If Forrester likes Macs for IT today, they’ll love Chromebooks tomorrow

If Forrester likes Macs for IT today, they’ll love Chromebooks tomorrow

Summary: A new Forrester report suggests that IT should start embracing the use of the Mac - but for reasons that suggest they'll soon be singing the praises of Chromebooks, too.

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Forrester Research has had a change of heart when it comes to Macs in the workplace - and while that headline appears to be somewhat of a blow to Microsoft, it also validates what Google has been touting with its Chromebooks.

A new Forrester report, as told by Fortune, explains that Macs are now the computer of choice by the power users of a company - "executives, top sales reps and other workaholics" - for two reasons. One reason is silly but true: just as execs and other high-profile employees drive luxury cars or wear expensive suits, the computer they carry into a business meeting is also a status symbol of sorts.

The second reason has a bit more meat to it. Fortune, which obtained a copy of the $499 report and excerpted it in a post, quoted one of the report's reasons why power users prefer Macs over Windows:

Time is the only thing that these fierce competitors can't make more of. Many of today's corporate PCs are saddled with management, backup, and security agents that can bog down a PC. Employees want their PCs to boot in 10 seconds, not 10 minutes, and they don't want to have to get a cup of coffee while opening a 20 MB spreadsheet in Excel. They're drawn to uncluttered Macs — especially those with solid-state drives, which are more responsive and boot in seconds.

Did you notice that fast boot times were mentioned twice? Since the beginning, Google has been selling fast boot time as part of its Chromebook pitch, arguing that browser-based computing in a cloud environment is not only more efficient but also much faster. The report also noted that users are impatient about the time it takes to open programs like Excel - but that's a bit misleading. Boot times for those bloated Office programs can also take some time on a Mac, as well.

Google's other selling point has been around Google Apps, which competes with Microsoft for business productivity programs. While not nearly as feature rich as Word or Excel, Google Docs and the other productivity programs open quickly in the browser and allow access from any Web-connected device.

It wasn't that long ago that Forrester and others were suggesting that there was no reason for an IT department to support anything outside of a Windows world, that Windows was the standard. Now, they realize that Mac users are "information workers who use new technologies and find innovative ways to be more productive and serve customers more effectively."

"Mac users are your HEROs," or Highly Empowered and Resourceful Operatives, and should be embraced by IT departments, not hinder, the report said.

As a Mac user, I'm glad Forrester is finally recognizing the importance of the power user. As someone who also sees value in what Google is trying to do with Chrome, Android and the browser, I think Forrester will soon be recognizing that Google users, more so than Mac users, are the real HEROs of IT.

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Topics: Mobility, Apple, Google, Hardware

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38 comments
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  • well..

    well, another thing that's not mentioned bit business and everyone wants is things to "just work". Everything just works on macs. Don't thing that's gonna be so true of chromes so soon. I vent used a chrome yet, only androids, but I now know that my phone would be an iphone5 and not whatever nexus. (I own a MBP and a nexus S atm).

    cheers
    Anshu Prateek
    anshprat
    • RE: If Forrester likes Macs for IT today, theyÃ?¢Ã?Ã?ll love Chromebooks tomorrow

      @anshprat <br><br>Apart from this being rubbish - there is more than enough evidence that Macs fall over like anything else, the study is not comparing Macs to Windows. The only way a Mac can get into those few organisations that allow it, is to make sure it runs Windows so some work can be done. Sure the execs might crave their emperor's new clothes Mac, but their bad choice doesn't extend to actually running OS/X (the original lipstick on a pig).<br><br>Like more and more people blinking as they emerge from the reality distortion field, I'm finding Apple design is looking old and clunky. The same applies to their 4:3 brick of a tablet.<br><br>Apple had no need for corporate workplace deals as long as its planned obsolescence of consumer products continue.

      As for Chromebook, the old "let's make that functional PC a proprietary terminal" scam, never dies.
      tonymcs@...
    • RE: If Forrester likes Macs for IT today, they&Atilde;&cent;&Acirc;?&Acirc;?ll love Chromebooks tomorrow

      @anshprat My experience since having a macbook forced on me at school is that they don't "just work". I felt like a real winner when I got up to do a pp presentation at school and the file that worked the night before was corrupted and couldn't be opened. A few days later my PDFs of slides from class that I had made notes on were corrupted and I couldn't open them.
      As you can imagine, I'm not a huge fan of an OS that in only one week destroyed 30+ hours of work. I now print lecture pdf's to write notes on, and make my powerpoints on my windows machine because it actually works.
      blarelli
      • RE: If Forrester likes Macs for IT today, they&Atilde;&cent;&Acirc;?&Acirc;?ll love Chromebooks tomorrow

        @blarelli well don't we all have that problem from time to time?
        I switched to mac for that very same reason many years ago.
        That's my experience...
        Bradish@...
  • I wonder how much...

    ...they paid to get the results they desired?
    Feldwebel Wolfenstool
    • I agree. It is rather odd that they would base their user assesments

      @Feldwebel Wolfenstool
      from what the user purchases, instead of what they actually do.

      also the line is highly imaginative:
      [i]Employees want their PCs to boot in 10 seconds, not 10 minutes, and they don???t want to have to get a cup of coffee while opening a 20 MB spreadsheet in Excel[/i]

      What is also odd is that they claim that [i]PC's are saddled with management, backup, and security agents that can bog down a PC[/i]

      If a Mac is on a corporate environment, would it not need to be saddled with management, backup, and security agents also?

      To propose that a Mac does not need to be backed up indicates that the research was taken from a biased approach, the researcher being a fan (shareholder) of Apple possibly?

      One, I have never seen a Windows PC take 10 minutes to boot. I have never seen a 20 MB Excel file either. The largest Excel file I have seen opened in less then 30 seconds.

      I imagine it would take much longer on the Mac version.
      Tim Cook
      • RE: If Forrester likes Macs for IT today, they&Atilde;&cent;&Acirc;?&Acirc;?ll love Chromebooks tomorrow

        @Mister Spock You raise valid points. This is Apples to Oranges - or rather, personal computers vs corporate computers.

        Besides which, there are plenty of computers that have SSDs in them. My desktop at home has antivirus, backup tools and all the rest, and it boots up in 20 seconds thanks to its SSD.

        At the end of the day, the Mac is ONLY a status symbol. There are no other true advantages.
        Imrhien
      • Argh, you beat me to it

        @Mister Spock

        Completely in agreement here. Corporate policies will dictate that *any* PCs hooked up to the corporate network will be required to have monitoring of the machines by security & backup systems, so Macs won't escape there. The faster boot time of an SSD-equipped OS X is primarly due to the *SSD* drive; try putting one into a Windows machine, & see the boost to boot time you'll get. Plus, the *only* Windows PCs I've ever seen take even close to 10 minutes to boot up were machines with a) virus infections, b) insufficient memory to run Windows and/or the software the user had installed to run at startup (toolbars, iTunes, etc.), or c) had a hard drive about to fail.

        As for 20 MB Excel files...haven't seen those either. But I work with a 20 MB Access database at work, stored on a network drive. Even with having to log in with a username, it pops up within 15-20 seconds tops. That's not even enough time to walk to & from the fax machine, let alone get a cup of coffee.
        spdragoo@...
      • Plus, even if a PC takes 1 orf 2 minutes to boot up,

        the executive or presenter or user, should have taken that into consideration and had the laptop/notebook already on and prepared before entering the meeting room. <br><br>Again, somebody trying to rationalize the use of Macs and Linux variants or other browsers, by using the worst case scenarios in their "sales" pitch.
        adornoe
    • RE: If Forrester likes Macs for IT today, they&Atilde;?&Acirc;&cent;&Atilde;?&Atilde;?ll love Chromebooks tomorrow

      @Feldwebel Wolfenstool real a good question.
      <a href="http://bedavaoyun.eu">bedava oyun</a>
      mahonie
  • RE: If Forrester likes Macs for IT today, they&Atilde;&cent;&Acirc;?&Acirc;?ll love Chromebooks tomorrow

    Okay but what about all the business software that isn't on the Mac? This stuff still exists and maybe they are specialty apps but they are there.

    Also, what about the stuff that needs IE?
    slickjim
    • RE: If Forrester likes Macs for IT today, they&Atilde;&cent;&Acirc;?&Acirc;?ll love Chromebooks tomorrow

      @Peter Perry "stuff that still needs IE" is almost extinct. Its been a mandate in our company that everything should work on different browsers. All of the internal sites which were IE only work on all the browsers. In fact, for a couple of websites, Chrome is the preferred browser.
      browser.
      • You must live in another planet

        @browser. "stuff that still needs IE" is very prevalent in IT and although pretty much everybody hates the "IE-only stuff", there is very little chance that will change anytime soon.

        Lack of budget and the high initial cost of moving away into something else prevent the move from happening. On top of that, new garbage (like Sharepoint) add loads of weight to the problem.
        wackoae
      • Sounds like a bad IT policy, then

        @browser.

        There shouldn't be *any* sites at *any* company that are "Optimized for Browser X/Recommend that User uses Browser X". That's just bad IT & web design policy.
        spdragoo@...
    • Business software that still is not on Mac is extremely rare, so by far ...

      @Peter Perry: ... most of Forrester's clients will never face such problem.
      DDERSSS
  • RE: If Forrester likes Macs for IT today, they&Atilde;&cent;&Acirc;?&Acirc;?ll love Chromebooks tomorrow

    I was wondering when this "Pro Apple" Forrester Research article would be posted on ZDNet's website. One would think the logical place to look for this article would be on ZDNet's own "Forrester Research" section.

    Yet the only passing reference to this important new change in doctrine by Forrester Research is a Google spin on the topic by Sam in the "Googling Google" ZDNet section weeks

    Interesting.
    kenosha77a
  • RE: If Forrester likes Macs for IT today, they&Atilde;&cent;&Acirc;?&Acirc;?ll love Chromebooks tomorrow

    Macs rock. I will never go back to ugly Windows
    shellcodes_coder
  • Who are these &quot;power users&quot;?

    ???executives, top sales reps and other workaholics??? (from the article).

    They will NOT be happy when their cloud-based apps and/or data are unavailable. For most "power users", tomorrow is a long time from today. Save for those ensconced in modern, densely-populated regions of the planet that have the infrastructure to support cloud-based computing. However, most of the planet lacks this infrastructure. Do any of these "power users" travel? Not to mention that cloud providers and ISPs still have issues with downtime that always makes for good headlines here at ZDNet and elsewhere.
    Rabid Howler Monkey
  • Distraction

    "One reason is silly but true: just as execs and other high-profile employees drive luxury cars or wear expensive suits, the computer they carry into a business meeting is also a status symbol of sorts."<br>Agreed. I think it the only 'reason'. They wouldn't stand much chance of getting this past any sensible CFO looking at the IT budget for the whole company.<br><br>"Time is the only thing that these fierce competitors cant make more of. Many of todays corporate PCs are saddled with management, backup, and security agents that can bog down a PC."<br>So buy a faster Windows box - you will have plenty of money in hand!<br><br>"Employees want their PCs to boot in 10 seconds,"<br>A windows weakness to be sure (if you don't know how to use suspend): Forrester have pointed it out just as M$ are going to eliminate it with Windows 8!<br><br>"they dont want to have to get a cup of coffee while opening a 20 MB spreadsheet in Excel."<br>They needn't bother opening many spreadsheets - the MAC version of Office is always behind the Windows: VBA has only just been restored.<br><br>"Theyre drawn to uncluttered Macs especially those with solid-state drives"<br>Yep, they seem to think one cannot buy a much cheaper, easier to fit (or upgrade) SSD for a PC.<br><br>"Did you notice that fast boot times were mentioned twice?"<br>Yes, did YOU notice the (claimed) boot time for Windows 8?<br><br>"I think Forrester will soon be recognizing that Google users, more so than Mac users, are the real HEROs of IT."<br>I have been hoping that everyone will soon be recognising that IT architectural skill is the real winner ... but I can't drag ZDNET, for one, away from the useless Windows v Apple fanboy distraction <img border="0" src="http://www.cnet.com/i/mb/emoticons/sad.gif" alt="sad">
    jacksonjohn
  • RE: If Forrester likes Macs for IT today, they&Atilde;&cent;&Acirc;?&Acirc;?ll love Chromebooks tomorrow

    They like the whole ecosystem, not just the physical machine.
    ppgreat@...