back to article GE goes with Apple: Not the Transformation you were looking for, Satya?

While Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella trots the world plugging his book on “transformation”, some of the biggest enterprises in the world are “transforming” themselves ... away from Microsoft. Industrial giant General Electric employs 330,000 staff world wide, and can be considered one of the more conservative businesses. But …

  1. }{amis}{ Silver badge
    Mushroom

    ArrrrrG!!!

    As a windows dev the entire platform has been wondering around like a stoned zombie, no direction and no purpose for ages, except an insatiable hunger for what it does not know. Braiinzz Clooooud Moooobile........

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ArrrrrG!!!

      Tell me about it...

      No, don't. I'm living it too. I've started to "embrace" Linux at home - if I need to learn something new (again), I might as well do it for good.

      1. Mark 110 Silver badge

        Re: ArrrrrG!!!

        I've tried and failed. I can't even get basic things like DLNA working properly on my laptop if I boot i8nto Linux (downvote away). Not like I don't want to - just too old and stuck in my ways.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: ArrrrrG!!!

          You obviously haven't got what it takes. Stick with Windows.

        2. nijam

          Re: ArrrrrG!!!

          > ... just too old and stuck in my ways.

          Like DLNA itself, then.

    2. big_D Silver badge

      Re: ArrrrrG!!!

      Macs aren't much better. The Pros seem to be losing the "Pro" features each year.

      The current MacBook Pro is dreadful, I set one up for my daughter. The keyboard has to be the worst I've ever experienced, there is so little travel and it just feels terrible. They'd have been better off building an iPad into the base to use as a keyboard.

      The lack of touch and pen support is also bewildering in 2017 on a supposedly high end pro machine. I love the 360° hinge on my laptop and using the pen in OneNote and graphical applications feels so natural, compared to the MacBook.

      I have also always found the mouse / pointer in MacOS to be not exactly laggy, but imprecise, I'm not sure what it is, but Windows and Linux certainly feel smoother. I've used Macs on-again-off-again since 1987 and it was better than Windows in many areas for a long time, especially for creative tasks, but they seem to have lost the plot in the last 6 or 7 years.

      1. arthoss

        Re: ArrrrrG!!!

        my MBR is super smooth, 5y old, up-to-date, including parallels for WinX daily use (in coherence mode). About the mouse, I've had that problem with all logitech wireless mice on macOS, but not with original apple mice - on mac logitech is trying to solve a non existent problem with their wireless receiver. Besides, a mouse on macOS only trumps the magic trackpad at 2+ big screens, get it - since it's the 21st century! A bit stuck in the past, aren't we - think different eh?

      2. jelabarre59 Silver badge

        Re: ArrrrrG!!!

        They'd have been better off building an iPad into the base to use as a keyboard.

        Watch out, they might come out with the MacBook Wheel.

      3. OffBeatMammal

        Re: ArrrrrG!!!

        agree on the keyboard. it's pretty horrible which is why I ended up putting a new battery and bigger SSD in my old Macbook Air to keep it alive!

        I actually worked at MS for about 8 years all told, and managed to use a Mac as my daily machine (even though I had no real justification!) most of the time... and in the last few years it was a better machine to run Windows (even via Fusion) than the Surface Pros

        One of the great things about the Macs is standardization ... at my new place of work I can walk into any conference room or hot-desk area and there's a USB-C and a Magsafe connector on every desk. To do the same across the wide range of PCs is near impossible. Surface has done a good job keeping their connector consistent, but Sony, HP, Acer, Lenovo etc over the years I ended up with a collection of model-specific power bricks.

        1. big_D Silver badge

          Re: ArrrrrG!!!

          On the other hand, most large companies will standarise on a single brand of computer and will therefore have standarised docking stations, power adapters and video cables.

          But the new generation laptops all seem to be moving towards USB-C.

  2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    And why should that surprise us?

    Most of us know this already - Windows TCO is godawful.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And why should that surprise us?

      Sure, most users believe they know how to use Windows, and will cripple their office machine installing the software they need (especially those like Chrome that attempts to install anywhere). Give them a Mac or Linux machine and they will be humbled down to just use the default applications because they don't know how to do anything else. Seen more than once.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: And why should that surprise us?

        Give them a Mac or Linux machine and they will be humbled down to just use the default applications because they don't know how to do anything else.

        Weird, we've seen the exact opposite. The gist of the article is old news for us - I personally stumbled across this TCO truth by accident some 7 or 8 years ago during research, and we have since not only turned this into evidence, but also into a business converting organisations.

        One of the main issues with a conversion is getting people used to a slightly different UI and keyboard layout, but in our experience it takes less than a month before that subsides. What is permanent, however, is the expressed dislike to return to Windows once staff have worked with macOS. Despite sometimes being faced with new applications, the UI is so consistent that users end up educating themselves, also because Time Machine allows them to wind the clock back if they have screwed up (although we found versioning a bridge too far). It's not just usable, it's nice.

        Is it perfect? Nope. Nothing is. But compares so well to Windows in both usability and TCO that it has become a no-brainer for companies that know about numbers. Case in point: private banks.

        Seen more than once.

        We have yet to come across that. If anything, we have to set up a budget. We're also testing SetApp subscriptions which allows users to choose from a menu of apps which they can install and de-install at will (Aeon Timeline, for instance, seems to intrigue people).

        1. LDS Silver badge

          "One of the main issues with a conversion"

          I wasn't talking about converting user to a different OS, they will adapt when forced. I was talking about support calls. Many of the support calls are from users who crippled their systems because they made not authorized changes. Because most users have Windows at home - far fewer one a Mac or Linux systems - there's a good chance they will attempt to modify their work PC when it is a Windows one. Then, when issues arises, they will try to delete their mess and call support.

          Give them a Mac or Linux system, and there are good chances they don't know how to modify it - you will not train them that much while converting them-, they won't attempt to bring their petty software from home, and often don't even know what to use to replace their personal Windows applications.

          Of course, there is also the malware issue, far less support calls because someone infected a system because it plugged in an infected disk, or got one online.

        2. nijam

          Re: And why should that surprise us?

          > The gist of the article is old news for us

          And here. About 15 years we assessed TCO of WIndows+PC as roughly triple that of Mac.

        3. enormous c word

          Re: And why should that surprise us?

          @AC "What is permanent, however, is the expressed dislike to return to Windows once staff have worked with macOS. Despite sometimes being faced with new applications, the UI is so consistent that users end up educating themselves"

          Skinned Apps broke windows - All you GUI desigers *innovated* the platform into un-usability.

          1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

            Re: And why should that surprise us?

            "Skinned Apps broke windows"

            Windows has always been weak on GUI consistency compared to Mac.

            Just look at Windows 10, even in the year 2017 there is loads of junk under the hood that behaves in no way like the Windows 10 is supposed look and feel. Sometimes there is single click, sometimes double click, sometimes back out to commit change, sometimes a commit (OK) button. And so on. And that's MS's own stuff.

            If MS themselves never got their act together, you can't expect the independent application developers to do so.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: And why should that surprise us?

          Thanks for the pointer to Aeon. We've been looking for a better visual timeline app - Aeon looks interesting.

    2. big_D Silver badge

      Re: And why should that surprise us?

      I've worked at several companies with mixed fleets of Windows and Mac PCs. I can't really say that Windows has caused more problems / calls than the Macs. Different sorts of calls, maybe, but in general the levels on both sides of the fence were similar.

      Mac users also tend to be more obstinate. I had one case, where a Mac froze solid, the user rang up and wanted somebody to come and unfreeze it. I told her, the only option was to turn it off and turn it back on. She didn't want to hear that and when I eventually got to her desk and informed her that, no, I couldn't rescue her document, any unsaved changes were lost (I even tried the debug interrupt button on the side of the case, but it was well and truly frozen solid) and threw the power switch, she got straight onto the phone to the head of IT to complain, because you can't lose work on a Mac... :-S

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: And why should that surprise us?

        she got straight onto the phone to the head of IT to complain, because you can't lose work on a Mac... :-S

        That comes from a trend of people to glorify machines and platforms - we have seen the same with Windows where a senior manager wants to convert EVERYTHING to Windows because he's a Microsoft fan for reasons unknown (if they play golf it's not that hard to guess).

        We stick to the cold numbers, as our customers do. If you add it all up, Microsoft is not the best platform to use as desktop nor as back end and hasn't been for some time. If you make your back end fully open standards (RFC) compliant, it renders what you use as desktop less relevant and you can just look at the TCO of the various platforms involved. For a commercial desktop, macOS is at present well ahead and if anyone wants to use a Linux desktop, well, that works too.

      2. 45RPM Silver badge

        Re: And why should that surprise us?

        @big_D

        In fairness, in my experience, crashes on Macs (and Linux) tend to be caused by faulty memory (which is cold comfort on many modern Macs where the memory is permanently soldered to the main board). Losing work is harder though and for two main reasons - firstly, Time Machine, which works for all software of course but only if the user remembers to plug in their backup drive or connect to a network which has a Time Capsule of some kind on it.

        Secondly, software which uses Apple’s APIs (NSDocument in particular), is very well protected against crashes. You can try it for yourself if you’re feeling brave and you have a desktop Mac to hand. Create a document in something like TextEdit, Pages or Numbers (to choose software that every Mac user will have) and bang out some text. Then yank the power. Don’t shut down. Just pull the power. Then turn the computer on - and, after a spot of grumbling, everything will open up again and your cursor will be flashing away at the point it was when you terminated your machine so ruthlessly. You might not have every last character - but it’ll be damned close.

        Sadly that last trick doesn’t work in Microsoft Office, which is probably the most popular work suite on the Mac - particularly in a business environment, since Microsoft eschews Apple’s APIs in favour of its own.

        1. big_D Silver badge

          Re: And why should that surprise us?

          Windows has had its equivalent of Timemachine for years. We actually use it as part of the backup strategy on the file servers, for example. The first line of defence against damage or deletion is VSS, then the Veeam snapshots, then the Veeam backups and if that fails, a tape restore.

          On the client front, if Windows crashes (a very rare occurrence these days, my Windows machines crash about as often as the Macs and Linux machines I use - once in a blue moon), Office has been able to recover with little or no data loss for over a decade and with the current versions (Office 365 Excel and PowerPoint), there should be no data loss if it crashes, as it supposedly saves every change "in real time" with autosave, the same as OneNote.

          As to viruses and users changing configuration, as mentioned elsewhere in this thread, I can only say that I have been lucky so far. I have had one user with a virus problem in the last 20 years - it was a new crypto virus that slipped through - we get about 2 or 3 notifications every day about viruses being removed from emails and 5 cases of viruses being quarantined in the last 3 months (150 PCs).

          All of the PCs are closed down so that users have no admin rights to change things themselves and with GPs you can restrict things even further. I don't think we've had a single case of a user screwing things up on their PC since I started here.

      3. arthoss

        Re: And why should that surprise us?

        and she's right, because the OS supports that. But depending on the application she used to edit her document. Word for Mac doesn't do it but Pages does - never lost data there when having crashes. Sometimes the crash happened while not being at the desk and the only way I see that is by noticing that the VPN is broken - the rest is there as before.

      4. Blotto Bronze badge

        Re: And why should that surprise us?

        @big D

        Most modern Mac apps will restart where they left off, yes even mid sentence even after a hard power pull restart.

        Boots up, login and reopens the app right where you left it before the forced restart.

        Even does it with a normal restart.

        I wish Windows did that. It’s a pain having to restart due to frequent os updates. It’s a pain having to save my work, close office apps, close those temp notepads reboot and then try and reopen all th3 apps and docs I had open before.

    3. jelabarre59 Silver badge

      Re: And why should that surprise us?

      Most of us know this already - Windows TCO is godawful.

      Not so bad for me; I just wait for the MSWin users to get disgusted with their old kit, and when they replace them I get the old kit at cheap or free. The I load Linux on them and All is happy-happy (well, except for the Optiplex 390 that has run like shit with everything).

  3. Mage Silver badge

    Mac and iPhone

    It's not that it's good value, but Windows has become a sick joke that damages productivity, to the point were buying Mac is really cheaper and even Linux as a desktop, not just as a server, is being considered.

    Problem is not Adobe or even MS Office, but SOHO and SME using Sage, payroll, CRM etc that is only on Windows. One "cloud" based CRM stupidly needs "Silverlight". At least they plan to migrate to HTML5.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mac and iPhone

      You want to try using InTune. Admin interface is silverlight only.

      <rolls eyes>

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mac and iPhone

      We're examining SuiteCRM now - it's SugarCRM without the nonsense. Runs on a LAMP stack so you can stick it on practically anything, worst case even on a Windows box.

      As for Sage, there is Sage for Mac now. I guess there was just too much demand due to all sorts of companies switching.

    3. quxinot

      Re: Mac and iPhone

      Imagine the money MS could make if they decided to really focus on their core business (Windows and Office), instead of trying to chase companies like Google and Facebook.

      I wonder if, when Satya gets canned, the next guy will refocus the business on returning to their core business. I'm sure that Win11 won't be perfect, but it could so easily be very, very good. Of course, I strongly suspect that it won't be, and that's horribly sad. If they could just make an OS worth paying for, I think they'd be able to sell it!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    GE employee here. We've actually been able to select Apple products for a couple years. That's a far cry from "standardizing," which I've yet to hear anything about, but Mac laptops and Apple phones have been options for us.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Is this only for MS-Office only jobs?

      There isn't a lot of support for engineering software on mac.

      If this only works for Powerpoint+Word+Outlook users then just give them a Chromebook and Office365

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        There isn't a lot of support for engineering software on mac.

        Such as? Worth investigating, as that's an area we haven't looked at yet.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          > There isn't a lot of support for engineering software on mac.

          for example, the FPGA toolchains - Vivado (Xilinx) and Quartus (Intel) are only available for Windows and Linux (RedHat/CentOS).

        2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Such as? Worth investigating, as that's an area we haven't looked at yet.

          Solidworks, CATIA, whatever-ProE-is-called-today, Arcgis - the sort of things a General Engineering company might need

          1. herman Silver badge

            Hmm, but that is what virtual machines are for. On my Mac, I have a choice of OpenBSD, FreeBSD, Fedora, Ubuntu, WinXP, Win7 and Win10. They start up pretty much instantly if you do a 'save state' instead of 'shut down'.

        3. Gotno iShit Wantno iShit

          Such as? Worth investigating, as that's an area we haven't looked at yet.

          Add to the list the entire process control domain. PLC programming software; ABB, Siemens, Honeywell, Rockwell even GE, all PLC software is Windows. As are HMI systems, same list as above plus the independents such as Iconics - Windows. One reason for the latter is control room quality massively multi screen hardware; Matrox and er, anyone else? Windows. Even the backend server boxes to run industrial control systems, it's all Windows. The glue that binds multivendor systems together, OPC* mostly, windows (though OPC on Linux is growing slowly).

          Part of the problem is hardware, you need ports to talk to stuff and any given port standard has a very short life in Mac world.

          *Before anyone says it OPC does not stand for OLE for Process Control, it hasn't for a decade and a half. It did originally but now OPC doesn't stand for anything, it's just the name of a communication protocol that can be implemented on any platform.

          1. SImon Hobson Silver badge

            PLC programming software; ... Siemens ...

            Hmm, I distinctly recall programming their Logo when it was new - from my Mac. That must be 15-20 years ago now. For stuff that really is Windoze only, I run parallels.

      2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

        @YAAC - GE is a big enough company if they said to vendor provide a Mac or Linux version or no sale I think the vendor might just get a full-featured Mac or Linux version out tout suit.

        1. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

          This one hopes so. Although, at this point, if I have to host my damn tools on a Windows Server 2012 R2 installation, I'll go ahead and do it. Remote or virtual instance, who the fuck cares. My database and software engineering tools can be pointed at other machines as required so not that big of a problem. Finite engineering/analysis/simulation tools have been popping up in Linux since NASA got headed that way, flat refusing the No reply from vendors.

          The way it's looking here, the transition is already well in progress. Doesn't hurt that you can cut your staffing in IT by a factor of 11 even if any particular slot costs twice or thrice as much. Oh, that expensive Mac hardware? Much lower DOA and MTBF. Always.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I've always considered Apple to give better value-for-money

    Provided you compare like-for-like.

    You're never going to get the same starting cost as "landfill" PCs, but they keep going for a long time (typing this on an eight year old Macbook Pro that I've had since I switched from Dell Precision).

    1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

      Re: I've always considered Apple to give better value-for-money

      I just have to look over my desk to find computers designed for Windows XP happily running Windows 7 Enterprise nearly 10 years old. Anyone can make any machine whether its Windows, Linux, iOS last years longer than the manufacturer would like (Probably would run notebook computers longer however replacing a battery on a machine with an asset value of £0 isnt going to happen).

      1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: I've always considered Apple to give better value-for-money

        "(Probably would run notebook computers longer however replacing a battery on a machine with an asset value of £0 isnt going to happen)."

        Depends on the cost of the battery vs. the cost of a replacement laptop.

        The main issue with laptops is the blooming fan. I only want fanless from now on.

        The second issue is breaking solder joints due to the lead-free solder.

        All the shitty adware and malware is great for selling new hardware, as most of the CPU cycles are used for nothing but crap.

        1. big_D Silver badge

          Re: I've always considered Apple to give better value-for-money

          We have a number of older Dells (6 -8 years old), we are replacing most of them, but some are being replaced, because the user need something more powerful, but most have had an SSD upgrade and new batteries and they are still going strong.

          But next time around, they will probably be replaced, when the batteries die.

          Given the hard lives they live, the laptops have done very well (they spend most time on building sites).

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I've always considered Apple to give better value-for-money

        Probably would run notebook computers longer however replacing a battery on a machine with an asset value of £0 isnt going to happen

        Ah, but that's another trick Apple has up its sleeve to improve its TCO advantage: you can exchange Macs for a reasonably fair return value.

        In my experience, your best replacement time is if a machine is about 3 or 4 years old. If it has been treated well, the return value is quite high (not on a personal level with the machines my kids have used, groan), and that again improves your TCO in two ways: lower hardware costs, and no need for eco-responsible disposal processes (mandated in some of the places we operate). It does require a couple of hours to zap the onboard storage (mandated by our security policy), but machine swaps are an excellent extra idea in our opinion.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I've always considered Apple to give better value-for-money

      Pure hardware cost and duration <> TCO.

      Your savings already start when you start looking at the cost of adding software and license management overhead, but where it really hits home is in usability and the cost of patching. It's not just a matter of substantially lower resource costs, it's also a far lower risk exposure overall. In addition, you don't need to keep much in the way of stock, and you have global service without having to engage in heavy, expensive contracts - it just comes as standard.

      1. big_D Silver badge

        Re: I've always considered Apple to give better value-for-money

        We have centralized patch distribution for Windows and application updates, the former with WSUS, the latter with a free add-in for WSUS, it makes rolling out new applications a breeze. Rolling out a new PC is takes a couple of hours, with about 20 minutes of work, the rest is waiting time.

        Hardware problems with PCs are fairly rare these days, as is stability, IME. Most calls are user education on things like the ERP system, AutoCAD and the like, or mailbox forwarding / access for people on sick leave / leavers.

        The most common questions coming from new starters are that the apps for HR and a couple of other areas (booking holiday, entering your personal information etc.) aren't in the Start menu. That they get in both paper form and on the company FAQ site, that these "applications" are web sites and they get the URLs provided to them, is neither here-nor-there.

    3. big_D Silver badge

      Re: I've always considered Apple to give better value-for-money

      My iMac is still going strong, with Linux and Windows, because Apple stopped providing security updates, let alone new OS versions, over 3 years ago.

      1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: I've always considered Apple to give better value-for-money

        "My iMac is still going strong, with Linux and Windows, because Apple stopped providing security updates, let alone new OS versions, over 3 years ago."

        This really is the fly in the ointment when it comes to Apple.

        Why can't they make OSX resource-scalable? Who needs every single flashy feature that each new version brings? (We all know that it's the desire to sell new stuff, but I think it's irresponsible from an environment standpoint, if nothing else.)

    4. herman Silver badge

      Re: I've always considered Apple to give better value-for-money

      Exactly - my Macbook Pro is now 5 years old and still looks and works just like a brand new one.

  6. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    I only wish Apple wouldn't stop supporting their hardware so quickly given that OSX works so well on older hardware. If more corporate customers could influence this, that would be nice.

    OSX for PC would be nice too, with an old fashioned one-off license payment. Not going to happen of course, unless some monopoly situation arises and legislation gets involved -like in the good old days when the information industry didn't have it all their own way.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > I only wish Apple wouldn't stop supporting their hardware so quickly

      Not always.

      Good example: macOS Sierra (Sep 2016) dropped support for Macs sold from 2007-2009. Since Apple supports the current version plus two previous ones, they should still be good to 2018. Ten year support is pretty good.

      Bad example: my wife's retina iPad 4 (sold Nov 2012 - Oct 2013) won't get iOS 11, because it's a 32 bit device. That's annoying - only 4-5 years in support - but still way longer than any Android device I can think of, including Google ones.

      1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        My issue with Apple is that they artificially drop OSX upgrade support. They don't let you upgrade even if you have upgraded the hardware to be more capable.

    2. Mark 110 Silver badge

      It would be really interesting to see Apple release Mac OS to OEMs. I think Windows would get slaughtered. But Apple would no longer be able to rely on the Apple idiot tax and their profit margin would crumble along with the share price.

      1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

        The lastest round of Macbook pros aside, look at the retail cost of a MacBook Pro 3 years ago and it’s value now. Then compare the equivalent Windows laptop. The idiot tax only really applies to iOS devices, and mostly the phone at that.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        It would be really interesting to see Apple release Mac OS to OEMs. I think Windows would get slaughtered.

        I don't think so. The reason that Apple gear is reasonable stable is because they control the whole picture, software and hardware. Microsoft's model relies on manufacturers writing device code, and there are plenty who, umm, are not that great.

        If Apple would open up to OEMs it would have to be quite tight on the specs, and it's an easy bet that the main calls their support would get to handle would be of people who have cooked up a Hackingtosh OUTSIDE the specs. There is no upside there for Apple - they are already, calmly taking Microsoft off the board, but only in small numbers at a time to boil that lobster slowly...

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. whoseyourdaddy

        "It would be really interesting to see Apple release Mac OS to OEMs"

        The requirement that Windows OS be open and run on all OEM hardware is exactly why Apple (who doesn't waste time with such things) comes out ahead.

        One small number of hardware platforms to deal with.

        leads to more time adding sexy features, less time figuring out why it no longer works on *that* hardware.

        why share if it actually works against you?

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "It would be really interesting to see Apple release Mac OS to OEMs"

        Apple is an hardware company. It makes money selling its hardware at high prices - it would not be able to compete only at the software level. It tried to open to OEM and that was one of the deals Jobs terminated when it was reinstated - he understood Apple would have not survived as a software vendor only, especially since it basically makes the OS only (and very few other applications, some already killed like Aperture).

        But in that also means choosing Apple you put all of your eggs in a single basket - you have only one hardware supplier available, and also a restricted choice of hardware options.

        1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

          Re: "It would be really interesting to see Apple release Mac OS to OEMs"

          You are almost right. In reality Apple is a massive software company -only it bundles it's software for free with it's nice and expensive hardware. You get a lot for your money, and resale value is good too.

          But you are right that it's all part of the product, of course. But software is a massive strength of Apple.

          1. Mark 110 Silver badge

            Re: "It would be really interesting to see Apple release Mac OS to OEMs"

            So what you guys are sort of saying is:

            1. Apple software wouldn't be any good on other peoples hardware (too difficult to keep it all working good). Kind of what I sort of said with my 'idiot tax' remark. Bad phrase - I would never call anyone an idiot for buying a Mac.

            2. By implication, Windows might be better if they stopped letting OEMs use the software. Bit of a stretch, but if it works for Apple . . . ?

            Be interested to see what the OEMs came up with if Microsoft suddenly dived down the Apple strategy. That could be the year of Linux on the desktop!!!

    3. J. Cook Silver badge

      "OSX for PC"...

      Apple officially tried that a number of years ago, and it very nearly killed them. (that was before the second coming of Jobs, IIRC.)

      Unofficially, since Macs are running on intel hardware, it was possible to bully OSX into installing and running on a non-apple machine. Not sure if that's still possible now, but in theory one can do it.

      What I'd like to see is something like centralized management of multiple macs, something akin to Group Policy and SCCM for application deployment/patch management functionality.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "OSX for PC"...

        How on earth do you think they have deployed Macs at the scale that they have at a) google b) facebook) c)IBM...and how they are going to manage moving forward at GE... there are all sorts of products both payed and Open Source to do exactly that...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "OSX for PC"...

        What I'd like to see is something like centralized management of multiple macs, something akin to Group Policy and SCCM for application deployment/patch management functionality.

        Swedish outfit Snow software has you covered - including mobile devices. I discovered them via a friend of mine who works in IT at a major police force. They found it was much faster in setting up and managing phones.

        There is, however, one MASSIVE problem: the core machines need Windows Server, which means exposure of the very core of your device management. I haven't seen any signs that they're stepping away from that, which is why using their software is often declined in places where security really matters (and we see more and more of those).

      3. SImon Hobson Silver badge

        Re: "OSX for PC"...

        Apple officially tried that a number of years ago, and it very nearly killed them

        Indeed. What they hoped the other manufacturers would do is compete in the gaps Apple didn't cover - providing a fuller range of hardware. What actually happened was the two of them basically started a race to the bottom to produce "beige boxes" cheaper and with no new features - significantly cheapening the brand.

        At work we were buying these other brands - because they made the bean counters happy. Bluntly, the hardware just wasn't as good or reliable as Apple's was at the time.

  7. Hans 1 Silver badge

    The shift away from Windows to Mac seems to have come as a surprise to everyone, but it shouldn’t be.

    I have been crying out loud since 2001 that Apple was cheaper than Windows in the enterprise, even on servers. They even have keyboard-hater (dual finger typists ?) point and click Window Cleaner and Surface Expert interfaces to Internet backbone-worn software solutions, however, no more server hardware to run it on. I guess IT management was missing calculators or had big bank accounts offshore, nobody is that stupid, oh wait ...

    I guess shops intelligent enough to move away from Windows Server chose Linux instead, can use the same, cheaper, server hardware as Windows, and is free ... if you have competent IT staff.

    One day, they will realize that Linux/*BSD has an even lower TCO than macOS, because it runs on cheapo hardware ... however, it lacks MS Office and that scares the Window Cleaner and Surface Experts turned IT managers ...

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      But back then the software argument was all in Windows favour. The shift of lots of stuff to web-based interfaces and Microsoft's own excellent work on Office for Mac has more or less ended that argument. And Microsoft's licensing gets expensive, fast. The un*x desktop won't cut it for a lot of people.

      Of course, it would be just as dumb for anyone to go down the "only Apple" route…

      1. Sid_the_Kid

        Office for Mac?

        It’s not great, and prone to crapping out regularly. It is mostly compatible with the Windows versions now at least - documents and presentations look near enough identical in either which wasn’t the case in 2008 and 2011 - and VBA has been there in the last couple of versions but it is slower doing pretty much everything and the easy integration across Office apps allowing you to write a script which, for example, dumps a bunch of data into a new file and attaches that to a new email in Outlook is absent.

        I remember doing a test with a short iterative script which took 2-3 seconds to execute in Excel on Windows and about 30 in the Mac version

    2. Demogenes

      To be honest, I switched to mac back in 2009. I used it for my work because my company provided most programs in mac versions. I tried 5-6 office suites before submitting to the fact that Microsoft was just better at that. The only thing I miss in terms of software on the mac is Visio. I'm sure Microsoft knows this and that stops them from developing Visio for Mac, just like they refuse to release a 64 bit version of office for mac (until Apple cuts 32 bit support, can't see that being far off since it's been done for IOS now). In the end Office is probably the best office software out there. Most staff uses it, which makes it a standard between businesses. Most staff knows how to use it and it drives cost down on having to (re)train staff.

      1. Kelli

        <<The only thing I miss in terms of software on the mac is Visio.>>

        Give OmniGraffle a try.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          <<The only thing I miss in terms of software on the mac is Visio.>>

          Give OmniGraffle a try.

          Concur. If you get the Pro version you can even read and write Visio files, but with Omnigraffle you can also make it all look a lot better and professional without spending much time on it (it does it by design).

          As for usability, Omnigraffle is like Visio before Microsoft bought it and utterly ruined the UI.

          1. arthoss

            omnigraffle is nice and refreshing after visio but until a couple of years ago didn't support magnetism, which is a really cool feature of visio. That's why I do most of my diagrams using paper 53 and apple pencil on iPad pro - it's much much faster.

            1. Mark 110 Silver badge

              Is OmniGraffle available for Windows? Might give it a go. I like Visio but theres some niggles that have been annoying me for 10 years. Just clunky way, round-a-bout, of doing things that I could do better. Its not had much investment.

              Edit: No. Not available for Windows and had a quick dig around their website to see if i8t would do what I would want it to do. None the wiser. Looks a bit pants based on their website (and definitely their support pages) and no Windows demo version for me to take a closer look.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe Satan Nadella will reflect on his decision to kill Lumias...

    .... now what users use as phone and tablets may dictate their deskop OS as well.

    And the more you put emphasis on "cloud" applications, the less critical the desktop OS becomes.

    Satia, maybe you're killing your own company because you think you're too clever?

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Maybe Satan Nadella will reflect on his decision to kill Lumias...

      MS' purchase of the phone division of Nokia was a bad commercial decision and Nadella was right to pull it. MS entered the market too late with an unfinished product. It then found it could make more money on mobile by selling MS Office to IOS and Android users. In a similar way it's found that it can sell Azure to Linux shops.

      This is similar to the lesson that Lou Gerstner learned when he stopped development on on OS/2. It was technically superior in almost every respect to Windows but it was mainly used to run Windows software. A bitter but understandable decision for all fans of OS/2.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Nadella was right to pull it"

        Let's see - it could turn out to have been one of the worst mistakes MS ever did. MS didn't entered the market too late - it entered the smartphone market far earlier with Windows CE/Mobile - just it believed it could only supply the software, and OEM would have done the rest. It turned out they just churned out ugly models innovating very little. Just look at how the Surface shacked the 2in1 market.

        IBM became a much more successful company after it dropped OS/2, right? We see the heights it has reached now, right?

        OS/2 was used to run Windows software BECAUSE THERE WERE NO OS/2 NATIVE SOFTWARE. I know because I used OS/2 3.0 from 1994 to 1997. It was impossible to buy native OS/2 applications.

        IBM bought Lotus but gave priority to Windows applications. It just ensured IBM and Lotus became irrelevant in the PC space, until they could sell the whole division to Lenovo, and Lotus disappeared.

        Selling apps on Android will just means it becomes another Android ISV - and one day Google will wipe it from Android as well.

        Same for Azure - while should you choose it just to run Linux apps in the cloud? If you have no reason to choose a MS solution, MS becomes just another cloud hardware supplier.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: "Nadella was right to pull it"

          Let's see - it could turn out to have been one of the worst mistakes MS ever did.

          That's never going to be provable, but I suspect your opinion is in the majority. MS has repeatedly underestimated markets and entered them too late: the internet itself and, of course, mobile. Yes, it was a player with Windows CE, but like so many other projects, it failed to devote sufficient resources or provide a clear strategy which led to Windows Mobile 6, 7, 8 and 10. Along the way various manufacturers demonstrated that you could make good hardware for the various systems but MS always seemed keener in simply trying to kill the competition than working with others.

          Providing software only has worked well enough for Google and might have worked for Microsoft had they not repeatedly stiffed both manufacturers and developers. You rightly point out that OS/2 failed largely because there was no native OS/2 software. IBM looked at this and decided it wasn't worth the necessary investment because it could make more money doing other things. I wish they had pursued OS/2 but I understand why they didn't. And I think it's largely the same MS with Nadella. He gave Windows Mobile a stay of execution, saw it wasn't improved it and pulled it. It's his job to make calls like that.

          If only Microsoft had made an earlier play for MS Office on IOS and Android it would have established itself more firmly as software developer and services provider.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Maybe Satan Nadella will reflect on his decision to kill Lumias...

      That's it.

      OS choice is irrelevant - you can now just pick the one you like to use, rather than have to use. Not sure what all the bickering is about.

      In my work (software dev), we just get a yearly budget... pick whatever works best for you.

  9. Law Device

    "When Windows became “a service” it became a perpetual beta, in which the end users are guinea pigs."

    This line summed it up perfectly for me. I'd been a Windows users since 3.11 and been through most flavours of the OS. I skipped Windows 8 and 8.1 and went straight to Windows 10.

    Six months of Windows 10 and I bought a MacBook Pro. Haven't looked back.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  10. leftside

    Who cares. MS prefers Linux to Windows these days. It's all about Azure.

  11. goldcd

    I work for a large corporate company

    We have a few Apple devices knocking about, mainly for testing to ensure we can work with Safari (no customers are using it, but..)

    Only group who have an Macbook are those that:

    1) Techies who were using them in their little startup when they were acquired.

    2) (the largest group) execs and sales-folks who demand a prestigious thing to slap on the tables in meetings.

    I happily float around in a world of windows, and those doing the actual work are using linux.

    "40 per cent of Windows users called the IT help desk, compared to 5 per cent of Mac users"

    I'd assume the low figure is because their users either have the technical ability to drive their machine - or on the other end are using it for presentations.

    Does anybody actually call their company helpdesk any more for an OS related problem?

  12. handleoclast Silver badge
    Coat

    Why buy SatNad's book?

    1) It doesn't get updated when you're not looking at it, thereby forcing you to learn a new way of reading it.

    2) It doesn't slurp your private data.

    3) In the long term, it works out cheaper than Ambien if you have difficulty sleeping.

    4) If you keep it in the bog, in an emergency you can wipe your arse with it (try doing that with a laptop).

    It's buying Microsoft software products that I have difficulty justifying.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Trollface

      Re: Why buy SatNad's book?

      you can wipe your arse with it (try doing that with a laptop).

      I thought it did, but it turns out it was just the Windows 10 forced upgrade.

  13. DougS Silver badge

    Continuum

    I continue to be amazed that Apple hasn't done anything like this yet. When they surprised everyone with the first 64 bit ARM SoC four years ago, I figured this was coming soon. All they'd have to do is add an app to the iPhone that has the OS X GUI, make the missing API features (iOS is basically a cut down OS X) available to those programs, and have the OS X build tools generate a fat binary with 64 bit x86 and 64 bit ARMv8.

    Connect a monitor via Lighting/HDMI adapter, and a keyboard/mouse via bluetooth or a USB breakout that goes with that Lightning/HDMI adapter and you're good to go. Access to thousands of professional programs before long, as I'm sure developers would quickly fall in line to develop fat binaries to gain access to a huge new customer base.

    Are they worried it would hurt Mac sales? Personally I think it would make the platform more attractive and might actually increase them, but either way there would be a lot more OS X users. They might need to introduce an iPhone 'Pro' model with more RAM for people who are going to want to run stuff that needs a lot of RAM, but this wouldn't be something for power users more for the occasional user like students and road warriors that don't want to lug a laptop with them. Any of the recent models with 2-3 GB would be fine for them, and the SoC is fast enough and has built in compression support they could use compressed memory pages and double its effective size.

    Like I said, I've been expecting it for four years now, and have been wrong for four years. I guess Apple knows something i don't, or they are waiting on something else to fall in place before they release it?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Continuum

      > the SoC is fast enough and has built in compression support they could use compressed memory pages and double its effective size

      macOS already has compressed memory pages; so if you want an app to run on a phone as well as it does on a Macbook with 8GB, then you need 8GB.

      *If* Apple goes down this route, I'd see them making ARM Macbooks first - and that would be only if it gave a compelling end-user benefit, like much longer battery life. Once they moved their laptop user base over to ARM, *then* there might be an argument for extending macOS perhaps to the iPad Pro, if not to phones.

      But I don't see it happening. Look how well Windows RT went down.

      I personally like the fact that my Macbook Pro has an x86 inside - not because I particularly love that architecture, but because I run a lot of x86 VMs. I also know that I *could* run another OS on the hardware in future if Apple totally loses the plot with macOS.

      I'm also not convinced that ARM processors have any fundamental advantage which makes them better overall for laptops. Sure, when they're idle they can drop to very lower power usage; but when they're doing heavy work, is the performance-per-watt really that much better? How many apps are capable of making full use of 16 ARM cores when they might instead use 4 x86 cores?

    2. arthoss

      Re: Continuum

      ok first of all all apple things are super thin so you can take two and still be carrying less than a typical win laptop. There is something called continuity (that came before ms' concept) which allows you to continue to mac from iPhone and back, if the applications are properly written. Also, let's not forget the universal clipboard - copy on iPhone, paste on mac.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Want to keep Win7 around for as long as possible...

    The misses and family refuse to use Linux. Believe me I've tried. I put Mint on 2 home laptops that no one uses... Don't know why, as it rocks for me. I love having Firefox / LibreOffice / PDF-Reader pre-installed, and VLC & Skype etc, only a momentary install away...

    Any FOSS recommendations for cloning / ghosting Win7 when a laptop has no USB boot option and no DVD drive? Its a long time since I've done anything like this. In the days of Symantec-Ghost I had a floppy drive to do the booting and support for external drives to store the disk-images...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Want to keep Win7 around for as long as possible...

      > Any FOSS recommendations for cloning / ghosting Win7 when a laptop has no USB boot option and no DVD drive?

      Look at https://fogproject.org/

      I guess if the laptop can't boot from USB then maybe it is too old to have PXE boot either; but it might be possible to bootstrap the kernel from a small CD-ROM or floppy and use the network after that.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Want to keep Win7 around for as long as possible...

        https://wiki.fogproject.org/wiki/index.php?title=USB_Bootable_Media#Older_instructions

        Scroll down to "isolinux" and "GPXE"

        Also: http://etherboot.org/wiki/removable

    2. herman Silver badge

      Re: Want to keep Win7 around for as long as possible...

      Win7 works fine on Virtualbox on Linux. So, you can easily support the missus on any HW. The kids however want to play games. So get them an Xbox and be done with it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Want to keep Win7 around for as long as possible...

        Cheers for the replies...

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hit refresh on 'Mixed Reality'

    It appears as though Microsoft under SatNad is living in 'Inverted Reality'.

  16. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Interesting, very interesting

    TCO has long been an area of FUD by Slurp but it seems like a few heavy hitters are saying that Macs are overall cheaper to maintain than Bloat by Slurp and they appear to have the numbers to back it up.

    From my small sample size, Bloat requires more effort to support than Fruity as there are more weird things that seem to go wrong with Bloat. Fruity seems just to work much more reliably. Most of the initial support 'issues' occur in the transition as the user learns a new OS (some are in their mid-70s). I miss the money but I also do not have panicky phone calls requiring my near immediate attention at weird hours.

    With Bloat10 being barely an alpha release, support costs will go up especially if the 'upgrade' have to be installed very often. I can see a Fruity OS and others making inroads on the desktop as Slurp ignores what users really need. Note, I saw a post today (Thurrot.com) that Samsung is making rumblings about Linux being part of their offerings. Did read it carefully but given the site it was posted on I thought it was interesting.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Interesting, very interesting

      From my small sample size, Bloat requires more effort to support than Fruity as there are more weird things that seem to go wrong with Bloat. Fruity seems just to work much more reliably. Most of the initial support 'issues' occur in the transition as the user learns a new OS (some are in their mid-70s). I miss the money but I also do not have panicky phone calls requiring my near immediate attention at weird hours.

      One small caveat: there seems to be something weird going on when you change passwords to online services such as IMAP/SMTP accounts. I had a problem a few days ago, and when I talked to my ISP (yes, I have one where real people with actual skills answer the phone) it emerged that the majority of support calls they presently get are from Apple users, about passwords.

      This led to the one and only time in my life that a reboot of a Mac solved the problem. Never seen that before, and this still runs Sierra (I always wait 6 months before I install an OS that makes pretty fundamental changes).

      That said, this is such an exception that it's notable. I really do not miss the whole let's-replace-the-bottom-of-a-house-of-cards experience that problem fixing was under Windows, and I can get work done without being interrupted or having to worry that something is brewing that forces me to restart in the middle of something complex. I'd stick with it now even if it was more expensive, but it isn't, not by a long shot.

      1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

        Re: Interesting, very interesting

        What I tend to notice with Linux and Mac users (family and friends) I support is the most of the support calls have a simple resolution which can be done over the phone. Windows on the other had tended to have weirder and more complex problems that are often very frustrating to solve. I have not really read Fruit's documentation but my experience with most Linux distros is the documentation is very complete but Slurp's looks like it was often written by someone who never saw a computer.

        Also, I have heard from others Fruits in house support is very good and with reasonable rates and they usually fix the problem. My personal experience with Slurp's support is that is inept at best and at worst will further cripple the box.

    2. herman Silver badge

      Re: Interesting, very interesting

      Well, all Samsung phones and tablets already run Linux, so making desktop Linux machines would not take much effort.

  17. quxinot

    Obvious?

    In other news, water is wet and night is dark.

  18. Anguilla

    Latest Win 10 update screws ALL Internet connections

    It does deserve repeating - at least in my case: Latest Win 10 update screws ALL Internet connections !!

    I had to reinstall Win 10 Pro twice yesterday - first an earlier update totally screwed up ALL Internet connections be it Wi-FI OR LAN.

    Now, having reinstalled from DVD ROM, I'm most loath to allow ANY updates on an otherwise excellent Lenovo E440 - "4" in Cantonese sounds like "Death".

    Now, I hope that someone will buy this laptop, and I can dump this "curse" on someone else!

    1. herman Silver badge

      Re: Latest Win 10 update screws ALL Internet connections

      OK, well, if you are proficient with installing Windows from scratch and you are fed-up with everything, why don't you install OpenBSD 6.2 and be done with it?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My Windows PC is strictly for games.

    I wouldn't let sensitive data touch it if you paid me.

    For day to day use iMac and iPad Pro are my primary devices and then everything else on Linux.

  20. blazewon22

    I too work for a company that lets us choose between a PC or Mac, including Surface. I notice most of the older employees choose PC's while the younger generation chooses a Mac. I see 5 reasons people choose a Mac:

    1. It seems to be less locked down versus the PC.

    2. Connectivity to peripheral (particularly projectors and big monitors) seems to work better.

    3. As mobile and python based development has exploded I tend to see more Mac adoption.

    4. It integrates well with their iPhone allowing usage of iMessage, Browser Continuity, and iTunes.

    5. The MacBook is more premium hardware than the PC offered to the employee.

    I think Windows 10 will make the difference for a lot of shops going forward. It's much more stable, easier to update and the fact you can buy Microsoft based hardware now is a great step forward. Surface Books, Laptops, Desks and Pros are great steps in the right direction of reestablishing cool.

    More importantly MS has made a great effort with Cortana and Edge to be able to sync better with mobile which was a big reason for more people choosing Apple laptops.

  21. hoola

    And thie missing information?

    How is the desktop used & delivered, if it is RDP, Citrix or Virtual Desktop the end user device is more or less irrelevant.

    Non-story.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "although Apple hardware costs much more initially"

    Not really true. It costs a bit more, but not much more... especially if you are comparing Air to the standard corporate Windows machines. It is very comparable. The TCA of Apple is likely less than MSFT as you don't need to purchase 14 management and security software products just to make Windows work at a base level... many of which you may not even want but are part of a MSFT bundle.

    I don't know why Apple keeps pushing this iPad, iOS for everything tact though. Google seems to have a much better idea with adding the Play store to Chromebook. Chromebook is a nice medium between mobile OS and bloated Windows. It looks like a PC OS with a full keyboard, but operates like a mobile OS (lightweight, no maintenance).

    If it were me, I would ditch all of MSFT's management and security tools (e.g. SCCM) and replace them with OS neutral tools. Ditch the MSFT EA and just buy a la carte. Then I would give people the choice of Apple, Google, Linux or Windows. If people want a $350 high end Chromebook, they get a 2 year refresh cycle. If they want a Mac, a four year cycle... align the refresh cycles with the cost of the device. If MSFT doesn't want to play ball and jacks the price, just add it to the refresh cycle which will make it less attractive to end users. Just give people the choice though. There is no reason to sole source on any one platform.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "When Windows became “a service” it became a perpetual beta, in which the end users are guinea pigs"

    True. When MSFT went to the as a service model with Windows, it was pretty clear it was going to be a mess. They had enough trouble with periodic releases and then, suddenly, they were going to go to way less testing.

    You have to think that more and more orgs will move to Macs or Chrome/Android and Macs. It will be net less costly and crazily popular with end users... probably the most popular IT initiative in the history of these companies.

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