Although Windows is widely considered the “dangerous” operating system for those who don’t adequately protect themselves from threats, more and more malicious hackers are turning to Mac OS X to capitalize on those users, as well. And the last thing a company should want to do is fall into a false sense of security with Mac OS X. Believe it or not, it can cause security issues, as well.
As mentioned, Mac OS X appeals far more to consumers than it does to enterprise customers. The reason for that is Apple’s own focus. The company is a decidedly consumer-minded firm. Because of that, its products are designed with the consumer in mind. And for companies worried about productivity and business functionality, it might not be the best bet.
As noted, productivity is extremely important in the enterprise. The company that can get the most out of employees will typically be the firm that reigns supreme in its respective market. But by deploying Mac OS X in an operation, companies might feel a productivity hit. Mac OS X is very different from Windows. And getting employees up to speed will take some time.
In order to run Mac OS X, companies have but one choice when it comes to hardware: Macs. That might not be an issue to some firms, since Apple computers tend to be highly regarded in the computing space. But it could be a problem for other companies that don’t want to pay the hefty price tag to get a MacBook Pro or a Mac Pro. Pricing should be kept in mind before deciding on Mac OS X.
One of the biggest issues standing in Apple’s way is that the company’s operating system lacks the enterprise applications that make Windows so important to the enterprise. Part of that is due to Apple’s unfortunate treatment of developers, but it’s also due to enterprise market share. Either way, a company that wants to use certain applications just might not be able to use Mac OS X.
When it comes time to evaluate Windows and Mac OS X, companies should take a look at their file-management software. Microsoft’s Windows Explorer was drastically improved in Windows 7. Mac OS X’s Finder has remain relatively unchanged for the past few generations of the software. If companies use Windows Explorer often in their day-to-day activities, switching to Finder could be a shock.
Microsoft’s Office platform is solid on Mac OS X, but most companies will likely find more to like in the Windows version of the software. Not only does Office 2010 on Windows work exceptionally well compared to previous versions of the software, but it provides an experience that most customers are quite familiar with. Office on the Mac also works well, but it’s not as rewarding an experience as it is on Windows.
The mobility factor must play a key role in how companies decide on Windows or Mac OS X. Windows is available on the HP Slate 500 and several netbooks. Mac OS X is available on a MacBook and MacBook Air, but those products are comparatively expensive. If mobility and pricing matters, Apple’s Mac OS X platform might not be a company’s best bet.
It’s important to consider where Apple’s focus is before any company jumps on Mac OS X. Apple seems to be focused on being an entertainment company that provides top-of-the-line mobile products. Whether or not it’s really focusing on Mac OS X as much as it should is up for debate. And that’s something companies should keep in mind.
Although deploying Mac OS X right now might appeal to some companies, it might not be the best idea. Apple plans to offer Mac OS X Lion next year. And many of its efforts in the software space will be focused on that update. At this pointing, waiting for Lion could be the smart move.