iMacs in the enterprise

PC World published a piece by Rafael Ruffolo on corporations considering iMacs.  Here are some quotes:

According to Q2 results from IDC, in the overall U.S. computer market, which includes desktops and notebooks, Apple is now tied for third with competitor Gateway at 5.6 per cent of the total market share.

Tim Bajarin, president at Creative Strategies, said that while Apple lacks the enterprise sales force, servicing capabilities and the expressed interest in the enterprise sector, he does admit that this could change in the future.

My opinion is this:  Yes, this could change in the future, but not in the foreseeable future.   The reasoning is pretty simple.  First of all, Apple is not serious about competing for the enterprise.  Jobs is good at building machines that tug at the heart strings, but he is also VERY good at building devices that tug (pretty hard) at consumers’ purse strings.  Enterprise IT is about providing a pre-determined service level with a controlled budget.  For large enterprises with pre-existing investment in the MS architecture, migrating to the iMac does not make sense financially.

Neither does it make sense architecturally.  Apple currently lacks the will, or a way in providing a robust roadmap in providing a solution that can rival MS’s management features.  This alone would create havoc in a well-managed enterprise environment. Are you aware of any SMS or Forefront equivalent in Apple’s arsenal?

Lastly, such a move does not make sense in a resource management perspective.  Not only will you have to replace a whole slew of machines, you will also need investment in training your legions of support staff.  Sure, there will be some who are already well versed in OSX, but this is by no means the norm.

What I think the article is trying to convey is that the trend of Apple devices sneaking into the enterprise may increase– but that is easy to see.  All personal tech items will eventually sneak into the enterprise– this by no means will only apply to apple products though.  Personal blackberries/smartphones/PDAs will soon creep into the managed environment.  Sure, iPhone and iPods are popular, but their place within the workplace is currently dubious at best.

As the article said, virtualization may be the joker in this whole deck of cards.  Yes, the technology will enable iMacs to act like a PC, but at that stage, what’s the advantage of choosing the iMac + virtualization solution?  So users can also run OSX and Apple software?  Circular reasoning alert– OSX currently needs a separate management strategy to thrive in the enterprise.  Unless an enterprise has a financially justifiable reason to choose Apple (design, art, etc), I would be absolutely stunned to see any kind of inroad being made by Apple through such grassroot approaches.

Great sensational journalism though, PCWorld.  I thoroughly enjoyed the read.  This may just be the fuel that this small fire needs to create a more competitive enterprise IT marketscape.

The iMac is great, and…

I am sure it’ll get plenty of Apple biters, but I believe FSJ is comparing it to the wrong product here. To quote:

A 24-inch screen, 2 gigs of memory and a 500-gig hard drive for $2,300? Or for cheapskates a totally nice 20-inch machine for $1200? Oh, and an operating system that actually works? And design that’s better than almost any company in any industry in the world? Or maybe you’d rather have this. Right? Maybe you really put these two things side by side and choose that. If so, you should have your head examined.

Come on people. If we don’t take over the world now then I give up.

Instead of comparing the overpriced product of desire to an overpriced POS that nobody should be buying, he should have compared it to this:

Apple 24″ iMac : $2300

XPS M1330 + 24″ LCD : ~ approx. $1,500 + $600 = $2100.

I know there are cheaper options on the comparison hardware, but I am not about to list the cheapest parts I could find here. The point is, even without bargain hunting, by doing some top level rationalization, Steve should still consider a price drop. I find it funny that Steve has the ability to convince his customers that Apple is justified in charging a lot more for nearly identical hardware.

“What do you mean overpriced?!? This iMac is the best value in computing today!” — I can already hear legions of Apple fans chanting.

How about this, FSJ: One beautifully glorified, oversized and immobile Macbook or a similarly powered, portable notebook + 24″ LCD. That sounds more like a real choice, don’t you think?

Update: Just found this article that pertains to the same subject. Even after reading it, my reasoning still stands– you may get more satisfaction out of your money, but you are not getting more computer out of your money. How you spend your money for your own satisfaction is what ultimately conveys value to you– even if it is going to the Jobs’ Trust Fund.

New Apples. Yummy.

The Jesus Fruit revealed its newest evil temptation today– the new iMac and Mac mini. Minor refreshes inside, BIG external redesign outside. Beautiful designs I must admit, it’s almost like paying more for a sporty car, without the associated performance. Let’s see… which car can I compare the iMac to? How about a Lotus Elise? Beautiful car, great user experience, but comes with a Toyota Celica GT-S engine. Too bad though, unlike a car which has a life cycle of at least 5-10 years, this iMac will be obsolete in 2-3 years. Sound about right?

For those of you who just cannot get enough, here’s a collection of reviews for the new iMac, at Engadget.