Tuesday, September 15, 2009
My PC died this weekend. Dead as a doornail. So while I am working with an interim Sony Vaio patched together heroically by Mike T yesterday - it's time for me to buy a new laptop.
I believe I am facing the same decision as many business people who now, for the first time, can choose a Mac for the office. Hurray!
Macs were always considered superior machines for artists and media, but rarely supported by IT in corporations because of the strong hold Outlook has in the business person's workflow. But over the past few years the iPod, and then the iPhone, have radically changed how the majority of business people view Macs. We have come to realize how elegant and versatile the Apple architecture is and how joyful and powerful it can be to use a Mac every day.
The final break in the dam will be Outlook. Gartner believes (and I agree with them) that native support for Microsoft Exchange in the Snow Leopard operating system will drive end user demand in the enterprise. Maybe this will create a tipping point of dramatic growth for Apple and Macs in the workplace. But even before that is available (they're saying year end) you can run a Windows emulation window on your Mac desktop in the meantime.
Cisco is leading the way in a new idea to allow employees to choose their own work laptops - including a Mac! Frankly I love this idea. Select a short list of approved machines (so you can manage the IT support) and give employees an allowance to buy all their gadgets with so your costs are bounded. If the employee wants more gadget cost than the budget they can choose to make up the difference themselves.
We are already flexible with some employees using Macs in the office (especially our UI designer) but they provide much of their own support. A larger company would have the scale to provide both types of support within a bounded set of computers.
So I think a trip to the Apple store is in my future later this week. I long to have one machine for everything (since we are a Mac/many iPod/many iPhone/AppleTV/ Drobo family at home I have a Mac Pro on my home desk). Maybe now I finally can.