That invitation started out as a whisper in the early 1980s, when Apple Computer began to seriously diverge from the more popular PC-compatible computers. While advanced PC users liked learning command-line based instructions, most everyone else found them a bit too complex.
So it was a perfect time for Apple to present something new. You didn’t have to learn command lines, only how to move a cursor around.
It’s no wonder that Apple enthusiasts were happier and more productive. No matter how much PC-based manufacturers offered faster performance, lower prices, and newer features, Apple converts weren’t looking back. And many PC/Windows fans decided they were also going to stand firm.
Today, the debate still lingers, although most users have accepted that there’s room for two dominant platforms
But what would happen today if you needed to introduce Macs into a PC-heavy office? What would be the upsides and downsides? Would it be a smart financial move?
The answer is that, most often, a move to integrate Macintosh into a Windows environment is a wise one, even financially. But it does require planning, organization, and budgeting of some capital resources.
- Old tech: If your hardware, networks, or core software have been around for years, they may not welcome any kind of upgrade—PC or Mac. For instance, Microsoft Exchange 2003 doesn’t even support the latest versions of office for windows. Whether you’re considering bringing in Macs or upgrading your PCs, you may want to hold off on either until your back-end infrastructure is modernized.
- Software: Check if all your programs are compatible with Mac OS X or if Mac OS X versions exist. Most newer Adobe and Microsoft Office products are available for both platforms, but you would still potentially need new licenses. If everyone uses custom or specialty software vital for operations – a ‘killer app’ for accounting practices, project management, or document viewing, for example – you may have to find something similar.
- Training: Employees familiar with Macs may be higher along the learning curve than those who have only used Windows, but you’ll have to figure out ways to get everyone up to speed quickly. Hire trainers? Find online tutorials? Send people to off-site classes? These options would need to be weighed and would obviously involve some initial affect on productivity and budgets. Your help desk/IT team also needs to receive Tier 1 training to ensure that they’re comfortable supporting Apple Macintosh.
- Security: Continue to follow your best practices. But, in comparison to Windows-based devices , Macs are nearly impervious to viruses and spyware that can plague PCs.
- Morale: If employees have asked for Macs in order to be more proficient and productive, here’s a chance to prove it. Your company can look more attractive to new hires when they find out that you value both Windows and Mac operating systems.
As for hardware costs, acquisition costs are but one part of the story. The Macintosh has proven to be more affordable from an overall lifecycle management perspective. And even on acquisition costs, Macintosh today can compare very favorably with similarly configured Windows-based systems.