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Apple's brand hurts IT, edu markets

updated 06:30 pm EDT, Fri September 1, 2006

Apple brand hurts IT, Edu

Apple's powerful brand--which has helped the company boost its profits and marketshare--is hurting the company when it comes to enterprise and education markets. A new column says that while Apple currently putting significant effort into gaining major penetration of the education market in the UK, it is facing major hurdles: "Unfortunately, Apple is still perceived from its brand as 'specialist IT' and 'consumerist.' with its computers being favored by the media industry, and its impressive recent fortunes being delivered on the back of iPods and iTunes. This does not just apply in the education market but also in mainstream business, where I have often been told by Butler Group subscribers that they would not consider the 1u rack-mounted Xserve as a replacement for their Dell or IBM server, because Apple 'are best at iPods and design' and 'are not a real computing company.'"

by MacNN Staff




  1. l008com

    Joined: Dec 1969



    So windows only IT guys are completely ignorant about macs and are making statements that make absolutely no sense whatsoever. Nothing new there.

  1. jarod

    Joined: Dec 1969



    That has got to be the worlds most IGNORANT column. If you consider companies employing s*** for brains pc idiots a reference, then you clearly belong OUTSIDE the realm of real technology. This guy is a joke along with his entire column.

  1. Hillbilly Geek

    Joined: Dec 1969


    this kind of prejudice...

    is something we meet every day. Macs aren't "real computers"... they don't have built in job security for the IT dept. Feh. Maybe we should call in the ACLU? Oy! I'm being oppressed!

  1. Steve Wilkinson

    Joined: Dec 1969


    no big surprise

    Most IT folks I have met don't really know much outside their discipline (ie: Windows), and often don't know much about Macs. I've heard them say the most stupid things at times, and this is no exception.

    But, you have to remember that this is self-serving in many ways. First, most IT folks don't really want to make changes... so, even if Macs are better, it's a risk (both politically and practically). There might be a big upside, but you usually don't lose your job for keeping a level status in most big corps.

    Second, making 'improvements' that might reduce staff isn't really in the interest of IT outside of very upper management. Like it or not... many livelihoods depend on Windows.

    But, in defense of IT, there have been some actual practical reasons at least inside the server room. Macs, and even xServes have lacked some features that most IT people look for. Things like redundant power supplies, lights out type management, etc. Until the xServe, Apple really didn't have anything for the server room... so all this is somewhat new. And, until the new xServes in Oct. the above features didn't exist either.

    The other thing to realize is that big-IT really isn't all that high-tech. Often everyone thinks it is, but its really the smaller companies that utilize better technology to compete with the deep-pockets of the large organizations. Anyone looking to emulate what the big companies are doing technology wise is often naive or foolish. Maybe its better if Apple stays a 'secret weapon' for the smaller folks... that's a much bigger market anyway.


  1. awcopus

    Joined: Dec 1969


    At the Expo...

    ... Apple showed the use of XServes and XRaids by a company that processes credit card transactions. There was this incredible picture of a room the company calls the Aquarium jampacked with Macs executing mission critical, industrial level tasks. And just a few years ago, Virginia Tech built a supercomputer using G5s, right? Sure Apple can improve its products (every computer company is constantly improving its offerings!), but they're doing pretty damn well for those who bother to take them seriously.

    I dispute the notion that Apple's successful consumer branding is a problem. The problem is a lack of curiousity, vision, imagination, drive, and open-mindedness on the part of so-called "IT professionals".

  1. alansky

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Max bigotry & stupidity

    Stupidity and bigotry go hand in hand. The stupid man becomes a bigot (in this case, a Mac hater) because he is incapable of evaluating tehnology (or anything else) on its real merits. He doesn't know good from bad. All he knows how to do is throw stones. So all is well; the morons are getting exactly what they deserve: Windows.

  1. armwt

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Macs play well..sometimes

    A lot of you sound as ignorant as you claim IT "Professionals" are. Truth is, as a Mac lover since 1984, AND as an "IT Professional", I do NOT think that Macs are easy to integrate into a true "enterprise" environment easily.

    They have gotten much, MUCH better over the years, but still have a long way to go. Comments such as that in the article are indeed ignorant, but the truth is that Apple doesn't do a good job of convincing anyone that it's the wrong attitude.

    Areas that Apple needs work for enterprise:

    - More support for enterprise backup solutions. (Veritas, EMC, etc.) In our case, we have an existing support contract with a backup software provider, who doesn't have software that covers Macs. We've had no issues with the software, and convincing our CIO to switch a backup solution provider "just" so that we can put Macs in the server room just won't cut it.

    - Inability to easily control security policy/machine policy. Most enterprise networks are running Active Directory. There is no easy way to have group policies in AD control Mac workstations. The "easy" solution is to set up an Open Directory environment, synchronizing passwords with AD. Only problem? See above - we can't convince the CIO to let us put in an OS X server box for the OD controller if we can't back it up.

    I could go on, but trust me - I do this for a living. Most people who keep saying that "IT won't use Macs because they want job security" sound to me like they've never really worked in an enterprise IT field.

    OS X, OS X Server, and Apple hardware has come a LONG way.... I think it's an excelent solution for small business, but I also believe that Apple it NOT seriously going after the enterprise market... if they were, their enterprise support would be better. They could do it if they wanted.. the fact that the haven't tells me they do not see it as a priority.

  1. leamanc

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Please, MacNN "editors"

    A headline that states opinion should have some attribution. Something like:

    Butler Group: Apple's brand hurts IT, edu markets

    Or the less-frequently-used:

    Apple's brand hurts IT, edu markets--Butler Group

    It wouldn't hurt to change the first sentence of the story to attribute that sentence also, since it is only opinion, and not fact.

  1. LouZer

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I think the IT guys will tell you the first big problem with the XServes is that they aren't built as a true server. No backup power-supply? WTF is that? (Apple will finally fix this when they release their XServe intel version.)

    And then you get into issues like telling customers how long they plan on supporting their OS and software. For how long will security releases be offered for 10.3 and 10.4? How long will the PowerPC architecture be supported? Apple has no answers to these questions. How is an IT guy supposed to take the company seriously when Apple itself doesn't even take enterprise market seriously.

    And if you don't like that, how about this. Apple is known as a company that offers computers with features THEY decide users want, as opposed to offering computers that can meet what the users want. IT departments don't like to spend money on extended warranties (who would, you can get another computer for the cost of 3-4 of those things), but then Macs aren't fixable. You can't add features to them afterwards (not even airport or bluetooth, if its not built-in standard). The mini is a pain to open. iMacs are a waste for a business by merging the screen and computer together (great now, sucks that you can't just upgrade the computer and keep that monitor). MacBoook pro is needed to get any type of expansion capabilities.

    BTW, you may not like the way people perceive Apple, but that's Apple's problem. They need to inform and instruct the IT dept's of the world. They can't just sit back and expect the industry to just 'see the light'. Mocking them is only what drives them to be more anti-mac, as they don't want to be part of that cult.

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I'm in IT too

    I'm a senior database administrator and a mac fan too.

    Our company has always had mac's, so when we bought backup software, hp omniback, it had a back client, and it's never been an issue.

    Mac's really are more popular, in my opinion, than solaris, hp/ux, and other unix variants....all of which suffer from lack of support compared to Windows, but have their uses nevertheless.

    But, IT people aren't ignorant...they are just fans'. Technology lovers. And if you are on the Windows side of that divide, you go rah rah rah for the home team. Thats how it goes.

    Apple has no business whatsover concerning itself with trying to get additional support from application vendors in the enterprise backup market. They've already got several good solutions, and the other companies will jump on board of their own they did with linux... as apple continues to offer a competitive solution at a good price with 'open source improved'... success will build on success.

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