It's that time of year when we're all thinking about summer purchases and configurations. At least I hope you are and your budgets haven't been so severely slashed that summer will be a slow time of year for you. Most of us already know how our FY10 budgets are going to be spent. New labs, improved infrastructure, tech refreshes, you name it; the funds, as we all know, will go quickly.
I read Dana Blankenhorn's post, "Steve Jobs nearly died and lied about it" with interest today because, 1) he's right, and 2) one has to wonder just how much of Apple's Appleness is wrapped up in Jobs. I bring this up in the context of FY10 spending because we consider a variety of factors in our purchases. While cost certainly comes into play, the ability to satisfy student needs should be key. A company's reliability and viability are also important considerations. Will the products we buy from a company still be satisfying those needs in 3-4 years?
So here's the question: If you're considering Macs for a multimedia lab or you're planning to offer MacBooks as part of a campus purchasing program, are you any less comfortable with the idea now that we know Jobs is in especially poor health? That he and his company were even less upfront than usual?
If you were on the fence about Macs because of their higher cost of entry, would this push you towards a different solution? You can put together a pretty nice multimedia lab with Dells, after all, and nobody really worries about the long-term viability of Dell even if Mr. Dell himself is no longer at the helm.
From my perspective, I don't see Apple disappearing or failing to create interesting products just because Jobs is gone. Sure, he's an icon, but Macs still fill a niche in a lot of schools; in fact, they also represent a decent value if you're purchasing at the high end to meet a particular need.
For me, I'll be snagging a few iMacs to fill some holes left by a previous tech refresh and realignment of some classes. Otherwise, my purchases will include Classmates, lower-end netbooks, and a Windows-based lab. The Macs are a small percentage, not because Steve Jobs is in uncertain health, but because in most of my settings, $500 non-Macs (whatever form they happen to take) can satisfy student needs just as well as $1000 Macs.
How about you? [poll id="96"]