As Apple’s products have moved from a specialised niche to become mainstream consumer electronics, it’s no surprise that they’ve become more common in the business world too.
Indeed, it’s not uncommon nowadays to see both Apple Macs and PCs together in the same office. But if you’re in the market for new business computers, should you go for Mac or PC?
Your Apple Mac for business will work with PCs
Although in the past it might have been difficult to combine PCs and Macs on the same business network, technology has now progressed to a point where both systems get along well. Sharing files and printers between the two systems is straightforward, as is having them communicate on the same network.
Popular applications – like Microsoft Office – are also available for Macs, making it easier to switch to a Mac for business if you want to. And then there’s the ‘iPad effect’: as companies start to make use of iPads and iPhones, it’s only natural for them to want to consider Apple Mac computers too.
Macs for business are still the minority
For years Microsoft has dominated the world of business computing with its Windows operating system. And although the market share held by other operating systems – like Apple’s Mac OS – is growing, let’s not get carried away.
In a recent survey, only 6.8% of the total operating system market was Mac OS. That compares to the staggering 91.5% commanded by Windows. The remainder was a mix ofopen source favourite Linux and ‘other’.
Think before you switch to a Mac for business
So, attractive as using a Mac for business might seem (and they certainly are attractive – who couldn’t fail to love the brushed metal of a MacBook laptop?), it’s worth thinking about these key issues before making the switch:
• File sharing: there was a time when transferring files between a Mac and a PC was a painful process. You had to understand different file system structures, resource forks, file name limits, and get to grips with other such jargon.
Thankfully, those days are over. Today, many Mac applications can open files created on a PC and vice versa. You should have no trouble getting files from one system to another and most recent Macs can even cope with Microsoft’s special disk format which is called NTFS.
You might run into the odd problem trying to connect a disk drive from your Mac to your PC, but the easiest way to avoid issues is to connect your Macs and PCs up to a network and share files that way.
• Making Macs and PCs talk on the same network: it’s relatively easy to connect your Macs and PCs via a network. Most office networks won’t care whether you’re plugging a Mac or a PC into them (or whether you’re connecting wirelessly) – but you may need to ask your IT supplier to set up shared drives and resources.
• Using your usual applications: if you’ve decided to switch from a PC to a Mac, there are few circumstances in which you’ll be unable to find a piece of Mac software to replace Windows software you used to use.
But, believe it or not, it is possible to run Windows on a Mac. And – for that matter – you can run Apple’s OS operating system on a PC too.
There are different ways to do this and it can be fiddly to set up, but Apple even offers software called Boot Camp to help you run Windows on your Mac.
PC or Mac for business? It doesn’t matter
Perhaps the truth is that whether you choose a PC or Mac is becoming less and less important. As we all begin to use more cloud-based applications over the internet, the operating system you choose is less critical.
As long as you have an internet connection and a web browser, you can log in and use the tools you need to get your work done. Your choice of hardware doesn’t really matter.
So, using both Macs and PCs in the same office won’t create the same problems as it has done in the past. There are dozens of ways to make them manageable.
However, if cloud computing really is the future then all you will need is an ‘internet enabled device’. It won’t matter whether it’s a Mac, a PC or something else. Maybe Google’s Chromebook?
Source: IT Donut