updated 05:40 pm EDT, Tue June 3, 2008
Macs right for small biz
As Apple's popularity in the PC market grows, many in business are debating the switch, but some in the industry caution that while Macs have gained a lot of interoperability, the move may not be smart for some. CNN Money writes that the switch to Mac can be beneficial to some, even offering cost reductions in overall system price and maintenance over traditional Windows serving solutions. Writer Jonathan Blum also notes that there are some software hurdles in particular instances, which can sometimes be easily remedied.
Blum highlights Jaffe Associates in Washington, DC, saying that the firm recently considered upgrading its Windows servers architecture, but were shocked when collaborative software costs would be upwards of $100,000. When pricing a comparable Apple solution, COO Shani Magosky obtained a quote at almost half the price.
"We are a virtual company, meaning we all work from home offices in different parts of the country," Magosky said. "[Apple] is wonderful for a company like ours."
When Blum purchased an iMac, he found it to be an excellent product for small business, but was not entirely without issues. Unimpressed with Apple's elaborate packaging, Blum's interest was piqued when the computer itself was set out on the table, in particular the new slim keyboard. Citrix's GoToMyPC, the tool that his business uses for VPN access, refused to work properly, while Mozy backups were eventually supported throughout the course of his tests.
Blum was quite impressed with Safari, which bested his Sony Vaio when tested for web browsing speed over Verizon's FiOS internet connection. The 64-bit software, he claims, helps immensely, and is ideal for researchers or creative professionals.
Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard and Microsoft Office for Mac left a mixed impression, saying that getting used to new function keys, as well as inconsistent features between the Mac and PC versions of Excel left much to be desired. Integration with specialized non-Apple products, such as the BlackBerry, also remain difficult to set up and synchronize.
Blum advises small business owners to really assess what they need to do with their computing equipment, and to speak with an Apple Consultant before making any large purchases.