A couple of articles (AppleInsider) caught my attention earlier this week (Neowin), regarding Walmart and their plans to ditch Windows PCs in favour of MAC to “save on employee PC costs”. Whilst it is important to point out that Walmart have since refuted the claim stating it had been misinterpreted , the underlying sentiment still applies, and in my opinion this is unfair for reasons I’ll go into below.
Let’s take a look at what was originally quoted:
“We looked at TCO [total cost of ownership] for our technology,” Leacy said. “The cost of deploying and securing [a Mac] at this point is a lot cheaper than supporting a Windows box — it just makes good business sense.
Whilst the articles do not go into detail about how the TCO was calculated, clearly the claim here is that all the roundabout costs that go into managing a Windows box are higher than a Mac box.
Likely costs are in the following areas:
- Sourcing and procuring the hardware / peripherals
- Initially configuring and deploying a device to desk
- Providing on-going configuration,security and reports
- The amount of post-support required to ensure a user remains productive
Windows devices have a long, organic history of badly configured Group Policy. Most (not all) organisations have decades of GPOs accumulated in their Windows environment which greatly affects the performance and usability of a Windows Machine.
The drivers behind these configurations have typically been security related and over-zealousness has led to devices being locked down to the point they are unusable and slow. This is in contrary to the Mac which has had much less time being used in enterprises, therefore has had less time to accumulate over the top configurations.
In addition, Windows operating system images have typically been accumulated over time and it has become hip to include as much corporate bloatware as possible, with oodles of bespoke configuration – as opposed to Macs which are typically delivered quite vanilla.
Finally there are many, many variances of manufacturers and device types that the Windows Platform can run on. This has led to the proliferation of devices within an organisation, meaning multiple deployment methods, driver packages, firmware upgrades, etc. Whereas with Mac this is obviously much more constrained.
It’s like saying –
“I’m never buying a Ford car again, because the one I brought in 1995 only does 15Mpg and kicks out black smoke every time I pull off. It’s 2017 and I’m going to replace it with A Vauxhall as that does significantly more than 15Mpg… ”
(Although with Mac that’s more likely to be Ferrari )
So what am I saying here? Well firstly, compare Apples with Apples. Windows does not have to be all about badly configured GPOs, bloated images, 100s of driver sets because you can’t control the hardware catalogue and greater security than Fort Knox. There is many new technologies available in the Windows space that can enhance your device strategy and give you all the benefits of Windows whilst improving the usability and performance, such as:
- Windows 10 AutoPilot
- Microsoft Intune
- Azure Active Directory
- Azure AD Premium
- Enterprise Mobility + Security
- Office 365
You don’t have to configure things like you’ve always configured them. Take a look at the new technologies that Microsoft has made available. Yes, they won’t fit all use cases, but they should form part of a new strategy. This will help you to compare fairly against Mac, and I’d bet my last dollar you can come out favourably in a Mac TCO battle
…And in any case, even if you move to Mac, you’ll still have to fork out for Windows licensing, as everybody I know uses Parallels to run it as a VM anyway.