IBM Begins Move to Apple Mac OSX Desktops and Laptop

  • IBM has disclosed that they are making the switch from Windows to Mac OSX for their internal infrastructure. IBM claims that they have seen a massive drop in the helpdesk needs of the organization as they make the move with helpdesk needs for Windows being at 40% for Windows users and just 5% for Mac OSX users. Of course the article also refers to Windows as "PC" as if Mac OSX is not 100% PC computing while Windows is only mostly PC computing - clearly whoever wrote the article is not aware of the terms that they are throwing about which tends to make the article suspect as it lacks technical and journalistic rigor even in the title!

    The article points out that IBM is deploying Mac OSX devices at a rate of 1,900 per week. It also suggests that the move to Mac OSX is optional, which alone would explain the shift in helpdesk calls as the leading edge of voluntary users moving to their own OS of choice would always be expected to have many fewer helpdesk needs.

  • According to the quote in the article, IBM is making money on each install, not just saving money. So there is, if that is true, some kickback mechanism in place to encourage IBM to deploy Macs that is not being disclosed. Maybe Apple wanted the publicity and is paying them to roll them out or that management software firm is doing it. But that statement leads me to think that there is something fishy going on.

  • I was at IBM when they decided to move away from Windows in 2000 because of a licensing dispute with Microsoft. IBM tried to stick with OS/2 and Windows 98 that they already had licensed and make it as long as they could while looking at other options. My department happily moved to Linux and had a great experience (because I was in charge of the department we didn't have to look at further, Caldera Linux just worked for us.)

    Over time, IBM failed to figure out how to get Lotus Notes working everywhere and caved to Microsoft because their culture just wasn't technical enough to handle doing anything but Windows. They gave in and paid Microsoft and were able to move to the Windows NT world.

    IBM at that point already had a history of being atrocious in managing their desktops. Well into the early 2000s they were using ridiculously outdated gear. Imagine what it was like running on Windows 95, Windows 98 and for a lucky few, Windows NT 4 (from 1996) with 4Mb/s Token Ring in 2001 - at the same time that other companies were rolling out Windows XP! The gap between what IBM was doing and what people had been doing at home for many years was staggering.

    Not sure that IBM's ideas of what works or doesn't work on the desktop is something that I would be looking too closely at. They only ran what they did because they were manufacturing it for a long time. I suspect that if you look that they have been using Lenovo gear since that time, no wonder Apple seems like a reasonable alternative.

  • Which brings up an interesting point, this means that IBM has abandoned Lenovo, their long term partner and the owner of the old IBM brand. So, in a way, IBM no longer runs IBM! Which is not that shocking, since even in 2000 - 2001 they relied on Sun to provide their servers instead of eating their own dogfood.

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