TCO: New research finds Macs in the enterprise easier, cheaper to manage than Windows PCs

TCO: New research finds Macs in the enterprise easier, cheaper to manage than Windows PCs

Summary: Shocking: A recent survey of enterprise IT managers that administer both PCs and Macs finds that Macs have a better TOC (total cost of ownership) than Windows boxes, and require less user training and help.

TOPICS: Apple, Hardware
Shocking: A recent survey of enterprise IT managers that administer both PCs and Macs finds that Macs have a better TOC (total cost of ownership) than Windows boxes, and require less user training and help.
The respondents were given the option to select from a range of cost differences. Not only did the administrators across the board say that Macs were less expensive, in all but one category the majority of administrators who said Macs cost less said they were more than 20 percent less expensive to manage than PCs. Of those who asserted that PCs cost less, the majority always asserted that PCs were between 0 and 20 percent less expensive to manage than Macs.
The Enterprise Desktop Alliance survey took results from organizations that had 50 or more servers or over 100 Macs, what the organization said were enterprises, academic sites and government agencies. The figures that pop out from the chart are those for the time spent troubleshooting problems (16 vs 65 percent, PC and Macs, respectively), dealing with help desk calls (16 vs 54 percent), training users (16 vs 48 percent) and managing system configs. (25 vs 50 percent). At the Macworld Expo last month, I spoke to T. Reid Lewis, president of the EDA and CEO of Group Logic, a maker of network software and Mac integration products such as ExtremeZ-IP. He pointed out that important enterprise service and back-end platform companies were coming on board the multiplatform bandwagon. That includes IBM, which joined the EDA in Feb. Big Blue's Informix database, Rational software delivery automationware and Lotus messaging and collaboration platform support Macs, and the company had a booth at the Expo.

Absolute Software, the maker of LoJack and Absolute Manage also joined the EDA in Feb. Macs are coming into the enterprise and support for them in familiar software management and delivery consoles is catching up. While IT management remains suspicious of the Mac platform and most admins focus on Microsoft certification programs rather than Mac OS X certifications, users continue to purchase Macs and request support. According to Gene Munster, Piper Jaffray analyst, the year-to-year retail sales of Macs climbed 39 percent during January and February. He said this means some 2.8 to 2.9 million Macs were be sold in the quarter. Another recent EDA survey found that 66 percent of IT administrators in large organizations that currently have both Macs and PCs will increase the number of Macs in their sites. The reasons? In addition to the ease of support (and the associated cost reductions found in the survey above), user preference, and increased productivity. Check Out: Are Mac OS X and Apple servers making inroads with the Feds? We can point to many places for the rise in the Mac's status: Apple's continuing execution on its Mac OS X platform; the company's focus on hardware quality and technological advances in a time when PC makers have raced to the bottom of the market with netbooks and crappy low-cost systems; support for Intel processors and Windows virtualization; the halo effect of the iPod and iPhone platforms; the terrible introduction of Windows Vista; the Apple Store strategy; or others. Whatever the combination of reasons or just the fact that the Mac is better, users seem to have shaken off the past FUD from Redmond and Intel that fell on the Apple platform. I spoke to a white-collar professional yesterday who is looking at buying a new notebook. He has never used anything other than a PC. But now, he's seriously looking at a Mac. I told him to go to the local Apple retail store and get a tour. IT managers will have to deal. They can be thankful that integration is easier than ever and getting better all the time. Check Out: Yes, based on Mac history, Windows 7.5 will suck less Check Out: Updates that boost Mac searching and content discovery

Topics: Apple, Hardware

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  • Yes, of course. When it is Apple positive

    it is most definatelly accurate.

    But then, if it is Microsoft positive, it is FUD from Redmond

    I am curious, did you mention that "Enterprise Desktop Alliance" is a Mac "solution provider"?

    [i]The Enterprise Desktop Alliance (EDA) is a consortium of enterprise software vendors, [b]engaged in the promotion of wider usage of Macs in Windows-dominant environments[/b]. Founding members include: Atempo, Centrify, Group Logic, LANrev, and Parallels.[/i]

    No FUD on their part, correct?
    • HOW DARE YOU ...

      ... present facts and reasoned opinion.

      THE WHOLE WORLD knows that Apple is utterly faultless, that Jobs is the second-coming and that the entire Windows industry is the spawn of some imagined demon.

      Or not.
      • The same line was used on me...

        ...just earlier today on another board.

        Then again, it was a Mac article and I was responding to a Windows
      • It's a tiny little world

        and tiny minds find reassurance in that.

        BTW, just today at our corporate HQ I met a woman that gets about 120 words per minute using Word 2003. They made her upgrade to Office 2007. New rate of productivity - ~30 words per minute and a net total of hours of frustration per day with the Ribbon. Another bona fide "I hate it" response to that POC.

        Still no gonna try it or Win 7. I do love booting my MBP into Snow Leopard tho and iWork is as easy as pie ;)
        • Rubbish

          So are you suggesting that all of a sudden her fingers no longer work in Word 2007??? Or perphas you're suggesting that because of the new interface, she is spending a lot of time finding out where the function are?? By any chance was she given any training? Probably not right!!

          Secondly, if anyone gets over the learning hump of the "ribbon" they will find it far far better that anything previous....
          • Sorry

            but I have heard that sorry claim way too many times.

            If someone, any one, is highly productive with an older version but the newer version changes everything around so that they not only have to unlearn what they have known and learned for over 10 years (or more - up to about 20 years) and learn from scratch while fighting their previously learned behavior then they are not going to change because someone with a silly name on the Internet says it will be better after they go through this arduous process It's just not worth it. Period.

            Especially if this completely different UI is just to make a different UI so that it looks like the developer, MS, actually made some changes to a very long standing UI while the basic capabilities of the software remain unchanged. This is absolute crap. No one, let me repeat, absolutely no one that I have talked to or known, that has used it has ever has liked the Ribbon.

            Also no one, again absolutely no one, has ever explained how the new interface is superior in any freakin way to any one that knows how to use the Office 2003 UI well. Sure it's different. So what and who cares. How much do you think training cost? It's certainly not free as you must pay the trainer and the employee for that lost time. Are we supposed to believe that this is worth some marginal "improvement" to the UI? No, we don't and it would be quite idiotic to even entertain that idea.

            How much does the lost productivity cost while getting over the "learning hump" for someone who's time is worth over $100 per hour (that's salary, overhead, and G&A costs to the employer)? Is this "marginal" improvement worth it? Again and emphatically, NO!

            Get it through you thick head that some people already work at maximum efficiency with Office 2003. No changes to the UI will increase their productivity in any significant or measurable way. It will only cost the organization time, money and resources.

            Also get this through your your thick head, many of us DO NOT wish to go through the time and frustration it takes to relearn how to do what we already know how to do all over again. If the Ribbon offered new capabilities, instead of just shuffling already existing capabilities around where an experience user can't find them, then you may have a valid argument.

            It's analogous to putting a start button on a car. Sure it's new (and actually not really, there were models of automobiles in the 50's that had this "feature") but it's just as easy to turn a key. No net gain, just different for novelty's sake.

            I know that my colleague will insist on returning to Office 2003 after her proposal project is finished. She has already told me that. She's an executive assistant and knows all the corporate staff. Her survey regarding the time it takes to pass the "learning hump" for people that were forced to change indicates it is over 6 months. Once again, it's offers no discernible value and represents significant costs.

            You can keep it. Obviously you're young and/or not a an Office power user. In any event, your opinion is useless too. Tough doo-doo on you and MS.
          • Oh it's you...

            jcarter, the man who made about 30 posts in a topic telling everyone that Office 2007 was rubbish and no-one wanted it despite:

            1) The majority of posters who've used it disagreeing
            2) Not having used it himself
            3) The sales of Office 2007 totally refuting that statement

            Yeah, whatever.
            Sleeper Service
          • It is rubbish

            Nay, it's crap

            1] Only 2 or 3 posters said other wise

            2] I don't need to eat crap to know it will taste like crap

            3] No one I know of bought Office 2007 retail or upgrade. No one that has used it had any choice because it was shoved down their throats by the corporate IT policies which accounts for those sales.

            Finally, your opinion means less to me than than your name, which has no value at all. and you responded to all 30 posts.

            Yeah, go away.
          • So if it's crap...


            1) Office 2007's sales would be dismal.

            But they're not.

            2) Microsoft would not have implemented the Ribbon in the software that ships with Windows 7 or carried it forward to Office 2010.

            But they did.

            And yet you - having not even tried it - feel compelled to state [i]your opinion[/i] as fact.

            I'd ask you if you know how ridiculous that sounds but I fear it would fall on deaf ears.

            Incidentally, it wasn't me who painstakingly corrected you in that 30 post chain and I've certainly no intention of engaging in a lost cause here.

            Sleeper Service
          • Arguing with sentiment

            As you say - why bother - he's obviously 94 years old and a grumpy old fart. He has never met anyone who likes 2007. Doesn't get out much, does he?

            Or - gasp - I wonder if he projects his opinions on everyone he meets? D'ya think?
          • Office 2007 IS a productivity killer

            We are a select partner but/so are still standardized on Office 2003. My staff and I installed Office 2007 several months ago to see if we should migrate our users to it. Not gonna happen. Maybe 2007 is a great for someone who's never used Office before, but those of us who've used Office since '95 it's awful. I struggle every day with every application. I've not had such a steep learning curve since I moved from WordPerfect 5.1 DOS to Word. Our finance people have also moved to 2007 as they report to head office and they and we all HATE IT. We're going to stay with 2003 (+compatibility pack) until we have no other choice. We'll also be WINXP until our install images are pried from our carpal tunnel clawed hands.
          • @ jacarter3

            You sir have a problem. Its quite fine that you clearly do not like Windows or Office or likely anything made by MS from the sounds of it. But, you are like a living example of the kind of moronic biased thinking the Apple guy ad's promote.

            The constant drivel about Windows crashing, endless BSOD's, thousands of viruses constantly in the OS, and continuous lock ups, and implying all the way along the line that anyone who uses Windows is out of their mind.

            Its all total rubbish to the ultimate degree. Such rubbish in fact you might just as well write a story about flying pigs and try to make it sound like its true. Its not just "an error" to write crap like that, its a lie. An outright lie because anyone who even has the wherewithal to find their way to ZDNet then write a post to a blog has got to have the minimal enough brain matter to logically realize that if all that nonsense was even half way true the business world would have shut down ages ago because Windows would be unusable.

            The position such people take is at direct odds with the reality of Windows and Office continuing to sell in massive numbers with absolutely minimal complaints about software that has taken up the vast majority of the market share. To put it simply; these are common well known facts that anyone should know, and they prove that whatever shortcomings Windows has its not that much. And certainly not anywhere near enough of a problem to cause them to lose any significant market share.

            Now thats the reality, like it or not. Its there for everyone to see.

            If you like Apple then fine,but like it due to reality not because of some concocted bunch of nonsense that a child knows is false.
          • Thanks for enlightining me.


            Oh gee, thanks for letting me know that it's crap. You've really made me see the light. I'm gonna uninstall it right away and install OpenOffice, even though Office 2007/2010 works far better than anything else I've tried.

            And yeah... I've used Office products since BEFORE Office 95 and switched over the ribbon just fine, and an more productive.

            And you don't need to eat crap to know what it will taste like. Since it's spewing out of your mouth it's doubtful you couldn't tell the difference.
          • @KJQ

            [i]Maybe 2007 is a great for someone who's never used Office before, but those of us who've used Office since '95 it's awful. I struggle every day with every application. I've not had such a steep learning curve since I moved from WordPerfect 5.1 DOS to Word.[/i]

            I also had a steep learning curve with Office 2007. For the 1st three months I absolutely hated it. Now, I have no idea how I ever got along with Office 2003. For me it was a painful transition, but worth it.
          • Keep it up guys

            Really, I need the humor you so willingly provide. As I have stated it's not only my opinion, it's my choice. Yet you can't seem to let me hold my opinion without proving it to you in some undefinable way.

            Well keep it up with the ad homenin attacks and other desperate tactics. It's actually very amusing.

            And to those of you that think I am an Apple fan, you're wrong but keep at it. It only adds to my enjoyment to see you casting about for some reason why I might not like something or all things MS.

            Actually I am quite happy using Win XP Pro and Office 2003 Pro. So happy, in fact, that I just bought three retired Win XP Pro licenses for my future work.

            Keep up the good work guys ;)
          • No one?

            Let me jump in and say that since introducing Office 2007 here I have seen:

            1. Users get over the 'learning hump' in all of a few days (yes this includes power users).
            2. Many users 'discover' functionality which is fantastically useful to them which was previously submerged in the hell of too many menus and dialogue boxes.
            3. A happier and more productive office.

            My users are learning more and faster than there were with any previous office package, but hey, I'm young so my opinion must be useless and not based on observation and fact at all.

            Maybe you should look closer to home for why your users are so unhappy, if IT aren't buying in the users aren't exactly likely to follow are they?
          • Word 2007 Struggles

            As an occasional user. i have been struggling
            with Word 2007 for ever,

            I am currently trying to merge date and
            currency fields from Excel in Word and they
            won't format correctly. The Date displays as
            the Excel #! Never had this problem in 2003
            version. This should be a 'no-brainer' instead
            of having to use the Web to research work
            arounds! Also was not able to subtract 1/2 of a
            month, (2 weeks or even 14 days) from the
            @emonth function. Ridiculous IMHO. :(
            Donald P.
          • Why is this now an Office discussion. Macs are cheaper. Stay on subject -NT

            The Danger is Microsoft
          • Office 2k7 - mixed results

            I am less proficient with Word than earlier
            version, but better with Excel.

            Outlook is light-years better in 2k7 than

            I attribute the issues to the fact that I am a
            casual user that depended on functions a single
            level deep in most cases. I simply don't know
            where to find them now (or rather - didn't know
            where - I know now).
          • Yes the Office 2007 ribbon is crap.

            I am a power user and only got over the hump by finding that many of the old keystrokes still work. I have had to change the way I work, though, and still have seen absolutely no reason to do so.

            Perhaps you should enlighten everyone on the fantastically new functionality. No one in my office has seen it. And some of us are getting rather grumpy, btw.