Macs or PCs for Business?


Recently LifeHacker posed the question to readers, Mac or PC for Business? It’s been a somewhat common theme in recent months as Apple gains more and more momentum. Execs are being seen (and heard-of) toting MacBook Pro laptops around, in meetings, etc. It surely seems like a wave that everyone’s catching these days. So what do real people think?

LifeHacker’s poll show’s a whopping 61% would choose a Mac over a similar Windows-based PC. The availability of Parallels for running Windows, or the option of booting to it through BootCamp make the Apple an ideal machine to fit all needs, and businesses are beginning to see that it seems. NetworkWold takes a look at this scenario as well, if you’re looking for some additional reading on the topic.

I use my MacBook more and more for the work that I do. I’m slowly finding the little things that allow me to fully operate in OS X to accomplish all my work tasks, and it’s fantastic. As is common, I receive a decent amount of ribbing about my Mac at work, but it almost always gives way to a conversation about how cool it is, and “it can really do that?” The tides are definitely changing.


Oskar Syahbana

I use my Macbook for work but mainly runs windows on top of that. There’s not much financial tools available in macintosh and for what I encountered, the Office runs ALOT slower (due to Rosetta of course), and since MS is ditching most of VB programming in the upcoming release of Office for mac (which is playing an important role on my ‘hobby’), I think I’ll stay to Windows on business (but still uses my gorgeous macbook)


I don’t think the company I work for will change to MAC or Linux, because we got about 40-70’000 employees running Windows 2000 with AD accounts, exchange servers etc hundreds if not thousands of 16-32bit scripts.
We run programs like SAP, MATLAB, Facil+, PSS/E, MS Office 2000, Adobe Acrobat 7, Eldorado and many more. Some but not all of those wont run under mac or linux.
Plus we got some siemens, abb, areva programs which are windows only.

10-15 years ago we had MAC and PC, but the company got rid of every non windows environment to many peoples dismay.

I’d love to have MAC, but don’t think we ever will switch. Next year we “might” switch to Windows XP.


I find that once you get comfortable and experienced with OSX, there is a major advantage that is to be found over competitors operating systems.

As is, I’ve never had problems with crashing or security and I feel at ease when I think about it. I don’t have to worry if my 12 hour project will go down the tubes because of a new type of spyware.

Linux is becoming the same way to with distros like uBuntu.


Alex, it’s true. Whoever decided to roll out a non-standards based VPN client that only works on windows, to 300,000 employees, must have been mentally deranged. There is no other way around this (apart running another windows box at home just for VPN access).

Alex Morse


That’s a fair point, but I consult a higher level than that. My question would be, what is it about that specific VPN client that you require? In 99% of all cases I see where there is some piece like this that seems critical, there’s another way it can be done. In nearly all of those cases, the reason for sticking with whatever non-standards piece are not only sketchy, but sometimes the people that made the decision don’t even remember why!


“I have absolutely no reason to use or recomend PCs. There’s simply nothing you can do with them, that you can’t do on a Mac.”

I agree, I can’t recommend PC’s to any of my colleagues, family, or friends, but this is only a general rule. There’s always an exception.

In my case, I cannot use my (PPC) Mac for work because a Mac version of the VPN client that we need to use doesn’t exist. Normal standards based VPN clients just don’t work.

Alex Morse

I’m an international business consultant. I use macs exclusively and have for about 2 years now.

I have absolutely no reason to use or recomend PCs. There’s simply nothing you can do with them, that you can’t do on a Mac. Sure, I see plenty of companys entrenched in the MS Office world, but in almost all of the cases that is a symptom of a problem rather than a valid business choice.


While it makes perfect business and technical sense, the thing that worries me most, having gone through a few companies that “got too big for our own good” is what will happen when the tide turns in favor of Apple?

How will Apple handle this? Steve and Bill, even though very different are business beasts and see markets the same wys. Would Apple flex it’s muscles on customers as Microsoft did and leave us out dry? That is my main worry.

In the meantime, there is Ubuntu, I guess.


Been using mostly Macs and a few PCs in a medical business for 9 years. Just tossed two old PCs… now just one iMac that runs Windows a few minutes every day. Stupid vendors who require ActiveX for web aps!!

I did need a support call from that vendor the other day. They actually took over my iMac (running Windows) and fixed the problem. They never figured out that it was a Mac!! And that is a “good thing” as their official party line is that they do not support their application if it is running on Windows on the Mac.

When IT types can’t tell it is a Mac then they will support. If you tell them it is a Mac then they wond support. My new Motto: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.


We use Mac’s exclusivly at work. They’re ideal for our designers and us web developers can work with Firefox + Firebug, and run Windows in Parallels so we can check IE5, IE6 and IE7, along with the Mac browsers.

The web development software is a joy. We can install Apache and Ruby on Rails alongside PHP and MySQL in a decent Unix environment on our own machines and the only software thats lacking is SVN clients. The Mac ones suck. But that’s our one complaint. :)

Matt Hoult

I’m lucky because I work for a company who is entirely Mac (apart from the accounts, which are trying to dig out of the final XP machine hold now). We operate seamlessly and especially so now that we can run Windows if we want (not that we often do).

Further, our clients are nearly all Mac based, which makes life easier also, although those that aren’t cause no trouble barring the fact that we are IT support and need to fix them regularly.


I work at a small vet clinic, and this summer we upgraded to almost a complete Mac environment, aside from the two PC tablets that the doctors have. The staff is very impressed the new computers, and we’ve had absolutely no problems with them, which makes my job easier, since I’m the IT guy.


I’ve been supporting a Windows, Mac, Linux, iSeries network with a Mac for years. As a Unix geek, I prefer it because I can use my favorite Linux tools, easily write scripts, etc and still run Microsoft Office. And it’s nice to be able to tear apart the occasional Windows virus that slips through the firewalls without fear of infection.

As a typical network admin, without all the support staff that I’d like, the fact that our average XP machine takes 10X the amount of support as our average Mac wins Apple a lot of points. And that fact hasn’t been lost on management.

More and more of them are asking for Macs. Since the cost of a Mac or a business class Dell is basically the same, this is one trend that I am encouraging.


I agree that there is a different “smell” to that wind lately. But I don’t see a “sea change” just yet.

One reason is that Apple isn’t seriously targeting the Enterprise. Yes, they have volume discount pricing. Yes, they have Enterprise service contracts. Yes, they’ve got a really good cheap server and server OS, with remote admin tools to boot.

But they have not embraced the culture, and the kind of road map that Enterprise CIO’s want from Apple. Till that changes, I don’t see a huge change in their business market penetration, at least not in the mid to large business categories.

They’ll also want to build a cheap, customizable Mac that can be used as a desktop unit. I’m not sure that the Mini is quite what businesses want in that product.


At IBM we have a Mac user group that has for years been struggling to promote Macs as a viable alternative to Windows desktops and Thinkpads. It’s OK if you are a manager and you only need Office and Lotus Notes, but as a support engineer its almost impossible to get all work done purely on PPC macs. Now Intel Macs are here things are indeed changing, but there is still a lot of snobbery and ignorance to overcome before we get given the choice.

Everyone probably heard by now that IBM announced that they will not renew the desktop contract with Microsoft, and they definitely will not move to Vista (woohoo). The upshot of this is that many departments will be, or have already started migrating to Linux.

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