC and were different on a Mac, but I was expecting that and it was over in, as I said, five minutes. Plus, I loved all my new Mac findings. :) 

Maybe I am a fast learner, but after a few minutes of having my hands on my Mac I had the feeling we already had a great understanding. :) I also remember my first minutes on my Mac were full of surprise and joy when discovering all the cool things a Mac can do that PCs can't. So, for me, using a Mac has been earier and much more enjoyable than using a Windows PC. 

I understand that employee who said he wouldn't join the company if he were not given a Mac. I wouldn't either. I simply can't see myself going to Windows PC frustration on a daily basis. :/ 

-Susan 

 

 

Technocrati
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Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
7/11/2014 | 10:05:31 PM
Re: Take over?

So, you use a Mac at home and a PC at work?

 

Hi S.F. !    Yes,   I use  Macs at home but very rarely used them in the work setting I am in presently.  I usually work in  Linux and/or OS X environments.  These environments that are most popular in my particuliar niche - which is the entertainment industry.

 

I like Windows 7 for the most part but I have been forced to use Windows 8.1 in order to learn Windows based programming.   So in a sense I use it in the enterprise but I think I am very rare at this point.  Windows 8.1 is probably more of a portable OS, but I would not be surprised to see MS push it into the enterprise.   I think I read somewhere MS is discontinuing Windows 7 ?   I hope that is not true but if it is then what is left for enterprises ?   They will just stay with what they have whether it be XP or 7.  I am not sure what the benefit of this is so hopefully I am wrong.  

But my initial frustration was not even in trying to do any thing major, I just wanted to surf the net with the browser ( Chrome ) of my choice.   This turned into a painstaking effort, only to find out why my browser would not work due to in not being in Windows 8 mode !     Are you kidding me ?  Well every since I accepted the fact that there is a " Window 8 mode " I have been able to surf problem free.

 

I love my Macs - they are always my computer of choice and I intend to get a better one that doesn't run so  hot, but the fact that I am an engineer forces me to say in tune with Wndows.

Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Ninja
7/12/2014 | 11:33:12 AM
Re: Take over?
Hi, Technorati. :D 

I see. I haven't heard anything about Windows 7. Not yet, at least. It doesn't sound like a good move, does it? 

It's nice you can enjoy working with your Macs at home. :) That browser story sounds nigthmarish. :/ 

-Susan
cafzali
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cafzali,
User Rank: Moderator
7/9/2014 | 2:44:52 PM
Re: Take over?
@Gary_EL I don't disagree with you about the irritation over planned obsolesence, but you don't have to abandon an OS just because Microsoft is. Lots of companies are paying for extended support to keep XP alive in their enterprise because that's still cheaper than a full-scale migration to an OS they don't really urgently need. 

Personally, while I find Windows 7 to be an improvement from a stability and networking standpoint over XP, I see absolutely no compelling reason to adopt Windows 8. And most people feel the same way, which is why there's suddenly a rush of stories about Windows 9 development. 

I said many times over on E2 that few companies other than MSFT can afford to fail as much as it has. 
cafzali
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cafzali,
User Rank: Moderator
7/9/2014 | 2:41:24 PM
Re: Take over?
@melgross While it might be possible that Macs are less expensive to maintain, there's no way to really know that because Macs have nowhere near the enterprise penetration of PCs. So any study, even if it's well intentioned, is going to be skewed one way or another. When there's any growth in Mac penetration, the percentage gain is going to look huge, but overall the actual percentage deployed across an enterprise will remain small. 

My work is concentrated mainly in financial services, so I haven't had the experience of working across a broad set of industries. But I've yet to even see a Mac in any company for which I've consulted in the last five years outside of the creative services or marketing functions. 
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
7/9/2014 | 7:08:27 PM
Re: Take over?
@cafzali,


Macs are definitely more popular (and viable) in certain industries than others. But I swear, any time I go to a Silicon Valley company, I see more Apple machines than PCs. All over the place too, from reception, to engineers, to execs. It would be interesting to get an accurate breakdown of Mac penetration within more industries. I think the Mac user base is big enough for useful aggregate statistics to be generated, but neverthless, comparing the growing Mac enterprise base to the vastly larger Windows enterprise base isn't an apples-to-apples comparison, as you point out.
cafzali
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cafzali,
User Rank: Moderator
7/9/2014 | 11:05:16 PM
Re: Take over?
@Michael I don't doubt that's true, but as you point out Silicon Valley isn't actually the best litmus test for corporate America as a whole, although it does sometimes serve as a leading trend indicator. The vast majority of enterprises use computers in a way that Apple doesn't really present an advantage. Why should I pay a price premium if I'm a financial analyst using Excel and running pivot tables all day?
soozyg
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soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
7/12/2014 | 12:19:32 PM
Re: Take over?
But I swear, any time I go to a Silicon Valley company, I see more Apple machines than PCs.

Do you think that's true because of where Mac started? If Steve Jobs had lived in, let's say, Michigan, do you think they'd be prevelant near the Great Lakes? Or is it totally a Silicon Valley phenomenon?
TerryB
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TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
7/15/2014 | 1:22:47 PM
Re: Take over?
This is one of more confusing articles I've read, along with discussion thread. This survey would have been much more enlightening if it said WHAT people are actually doing with Mac at work.

Let's face it, some jobs at high enough level don't use anything but email, browsers and opening documents (whether PDF or Office). Sure Mac works for that. Some jobs involve apps which run in browser, so assuming apps work OK in Mozilla/Safari (which is browser I never test my apps in, I don't write for public use), Mac is OK.

Silicon Valley is about software development, graphic design and marketing. Does Google run an ERP system?  Do any of Silicon Valley run inhouse ERP systems or non browser applications written for Windows? There is very little legacy in Silicon Valley. So including them in this conversation seems a little silly. Take a look at what GM, P&G, CitiGroup, General Electric, etc are doing, that is what is relevant. Outside of Sales & Marketing and executives, I'd be very surprised to see many Macs.

The most ridiculous thing in this article was people who buy Mac and then run a Windows VM so they can use certain apps. That makes no sense from cost point of view. Where is the common sense financial governance in these companies? If they are that stupid, they better have a darn good product on market or they won't be in business long.

Some of you who have commented that Mac's are just so much more usable than Windows. I'd be very curious to hear some examples. I don't know what you are doing but I use very little "Windows" itself. I boot machine, then click on icons/links to launch applications I use. I'm rarely using "Windows". So how does Mac fundamentally change that?
truthiness
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truthiness,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/9/2014 | 8:50:22 PM
Re: Take over?
=>30% Mac OS X Penetration Rate
  • Cisco
  • Intel
  • McAfee
  • Palo Alto Networks

Why? It was PROVEN they were less expensive over a 3 year period- not to but mind you but the support costs over that period are significantly cheaper. PC only apps? Few and far between and for those that HAVE to have it- VMWare.

 
cafzali
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cafzali,
User Rank: Moderator
7/9/2014 | 10:57:14 PM
Re: Take over?
Forbes and many other publications have covered this in depth. While it is certainly possible from a software standpoint to go Mac in the enterprise, networks are Microsoft based. Unless you're going to go completely cloud based, your network infrastructure (e.g. e-mail server, router, hubs, access points) is all going to be tied together using Microsoft products.

The companies you cite are technology based, which hardly represent the vast majority of American enterprises. And the reason Intel uses a few Macs is to keep a business relationship with Apple, as much as anything.

Look, I get why people like Macs, but they're not going to win over the enterprise. The only reason Apple is alive today to even make a computer resurgence is the success of iTunes and their transformation of the music business model. Were it not for that, the troubled Apple of the late 1990s would have lasted a while longer and likely joined the rest of computer industry has beens that were once high fliers.
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
7/9/2014 | 7:03:10 PM
Re: Take over?
@mel,


Yes, I think "taking over" is unlikely, but they're certainly becoming more common, as BYOD options if not as also corporate-issued devices. As for the management issue, like I suggested in the article, VMware has to make Macs sound desirably yet also incomplete. Otherwise, they wouldn't have anything to sell, and wouldn't have much interest in releasing a study. These studies, as I am sure you know, always carry a grain of salt, since the commissioning company always has a vested interest in the results. Anecdotally, I hear people say both that Macs are easy to manage, and that they present problems. I think it probably depends what applications you need the Mac to run, and how familiar the IT staff is with non-Windows management. I've seen Mac environments that hum along without trouble, but I've also seen authentication precautions and virtualization implementations that turn MacBook Pros into near-bricks.
Charlie Babcock
IW Pick
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Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Author
7/9/2014 | 2:16:59 PM
If Microsoft is getting weaker on the deskto, what's not to like--VMware
Nice analysis here by Michael. VMware as the sponsor of this survey is trying to get the survey to perform a balancing act. Give the end users what they want, which seems to be Macs and Macbooks. But put virtual desktop infrastructure on them so that they can access their existing Windows and Office applications and Windows servers. Weaken Microsoft as a desktop vendor, strengthen VMware as a virtualization vendor. Not bad for one survey. 
mak63
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mak63,
User Rank: Ninja
7/10/2014 | 1:44:33 AM
wake up call
I hope this kind of surveys are a wake up call to Microsoft to make Windows 9, not only  the best Windows yet, but also a free upgrade from 8/8.1 and 7.

Will enterprises jump faster on the bandwagon of Windows 9, if it is a free upgrade?
PhilAvelar
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PhilAvelar,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/10/2014 | 10:54:16 AM
Doesn't mean much
I think this survey as you mentioned sponsored by VMware does not mean much. The sample size is small probably mostly silicone valley based users and firms but even if it was across the US the reality is that saying a organization supports Macs is not very convincing, though we support macs it just means that if you happen to be an exec you can certainly get a MAC and plug it in to the network, but no we dont have a version of Office that we can install on your Mac, no we dont have a copy of Visio or MS project and yes you have to use the Java based versions of many of the other apps we use because they do not make MAC versions and yes that means not all the features are supported. 

But hang on if you really want to use a MAC we can install Parallels or VMware and install Windows on it so you can use it like a PC, oh so then what are we really using a PC or a Mac, so confused......

BTW its funny doing the trade show circuit where a companys staff all have Mac books (looking hip and cool) but the company itself only provides a windows version of their software.

The reality is that saying that a company supports MACs is very misleading.

My two cents

BTW I have a Macbook Pro but use my Lenovo laptop all day long.
Midnight
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Midnight,
User Rank: Guru
7/10/2014 | 5:57:50 PM
Same story different year... the answer is still no.
Every couple of years I read an article like this. And the story always goes something like this...

Wow, Apple in the enterprise! Check out this case study where [fill in the blank] company is migrating to all Apple and dumping M$! ---- Time Passes ---- [Silence] ---- Company dumped the Apple system and went back to M$ due to cost, incompatibility and the rest of the usual suspects of reasons.

or

Apple's new "innovations" and changes are going to be a game changer in the enterpise setting! --- Time Passes --- Oh, I guess not so much, never-mind it looks like every-other vendor is doing it now.

The reason these stories happen the way they do is simple. Apple's target market is the consumer [read home user] environment, not business. Apple never has understood the enterprise environment from the beginning. Even the open source Linux community has a better understanding of the needs of the business enterprise environment. If Apple truly was targeting business, they would have their own Apple branded Office suite that was compatible with everything and integrated with MS Exchange. They would make it simple, powerful, and beautiful. Then they would market it to the M$ userbase as well as the Mac faithful. They have the talent, but they don't do it. That is the first indicator, not scattered samples of data of small statistically insignicant groups. The real killer of Apple's penetration into the enterprise market is the closed ecosystem mentality. By thinking that people will play with their toys (overlooking the massive price disparity in TCO that the comptroller decides using) then migrate to a subpar feature set of enterprise services, Apple keeps shooting themselves in the foot.

While M$ does need to get it's focus back (Read stop looking at Macs for enterprise interface usability) one must keep in mind Windows 8.x is the typical even numbered OS mistep Microsoft historically makes. If they look back and learn from the mistakes (again) and listen to their core business clientelle, they will retool, get back on track, and lock the competitors out of the market due to simple resistance to change. It happens every couple of years.

I do not see Apple corp maintaining it's position and relavance with the loss of Steve Jobs. The "innovation" cycle has stopped. Now you just have a bunch of pretty and over-priced executive toys. This does not add value to the operation of an enterprise and that is the bottom line.


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