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Mac small business share nearly triples over the summer

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 
Even as many home buyers recently suddenly became shy about buying Apple computers in mid-year, small businesses just as quickly took to Macs -- to the point where Apple's market share in that field grew three times larger almost overnight.

Reporting back to investors, Needham Co. analyst Charlie Wolf notes that Apple moved from selling just 61,000 Macs to small businesses in the spring to 188,000 in the three months of Apple's summer quarter ended in September.

The gain boosted Apple's share of the field from a modest 1.9 percent during the earlier season to a significant 5.6 percent in summer. It was enough to not only give Apple a new level of influence but also to carry the company through a tough period: where Mac shipments to regular home buyers suddenly cooled in growth from 53.6 percent quarter-to-quarter from the spring to just 9.1 percent in the summer, the small business spike represented nearly all of Apple's Mac growth at about 97 percent of systems leaving warehouses and shelves.

Such a rapid move is odd for Apple, which has often fought to make any headway in a normally Windows-dominated crowd; it's inexplicable enough that Wolf himself doesn't have a simplified answer.

"After years when the Mac's share of this market barely budged, the increase was so abrupt that there are no obvious explanations for it," he says.

The answer offered is instead a complex one based on Apple's long-term efforts. The cost-effectiveness of Mac OS X Server, Xserves, the Xsan storage system and Apple Remote Desktop all established a foundation but have themselves never made much of an impact.

It's rather a combination of software and retail that has given Apple the sudden rush of customers, the Needham researcher claims. With Boot Camp now a permanent feature as of Leopard and supported by the increasing use of Parallels Desktop and VMware Fusion -- both of which can now run Mac OS X virtual machines as well as Windows and Linux -- smaller companies can run a second operating system and ease the pain of converting some or all of their operations to the Mac platform.

Retail strategies are also seen helping the Mac's inroads. A large number of Apple retail shops now specifically include small business courses and also set aside greater resources as a whole just to these customers. That relatively new devotion to business has "begun to bear fruit," Wolf notes.

He also observes that Apple's sudden drop in overall growth during the summer, which also included education, is potentially just a very temporary glitch and hid an imminent rush.

While again the drop was mysterious enough to have no clear explanation, Wolf believes the flattened growth in Mac numbers may well have stemmed from customers waiting on expected new MacBooks that didn't ultimately ship until mid-October. This had a spring-loaded effect with sales in October compensating for the earlier drop.

Wolf further suggests the dip may have come from a sudden "fad" for netbooks that particularly affected students returning to college as well as concerns over then-high gas prices and recessionary fears.
post #2 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

While again the drop was mysterious enough to have no clear explanation, Wolf believes the flattened growth in Mac numbers may well have stemmed from customers waiting on expected new MacBooks that didn't ultimately ship until mid-October.

Nothing mysterious about this! Sales drop before an announcement as regular as clockwork, especially an announcement as overdue as the macbooks were.
post #3 of 43
Guess that means small business owners are three times smarter than big corp IT chiefs.
post #4 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by EyeNsteinNo View Post

Guess that means small business owners are three times smarter than big corp IT chiefs.

Nothing surprising or mysterious about that either
post #5 of 43
It's been a bad year for the resident Apple bashers in this forum. All the predictions of abject failure because of (insert favorite deal-breaking, must-have, no-go missing feature, port, or function) just haven't panned out for them. Sad, quite sad.
post #6 of 43
It's because small business owners have families, and their families use Macs at home and school, so they can see that Macs are good.

Big Corporate IT chiefs, on the other hand, have no families, and never even get outside. It's no wonder they're married to Windows.
post #7 of 43
I recently worked on an internal commercial for a small company that creates interactive graphics for kiosks.

In their office their desktops were all Dells. Because the development software they use runs on Windows. But they all had MacBook Pros and iPhones, for their portable needs.
post #8 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider

Wolf further suggests the dip may have come from a sudden "fad" for netbooks that particularly affected students returning to college as well as concerns over then-high gas prices and recessionary fears.


But are netbooks "just a fad"?

I dunno. Seems a bit early to tell.

Meanwhile, Gartner's saying 50 million netbooks might be shipped in 2012, FWTW:

http://www.pcpro.co.uk/news/217917/n...n-by-2012.html


...
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post #9 of 43
Many of the CIOs I visit have Mac notebooks and have had even pre-Intel I reckon most of this is consumer halo than platform shift. I wouldn't expect any major corporate invasion soon but for small-businesses they make sense.

Of course if you count MIS as a 'small business' within an enterprise the dynamic & the prospects become interesting for Apple. IT always swallows/kills IS after declaring it unsupportable & prone but what if the OSX systems were more reliable than the main IT systems? OSX offers functionality and inherent reliability right in MIS' sweet-spot. A chink in corporate IT's armour and one which Apple may be inclined to exploit.

McD
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post #10 of 43
At $200-$300, they aren't very difficult to sell. Will they make a profitable long term business is more the question.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post

.
Meanwhile, Gartner's saying 50 million netbooks might be shipped in 2012, FWTW:

...
post #11 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

At $200-$300, they aren't very difficult to sell. Will they make a profitable long term business is more the question.


More like $300-500, at least for the most popular ones I see over at Amazon.

Will it be a lasting market segment? We really don't know. But a major worldwide recession is a perfect environment for something like this to establish itself, no doubt.
Price will be a big deal for awhile... maybe not for us hardcore Apple maniacs, but for the consumer market as a whole? Yeah.

Will Apple choose to compete in this segment? Not conventionally, I'd think. Steve loves himself some margins. So if they did, you'd think it'd be with something more 'iPhone-y' than 'notebook-y', if you follow my drift.


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post #12 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post

Will Apple choose to compete in this segment? Not conventionally, I'd think. Steve loves himself some margins. So if they did, you'd think it'd be with something more 'iPhone-y' than 'notebook-y', if you follow my drift.
...

I agree, cocoa touch will power the 'netbook' when it arrives. I'm placing bets on early 2009, depending on which processor they are holding out for.
post #13 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The answer offered is instead a complex one based on Apple's long-term efforts. The cost-effectiveness of Mac OS X Server, Xserves, the Xsan storage system and Apple Remote Desktop all established a foundation but have themselves never made much of an impact.

I believe many of the small businesses Apple sells to are too small for XServes and XSAN.
A Mac mini makes a great server for many small businesses.
I would love to see Apple market the new mini as a small business server

Apple Remote Desktop is the best Apple product that the fewest people know about.
You would be amazed how many Mac users have no clue what it is or does.
If more people had a clue what it was, they would switch for it alone.
Currently there are two version of Apple Remote Desktop

$299 to manage 10 Macs
$499 to manage an unlimited # of Macs

If I was Steve, I would change this to 3 versions.

FREE to manage 2 Macs (optional install with OS X)
$299 to manage 25 Macs (the # of computers typically found in a classroom)
$499 to manage an unlimited # of Macs

The FREE version would be great for doing administration tasks at home or helping grandma remotely.
As people experience the power of Apple Remote Desktop, not only would Apple sell more copies but they would sell more Macs to schools and businesses.
post #14 of 43
As a small business owner, I can't imagine why a small business would buy an XServe or XSan. I shudder to think that OS X Server might be almost as bad as Windows SBS. The servers are all Linux if they aren't Windows by momentum. With Vista, I can see many small businesses shying away from a Windows server, but not (rationally) towards OS X Server.

Once apon a time, I was going to buy an XServe for our office; we needed a new file server and it fit the bill well enough. It was 10-20% more than an adequate Dell, but I saw value in being able to run up the street and get a spare if I needed. (Truth be told, on-site support is better piece of mind, but it takes time for a small business owner to come to grips with that.)

I skiped the OSX Server because it really didn't offer much that BSD or Linux already had. There were some nice GUI tools, and a few things were actually simplified enough to make them workable. Unfortunately, it wasn't thought out as a solid small-business network solution.

Personally, all we need is a file server with a hot standby. Adding in Asterisk and a Wiki with failover would make it great! Put everything in virtual machine containers and wow! But, alas... OS X tries to be all things to all people just like Windows.

On the laptop/desktop side though, OS X is great. It will take me time to convert more of the office due to little problems (Quick Books for OS X is awful, AutoCAD doesn't exist, and everybody hates my ._ files). Not having to deal with virus protection for Macs makes life good. The Unix core brings simple commonality between the servers and the workstations.

I'd say that the reason for the growth in this segment is fairly well understood.
post #15 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

A Mac mini makes a great server for many small businesses.
I would love to see Apple market the new mini as a small business server

After almost losing all our company records when our original Terastation failed after 366 days, I hope Apple doesn't try and emulate that type of hardware. Heck, that even had RAID5!

What I would love to see is a hot standby integration where two Mini's with 1TB drives can each have two gigabit LAN connections (LAN and Sync/heartbeat). Make it easy to sync and recover (Maybe a third Time Machine Mini?), and you have a fantastic solution.
post #16 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Even as many home buyers recently suddenly became shy about buying Apple computers in mid-year, small businesses just as quickly took to Macs -- to the point where Apple's market share in that field grew three times larger almost overnight.

And there goes the prize for the most awkward Lead ever! Impressive.

That aside - with this new found popularity amongst small business users can somebody please build a GOOD book keeping / accounting / inventory / program that is easy to use. Something that can deal with two tier tax (Canada). And most importantly, something that non accountants can use.
post #17 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

After almost losing all our company records when our original Terastation failed after 366 days, I hope Apple doesn't try and emulate that type of hardware. Heck, that even had RAID5!

What I would love to see is a hot standby integration where two Mini's with 1TB drives can each have two gigabit LAN connections (LAN and Sync/heartbeat). Make it easy to sync and recover (Maybe a third Time Machine Mini?), and you have a fantastic solution.

Exactly.
Two Mac minis and a real storage solution(Time Machine doesn't count).
I would like to see Apple make something like the DROBO but with FireWire and Gigabit Ethernet built in.

The Mac minis(iServes) should have solid state HDs for the OS and all the data on the iSAN.
post #18 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

After almost losing all our company records when our original Terastation failed after 366 days, I hope Apple doesn't try and emulate that type of hardware. Heck, that even had RAID5!

What I would love to see is a hot standby integration where two Mini's with 1TB drives can each have two gigabit LAN connections (LAN and Sync/heartbeat). Make it easy to sync and recover (Maybe a third Time Machine Mini?), and you have a fantastic solution.

The problem with solutions like Terastation is not having a full blown OS. Network appliances are not secure enough for any business.
A real data storage solution should always consist of at least two parts:
1- Server Computer
2- Data Storage device

Server Computer:
Always get hot-swappable drives and always install the OS internally on a RAID1 setup. This way you won't have to reinstall your server software and re-setup permissions or share-points if a drive should fail. Also if the hardware fails, you can pull the drives out and insert them in a new computer.
MacMini's uses notebook drives which are not server grade, they have a higher failure rate and the Mini cannot be setup as RAID1 for there is no space internally.

Data Storage Device:
Always get hot-swappable hardware RAID enclosures. Apple's recommendation in using the Promise system is a bad one, look into Winchester Systems. There are several ways to setup a secure RAID, the most secure is to create two RAID5's that Mirror each other and 2 live Failover drives in the same enclosure. DROBO is more of a workstation RAID than a server RAID.

Data Security:
If you decide to use OSX Server, be forewarned of Permission problems and be prepared to go through long long long periods of time without serious bug fixes. As a supplier, Apple is not dependable when it comes to server software. Having said that OS X Server has some excellent features, especially TimeMachine Server. While a RAID system will keep your data safe from hardware failures, TimeMachine will keep your data safe from files being accidentally erased. TimeMachine Server will also backup remote Macs (only); however, you may need to remount your TimeMachine sharepoint each time you restart your workstation because of Keychain issues that cropped up in OS X 10.5.

Always setup high-end file servers even for small businesses. Neither tape nor DVD backups are appropriate for a drive failure, they are ok in recovering lost files or keeping a copy of your data offsite for insurance purposes but not a practical one when your system fails.
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post #19 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post

More like $300-500, at least for the most popular ones I see over at Amazon.

Will it be a lasting market segment? We really don't know. But a major worldwide recession is a perfect environment for something like this to establish itself, no doubt.
Price will be a big deal for awhile... maybe not for us hardcore Apple maniacs, but for the consumer market as a whole? Yeah.

Will Apple choose to compete in this segment? Not conventionally, I'd think. Steve loves himself some margins. So if they did, you'd think it'd be with something more 'iPhone-y' than 'notebook-y', if you follow my drift.


...

I agree... we won't see anything like a 'conventional' netbook from apple. (it probably reminds steve too much of the emate), just as there is going to be no iTablet (in a MacOS desktop with touch interface sense). i think anything from apple will toss out the concept of simply shrinking a laptop.

instead we are slowly being hooked on the way things work on the iphone/ipod touch and once it's clear to everyone that there are better ways to do things on a handheld than simply transplanting a desktop metaphor when you have no desk, we will see that concept expanded. something that apple has some experience with.

i'd personally like an iphone with a screen size of the newton MP2000. Pair it with an Apple bluetooth keyboard and i wouldn't need to lug my laptop half the time... it's practically there. but a bigger screen would seriously help. oh yeah - and a decent headset - after all we still want to make phone calls.
post #20 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

I agree, cocoa touch will power the 'netbook' when it arrives. I'm placing bets on early 2009, depending on which processor they are holding out for.

Possibly an ARM-derivative of their own design?

Breaking Windows-compatibility would perhaps be a dealbreaker for biz, though. It would at the least have to be clearly marketed as not a Mac, since the assumption nowadays is that Macs can run windows perfectly well. Cocoa Touch could give that impression, I suppose. And the 'iBook' name is available now..
post #21 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

With Boot Camp now a permanent feature as of Leopard and supported by the increasing use of Parallels Desktop and VMware Fusion -- both of which can now run Mac OS X virtual machines as well as Windows and Linux -- smaller companies can run a second operating system and ease the pain of converting some or all of their operations to the Mac platform.

This makes it seem like the only reason more businesses are even looking at Macs is their ability to run Windows, rather than the merits of Apple hardware and Mac OS. So in effect, these people are buying Macs just to run Windows. If that's the case, don't expect third party developers to improve their Mac OS support any time soon.
post #22 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Haggar View Post

This makes it seem like the only reason more businesses are even looking at Macs is their ability to run Windows, rather than the merits of Apple hardware and Mac OS. So in effect, these people are buying Macs just to run Windows. If that's the case, don't expect third party developers to improve their Mac OS support any time soon.

Maybe the ability to run other OSs is just a comfort thing while people get to know & love OSX, just like on the desktop people will realise that the basic services on OSX are more than adequate for small businesses and offer quite a bit more (if you keep it Mac). The biggest barrier is for SMEs & Enterprises who'll try to shoe-horn the OSX server into existing logical/physical server models and wonder why the costs don't add up.

McD
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post #23 of 43
why would anyone fail to understand that the underlying cause of small businesses adopting mac is due to a halo effect of iPhone having Microsoft Exchange support.
fairly tortured attempt to explain a theorized drop due to netbooks also is bizarre logic.

by the way, apple does have a netbook. its called the iPhone.
post #24 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by niji View Post

by the way, apple does have a netbook. its called the iPhone.

And more-so the iPod Touch! Just bought a few as gifts but have been playing around with one and love the thing. The Touch, in my mind, is Apple's "Netbook Nano" and the "Netbook Pro" hasn't been released yet.

The "Netbook Pro" should be a combination iPod Touch/iPhone/Mac. Screen about 2x the iPod Touch size and able to run all Mac software, connect to keyboards, mice, displays, etc. and work as a complete touch device with a haptic virtual keyboard. 32GB flash storage minimum but upgradable to 64GB.
post #25 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

The problem with solutions like Terastation is not having a full blown OS. Network appliances are not secure enough for any business.
A real data storage solution should always consist of at least two parts:
1- Server Computer
2- Data Storage device

1- iServe
2- iRAID
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

Server Computer:
Always get hot-swappable drives and always install the OS internally on a RAID1 setup. This way you won't have to reinstall your server software and re-setup permissions or share-points if a drive should fail. Also if the hardware fails, you can pull the drives out and insert them in a new computer.
MacMini's uses notebook drives which are not server grade, they have a higher failure rate and the Mini cannot be setup as RAID1 for there is no space internally.

It has been rumored that the redesigned Mac mini due out in spring will have 2 internal SATA connectors.
RAID 2 SSDs in there and you have a very reliable piece of hardware.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

Data Storage Device:
Always get hot-swappable hardware RAID enclosures. Apple's recommendation in using the Promise system is a bad one, look into Winchester Systems. There are several ways to setup a secure RAID, the most secure is to create two RAID5's that Mirror each other and 2 live Failover drives in the same enclosure. DROBO is more of a workstation RAID than a server RAID.

The XServe RAID was trying to compete in a crowded market.
It was too much iron for most of small businesses to go for.
Apple needs something that straddles the Prosumer/Small Business segment.
I think DROBO is pretty close to what this market wants but needs the Apple integration.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

Data Security:
If you decide to use OSX Server, be forewarned of Permission problems and be prepared to go through long long long periods of time without serious bug fixes. As a supplier, Apple is not dependable when it comes to server software. Having said that OS X Server has some excellent features, especially TimeMachine Server. While a RAID system will keep your data safe from hardware failures, TimeMachine will keep your data safe from files being accidentally erased. TimeMachine Server will also backup remote Macs (only); however, you may need to remount your TimeMachine sharepoint each time you restart your workstation because of Keychain issues that cropped up in OS X 10.5.

Again OSX Server is good for small, small businesses not for larger more complicated setups.
Apple needs to target their server hardware and software toward the lower end of the market where their users are.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

Always setup high-end file servers even for small businesses. Neither tape nor DVD backups are appropriate for a drive failure, they are ok in recovering lost files or keeping a copy of your data offsite for insurance purposes but not a practical one when your system fails.

Agreed.
post #26 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

That aside - with this new found popularity amongst small business users can somebody please build a GOOD book keeping / accounting / inventory / program that is easy to use. Something that can deal with two tier tax (Canada). And most importantly, something that non accountants can use.

Don't use it myself, but have you tried MYOB? I'm starting to think that there just really isn't any good accounting software for non-accountants, period!
post #27 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by niji View Post

why would anyone fail to understand that the underlying cause of small businesses adopting mac is due to a halo effect of iPhone having Microsoft Exchange support.

Too quick, you could argue that iTunes/iPod has enabled Mac marketshare in the consumer space over many years but iPhone in the corporate space over many months? A shame to admit I think a better explanation is tax-dodging, the Macs being sold into small businesses are really consumer machines being slipped through the company books for tax rebates. I wonder how many of those 'businesses' have fewer than 10 Macs.

McD
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post #28 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

Don't use it myself, but have you tried MYOB? I'm starting to think that there just really isn't any good accounting software for non-accountants, period!

Judging from all the reviews / rants out there, you just may have a point. And yes, for me, the problem so far has been with 'accounting', and not 'software'.
post #29 of 43
Truly surprised, unless I missed it, that no one said VISTA. My wife has changed from a life-long peecee user and stated her intentions to get a MacBookPro at the beginning of 2009. She'll run Windows yet has been thinking of getting an iPhone as well (despite fingernails and the, dare I say it and start the fury - no cut & paste).

THIS is a huge shift in her thinking. I give "Vista" a big thanks for helping my wife make the shift and bring IT peace and happiness to my home!
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post #30 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

Don't use it myself, but have you tried MYOB? I'm starting to think that there just really isn't any good accounting software for non-accountants, period!

We've been using MYOB in our business since the mid-to-late 1990's and have stuck with it (even tho we can't stand it) simply because there are few alternatives. The vast bulk of our activity is done in OS X, and our little company owns & operates 23 different Macintosh computers, as well as a number of Windows machines. We've run our company on Macs since System 8.5. Mac for small business needs a few things desperately:

1. The OS needs to stop exporting .DS_Store files and other spurious tokens of organization and settings. While they're invisible to Mac users, Windows users can plainly see them. We use CleanArchiver to make ._ files disappear in zip archives but the OS really ought to be smarter about this. We have actually lost money because of these #@$%!^&*?/! files (a vendor couldn't access these files in a design folder, and so, not knowing what they were or if they were important or not, rather than working over the weekend as they had promised, they waited until Monday to ask us - meaning we missed our project milestone). It sucks making a CD for distribution. Stop exporting these, it just can't be that hard.

2. Equal or better compatibility with scanners, printers and postal meters. It's annoying when our el cheapo Win machines have access to advanced features in our scanners & printers that the expensive Macs in our office can't touch. And Pitney Bowes won't make a postal meter that works in OS X. Whether this is Apple's fault for not working more closely with these vendors or offering them free systems for compatibility testing, or code, or tossing resources at their software project or bonuses or whatever (like the myriad things Microsoft does to attract & support their 3rd party universe), or if it's the peripheral vendors fault for not making the investment, we don't care. We don't care whose fault it is! It just needs to get done.

3. Equal compatibility between Microsoft Office on Windows and Macintosh. We would pay $599 for an Office version that was exactly like Office on Windows.

4. An accounting program that doesn't suck, that is the same on Windows as it is on the Mac. Filemaker can do this, why can't some accounting software outfit? That way, we could export our books directly to our accountant for quarterly and end of year processing.

5. I really liked Johnny Mozzarella's idea for a free "lite" version of OS X Server. However, instead of 2, I would make this for 8 or 10 Users (not computers) - OS X or Windows. More Macs would get sold. If Apple could jam a 500 GB HDD into the Mini, they'd sell another 100k units to use as a file server.

6. Synching between Macs needs to be supported without a .Mac account or whatever they're calling it these days. We cannot put our confidential information up on the web to be hosted by a 3rd party, and we're not alone here. We've signed NDA's with customers that prohibit this. I want a robust, built-into-the-OS synching utility so after a long road trip, my MacPro desktop system's User folder(s) can be the same as the User folder(s) on my MacBook.

7. Copying files between folders should not overwrite existing files, except when synching. The act of moving a file or groups of files into a folder should behave as it does in Windows, adding to the folder, not replacing a file of the same name. This would make it so much easier for our day to day business.

8. Better compatibility between Preview & Acrobat in viewing/accessing PDF files. We've received many dozens of PDF's that Preview can't open but Acrobat on Windows can, and this is annoying because by and large, Preview is so much faster than Acrobat.

9. Better hooks/integration between Mail, iCal and Address Book. And while they're at it, make iCal easier - there's no reason why it has to take all these extra steps to edit an entry. The previous version of iCal was actually better.

10. Continue the awesome compatibility steps that have been taken of late with Exchange and expand this to Mail, iCal, Address Book & Outlook on Windows.

There are only a few things that Windows can do that our Macs cannot - and there are hundreds of things our Macs can do that Windows machines can't. I could not imagine running my business on anything other than OS X today. It just needs some fine tuning to make it a really powerful business instrument.
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post #31 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

The XServe RAID was trying to compete in a crowded market.
It was too much iron for most of small businesses to go for.
Apple needs something that straddles the Prosumer/Small Business segment.
I think DROBO is pretty close to what this market wants but needs the Apple integration.

While I agree with you that Apple should introduce a consumer level home server solution. I also believe that if Apple continued to improve on its server solution and made it more stable and Windows friendly, they would win over many IT people, and if IT endorses Apple products then Apple would have half their work cutout for them.
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post #32 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

Apple Remote Desktop is the best Apple product that the fewest people know about.
You would be amazed how many Mac users have no clue what it is or does.
If more people had a clue what it was, they would switch for it alone.
Currently there are two version of Apple Remote Desktop

$299 to manage 10 Macs
$499 to manage an unlimited # of Macs

If I was Steve, I would change this to 3 versions.

FREE to manage 2 Macs (optional install with OS X)
$299 to manage 25 Macs (the # of computers typically found in a classroom)
$499 to manage an unlimited # of Macs

I agree. I'm anxiously awaiting ARD 4. In fact ARD 4 would be a great time add the syncing features that matt_s (great post!) mentions.

A biz mini should come in two versions as well. One with a DVD drive and the other with two SATA ports and no optical drive. That way a RAID 1 mirror could be created with HDD or SSD (yummm).

Here's an interesting thought as well

ZFS and SSD to rule the storage world

Quote:
Originally Posted by Infrageeks

ZFS offers the ability to designate specific volumes as read and write caching devices and while the bigger SSD devices are beyond the budget of mere mortals for primary storage, prices are falling on some of the original devices in the 16-64Gb capacities.

Nifty ..I didn't know ZFS could do this read/write caching. Which leads us to

Quote:
Originally Posted by Infrageeks

It would be very interesting to take a 64Gb SSD as an embedded option, partitioned into two volumes. Then using ZFS you designate one for read caching, the other for write caching. Now instead of the paltry on disk cache measured in megabytes, you have say 16Gb for each. With the bonus that this is utterly transparent to the OS. Which means all of your applications get a speed boost, yet you don't have to sacrifice raw capacity as you would still use a regular SATA drive

What's the largest drive cache buffer 32MB? I'd like to see what kind of performance a setup like this would yield.
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post #33 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by matt_s View Post

1. The OS needs to stop exporting .DS_Store files and other spurious tokens of organization and settings. While they're invisible to Mac users, Windows users can plainly see them. We use CleanArchiver to make ._ files disappear in zip archives but the OS really ought to be smarter about this. We have actually lost money because of these #@$%!^&*?/! files (a vendor couldn't access these files in a design folder, and so, not knowing what they were or if they were important or not, rather than working over the weekend as they had promised, they waited until Monday to ask us - meaning we missed our project milestone). It sucks making a CD for distribution. Stop exporting these, it just can't be that hard.

Have you taken a look at these as possible solutions to the .DS_Store and dot underscore (AppleDouble) files?

1. http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1629 (Mac OS X 10.4: How to prevent .DS_Store file creation over network connections)

2. BlueHarvest: http://zeroonetwenty.com/blueharvest/ (system preference panel to prevent dot underscore files -- is shareware)
post #34 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by niji View Post

by the way, apple does have a netbook. its called the iPhone.

Your statement is silly.

Why would anybody need an iPhone? Everyone else already has an iPhone. It's called a telephone.

Who cares about having an address book? Everyone already has an address book. It's called a rolodex.

Who cares about iTunes? Everyone else already has iTunes. It's called a CD player.

Why should anyone buy a Mac? HP and Dell already sell Macs. They are called PCs.

Who needs Apple Mac OS? Microsoft already has Mac OS. It's called Windows.

Apple will not make a video iPod. Nobody wants to watch video on an iPod.

Apple will not make a mobile phone.

Apple will never switch to Intel processors.
post #35 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

I agree. I'm anxiously awaiting ARD 4.

What I would really like to see is support for multiple simultaneous Aqua sessions. Unix and Linux systems have been doing this for a while with X11 and remote displays. Windows has something called Terminal Server in which GUI applications run on a server and display on a user's screen. This is true multiuser support, not just remote control. While Mac OS is touted as a multiuser system, that's only true if you are connecting to an SSH session using the command line. Even with fast user switching, only one user can be actually using GUI applications on the Mac.
post #36 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by McDave View Post

Maybe the ability to run other OSs is just a comfort thing while people get to know & love OSX

What chance is there of people "getting to know & love OSX" if they spend their time running Windows on Macs? If they spend their time running Boot Camp, Parallels or VMWare full screen all day, what incentive is there for these people to even touch Mac OS? And what reason is there for IT departments or application developers to provide better support for Mac OS?
post #37 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by matt_s View Post

3. Equal compatibility between Microsoft Office on Windows and Macintosh.
4. An accounting program that doesn't suck, that is the same on Windows as it is on the Mac.
7. Copying files between folders should not overwrite existing files, except when synching. The act of moving a file or groups of files into a folder should behave as it does in Windows, adding to the folder, not replacing a file of the same name. This would make it so much easier for our day to day business.
9. Better hooks/integration between Mail, iCal and Address Book. And while they're at it, make iCal easier - there's no reason why it has to take all these extra steps to edit an entry. The previous version of iCal was actually better.

Good points Matt.

I agree, iCal in Tiger was WAYYYY more efficiently designed and user-friendly -- Elegant, info instantly available, visible, editable. In fact, I dreaded making and changing any appointment items in iCal Leopard, what with no side-bar-drawer panel and always having to deal with tiny buttons to make little popup windows open and close. W[tf]WTT. Truly, iCal Leopard is a total disaster. I have sent several iCal FEEDBACKS - I encourage others who hate the current design to do likewise. (hmm, looks like I have an opinion on this issue

Absolutely, the functionality and inter-cross-platform results of Win Word and Mac Word should be identical. Having just helped one client agonize over using MacWord 2008 in a setting where all others were using WinWord 2007 was unbelievably harder than it should/could have been. (all using the new docx format)

Ditto on cross platform accounting app.

I have always felt that the method and info in Windows file copies was (sad to say) better than Mac. You were always presented with info on each files size, date so one could make a rational choice about which to copy. And Windows has 3rd-party copy apps (encopy) that do even more. Nothing on Mac side since demise of ... what was it called now ... Copyagent ... on OS9.
(not to say that all aspects of win file management are better -- just some.)
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post #38 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by elroth View Post

It's because small business owners have families, and their families use Macs at home and school, so they can see that Macs are good.
Big Corporate IT chiefs, on the other hand, have no families, and never even get outside. It's no wonder they're married to Windows.

elroth,
I think there may be more truth than initially apparent in this...
not to say that all big corporations are like dilbert-land (though, many of the ones I have worked for are embarrassingly like dilbert's).

I suspect that there is a lot of Mac ripple-effect from family and school use of Macs, iMacs, iPods, etc.
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post #39 of 43
Perhaps small businesses strapped for cash are looking for less expensive IT solutions, and are finally giving Macs a chance. It makes a difference when you don't have to hire/contract a whole IT staff to support your computers, when a couple of specialists can handle the workload. I personally supported a special county staff of 50+ Macs for five years that were used for creating reading materials for state schools.

It was so profitable, the county took over the operation, abolished my position, and reassigned their Mac support to the county's IT department, since I proved that the Macs didn't really require all that much support, just routine maintenance and reliable backups. With that realization beginning to sink in, it should be fun seeing whether the county now attempts to replace the Macs with Windows PCs, or faces up to the low support costs of the Macs to keep their IT operational costs in check.

- Dave Marsh
iMac Intel 27" 3.4GHz, iPadĀ Air 64GB, iPhone 5 32GB

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- Dave Marsh
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post #40 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Young View Post

Good points Matt.

I agree, iCal in Tiger was WAYYYY more efficiently designed and user-friendly -- Elegant, info instantly available, visible, editable. In fact, I dreaded making and changing any appointment items in iCal Leopard, what with no side-bar-drawer panel and always having to deal with tiny buttons to make little popup windows open and close. W[tf]WTT. Truly, iCal Leopard is a total disaster. I have sent several iCal FEEDBACKS - I encourage others who hate the current design to do likewise. (hmm, looks like I have an opinion on this issue

Absolutely, the functionality and inter-cross-platform results of Win Word and Mac Word should be identical. Having just helped one client agonize over using MacWord 2008 in a setting where all others were using WinWord 2007 was unbelievably harder than it should/could have been. (all using the new docx format)

Ditto on cross platform accounting app.

I have always felt that the method and info in Windows file copies was (sad to say) better than Mac. You were always presented with info on each files size, date so one could make a rational choice about which to copy. And Windows has 3rd-party copy apps (encopy) that do even more. Nothing on Mac side since demise of ... what was it called now ... Copyagent ... on OS9.
(not to say that all aspects of win file management are better -- just some.)

Thanks so much - iCal in Leopard takes 3 steps to edit an entry, while iCal in Tiger took 1. To me, that's not progress, that's not making advances in a "modern" OS.

Another example: Mail Tiger, Edit>Set Link. Hey, you're done! Mail Leopard, Edit>Link>Add. Why inject another layer of mousing about? This is truly stupid (sorry, Apple, but it's boneheaded). No one needs "Remove Link" - you just delete it, like everyone else does. Who thinks of this crapola back in Cupertino?

We firmly believe that copying files to a folder with same name files in OS X is a bug. Files should not be overwritten, period. Never, ever, ever. To us, this is lazy code writing. Apple will tell you that this is not a bug, it's the way it should behave. But to our thinking, and the vast number of folks in the code writing business, it's horsepucky.

OS X is awesome as a business tool. But we have to have equal treatment on printers and scanners and the only entity who has the power to make this happen is Apple itself. Please get off your fat ass and go into the market and make this happen!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!!
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