Many, but not all. "You can buy a PC for $400, while the cheapest Mac is over a thousand," Jon Graff, director of IT operations at A&E, told CIO.com last year. "In the real world, you're spending a lot more on a Mac." [Editor's note: The price of business-level Windows and Mac laptops are equivalent, at about $2,000. Consumer-level PCs, which large businesses avoid, are sigificantly cheaper than consumer-level Macs.]
Challenges in supporting the Mac
While managing Macs may be cheaper than managing PCs, Macs pose their own special challenges as companies get up to speed supporting a Mac-PC environment.
According to another recent Enterprise Desktop Alliance survey, chief among those hurdles are security and file sharing between operating systems, client management, backup and data recovery of Mac files, Active Directory integration, application compatibility, configuration consistency, cross-platform help desk and knowledge base support, and standard management utilities for both Macs and PCs.
Ben Hanes, senior systems administrator at Children's Hospital of Oakland Research Institute, has been working through these issues for years. On the troubleshooting front, Hanes only recently adopted a help desk system that lets his team troubleshoot Macs remotely from a PC.
There also might be hidden costs when managing Macs, warns Oltsik. "In the past, you generally needed specialized tools to manage Macs," he says. "If this is the case, then you will have redundant tasks and management systems. Another issue is skills, as you may need to hire or train a PC administrator on the Mac platform. A Mac administrator may cost more than a PC administrator."
Read more about laptop in CIO's Laptop Drilldown.