Windows or macOS?

Innovative Technologies
Nate Work

Windows or macOS?

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Nate Work
October 14, 2022

When I offered to answer your big-picture IT questions a few weeks ago on Linked in, Christian Steiner came in with a whopper: Windows or macOS?

Two years ago, Apple released new MacBooks. Everyone raved about how fast, cool-running, and battery-sipping this processor was, so I bought my first MacBook on a lark, only to find out that everyone was right. The processor is all those things, which led to my MacBook becoming my daily driver.

Nevertheless, I don't recommend MacBooks to anyone in a business setting. Here are two reasons why, and they have a denominator in common: you work in a Microsoft world.

1. The first reason I don't recommend Macs is becoming less true every day, but let's start with it because it's the deal-breaker: all the good software is on Windows

Today, most of what people need to do on their personal (non-work) computers happens within their web browser, so it truly does not matter what type of computer they use. They could use a Chromebook and be just fine. There was a time that lots of sites required Windows-only add-ins, like Adobe Flash and Microsoft Silverlight, but thankfully those dependencies are long dead. 

While Christian didn't say it, I think he was asking, "Windows or macOS in business?"

At work, our employer, and in some cases, the industry our employer serves, determines which type of computer is appropriate.

For example, some industry-specific software titles, like AutoCAD and Revit in the architecture industry and dinosaurs like Time Matters in the legal field, show no sign of moving into the browser. 

Years ago, I had a discovery meeting with an architecture firm that was all Macs. Curious about what drafting software they were using, they revealed that they were running Windows virtual machines on their Macs; the architect bought Macs because their clients expected creatives to use Macs.

I suppose I can't argue with appealing to your client's expectations, but buying doubly powerful Macs to run macOS and Windows concurrently was a pricey proposition. (And those MacBooks still ran Windows slowly.) 

That's not to say that most software isn't available for macOS; most are. However, if you were a software developer writing one version for 90% of the business market and another for the remaining 10%, where would you focus your efforts?

2. They're not manageable without $$$.

Let's keep in mind that Christian asked his question of the owner of a managed IT services company, so let's talk about management 😀

The managed services providers (MSPs) industry exists to manage your computers. If MSPs (or internal IT) didn't exist, you'd send your new hires to Best Buy to procure, configure, secure, and troubleshoot the cheapest computer they could find on their own. Heck, some businesses still operate that way.

But for the rest of the world, small businesses hire an MSP to, you know, manage their networks. As I mentioned earlier, as much as I like my MacBook, I'm not blind to the fact that 90% of the business world runs Windows, and neither are the software developers that create the tools that MSPs and internal IT teams use to manage your PCs.

We use several incredible software tools to manage, automate, provision PCs, and manage software on our clients' PCs, but none of them let us do the same for Macs. 

Apple has a half-hearted solution, but it's not multi-tenant, so it doesn't fit the MSP business model. Other software developers like Jamf, Addigy, and JumpCloud have filled the void, but does a small business need the additional expense when Windows exists?

Perhaps you're an all-cloud operation with extra cash. If so, we'd be happy to manage your Macs 😉

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Windows or macOS?

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