Wednesday Dec 26, 2007

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.

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