I love a good argument that has plenty of pros and cons and factual evidence to consider. It gets the juices flowing.
So it does with Macs vs. Windows PCs in the workplace. Macs are less expensive to use than Windows.
Says who? The truth is exposed in glorious detail by CIO magazine. In total cost of ownership (TCO), Macs are less expensive to own and support than comparable Windows PCs.
Those of us not living blindly on the Dark Side of the Force already know that. Now that Macs also run Windows and Linux, the Mac is the best value a business can have on the desktop.
CIO lists Eight Financial Reasons Why You (CIOs) Should Use Mac OS. What is not surprising is the list of reasons why CIOs who think about their business and financial responsibilities are choosing more Macs. What’s suprising is the response from readers.
What are the eight financial reasons?
#1 – Better Value Proposition
The Mac is simply a better value because it does more. Not only does it run Windows and Windows applications as well as any Windows PC, it also runs Mac OS X, Linux and a few other flavors.
#2 – Lower Support Costs
Mac OS X is easier to navigate, easier to use, crashes less often, is less prone to malware.
All that and more help to reduce the number of calls to the IT support desk.
#3 – More Productivity
A happy work force is a productive and efficient work force.
Workers using Macs tend to get more done, have less computer-related frustrations, which translates into efficiency. You could probably throw in better health, too. Windows workers are sick more often (anecdotal on my part, but who could blame them).
#4 – Macs Last Longer
This does not come as a surprise to Mac users in business who do not benefit from upgrades as often as their Windows PC counterparts.
Even G3 Macs from seven years ago run Mac OS X Tiger. Try that on a seven-year-old PC running Windows Vista.
#5 – Mac OS X Is More Secure
Despite an occasional headline to the contrary, there are no know viruses or malware in the wild for Macs. None. Zero.
Such exploits of Windows cause users problems, which causes more frustration, which causes increased cost. We’re not talking vulnerabilities, as all OSs have their share. We’re talking real world.
#6 – Easy Administration
Both Mac and Windows have plenty of tools for corporate IT staffers to administer the machine remotely. For Mac users there is less need.
#7 – License Costs
Mac vs. Windows? It’s not a contest. OS X Server is less expensive than Windows Server, and upgrades to Mac OS X’s latest version are always less expensive than Windows.
One could argue that Mac OS X is upgraded more often than Windows. Duh. But Mac users upgrade willingly.
#8 – Mac – Windows Mixture Reduces Costs
Many corporate IT departments have recognized the other financial benefits and have begun bringing in more Macs, rather than a wholesale swap of PCs.
Even that effort reduces costs for IT departments. So how is this really news to long-time, die-hard Mac users who’ve suffered through a decade or so of Windows domination? It’s not.
The real fun begins when analyzing the comments from CIO readers. These are hilarious. For example, “John in Missouri” writes:
“Macs are increasingly being found to be not quite as secure as touted.” The drivel goes on. Another guy chimed in with “Mac IT support costs 5-10x more than PC because corporate Mac specialists are extremely rare.”
The problem, of course, is that many computer users tend to mix religion and emotion with the real world of numbers, some of which are easy to quantify, others are not so easy. What’s also interesting the CIO magazine article are the responses of, guess who? Mac users in the corporate environment.
In nearly every case with the comments, the pro-Mac responses are reasonable, well thought out, considerate. The pro-Windows responses (and there are fewer than you may suspect) are more emotional.
This whole Mac vs. Windows controversy is not likely to disappear even as more Macs hit the mainstream, but the tide has turned. Though Macs and Mac users are a small minority, even Windows PCs users have come to believe that the Mac is superior and can save money.