Anti-Apple IT conspiracy

Robert X. Cringely in May the Source Be With You thinks that Macs aren't getting in large organizations because they threaten the livelihood of IT staffs:

If you recommend purchasing a computer that requires only half the support of the machine it is replacing, aren't you putting your job in danger? Exactly.

Ideally, the IT department ought to recommend the best computer for the job, but more often than not, they recommend the best computer for the IT department's job.

He is also digging around why they prefer Linux over Mac OS:

Again, it comes down to the IT Department Full Employment Act. Adopting Linux allows organizations to increase their IT efficiency without requiring the IT department to increase ITS efficiency. It takes just as many nerds to support 100 Linux boxes as 100 Windows boxes, yet Linux boxes are cheaper and can support more users. The organization is better off while the IT department is unscathed and unchallenged. [...]

Macs reduce IT head count while Linux probably increases IT head count, simple as that.

I'm among those who claim that Macs have a lower TCO than Windows-PCs, and for many more tasks than the creative ones people usually think Macs are made for. A couple years ago, my better half was doing IT support for a Mac OS-based operation of 200 people spread in 20 cities, alone! Would you imagine one person supporting 200 Windows-PCs, even on the same building? Me neither.

I think that one of the main reasons why Macs aren't getting into corporate IT is simply ignorance. It is amazing to see how many IT people, and in particular CIOs, are simply labeling the Apple world as unknown and uninteresting. Ignorance leads to fear for most people, and those guys -- who you would expect to stay informed of everything that is new and innovative in their industry, which come from Apple more often than not -- tend to limit their curiosity to what is the latest Windows vulnerability of the week.

The rest of the article is focused on IT outsourcing, in particular the current trend of Indian off-shore operations. Only time will tell us how this trend will evolve, but I don't think it's going away anytime soon.

4 Comments

I spent the better part of Saturday updating my husband's (Windows-based) computers. He had just upgraded to Windows XP and it took hours to download all of Microsoft's various security patches, updates, etc. Since I am the unofficial systems admin in this house, I do it all (for love). I rarely have had to update my iMac and don't get nearly as nervous as he does when someone unleashes a worm (Blaster). Just thinking about Cringely's IT Department Full Employment Act, this is one IT person who would rather have weekends NOT dealing with Windows XP's various problems and quirks. The amount of time I spend on his Windows PCs is really unbelievable.

well I for one recently worked at a small design firm, just 15 of us, 15 macs and one windows machine (I got both machines because I do web stuff...). For some reason because I used the PC I became the defacto 'IT guy.' Well I worked there for 6 months and had virtually no problems with my PC, but the macs kept me so busy that at one point I asked the boss to hire someone especially, as I couldn't get MY work done...
I've never understood either most IT departments or mac users who think the mac OS is more robust...
to me they just don't make sense.

I've never had so many problems as I have with ANY kind of MAC out there... bragging about their superior-speed chips. Even if they test faster, apple sure as heck desn't know how to use it then, because I can't do anything on these MACs without it crashing terribly bad. I run two applications.. oh crap, ran out of memory. But this thing is supposed to have a Gig? Whatever... not to mention if you want to upgrade... what a pain.

Windows XP... I get everything I need done, and more. This machine treats me so beautifully, I'd give up my life for it. Right now, I'm running about 4 adobe products... Premiere, After Effects, Photoshop, and Illustrator, all of which demand tons of memory. I'd like to see a mac do all that without a problem...

Oh yeah, I can almost limitlessly customize Windows...

I also spent some back in my High School (2-3 years ago) helping out with the computer lab... it consisted of all Macs and 1 Windows machine. The windows machine wasn't even all that great, but it ran the fastest, and was more stable than any of the Macs. And every time I wanted to print something I didn't have to make sure the printer was on before the Mac was... what a pain...

Mike, your experience couldn't be more opposed to mine or any Mac user I know.

I'm just running a memory-whore set of software from Apple, Macromedia and Adobe at the same time on a 2 1/2 year-old PowerBook with just 512MB of RAM, without any memory issue, nor crash. Same with my desktop G4 with only 256MB. Actually I never shut down the portable, reboots are only for those updates that require them. I shut the G4 down only for the week-end.

And in case you forgot a few episodes between the Intel-bunnies ads and the G5, Apple has not been bragging their "superior-speed" chips for many years.

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