Originally Posted by otwayross
i'd be actually interested to hear what "real" business people
have to say about the way this MB update has been done
and about purchasing apple products (hardware and software) and trying to keep them up to date.
I don't know what you mean by keeping them up to date. Most business don't try to keep a current product up to date. In fact, that's the last thing they want to do.
They don't want features they won't use. The more there are, the more problems there are.
i can tell you (from experience on very large, very high budget projects) that
1. just because a company's big (or makes a big profit) in no way means they do things well or the best they can
2. business is (should be) about communication, and you don't communicate to partners (read peripheral makers) by.... not communicating with them.
If Apple was serious about replacing FW then they'd do it properly - as in firstly come up with a replacement, then do a SJ "this is the next best thing" meeting, allow a period of overlap (arguably what their doing with the whitebooks - except there is no replacement...) and on the side (preferably earlier), warn the peripheral makers what's coming so that they can adapt quickly.
I know this is going to be flamed by the fanboys - but they'll take what they're given, make a little noise then still buy - either because they're locked in, or they still think Apple's cool...
However if there's anyone out there from a business that's ever considered buying a significant quantity of Macs (significant = whatever would seriously hurt your business if you had to replace them and the software with another brand.) Can you please tell us what you think of Apple's 'non-communicative' attitude... Does business have more or less confidence in Apple after these kinds of moves?
We're already heard from some schools in this thread...
Do we think Apple's doing themselves a service with this approach? OK it's nothing new, but at the same time as trying to break into the business market, they seem to be shooting themselves in the foot with their lack of communication.
You could simply respond that FW is irrelevant for business... or that MBs are irrelevant for business... but that would be avoiding the issue. The attitude towards FW shows Apple's way of doing product upgrades is hard to predict - which is the last thing any business needs at this point.
Or can large businesses have the confidence to invest heavily in Apple hard/software while Apple actively attempts to maintain a hard/software monopoly ? (Which makes all users all the more susceptible to product changes since there is no alternative without significant re-investment and wasted time.)
Those are legitimate concerns.
But Apple goes its own way. Is it right or is it wrong? Well, it's not for us to say. We can only comment on what we think is best for US. The fact that Apple is very successful the past several years shows us that.
Remember, that while Apple may be positioning itself slightly more for large business than they have before, Jobs said (right after he came back to Apple and was asked about big business) "The enterprise is not our customer"?
When businesses buy into Apple, they know that, and shrug it off. If they can't deal with it, they don't. It's that simple.
It does seem that Apple is slowly moving back into that space. A couple of years ago, Apple had 2% of the business market (in the USA). Now, it's 4.5% That's small, but it's more than doubled. It will continue to increase as students graduate and move into the work force. Everything I read in the business journals say that the employees are taking greater control of the equipment they use, and that IT, is bowing to the pressure. With about 50% of college students buying either Macbooks or Macbook Pros for school, that trend will only increase. In addition, almost a third of professors are also using Macs. That's been increasing as well.
I think that the idea behind Snow Leopard is partly due to the business question. Apple wants to streamline the OS to make it more easily upgradable, and to work better on todays increasingly core-centric machines. business, much more so than consumers is interested in efficiency. This will go a long way towards that.
It's certainly correct that very big companies screw up. We only have to look around us to see the environment that we are in economically to know that's true.
I do also think that Apple is looking further down the road where FW becomes unimportant for the vast majority of users. That's certainly tough for those who need it now. But, while I've said that the MBP thing is tiring, it's also true. I can, in the end, only go back to what I said earlier. If you really don't need a new machine, then don't buy one. People don't need excess to what works well. That doesn't mean that people won't want the coolest thing around (even though they're loath to admit to it).
However, in business, we buy what we do need. If we can't buy a Macbook, then we buy a Macbook Pro, like it or not. I often would have preferred to buy smaller, less expensive, towers from Apple, but they didn't make them, so I bought Powermacs (we sold the business before the switch to Intel). My machines at home are now 24" iMacs for my family, who finds them to be fine, but I'm looking forward to a new Mac Pro. If they had something smaller, I might buy it, but they don't. It's either that, or move to Windows, which I won't do.
You have to decide what's most important to you, and do that.
In the long run, the money isn't that important to a business. If the size and weight do matter, that's another thing, but if you are lugging much other equipment around, as I often had to, then the difference between the MB and the MBP is nothing.
Really, all the other arguments are irrelevant to you.