Windows is a strong enterprise franchise. In large part, big companies only support Windows. Even those companies that allow employees to use Macs, have huge restrictions on who qualifies for that choice. In my observational experience, Macs are not available to every employee. In fact, I’d argue it’s generally a hugely restrictive policy. With Mac support advertised only for the coolness factor, even though in practice it’s only available to select employees (management and/or graphics teams).
Microsoft doesn’t really have to “sell anything” to make any new version of Windows a success.
That makes for a great business.
While mobile has eclipsed Windows, making the enterprise franchise look small all this consumer-first experience stuff has hardly made a dent in Windows deployments at large companies.
IBM is apparently giving employees a true a-la-carte decision when it comes to their “PC” device and expects up to 50,000 MacBooks to be deployed this year.
This time it’s different.
So many companies say they have support for Macs, but in reality it’s impossible for employees to have a fair choice. At Barclays, they support Macs, but I couldn’t get one. Even at CA, when I started (about 2 years ago), there was only one Mac configuration – implying it was a laptop for executives. (AFIK Anyone at CA can now get a Mac or bring their own.)
The thing about companies like IBM and CA, governance/compliance is taken very seriously. In a way that prevents many from really understand the impact on how new technology is introduced to these sorts of companies. I was talking about this just today WRT Sharepoint. Companies like Sharepoint because it enables them to be very compliant with data/information. Not because of usability. Not because of it’s mobile-first capabilities. But for governance.
The same is true, I suspect, for laptops. Big companies have a first-order priority to secure & govern data. And it’s hard/complicated to do it, and prove that you’ve done it.
IBM giving employees an equal, unbiased choice is a watershed moment for laptop computing in big-enterprise.
Whether 50,000 more laptops for Apple is enough to move the needle isn’t the question. The question is how valuable that enterprise Windows is, in total.
Given the long arc of time, will Macs show consistent progress against the Windows enterprise franchise?
I believe so.
I’ve been “studying” Apple in the enterprise for some time, so I know to look for this article on Citrix employee’s computing choice: Even back in September 2011, 46% of Citrix employees preferred Apple.
I suspect that with the iPhone’s success and the lower Mac price-point that percentage might be even higher today in 2015.
In fact, when searching for the article, the first two hits shows a 6% increase at Citrix over 2 years. Completely unscientific, but if you’ve been watching people use laptops in schools/coffee-shops you can’t tell me that your gut doesn’t tell you the same.