Microsoft to Mac enterprise bloggers: How much to sell out Apple?

Microsoft to Mac enterprise bloggers: How much to sell out Apple?

Summary: Vista is much better than Mac OS X, right? For the enterprise. And how much will it take to get you to write up that thesis? It's the world of "corporate custom content."

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Do switchers now rule the Mac?Vista is much better than Mac OS X, right? For the enterprise. And how much will it take to get you to write up that thesis?

Such was the pitch that arrived in my inbox today from marketing company Studio B., a Great Neck, N.Y., marketing company associated with Microsoft and the Microsoft Press. The firm wondered if I'd like to write some "corporate custom content" for a client.

According to the Studio B. site, the company "supported" the Microsoft Commerce Server 2007 rollout with marketing sales and marketing tools as well as providing trainers for early adopters.

Here is the text of the letter:

One of our customers has asked us write up a technical marketing case for Windows Vista over Mac OSX in the enterprise. I'm contacting you to see if you know anyone who would be interested and capable of writing this based on background materials we have.

The candidate should have a good understanding of client systems in the enterprise and the technologies behind issues that are important in the enterprise (deployment, manageability, work group and policy management, security, suitability of developer platforms for line of business applications, tech support, licensing, TCO).

We have some background materials that include a 75 page technical document called "Apple in the Enterprise" and other summaries of technical points, but it all needs to be put together to make the case.

It's not too hard to figure out who the customer is here. The price to sell out the Mac in the enterprise is $15,000. But my guess is that this fee may be negotiable upwards depending on the brand of the author in question.

Can it be that the Mac and the iPhone are gaining enough traction in the enterprise to start ringing alarm bells in Redmond? It appears so.

Certainly, the Windows consumer group was working overtime on the night before Apple released its notebooks refresh. Microsoft's marketing team pounded the Windows press with the message of an "Apple tax." Mary Jo Foley's column in All About Microsoft makes interesting reading.

However, on the enterprise front, we may be seeing the result of increasing demand by Mac switchers in the executive ranks, who have been hounding IT departments for support. These switchers have been helped by the continuing progress with Windows virtualization for the Mac as well as increasing support by enterprise software vendors for native Mac versions (an important story at the upcoming Macworld Expo in January).

At the same time, this letter reminded me of an unusual happening from earlier in the year. It was the hint of a whisper campaign against Apple in the enterprise.

This was where a friend of mine -- an executive at a technology company who had never owned a Mac and whose company doesn’t support Apple hardware and never will -- asked me about something he had heard about Apple: that while Apple products had great design, they were of poor quality.

Of course, this claim is nonsense. But suspicious nonsense. Marketing kinda nonsense.

So, where did this notion of Apple’s lack of quality come from? My buddy said he “heard” from someone. He didn’t make it up.

Being so false, it has the ring of a rumor campaign to me. The best candidate to receive the rumor would be someone who hasn’t used a Mac client machine. I can see how it may spread in in enterprise IT departments or within companies receiving pitches for technology adoptions where switchers are starting to be seen.

It appears that rumors couldn't stop the switcher tide. Now, they are looking for corporate custom content from trusted sources. Believe me, that won't work either.

Check out these related stories: Has Microsoft lost its way on desktop computing? http://blogs.zdnet.com/Apple/?p=1486

Macworld Expo conference videos posted online http://blogs.zdnet.com/Apple/?p=1310

Looking back: The PC assault on Apple’s pro markets http://blogs.zdnet.com/Apple/?p=1148

Topics: Microsoft, Apple, Hardware, Operating Systems, Software

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74 comments
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  • I just find it hard to believe...

    ...that any company would ever resort to these kind of tactics to obtain an un-earned advantage. All companies always rely on quality. security, robustness and absolute lowest price with customer's needs always at the forefront.

    I defy you to show me more than 800 public example of any popular software company using dirty tactics to get ahead. I dare you.

    TripleII
    TripleII-21189418044173169409978279405827
    • Were you around for the launch of OSX?

      Couldn't play a DVD. Couldn't keep it running for 10 minutes. Couldn't run anything worth a damn on it.

      Security? robustness? Not to be seen. Anywhere.
      But it got praised endlessly. Every idiot with a keyboard saying 'just wait, when Apple gets around to it, it will be great'

      After more then 8 years, one can barely say it is better then Vista, but again, that is ignored.
      Tactics? MS has nothing on Apple.
      mdemuth
      • Bull

        Ya gotta love revisionists.

        OS X was heavily criticized for poor performance and
        incompatibility from day one. That's one of the reasons Apple
        released 10.1 for free (well $20 for the disk).

        But, then, the truth messes with your precious agenda.
        frgough
      • I was around

        I ran OS X Beta. Crashed exactly 1 time the entire time I
        ran it (about 6-8 months). Ran everything I could find.
        This was on a 300MHz 768MB G3.

        As far as security, never had a virus, malware, trojan or
        anything in 8+ years.

        Vista?

        Had it on my work machines (3) and got rid of it as soon as
        I could. I run RF engineering software and it ran like
        molasses. Got rid of Vista and put XP on, runs like a
        dream.

        If Vista is the best MS can do after 8 years, Linux has
        nothing to worry about, much less Apple.
        middle of nowhere
      • Barely, but better

        [i]one can barely say it is better then Vista[/i]

        Barely, maybe, but you clearly agree that one [b]can[/b] say it is better.....
        magcomment
      • how much?

        How much did MSFT offer you for this opinion? Have you
        ever even used OS X?
        theoxygenthief
    • Why not?

      Apple have been doing it for years.

      I'm just surprised it's taken MS this long.
      Sleeper Service
    • Elections

      Just look at the current Republican and Democrat election-year campaigns. Do you think either party has any qualms about using "these kind of tactics" to obtain an unearned advantage?
      Foobar Macfoo
    • Re: I just find it hard to believe...

      Actually I was around for 10.0 *. In heavy use my UMAX S900, an
      unsupported machine went for rather long stretches between reboots.
      My HP 4M printer worked fine as did my scanner. CarbonLib apps ran
      well, if not terribly fast. NonCarbonLib used the Classic environment.
      I don't recall anything that that I used that did not run. You are
      correct about DVDs on 10.0 though it was beta. I'm pretty sure once
      it made it to 10.1 that DVD playback worked just fine. Was it perfect,
      heck no. Was Apple a tiny and nearly dead company at the time, yes.
      Apple has done an impressive job of coming back, most certainly. Will
      the same people who used to claim 'Apple will be bankrupt in a year'
      still rag on Apple today, yep, you're a prime example.
      Win3.1
  • You gotta be mental to use Apple for enterprise.

    No Sql Server, no SharePoint, no BizTalk, no Workflow, no .Net, no Clouding service, no pretty much nothing other than that exorbitant Apple bill. I can understand people using Linux. At least there are J2EE and Oracle justifying it, but Apple?? My ***.
    LBiege
    • you got to be mental

      to use any of Apple's inferior and overprice crapware. Apple is nothing... why buy a low quality over priced Mac to run windows in a simulator? when you can get the real for much more cheaper?

      Apple as alway been playing catchup with everyone esle... if Apple was so great, why it is still struggling after more then 30+ years?
      Mectron
      • Struggling?!?!

        You mean Apple Inc, the fastest growing and most
        profitable Personal Computer maker on Earth? Hello dude,
        wake up! Wake up!

        As for 'over priced Mac to run windows in a simulator',
        google some PC comparison reviews that include Macs
        running Windows - I think you'll be unpleasantly surprised
        to find Macs to the top end of performance tables - due to
        Apple's innate ability to...y'know, build superior machines.
        Heh.
        mod@...
        • Err...

          ...I think you need to look at Gartner's stats. Acer grew by 47.3% globally last quarter.

          As for profitable, no doubt. Whether this is a virtue or not shall leave to your discretion.
          Sleeper Service
          • Acer's Growth

            duh! they bought Gayeway Computers and are sliding down the tube with them dropping behind even Apple as the 4th largest player in laptops
            dcsos
          • Their growth is over 47% last quarter...

            ..yes or no?

            I'll help you out - Acer's growth was 18.9% in Q2 and the additional amount comes largely from sales of netbooks.

            Oh and Toshiba's growth was 25.8%. I would tell you what Apple's global growth rate was but they don't appear to be in the top 5 global manufacturers.

            Woops!
            Sleeper Service
          • Not to mention...

            That most of Apples growth is not based on their PC business it is based on the Ipod range of products such as the Iphone.
            willpd13
        • Wrong!

          They have adopted intel. Reaping the benefits of that platform for hardware. Otherwise Macs would still be plodding along with Power PC chips and falling futher behind.
          CrashPad
          • Yes, you're wrong

            re the general statement "Otherwise Macs would still be
            plodding along with Power PC chips and falling futher
            behind".

            The PowerPC was doing OK on the desktop but IBM failed
            to keep it's promise (fulfill it's plan) to move the PowerPC
            to 3GHz (or more) for laptop use (continued heat
            problems)

            Jobs proclaimed the year of the laptop (2003?) as laptop
            sales were surpassing desktops but with IBM failing to
            produce the promised, more powerful, laptop-friendly
            chip, Apple turned to Intel.

            With a relatively smooth transition to boot.

            ...
            MacCanuck
        • Yes Struggling

          Mac (as poor shadow of a real computer) only really started to take off when they switch hardware in order to be able to run Windows. So it is you who "should" wake up and see Apple for what it is, a struggling computer company that included a competitor OS in its business strategy in order to boost sale.

          Macs are grossly overprices and there is reports all over the net proving that a sub 500$ computer can easly beat a 1500$+ Mac.

          As far as quality goes, you judgment is obviously affect by that toxic fumes from Macs running arround you.
          Mectron
          • Not quite...

            [i]"So it is you who 'should' wake up and see Apple for
            what it is, a struggling computer company that included a
            competitor OS in its business strategy in order to boost
            sale."[/i]

            Not quite. While the ability to run Windows on the Mac is
            a definite plus for many people, consumer studies (Gartner
            et al) have shown that after people move to a Mac they
            continue to use OS X even with Windows available as an
            alternative. It is also a comfort to purchasers that having
            the ability to run Windows means that, should their switch
            prove to be more trouble than it's worth, they can still go
            back to Windows and not all is lost.

            40% of new Mac users were Windows PC users.

            Apple is not struggling.

            [i]"Macs are grossly overprices and there is reports all over
            the net proving that a sub 500$ computer can easly beat a
            1500$+ Mac."[/i]

            Macs are not grossly overpriced. Feature for feature,
            they're on par or even sometimes cheaper than equivalent
            PCs. As I've stated many times before, PCs have the added
            advantage of keeping a price low because you can relegate
            your purchase to only the components you want. You can't
            customize a Mac like you can a PC.

            If you can show me where you can buy a quad Xeon
            machine for under $500, I'll eat my hat. Perhaps you were
            referring to the Psystar v. Mac mini. While the Mac mini is
            the cheapest Mac there is, it does not compare to a tower
            PC. A more relevant comparison would be a Shuttle PC v.
            Mac mini.

            Again, the Psystar v. Mac mini only underlines one of
            Apple's shortcomings: an affordable mid-grade tower.

            [i]"As far as quality goes, you judgment is obviously affect
            by that toxic fumes from Macs running arround you."[/i]

            ... and your judgement is obviously composed of nothing
            but rumor mills. Apple has consistently ranked #1 by
            Consumer Reports in customer satisfaction, tech support,
            and product quality. On the occasions they aren't in the
            #1 spot, they're often in the top 5.
            olePigeon