Where's the Mac?
Have you been to a tech conference lately? They’re dominated, absolutely dominated, by MacBooks and MacBook Pros. Their employers are happy to buy them because they’re fast, reliable and productive. I know I love mine. But ask any of those happy MacBook-toting people what they have on their desks at work, and they’ll admit to having a Dell.
So I found it interesting that at Apple’s big Mac event yesterday, Apple blew it with the Mac again. Steve fielded some questions about Mac adoption in the workplace, and another about price. But he skirts completely around the issue at hand: Apple has a huge, gaping hole in their desktop lineup. They have an iMac, a Mac mini, and a Mac Pro. But where’s the Mac?
At SmugMug, we’d put a Mac on every employee’s desk tomorrow. So what exactly is a Mac? That’s easy – it’s a Mac Pro with one dual-core Desktop class Intel CPU in it. Two (or four!) Server class dual-core CPUs (Xeons) are overkill both for performance and for budgets. I know – we’ve got some at our office, and I’m writing this on my Mac Pro at home.
Why not just use iMacs? Please. No business is going to buy desktop computers that require you to throw the display out when the CPU/RAM/etc get old. Displays last multiple generations of CPUs, particularly in the workplace.
Why not use Mac minis? Man, I wish! I love the little guys. But our employees, especially those writing code or doing lots of Photoshop work, are more productive with dual-displays. (Dual 30″ displays, if you really want to know). The Mac mini can only drive one, and not even the 30″ models. (You’d think Apple would want to drive sales of those 30″ displays, but I guess not?). So 2 x dual-link DVI is a requirement, and it’s a lot more common than you might think. Been to Google lately?
Also, like many IT departments in this day-and-age of cheap hard disks, we like to do RAID-1 on our employee’s desktops to reduce data loss. Mac OS X does great RAID-1 out-of-the-box, if only there were desktop computers to run it on…
So we need a Mac. Something like $500-1000 cheaper than a Mac Pro, powerful enough for most employees, and flexible enough for most jobs. Perfection – not to mention completing Apple’s lineup.
Oh, and when I talk to those same tech conference attendees (or their bosses!), I hear the same sad story. We’re all forced to head on over to dell.com to fill the void instead – or pony up extra for Mac Pros that we really don’t need.
Guess which option most employers choose.😦
UPDATE: Lots of comments all over the web on this story and how it’s not just for the workplace. Complaints about poor graphics cards in iMac/Mac mini making gaming impossible, people upset that they’d have to throw away their iMac monitor along with the CPU, etc. As a hard-core gamer, I have to agree – the gap is wider than just work machines. I’d rather have a Mac than a Mac Pro at home, too.
Feed readers: Digg this story