Problems Getting Macs in Enterprise

Mac News: Enterprise : The Challenge Apple Faces in Enterprise Computing

bq. Unfortunately, that kind of expertise, in which the wrong people apply inapplicable experience to make wrong decisions, perpetuates its own reality and thus defines the challenge Apple faces in the enterprise computing market — explaining why spotting an Apple X-serve and RAID array amid the Wintel clutter in Fortune 1000 data centers is marginally harder than visually tracking Mercury on a sunny day.

Paul Murphy’s rant continues the elitest’s age old rant: the “suits” just don’t get it. I think he’s wrong.

Not because the suits are always right, but mostly because I think he IS missing the big picture, exactly what he’s claiming upper management does. I think Mr. Murphy is forgetting the value of the network effect, and familiarity.

# The network effect will favor whoever has the most marketshare. Period. Hardware drivers are easy to find for windows. Custom software is easy to buy off the shelf. The neighbors kid next door helps people with their computers.

# In the 80’s few people had a computer. Now, many people have been using computers (with versions of Windows) for 10, 15 years. In fact, very few people HAVEN’T seen a computer. All these users have habits, shortcuts and knowledge.

Apple’s solutions are better for many people, and at the mid-high end priced competitvely. Unfortunately I don’t think they’re superior enough to overcome the two factors mentioned above in people with previous experience.

When “most people” just need Word, email, and the web, and a Windows PC costs $399 inc. monitor, printer, etc. a Mac needs to be more than twice as good to command the current entry price of around $800.

Unfortunately, in the space most likely to have first time users, or people with less ingrained habits, easier to switch, Apple has decided they don’t need products. Car makes keep low end models. Apple needs low end computers.

The true reason that Apple has been less successful is that for many people they do not deliver enough value for the premium price in terms of money, expertise, and occaisional inconvenience they entail. While I love my iBook, Apple’s 15-year strategy of focusing on margins is clearly not producing sales. If they continue with the same strategy, I think they can expect to see the same results.