By Nathan Rudyk
If you accept that Web 2.0 is all about user-generated content, and technology enabling people rather than people enabling technology, and you further accept that there is value in a Web 2.0 approach, you soon land on Apple Computer's doorstep. While the iPod and the Web 2.0 phenomonen of podcasting (user-generated radio) has definitely put the shine on Apple's stock, something potentially bigger is at play with the progress of the Mac.
Last Spring the launch of OS-X "Tiger" caused The Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg to declare that "Tiger is the best and most advanced personal computer operating system on the market." He upped the ante in November, 2005 by saying with co-writer Katherine Boehret that the iMac G5 was "the finest desktop PC on the market, at any price." Walt didn't change his mind when Apple launched its new Intel-inside "MacTels" in January of this year.
From a market share perspective however, Mossberg's and others' lavish praise for Apple's new Macs hasn't made a dent in the Wintel loyalties of enterprise I.T. managers. That may be about to change. Network World, traditionally a bastion of reportage for the Wintel juggernaut, makes a strong case for the enterprise Mac. Network World contributer Winn Schwartau says switching to MacTel can increase the performance of a secure computing environment "by as much as 400%" and that "owning a WinTel box for three years costs twice as much as owning a MacTel."
Schwartau's realistic. He doesn't see six-figure-seat corporations making the switch en masse, but is seeing "low tech" departments (beyond graphics) like sales, marketing and clerical areas like call centres and retail sales floors moving over to MacTel. He also offers a fascinating Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) analysis for the smaller enterprise, including a spreadsheet so you can run your own numbers should you be so inclined.
At our company, we're a hodgepodge of Mac and Windows machines, and our bias to the Macs is growing, spurred on by the fact we have a couple of excellent Mac business application companies as clients. We have some Powerbooks (I own one of them and am a convert as of OS-X Tiger's release), iMacs in the creative department, an eMac server to run Parliant's rock-solid PhoneValet answering system and Marketcircle's excellent Daylite business productivity management software, and a collection of "required" laptop and Windows PCs for our development area.
Our head dev guy's on vacation this week. When he's back from sucking up Arizona's sun and hospitality (it's not like we're jealous Dave), I can't wait to give him Winn's spreadsheet so he can attempt to justify our ongoing PC spend as I point out that we're all about Web 2.0 solutions!