I was talking to someone recently who just took a new job at a small web-company. She has been a Windows user all her life but she asked me what she should get in her new job. They were buying her a new computer.
Naturally, I suggested the new Macbook that Apple announced yesterday. The same thing occurred when my dad took a new job with a non-profit and considered getting a Mac, but it was nixed due to concerns over business application and utility.
To be clear, there is no better time to look at Apple laptops than now because the total cost of ownership is usually lower given that in most business environments, the selling point is Microsoft Office and Exchange/Active Directory integration.
Most purchasing managers will get caught in the trap of looking at the higher price tag for the hardware and assume that means that the TCO is higher as well. Let’s break it down though:
|Dell Vostro 2510||Apple Macbook 2.0Ghz|
|CPU Equivalency Upgrade (2.0 Ghz)||$75||$0|
|Office Software||MS Office Pro 2007 – $320||iWork ’08 -$79|
|Extended Warranty||ProSupport (3y) – $268||AppleCare (3y) – $249|
|PDF Creation||Adobe Acrobat – $449||Built in Support – $0|
|Total Cost of Ownership||$2011||$1627|
Five Hundred Dollars in difference for the average small business. Not everyone needs Adobe Acrobat, but a lot do! Some companies are inclined to buy MS Office for Mac, but it sucks and iWork has almost universal compatibility. Mail.app has Exchange capability, or the Exchange server can turn on IMAP functionality to make mail clients other than Outlook work better across the board.
If IT purchasing managers take a step back and look at the reality of the purchasing, a hard look at Apple products is a strong move to tighten those belts.