Editorial: Macs Slipping Into the Enterprise

Ah, Christmas.  I love this time of year.  This is when I get to wrap up some longstanding questions in my overflowing blog mailbag.  Here's an answer to a fun cluster of emails about my new laptop.

MacBook Pro: Screenshot of laptop images from Apple's MacBook Pro website

I was carrying a new MacBook Pro laptop around at the OAUG Collaborate and OpenWorld conferences this year.  This prompted a number number of questions to which I've been procrastinating on replying.

Never Took The Easy Road

But first, some context.  I'm a power user and developer.  I've been a Windows developer since its initial release, and as a a former IBMer, an OS/2 developer as well.  Before that I was an MS-DOS programmer, and long before that I was hand-coding 6502 assembler in hex on a KIM-1. Apple computers were intriguing, but aside from a short period when I wrote an inventory system on an Apple II, lay on a road less traveled by me. I've owned literally dozens of Windows PCs and laptops.

Somewhere along the way, unnoticed by me, Apple's operating system grew up.  Then Apple really got my attention when they switched to Intel chips.

A Windows User in an Apple World

Despite the ballyhoo that the press likes to make about Oracle's competition with Microsoft, Oracle is a staunchly-Windows environment.  It was with some trepidation that I purchased my first MacBook Pro (with my own funds) last year.

You know what?  All the hype is true.  As a long-time (hardcore) Windows developer and power user, I can only say that Mac OS X is a dazzling eye-opener.  It's easier to use, slicker, has lower systems administration overhead, and is demonstrably stabler and more secure.  New Leopard features like Time Machine are, indeed, as revolutionary and as good as the hype.  I now understand the sentiment that turns some Mac users into Apple zealots.

An Apple User in a Windows World



I run native Mac applications where possible. Where it's necessary for my work, I run all of my Windows-based applications on my Mac, too.  My MacBook Pro is the best Windows PC I've ever had.

I run WinXP using VMWare's Fusion (no relationship to Oracle's own Fusion Applications), which provides me with a stabler and more-robust Windows environment than my Oracle-issued Dell.  If I want to experiment with some sketchy Windows betas, I copy my base WinXP image to a sandbox and play there.  I simply delete the sandbox when I'm done.

I can run multiple virtual sessions of WinXP and Linux side-by-side on my Mac OS desktop.  This makes for an astonishingly elegant and powerful computing experience.

My anecdotal impression is that I'm not alone.  I see more of my colleagues carrying Macs instead of their Oracle-sanctioned Dells, and even Intel's CEO admits that he uses a Mac.  Macs seem to be slipping into the enterprise faster than before.

I've now been an Apple user for over a year.  The number of newly-acquired Macs in my household has shot up alarmingly.  At this point, I see no reason to recommend a conventional PC when you can purchase a Mac that runs both Windows and Mac software side-by-side. And here's a final confession that shouldn't make any difference to an IT professional like me (but does): it's simply more fun to run Mac OS X than Windows.

Related
Disclaimer:  Although I am clearly enthusiastic about Apple products, this does not represent Oracle's endorsement of my opinions. This is an editorial, and as such, reflects only my opinion, not Oracle's.  In the interest of full disclosure, you should know that I have been sufficiently impressed by my experience with Apple's products to purchase some AAPL stock along the way, too.

Comments:

Steven,

I just purchased a Mac Pro yesterday. Great minds must think alike. Given that I was up and running in less than 1 hour was amazing.

And no Vista issues to deal with...:-)

Hope your holidays were great - I look forward to 2008

thx,
John

Posted by John Stouffer on December 27, 2007 at 01:44 AM PST #

We had a new hire in June of this year who asked for a MAC instead of Corp痴 standard laptop (Dell). My manager had to fight to get him the MAC. As it turned out, he partially became an exhibiter and got so many enviers?

We witnessed all the nice features mentioned/not mentioned in your editorial. In comparison, a lot of us still carry a case with wheels for laptops. Dell痴 power cord for these power user laptops is heavier than weights. We need to get rid of them before we move into wireless age. Hopefully, your opinions influence decision makers and make the changes happen quicker.

Posted by Jennifer Chen on December 27, 2007 at 02:45 AM PST #

John,Glad to hear that your holiday season included a new Mac.  Congratulations -- I look forward to hearing about your experiences with it.Regards,Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on December 27, 2007 at 03:56 AM PST #

Hi, Jennifer,Your manager is unusual; most folks with purchasing authority consider the often-daunting task of fighting against established PC configurations and resign themselves to the status quo.Your industry is particularly interesting.  I was intrigued by this recent Forbes article:Apples for the ArmyI think there's a lot of truth in the biological theory of monoculture weakness, so I'm pleased to see that this is being considered in the defense industry.Regards,Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on December 27, 2007 at 04:01 AM PST #

Hi Steven,

Nice to hear that you're a part of the Enterprise Apple crowd. :-) I've been using a MacBook Pro as my primary workstation for almost 2 years, and I love it. Even as a DBA, I'll go for several days without having to fire up a Parallels or VMware VM to do my work.

Have a great new year!

Regards,

John P.

Posted by John Piwowar on December 28, 2007 at 08:04 AM PST #

Hi, John,I considered going the Mac Pro route, largely based on seeing this picture of Al Gore's workspace:http://www.tuaw.com/2007/05/20/rig-of-the-week-al-gores-setup/After I priced it out, I realized that I needed an ex VP's salary, too.  ;-)  Maybe one day...Regards,Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on December 31, 2007 at 02:41 AM PST #

http://www.quickbooksgroup.com/webx/forums/mac/1917

Posted by blablabla on January 14, 2008 at 08:34 AM PST #

So what are the plans for certifying Oracle 11i with MAC OS 10.5.6 and Safari 3.x and/or 4?

Posted by matt on August 04, 2009 at 11:46 PM PDT #

Matt,

We're having some challenges getting with the EBS 11i certifications for Safari 3 and 4 certified. This is due to the very elderly nature of EBS 11i's underlying Oracle9i Application Server 1.0.2.2.2 middle-tier components.

We're looking into what's needed to get past those roadblocks now.

You can help me strengthen our business case for this by providing details about:

* Your EBS release and products used
* Number of Mac clients
* OS X versions deployed
* Browsers versions deployed

It's likely little consolation, but EBS 12 is moving along relatively faster due to its dependency on the latest Oracle Application Server 10g components. See this announcement from earlier this week:

Safari 3 Certified on Mac OS X for E-Business Suite Release 12 - http://blogs.oracle.com/stevenChan/2009/08/safari_3_certified_on_mac_os_x_ebs12.html

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on August 06, 2009 at 03:44 AM PDT #

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