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MacRumors
Mar 3, 2004, 02:16 AM
According to one unconfirmed source, Federal Express may be looking to make a significant purchase of Macs to replace their current PCs.

Reportedly, the move is under consideration due to the recent wave of viruses that have swept the PC world.

While Macs are not inherently immune to virus attacks, most viruses have been written on the Windows/PC platform.

Savage Henry
Mar 3, 2004, 02:19 AM
According to one source, Federal Express may be looking to make a significant purchase of Macs to replace their current PCs.

Reportedly, the move is under consideration due to the recent wave of viruses that have swept the PC world.

While Macs are not inherently immune to virus attacks, most viruses have been written on the Windows/PC platform.

First my Dad, now it's Fed-Ex, tomorrow World Domination !! Mmwwhuuuu Haa Haaa Haaaaa!!!

I sincerely hope a) they go through with it, b)others follow, and c) the source isn't a pile of poop!!:)

electric
Mar 3, 2004, 02:19 AM
That would be huge

iChan
Mar 3, 2004, 02:26 AM
That would be huge

This is GONNA be HUGE

TimDaddy
Mar 3, 2004, 02:26 AM
I hope it happens. They are not the anti-captalist hippy weedsmokers that people associate with macs, so maybe some "in the closet" Macheads will come out!

virividox
Mar 3, 2004, 02:38 AM
i just hope this doesnt make mac a platform that more virus writters will target

Interiority
Mar 3, 2004, 02:39 AM
This would be fantastic news if true, although it's difficult to believe that Macs would be accepted by the multiple layers of bureaucracy and corporate PC types that would exist in an organisation as large as Fedex. Not that it can't be done, especially if they've been a bit clever about building their internal apps with web-based front ends / Java - but there would be lots of arguments about standards, manageability and deployment issues that would probably kill the project before it comes to fruition...

Sorry to sound pessimistic... Think I've just spent too long working for large companies.

iChan
Mar 3, 2004, 02:40 AM
This is GONNA be HUGE

i love switching stories. whether with individuals or large corporations as i am a switcher myself. i love the way that switchers are so happy... that every little thing excites them. like the little lights in the charger, the two hooks on the power adaptot to wrap around the wire. Exposé, safari, no pop-ups, no viruses...

when jaguar came out, i never really recommended a mac. Well, not as much as today. The main reason was the help files. How could i reasonably expect anyone to be able to switch if the help files caused the conputer to crash 5/10 times??

however, it is time now for some growth i think in market share there was an article on billpalmer.com or .net or something, about how the switch campaign really did work, that we weren't going to be seeing an immediate increase in market share, but what the campaign did was place the Apple brand back into the minds of the masses. and when it comes to a future purchase, they wil consider a Mac.

Since i switched, many have followed. My girlfriend, 12-inch PB, brother 15-inch. Two kid sisters, 12-inch powerbook, albeit, one given to them by me. my dad is getting a PM soon when we move into our new home. Brother -in- Law, moving to a Mac shortly. The list could go on....

My cousin, who is just finishing up a computer science degree is switching when he comes out.

although i mentioned three people there that havn't actually switched yet. I am very confident that they will. what with me constanly nagging them anyway. And showing them all the cool stuff like the backlit keyboard... the wonders of the ipod with macOSX, the build quality. POwermate. iLife, the list goes on and on. Exposé.

I mean, after seeing these things, how could one not change? are people really blinded by the price so much?? I don't think they are like that in Ireland. NOt as much so as in the US. here, we'd pay, as long as it lives up to its asking price. and Appl computers do that in adundance.

krykert
Mar 3, 2004, 02:46 AM
I always knew FedEx is the best shipping company--here in the United States, at least--and this just confirms it.

Cool trivia fact: Did you know there's an arrow hidden in the FedEx logo? Can you find it?

http://www.fedex.com/images/ascend/shared/express_logo.gif

TimDaddy
Mar 3, 2004, 02:47 AM
when jaguar came out, i never really recommended a mac. Well, not as much as today. The main reason was the help files. How could i reasonably expect anyone to be able to switch if the help files caused the conputer to crash 5/10 times?? And all this time I thought that I had screwed up my computer with some crap I had downloaded or something.

Savage Henry
Mar 3, 2004, 02:49 AM
This would be fantastic news if true, although it's difficult to believe that Macs would be accepted by the multiple layers of bureaucracy and corporate PC types that would exist in an organisation as large as Fedex. Not that it can't be done, especially if they've been a bit clever about building their internal apps with web-based front ends / Java - but there would be lots of arguments about standards, manageability and deployment issues that would probably kill the project before it comes to fruition...

Sorry to sound pessimistic... Think I've just spent too long working for large companies.

But even the smallest of eBusinesses could suffer pains with SoBig, Netsky, MyDoom, Love Bug etc etc ad infinitum. So perhaps the chiefs on high in this mega corp are still smarting and said enough is enough.

It could also be big kudos for the association with Apple. There are loads of companies who are advertising as association to HP at the moment, so why not ride on the back of a wave of cool and practically eliminate Virs threats in one go.

But saying that, I am also waiting to see the day when it actually does come to fruition. I'm not holding my breath. :(

legion
Mar 3, 2004, 02:54 AM
I doubt this is true as most of their databases would be unable to be run with Mac OS X. Just last night I was dealing with a "Customer Advocate" at FedEX concerning tracking and found out many of their interfaces are Microsoft Access designed.

stefman
Mar 3, 2004, 02:54 AM
WOW!!

This would rank right there with the Big Mac supercomputer and the beginning of Apple market share growth.

I have a question though, why macs and not switching to Linux? Wouldn't it be cheaper for a company like FedEx that already has the x86 hardware to load Linux and OpenOffice.

Interiority
Mar 3, 2004, 03:02 AM
I doubt this is true as most of their databases would be unable to be run with Mac OS X. Just last night I was dealing with a "Customer Advocate" at FedEX concerning tracking and found out many of their interfaces are Microsoft Access designed.

Ooh - horrid!! I presume that it is just the interfaces that are based in Access - with an Oracle back-end or something. At least that way, the conversion process isn't as bad as it could be. I bet their corporate IT people are just falling over themselves to get rid of Access.


I have a question though, why macs and not switching to Linux? Wouldn't it be cheaper for a company like FedEx that already has the x86 hardware to load Linux and OpenOffice.

Excellent point - especially as their PC vendor (HP / IBM / whoever) probably offers a Linux solution anyway.

evolu
Mar 3, 2004, 03:09 AM
I bet apple is making a push at companies like Fedex - just look at all the amazing marketing connections they are establishing with Big Businesses. ...an Apple exec goes in to Fedex and pitches why they should switch, gives them a discount on a huge volumed order and everyone wins.

Apple's getting saavy again.

displaced
Mar 3, 2004, 03:09 AM
Companies are not happy with Microsoft. They're increasingly seen as offering little in the way of value for money. They can bleat on all they like about total cost of ownership, but the day-to-day experience of Windows admins begs to differ.

The fact that the Mac, albeit a 'proprietary' system, embraces and supports so many open (and free standards) means that it's becoming viable to use them in place of PCs on the desktop, with minimal structural changes to how a company operates.

OS X provides a hell of a lot out-of-the-box. It is truly scary how much companies (like the one I work for) are giving money hand-over-fist to vendors such as Symantec and Computer Associates for firewalls, AV software, network security etc. The Mac's UNIX heritage means things like industrial-strength firewalling, packet filtering and other network/security features are already right there, well documented and easy to configure.

Not only is the Mac a UNIX machine that your grandmother could use, it's also a UNIX machine that your average MSCE-qualified true-blue Windows admin can appreciate (if only they'd bother...)

Well done FedEx for even investigating this move. I'd love to look at doing something similar for our company, but unfortunately we're completely locked in to Microsoft Access (and Access 97 at that!) and don't have the resources to shift to something else.

(although since I started, Mozilla Firebird is starting to spread through the office, as well as a few busted-up laptops with Linux installed for things such as a computer-based answerphone. Baby steps, people... baby steps...;))

Skypat
Mar 3, 2004, 03:38 AM
Apple's main problem is that they don't have business-tailored computers. What kind of computer could FedEx buy ? iMacs with DVD-R and 32MB graphic cards ? G5 + flat screens ? eMacs ? None of those computers are corporate machines.

I think Apple needs to (1) have a corporate/large business offering (cheap boxes, with smaller hard driven & less powerfull graphic cards), better support and ... a better image in large corporation where Mac OS is (still) seen as a nice little computer for graphists. When will Apple make a strong advertising campaign to fight against those myths !!! :mad:

Savage Henry
Mar 3, 2004, 03:45 AM
/
I'd love to look at doing something similar for our company, but unfortunately we're completely locked in to Microsoft Access (and Access 97 at that!) and don't have the resources to shift to something else.


I think this situation is all too common as it is pratically a carbon copy of the situation here. We've dug so deep we can afford the ladder to get out (That doesn't make much sense I know, but there was a certain amount of share sentiment!)

Fukui
Mar 3, 2004, 03:49 AM
Apple's main problem is that they don't have business-tailored computers. What kind of computer could FedEx buy ? iMacs with DVD-R and 32MB graphic cards ? G5 + flat screens ? eMacs ? None of those computers are corporate machines.

I think Apple needs to (1) have a corporate/large business offering (cheap boxes, with smaller hard driven & less powerfull graphic cards), better support and ... a better image in large corporation where Mac OS is (still) seen as a nice little computer for graphists. When will Apple make a strong advertising campaign to fight against those myths !!! :mad:
Definitey. If the want more considerations like FedEx they'll need to first become a more International company and start selling real Business Machines.

Interiority
Mar 3, 2004, 04:05 AM
I'd love to look at doing something similar for our company, but unfortunately we're completely locked in to Microsoft Access (and Access 97 at that!) and don't have the resources to shift to something else.
Same story everywhere. I have several clients with applications built around Access or other proprietary back ends. Having some small successes though migrating systems to open source databases, even with Windows clients for the time being. All I need to do now is start persuading my clients to buy XServes.

Definitey. If the want more considerations like FedEx they'll need to first become a more International company and start selling real Business Machines.
Absolutely. A slim-line headless quiet Mac with integrated manageability features that can be rolled out to call-centre type environments in huge numbers would be just the thing. Wouldn't even have to be that fast...

phonic pol
Mar 3, 2004, 04:11 AM
This is good news for Fed Ex. I don't see why more companies switch, I'm sure in the long run Mac's are the more economical option i.e. less down time, quicker routes from A to B, less complication, better longevity and integration etc etc. Workers will be happier too. They won't have to do battle with the MS Office Assistant on a daily basis which should increase productivity!

Analog Kid
Mar 3, 2004, 04:23 AM
i just hope this doesnt make mac a platform that more virus writters will target

OS X is inherently more secure than the Windows platforms out there. Yes viruses can (and maybe will) be written, but Windows has shipped with all the doors and, er, windows open for so long it's going to take a generation to secure it.

OS X is building on a much more secure base, their Security Updates are regular and effective, and in a corporate environment they'll have admins that can use the UNIX features effectively.

Granted Apple can never stop some idiot from clicking on random attachments and then typing in the administrator password, but a solid base can relegate the problems to the leaves of the network and keep the servers safe.

Even if Apple gets a 50% share (yeah, right...), that will still mean no one vulnerability will bring down 98% of the machines out there.

I think the biggest problem isn't going to be Windows switchers, it's going to be the rest of us who have grown complacent watching viruses pass harmlessly though our email...

Analog Kid
Mar 3, 2004, 04:27 AM
WOW!!

This would rank right there with the Big Mac supercomputer and the beginning of Apple market share growth.

I have a question though, why macs and not switching to Linux? Wouldn't it be cheaper for a company like FedEx that already has the x86 hardware to load Linux and OpenOffice.

Administration costs. Macs are really much easier to administer. I've never played with the server version, but the clients just don't take much work at all-- even on an all Windows network.

rdowns
Mar 3, 2004, 04:31 AM
Companies are not happy with Microsoft. They're increasingly seen as offering little in the way of value for money. They can bleat on all they like about total cost of ownership, but the day-to-day experience of Windows admins begs to differ.

The fact that the Mac, albeit a 'proprietary' system, embraces and supports so many open (and free standards) means that it's becoming viable to use them in place of PCs on the desktop, with minimal structural changes to how a company operates.



Companies may be unhappy but I've yet to meet the IT professional who advocates moving away from Microsoft. Microsoft is their job security.

A good analogy is my company and my brother's. Both are about 175 employees and are heavily computerized. My company is a Windows shop and we have 4 support people to deal with the daily problems. My brother's company is primarily Mac and they have 1 support person. Imagine savings like those for a large scale company.

winmacguy
Mar 3, 2004, 04:35 AM
I always knew FedEx is the best shipping company--here in the United States, at least--and this just confirms it.

Cool trivia fact: Did you know there's an arrow hidden in the FedEx logo? Can you find it?

Yes it is between the E and the X (EX) ;) It is a little marketing gimic designed to play on the subconcious of peoples minds. the hidden arrow says/signifies that we are moving forwards to deliver your important package.

http://www.fedex.com/images/ascend/shared/express_logo.gif

displaced
Mar 3, 2004, 04:55 AM
On the subject of hardware, I'd definitely like to see a low-cost headless Mac os some sort - even just an eMac with a good helping of RAM and an external display.

The interesting thing is that Dell have recently made clear that they will freeze their business model's configuration for a minimum of 6 months (maybe a year, not sure on that detail). Businesses demand predictability. At present, we use quite a few Dells, and many of the OptiPlex systems have identical model numbers, but may have different internal components (3Com vs. Intel ethernet adapters, fr'ex). This is a support nightmare, especially considering how often Windows machines must be reformatted to either fix things or to prepare for other users.

Apart from the obvious lack of driver worries, Apple hardware specs can be stable for years (excluding the odd speed bump). This would make them a dream come true - especially for businesses like mine which need a very rapid turnaround for computer (re)allocations. It's scary the amount of time required to go from a bare machine to one fully set up for what we do. Norton Ghost's nice, but not without its own set of issues.

Regarding speed, I think even an eMac is more than capable of most of what our users do. All the computation is done on the server side - the computers just need to be able to keep up with the front-ends to the databases. As for upgrading, my experience is that corporations rarely upgrade machines beyond adding RAM and maybe adding hard disks. Most business PC's (Dell, etc) are pretty closed systems anyway -- everything's integrated. Anyway, a few years of owning an iMac has shown me that you can get pretty much anything else done via USB or Firewire peripherals. This is also much nicer for tech staff -- need the DVD burner in a different room? Just unplug and take it there!

And as for Access, I seem to remember reading somewhere that IBM were working on a project to create a cross-platform Access 'drop-in' replacement. Now that would be cool.

(sorry for wandering O.T!)

tazznb
Mar 3, 2004, 04:56 AM
With NO VIRUSES at this point this is something that stands out like a sore thumb.... in a GOOD way. :cool:

By the time Windows was the size of the current Apple user base they had PUH-LEN-TEEE of viruese, due to the same reasons that they have viruses today; WEAK CRAPPY OS SYSTEMS.

displaced
Mar 3, 2004, 05:12 AM
Companies may be unhappy but I've yet to meet the IT professional who advocates moving away from Microsoft. Microsoft is their job security.

A good analogy is my company and my brother's. Both are about 175 employees and are heavily computerized. My company is a Windows shop and we have 4 support people to deal with the daily problems. My brother's company is primarily Mac and they have 1 support person. Imagine savings like those for a large scale company.

The counterpoint (kinda) to your first comment is that this benefits those of us who've kept our fingers in both pies. The Linux/Open Source world is beginning to open corporate director's eyes. How long before companies begin seeing those around them making the jump and getting these massive savings? I'd imagine the IT pro's protestations would begin to sound pretty weak compared to the director's demand to keep up with the competition.

If you're experienced with both MS products and standards-based software from Apple and Open Source projects, you're in a position to begin offering cheaper, safer solutions to problems. No-one in their right mind would advocate a wholesale switch without knowing what to expect. So start small. Apply Mac/Linux/etc. solutions where they'd fit best. Prove that using Mozilla Firefox will lead to a more secure network. Highlight the problems of keyloggers and spyware which users can accidentally install simply by browsing the web. Mention the cost of all that software required to help these deficiencies. I guess I'm lucky in that I work somewhere that allows for people to jump in and suggest alternatives. I can trial something if I think it'll work, and fortunately my higher-ups are reasonable enough to know a good thing when they see it.

Think back a few years, and then think about how far Apple's come for this to even be considered. Great stuff.

Knox
Mar 3, 2004, 05:36 AM
Granted Apple can never stop some idiot from clicking on random attachments and then typing in the administrator password, but a solid base can relegate the problems to the leaves of the network and keep the servers safe.

There was a good post about this on the Full-Disclosure security list last month *rumages*

From: petard <petard@freeshell.org>
Cc: full-disclosure@lists.netsys.com
Subject: [Full-Disclosure] os x mass mailers
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2004 19:59:50 +0000

On Wed, Feb 18, 2004 at 12:09:54PM -0500, Joshua Levitsky wrote:
> Personally I hope someone is writing an OS X virus / worm to shut those
> people up about how secure the 3% using Macs are. How hard is it for someone
> to write a freaking osascript that tell application Address Book.app ... and
> then tell application Mail.app ... and you would have the same problems as
> windows. It would be nice to have a little less stress with Windows and let
> the others suffer for a while.

the script to do so is trivial... certainly easier than on windows, I'd
say. in fact, here's how to send a message with no user interaction at
all in applescript, provided mail.app is running and authenticated to
your server as required:

tell application "Mail"
set newMessage to make new outgoing message with properties
{subject:"some witty subject", content:"some random garbage",
sender:"some@loser.tld"}
tell newMessage
make new to recipient at end of to recipients with properties
{name:"Victim", address:"victim@other.tld"}
send
end tell
end tell

The issue is getting that to propagate on a large scale. There are 3
problems:
1. Mail.app doesn't automatically execute incoming scripts.
2. If you ship it as a "script" (even run-only) the only thing that
happens when someone double-clicks it is that script editor opens; it
doesn't run. Most mac users have never seen the script editor, wouldn't
like it, and would promptly quit.
3. If you ship it as an application bundle, mail presents a very
dire warning about how you shouldn't open it because it may contain a
virus or be harmful to your computer and does not default to opening it.

Those 3 issues assume you've hit an os x user who runs mail.app. Other
users just wouldn't be able to execute it if they want and are stupid
enough to do so. And that's most of the recipient pool. (95% of the
people in a non-technical user's address book are likely to be windows
users. Not exactly fertile ground for an applescript virus.)

The combination of more difficult social engineering thanks to a safer
default configuration of the environment and a smaller user population
make writing this mass mailing trojan very unrewarding. The upshot is
that, as a practical matter, the 3% using Macs are much safer.

And you must just be an ass if you hope for more of this crap to clog
your mailbox, whether you use the platform in question or not. I haven't
been vulnerable to a single one of them, but they irritate me and I
certainly don't want more stuff like it bogging down my servers.

regards,
petard

MrMacMan
Mar 3, 2004, 06:07 AM
I always knew FedEx is the best shipping company--here in the United States, at least--and this just confirms it.

Cool trivia fact: Did you know there's an arrow hidden in the FedEx logo? Can you find it?

http://www.fedex.com/images/ascend/shared/express_logo.gif

Yeah yeah, Bewteen the E and the X (in the white space).


I wonder what machines they are looking for... hmmm.

ph8te
Mar 3, 2004, 06:09 AM
Cool trivia fact: Did you know there's an arrow hidden in the FedEx logo? Can you find it?

http://www.fedex.com/images/ascend/shared/express_logo.gif

between the "E" & the "X"

... and now for something completely different...

It's good to hear that FedEx is thinking of switching because of the viruses, and yes there is that chance that virus authors will also "Switch", but I once asked the head of Apple South Africa why there were so few viruses for the mac and he had a simple, yet elegant answer: "Macs are too much fun... Why try and destroy a positive thing?" I agree. The Mac offers so many other possibilities that the writing of viruses is a complete waste of time. Lets just hope that there will be no vindictive persons out there...

eddyg
Mar 3, 2004, 06:12 AM
Granted Apple can never stop some idiot from clicking on random attachments and then typing in the administrator password, but a solid base can relegate the problems to the leaves of the network and keep the servers safe.

A Worm wouldn't necessarily have to have administrator access to do the sorts of things that the Windows worms are doing. It can read the address book, send emails, delete just about all the Applications, and the users files all without the admin password being entered.

I'd suggest Apple think hard how they will be updating Mail.app to prevent this sort of thing happening, and it won't be easy as you say, there are always idiots out there that will click on random attachments and say "Yes" to every dialog box without actually reading them.

Cheers,

Edward.

fixyourthinking
Mar 3, 2004, 06:14 AM
Apple's main problem is that they don't have business-tailored computers. What kind of computer could FedEx buy ? iMacs with DVD-R and 32MB graphic cards ? G5 + flat screens ? eMacs ? None of those computers are corporate machines.

I think Apple needs to (1) have a corporate/large business offering (cheap boxes, with smaller hard driven & less powerfull graphic cards), better support and ... a better image in large corporation where Mac OS is (still) seen as a nice little computer for graphists. When will Apple make a strong advertising campaign to fight against those myths !!! :mad:

The eMac/iMac is a PERFECT low cost/low maintenace machine. It's a space saving machine too. The Apple Store proves this well by using CRT iMacs as cash registers, so does a chain called Country Clutter (100 locations in the US) with Mac POS these make great counter/register machines. I would imagine many "mostly mac" peripheral companies could tell you the "nice things" about having Macs in their corporate environment. I'm assuming here - but Other World Computing must have a really tight system like this - using Macs for database/webserving/design/point of sale.

Apple does have a corporate headless machine that can be dummy terminaled by MULTIPLE monitors and multiple keyboards - that's a G4 or a G5 or even an XServe - Apple makes corporate deals and education deals you know?? Do you think VA Tech paid retail for the super cluster? Do you think Maine paid retail for all those iBooks?

As far as MS Access goes - all I know is that major companies like GE and Arcadis are switching from Access to SQL server/Oracle 8i and even FileMaker (but not necessarily Macs) - all of which are superior database solutions in my opinion + more secure and less to maintain.

GE (with one of the largest plants near me) is giving iBooks to Senior IT slowly for this very reason. The recently transitioned from Access and two other databases to Oracle 8i. It took them 3 years. I would imagine Fedex is no where NEAR the employment of GE (even though very large)

Could Apple have a better enterprise solution = yes. Do they have the best out there now = quite poissibly.

0 and A ai
Mar 3, 2004, 06:20 AM
Apple's main problem is that they don't have business-tailored computers. What kind of computer could FedEx buy ? iMacs with DVD-R and 32MB graphic cards ? G5 + flat screens ? eMacs ? None of those computers are corporate machines.

I think Apple needs to (1) have a corporate/large business offering (cheap boxes, with smaller hard driven & less powerfull graphic cards), better support and ... a better image in large corporation where Mac OS is (still) seen as a nice little computer for graphists. When will Apple make a strong advertising campaign to fight against those myths !!! :mad:

Their business machine would be the emac/imac

Just get lowend emac. whats the problem?

SiliconAddict
Mar 3, 2004, 06:26 AM
Question: How much can you do with Apple Script? Is it basically the same thing as VB script? The reason I ask is couldn't a virus be written in AS?

ewinemiller
Mar 3, 2004, 06:38 AM
Companies may be unhappy but I've yet to meet the IT professional who advocates moving away from Microsoft. Microsoft is their job security.

A good analogy is my company and my brother's. Both are about 175 employees and are heavily computerized. My company is a Windows shop and we have 4 support people to deal with the daily problems. My brother's company is primarily Mac and they have 1 support person. Imagine savings like those for a large scale company.

Occasionally I see numbers like this and I can't figure out what you're doing. I worked in a Windows shop where we had 1200 workstations, about 50 servers, spread over 12 sites. Support for daily problems and a rather complicated inhouse business app was handled by two techs, one DBA who admitted he only put in a good 4 hours a day, and two people to answer the phone and do training classes. These folks were never busy and the only time I ever saw them work overtime was if we were swapping out a server and it had to be done at off hours.

If you're not buying Joe's backroom PCs, hardware failures aren't really that frequent, there are tools that will push security and software updates to workstations automatically, WTS and other tools will let you remotely admin servers and workstations, and if you've got a virus scanner installed (client and/or mail server), you're okay there. Apply a little security to your users (don't make them an Admin) so they can't just install every piece of junk software they think looks neat and you'll reduce a ton of calls right there.

Ghost is a wonderful tool too, make the users save all documents to network drive (which of course is backed up). If they do manage to trash a machine (never seen it happen to anyone who wasn't an Admin), reblast the standard image and boom you're up and running in a matter of minutes. If they are on a portable, partition the drive so that there is a system and data drive. Change my documents to point to the data drive and again if they trash the system, blast an image to the system drive.

burntoutjoy
Mar 3, 2004, 06:53 AM
Question: How much can you do with Apple Script? Is it basically the same thing as VB script? The reason I ask is couldn't a virus be written in AS?Read the thread. A virus could very easily be written in AppleScript, but it's getting it to run on other people's systems that's the problem.
It's good to hear that FedEx is thinking of switching because of the viruses, and yes there is that chance that virus authors will also "Switch", but I once asked the head of Apple South Africa why there were so few viruses for the mac and he had a simple, yet elegant answer: "Macs are too much fun... Why try and destroy a positive thing?" I agree. The Mac offers so many other possibilities that the writing of viruses is a complete waste of time. Lets just hope that there will be no vindictive persons out there...Oh dear me, talk about getting drawn in by PR ************. There are people who want to write viruses. They're not gonna stop just cos it's a Mac.

Skypat
Mar 3, 2004, 06:54 AM
Their business machine would be the emac/imac

Just get lowend emac. whats the problem?

The eMac is a good home computer, or a good education computer. I really don't see an eMac on every desk where I work. We work with ugly Dells now. They look like business machines, and they are. Apple creates cool looking computers, and that's not an advantage in the corporate environment. Because cool-looks = not serious. Sad but often true.

But look around you. Check a pro-computer publication. They talk about Windows or Linux. Mac ? Never. Ask an IT manager, they are Windows or Linux "formated" ;-) Most techies still have in mind the Mac OS 9 from 5 years ago. They would be surprise to see how the mac has changed, but how would they know. Apple communicates on the ... iPod ;-)

ph8te
Mar 3, 2004, 07:14 AM
Oh dear me, talk about getting drawn in by PR ************. There are people who want to write viruses. They're not gonna stop just cos it's a Mac.


Hey, it just might be PR-Bull, but consider even if Apple's market share is only 3 per cent, the number of viruses for the mac are definetly less than 3% of the total number of viruses that have appeared over the years, so, there has to be some truth to the statement.

Also I think the mac-user community in general is on a totally different level compared to the PC user, and mac-users to have their fun with their machines, and do not sit in some hideyhole and s****** like and idiot when they can do some damage.

pimentoLoaf
Mar 3, 2004, 07:31 AM
.... It is truly scary how much companies (like the one I work for) are giving money hand-over-fist to vendors such as Symantec and Computer Associates for firewalls, AV software, network security etc. The Mac's UNIX heritage means things like industrial-strength firewalling, packet filtering and other network/security features are already right there, well documented and easy to configure.....

I have Norton Personal Firewall on my Mac (because it's easier to configure than Apple's own), and Virex via .mac (http://www.mac.com) insures I don't get a nasty surprise -- someday.

SubGothius
Mar 3, 2004, 07:37 AM
The fact that the Mac, albeit a 'proprietary' system, embraces and supports so many open (and free standards) means that it's becoming viable to use them in place of PCs on the desktop, with minimal structural changes to how a company operates..."How can IT shops say they won't use a 'single-vendor solution' like Apple, but then use Microsoft for everything--from the server to desktop OS to software--and call it 'standardization'?"
-rueyeet's .sig, MacRumors forums
:D

Steamboatwillie
Mar 3, 2004, 07:41 AM
Well done FedEx for even investigating this move. I'd love to look at doing something similar for our company, but unfortunately we're completely locked in to Microsoft Access (and Access 97 at that!) and don't have the resources to shift to something else.


The last company I worked for built it's main product around Access 97. I begged and pleaded for them to change. They wouldn't, I couldn't take it so I up and quit! That's how bad it was. They went out of business. I am fortunate that where I work I can use a Mac and our main systems are UNIX based (thank god!) The bad news is that I still have to support 250 Windows workstations (that use our UNIX system) but at least there is no MS Access!!!

:D

pimentoLoaf
Mar 3, 2004, 07:48 AM
I had an Applescript virus back in late 2001: it grabbed piles of stuff out of the os9 system folder and deposited it onto the desktop; the icons for these things were originally visible only via ResEdit.

I figured there may have been several thousand icons on the desktop.

Couldn't access any files unless I went into osX -- and there was a special way to reboot into X that I used, but I can't remember what that was -- to access my files.

Photorun
Mar 3, 2004, 07:49 AM
Companies may be unhappy but I've yet to meet the IT professional who advocates moving away from Microsoft. Microsoft is their job security.

A good analogy is my company and my brother's. Both are about 175 employees and are heavily computerized. My company is a Windows shop and we have 4 support people to deal with the daily problems. My brother's company is primarily Mac and they have 1 support person. Imagine savings like those for a large scale company.

Agreed. This is why many companies don't even get the whole lost productivity, downtime, and costs related to computers. They turn to Joe IT guy and say "what can we do to stop all these crashes and bugs" and he says "hire more M$ certified people." He wants a bigger department, more people working under him, it's all job security. College where I work has about 1200 employees, had about 1000 Macs in the 90s, and had only three full time staff IT people; employees have stayed the same, peecees have sadly disgustedly crept their way in so it's almost 750 craptaculare peecee sh**ty winblows machines, IT now has 11 people on staff, only one of whom is the "mac guy" and he says they trained him on peecee M$ crap sh** stuff because he didn't have job security i.e. 1 person for 250 Macs he had nothing to do.

Rachel Ortiz
Mar 3, 2004, 07:51 AM
I hope they do switch. I think it will make it easier to use FedEx.com and internet Ship. :)

MisterMe
Mar 3, 2004, 07:55 AM
....

While Macs are not inherently immune to virus attacks, most viruses have been written on the Windows/PC platform.Oh, come on. The only proof of a virus susceptibility on any platform is a concrete example. The proof that it is possible to write a virus for MacOS X is a MacOS X virus. There are none--zero--nada. This is not to say that it is impossible to write a MacOS X virus. What I am saying, however, is that there is more evidence for ghosts, UFOs, and Big Foot than there is for MacOS X viruses. People have actually reported seeing ghosts, UFOs, and Big Foot.

jamilecrire
Mar 3, 2004, 08:01 AM
I doubt this is true as most of their databases would be unable to be run with Mac OS X. Just last night I was dealing with a "Customer Advocate" at FedEX concerning tracking and found out many of their interfaces are Microsoft Access designed.

They are using Mac OS for the Client Computers. Remember a Client computer is one that an average worker can use. A Server is a computer that is rarely infected by the viruses, etc of the world because they are sufficiently protected. FedEx has no need for Access on client machines, remember most of their interfaces are web-based? Do you actually know anything about computers? Lol, FedEx runs their data on MS Access on Windows 95! How unlikely.

jamilecrire
Mar 3, 2004, 08:07 AM
"How can IT shops say they won't use a 'single-vendor solution' like Apple, but then use Microsoft for everything--from the server to desktop OS to software--and call it 'standardization'?"
-rueyeet's .sig, MacRumors forums
:D

You're exactly right. Most people don't realize Mac OS X Server is primarily a reimplementation of OSS. Postfix, Apache/Tomcat, SSH, etc... They just make managing Servers several times easier for those unfamiliar with a UNIX environment. I admin Windows, Linux, Solaris and Mac OS X Servers and Linux is my favorite but is also the most difficult to admin. Windows requires the most dedicated time and Solaris is borish. Mac OS X Server is excellent.

My companies primary app is running on Windows right now but we do have a JSP version running on Linux. My main drawback is the Oracle Release. I'm evaluating Sybase Enterprise but it isn't true 64bit yet (however, can you really expect that after the hardware has only been out a short time). The Oracle release schedule is strange to me.

Our likely conversion will be to redundant (dual location) G5 XServes for our Web Servers and Linux running 9i as the DB Server. All our firewalls are Linux based as well.

hughdogg
Mar 3, 2004, 08:17 AM
Just some interesting stuff from the FedEx Website, lots of similarities in the two companies approaches to technology.

"FedEx's newest data collection device for couriers incorporates a micro-radio for hands-free communication with a printer and mobile computer in the courier's delivery vehicle. Called the PowerPad, the devices use Bluetooth wireless technology that allows FedEx couriers to communicate with each other within 30 feet of their vehicle."

Also the Fed Ex Institute, which has research centers in many areas that Apple is strong, such as multimedia, Life Sciences, etc.

Institute Web Site (http://www.fedex.com/us/about/technology/institute.html)

And one more thing... doesn't using the OS X server software save a ton in licensing fees ($999 for unlimited licenses), so maybe it is a desktop and server migration.

Cool stuff, maybe this will mean new Powerbooks on Tuesday...
:D

Cheers,
hughdogg

edited - added content

tychay
Mar 3, 2004, 08:17 AM
He wants a bigger department, more people working under him, it's all job security.

Yes, but this is changing. More IT jobs are offshoring, workers are becoming more efficient which means that this gravy train has ended.

It is interesting to note that it wouldn't be hard for Microsoft to fix the operating system to be more secure as most of the security flaws are well understood. The problem is that doing so would break a number of applications running on the system including Microsoft's own. It is well known that Microsoft writes their software such that it operates very close to the metal, and I guess this implies that no number of security audits will untangle that fundamental problem, because they really stepped up the number and size of the audits but the number of viruses/exploits remains the same.

thegeek187
Mar 3, 2004, 08:22 AM
It about time


fedex sucks


i had to get a new logic board on my laptop so they had to send it away fedex messed up sent it to someone else in texas and im in NY, so 2 days pass a nice apple retail employee does some reserch and finds out comp usa gave this guy the same dispatch # as mine, so i got his instead


then fedex delivers it to someone 2 blocks away from me!

and "overnight" delivery is really 3 days to fedex


never again will i use fedex even if they are using macs

wdlove
Mar 3, 2004, 08:27 AM
Here in Boston FedEx has lived up to ontime delivery. My overnight or next day from Apple were on time. No complaints from my end.

ewinemiller
Mar 3, 2004, 08:34 AM
It about time


fedex sucks


I have to agree. I'm on the tail end of the Fedex route, it's guaranteed that if I have a Friday scheduled delivery, it suddenly shows up in the system "address doesn't exist", even when the same guy was there Thursday. Strange that Mr. Friday Happy Hour never has a problem delivering the same package come Monday. I'm also on the tail end of the UPS route too, but I've seen them show up at 8:45pm on a Friday to deliver on a busy day.

I somehow suspect that changing platform is not going to change those kinds of problems.

Stutmannen
Mar 3, 2004, 08:42 AM
Sorry to sound pessimistic... Think I've just spent too long working for large companies.

They might look into a Citrix solution. I work in a Windows environment with my PBG4 12", run must of my apps natively (Office, Mail etc) and Windows-only from our Citrix server. Keeps me productive and virus-free (the server is relatively easy to protect from viruses).

Jack Reacher
Mar 3, 2004, 08:49 AM
FedEx can buy a couple minutes on the G5 Terascale Cluster at Virginia Tech.....that's all the time they'll need to convert their databases from M$ Access to MySQL.

The FedEx business decision is based on Total Cost of Ownership. FedEx realized that OS X was equal to the task and would cost them far less across their entire enterprise.

I'd pay money to watch the FedEx President tell their MCSE IT folks to either take Apple certification training or plan on working the counter (would you like fries with that?).

If this deal with FedEx proves true......it's a major coup for Apple. Winning over the likes of FedEx will prove that Apple is a viable choice for mainstream businesses, not just specialized Media, Scientific and Educational segments.

And if Apple wants to turn a ripple into a wave, let's not forget......FedEx just bought Kinkos!

Frobozz
Mar 3, 2004, 08:57 AM
I have a question though, why macs and not switching to Linux? Wouldn't it be cheaper for a company like FedEx that already has the x86 hardware to load Linux and OpenOffice.

Because Linux really isn't a viable alternative for a desktop computer. Supporting Linux and it's hodge podge of propritary software is just as much of a problem as you can imagine. At least with the Mac you have a clear OS vendor with well established companies that provide excellent third party software.

I can imagine they'd replace computers in one of three locations: offices, terminals, or back end hardware. I doubt all three would happen at once.

iChan
Mar 3, 2004, 09:04 AM
I always knew FedEx is the best shipping company--here in the United States, at least--and this just confirms it.

Cool trivia fact: Did you know there's an arrow hidden in the FedEx logo? Can you find it?

http://www.fedex.com/images/ascend/shared/express_logo.gif

yeah, that's an old one. the negative area formed by the Orange E & X forms the arrow. nice one though :)

nightcap965
Mar 3, 2004, 09:12 AM
i fear someone's been sipping from the Microsoft FUD fountain. While it is possible to find proprietary software that runs on Linux, most is open source. There is no more a hodgepodge of Linux software than there is of Windows or MacOS. All support organizations know the mantra, "We don't support that." The supported computer in business is the one running the standard IS build. Anyone calling the HelpDesk to complain that Frobozz Fritzwerks makes his screen flicker will receive The Mantra in response. If he presses the matter, his hard disk will be wiped and the standard build re-installed. The message is clear: if you run non-supported software, you're on your own.

Linux is actually easier to manage because configuration files are simple text documents, not Windows Registry arcana.

-- Bill

Because Linux really isn't a viable alternative for a desktop computer. Supporting Linux and it's hodge podge of propritary software is just as much of a problem as you can imagine. At least with the Mac you have a clear OS vendor with well established companies that provide excellent third party software.

I can imagine they'd replace computers in one of three locations: offices, terminals, or back end hardware. I doubt all three would happen at once.

ThomasJefferson
Mar 3, 2004, 09:12 AM
Double Plus Good.

FedEx would offer significant visibility in the business world for Apple. I can visualize the Apple/FedEx TV ad now. Maybe, Tom Hanks as a FedEx employee stranded on an island with only his Mac for company. :D

MorganX
Mar 3, 2004, 09:30 AM
i fear someone's been sipping from the Microsoft FUD fountain. While it is possible to find proprietary software that runs on Linux, most is open source. There is no more a hodgepodge of Linux software than there is of Windows or MacOS. All support organizations know the mantra, "We don't support that." The supported computer in business is the one running the standard IS build. Anyone calling the HelpDesk to complain that Frobozz Fritzwerks makes his screen flicker will receive The Mantra in response. If he presses the matter, his hard disk will be wiped and the standard build re-installed. The message is clear: if you run non-supported software, you're on your own.

Linux is actually easier to manage because configuration files are simple text documents, not Windows Registry arcana.
-- Bill

Let's see, after you decide which distro to use, and which UI, uh, no thanks. No time, these are business desktops.

The Mac is the only serious desktop alternative to Windows right now, and in the forseeable future. Pretending otherwise is a nice way to pass the time, but getting very boring and old. At it's current progress rate, the Linux Desktop will never be unified or as efficient and usable as Windows or MacOS. JMO, of course.

And another thing, when Linux gets serious about the consumer and business desktop, how about giving applications some names that can actually be deciphered and understood at a glance by ma and pa kettle?

>>Linux is actually easier to manage because configuration files are simple text documents, not Windows Registry arcana.<<

Who the hell manages desktops by editing the Registry (buzzword alert)?

JW Pepper
Mar 3, 2004, 09:37 AM
Whilst I love the imac I can understand some large corporates will not relish the idea of not being able to replace the screen without loosing the whole computer. The same can be said of the eMac. As for the G5, the box is simply too big and expensive. I am sure Apple is aware of this problem, but does not want to crucify current sales of premium products.

The answer is that Apple need the Powermacs to go G5 second generation DP. Then it will be possible to sell a single G5 (First gen) in a small slim box with cheap graphics card, (BTO upgrades), with combo drives for corporate sales. A 17" screen and cheap low spec'd G5 box should be attractive to corporates. Oh and get rid of the translucent keyboards, which fill with hairs, crumbs and dust, the do look nice when new though.

marke
Mar 3, 2004, 09:39 AM
http://www.thebigreason.com/signatures/ex.gif

FlamDrag
Mar 3, 2004, 09:40 AM
I find this highly unlikely. Here's why:

My father-in-law runs a FedEx authorized outlet (similar to the old Mailboxes Etc.). FedEx just gave him $1500.00 to purchase a brand new PC to be used for FedEx purposes ONLY. That is to say, they can come into the store at any time (yeah right) and there had better be only FedEx stuff on there. FedEx's machine (I believe) only has Windows and FedEx special software on it. Therefore - by my estimation - it should be pretty immune to any e-mail virus as e-mail does not come in on this machine.

My father-in-law is not alone. FedEx spent gobs and gobs of money on this to buy computers for others just like him. I find it difficult to believe that they would spend even more to switch to Mac at this point in time.

jocknerd
Mar 3, 2004, 09:42 AM
Their business machine would be the emac/imac

Just get lowend emac. whats the problem?

The emac/iMac is not a business machine. I wouldn't want either one of them in my business. What happens if the screen dies? You've got to have separate monitors for easy swapping.

One day Apple will get it. Or maybe they have no interest in the corporate world. Maybe they are happy with what they concentrate on.

jcshas
Mar 3, 2004, 09:49 AM
This would be the shot in the arm Apple has needed for a very long time - a major presence in a large enterprise. Its high time OS X/Macs made the move onto corporate desktops. Hopefully Fed Ex's influence will convince others to follow suit!

trek7k
Mar 3, 2004, 09:58 AM
Just some interesting stuff from the FedEx Website, lots of similarities in the two companies approaches to technology.


You know in all the business magazines I read they often refer to FedEx as a technology company rather than a shipping company because they rely on technology to such a large degree. I've also heard the same said about WalMart (evidence their upcoming implementation of RFID)...

jocknerd
Mar 3, 2004, 10:01 AM
Because Linux really isn't a viable alternative for a desktop computer. Supporting Linux and it's hodge podge of propritary software is just as much of a problem as you can imagine. At least with the Mac you have a clear OS vendor with well established companies that provide excellent third party software.

KDE and Gnome are both viable desktop environments. In fact, giving an end user a computer is getting to be overkill. Thin client is the future. Running apps over a network reduces the need for support. I'd guess that in most corporate settings, at least 75% of the desktop computers could be replaced with thin clients. As applications become more web-based, the need for a computer on the desktop diminishes even more.

What the hell are you talking about proprietary software on Linux? It seems to me that you are trolling.

heathpitts
Mar 3, 2004, 10:02 AM
Here comes the return of the Cube! If this were to happen the cube form factor could be used to make space requirements small and being aluminum, a very tough case.

ewinemiller
Mar 3, 2004, 10:03 AM
Whilst I love the imac I can understand some large corporates will not relish the idea of not being able to replace the screen without loosing the whole computer.

Hmmm, I must work for the opposite corporation. They will replace the machine, just not the screen. We finally got upgraded from the 500mhz PIIIs that we got 4 years ago, but still using the 17" monitors. It seems that for the companies that I've worked for, monitors outlive the usefulness of a desktop by nearly 2 to 1. I can only speak for my own experience, but I don't see anyone buying the emac/imac solution for the typical workstation. Buy a $500 box and a $200 monitor. If the machine gets too slow for it's task, swap it out for another $500 box, but you leave the monitor.

fixyourthinking
Mar 3, 2004, 10:45 AM
The emac/iMac is not a business machine. I wouldn't want either one of them in my business. What happens if the screen dies? You've got to have separate monitors for easy swapping.

One day Apple will get it. Or maybe they have no interest in the corporate world. Maybe they are happy with what they concentrate on.


What's so hard about having parts in storage in the IT dept? It is no more hassle to replace the LCD on an iMac LCD than it is to lug a 15/17/20 inch CRT or disconnect the power supplies/cabling from a large LCD.

If I have the part (dome with LCD) I can do it in less than 15 minutes. Besides how many iMac LCDs or eMac CRT's are you expecting to go bad? Apple may have problems, but tested machines like the iMac and eMac have almost zero quality issues.

MOST computers are TOTALLY replaced ANYWAY - even if the keyboard goes bad!!!

djcobb44
Mar 3, 2004, 10:49 AM
In the 2 years that I worked for FedEx Express, there were 3-4 times that viruses resulted in a complete shut down to the tracking system across the country, not to mention cash registers. Needless to say, customers were frustrated, money was lost, time was wasted trying to resolve issues and looking up prices. The problem is that all computers are tied to a central server, and if that server goes down, all computers across the country do too, so replacing computers in each FedEx station will probably not happen, but replacing the main server at HQ probably would make better sense.

Savage Henry
Mar 3, 2004, 10:56 AM
Hmmm, I must work for the opposite corporation. They will replace the machine, just not the screen. We finally got upgraded from the 500mhz PIIIs that we got 4 years ago, but still using the 17" monitors. It seems that for the companies that I've worked for, monitors outlive the usefulness of a desktop by nearly 2 to 1. ... Buy a $500 box and a $200 monitor. If the machine gets too slow for it's task, swap it out for another $500 box, but you leave the monitor.

Yep, agree with you there sir. I think our monitors are older than the post-franking machine.

My company will want either a downgraded G5 or a cheaper version of the current one to feel as though they've got something out of it if it came to it. And you can be sure thes same nasty dust cluttered monitors will be there.

ewinemiller
Mar 3, 2004, 11:04 AM
MOST computers are TOTALLY replaced ANYWAY - even if the keyboard goes bad!!!

Not in our shop. In our last round of upgrades, they didn't even send a new power cord.

flexoffset
Mar 3, 2004, 11:20 AM
the hidden arrow says/signifies that we are moving forwards to deliver your important package.

That's works fine for passenger side, but the arrow points towards the rear of the truck on the driver side.

I was one of only about 4 or 5 people who installed the decals back in the '90s when they made the big official rollout. We were joking about that arrow going the wrong way on one side of the truck.
It was summer and we were in Memphis in a utility building. They had the windows taped shut, and ultra security. Too bad it was about 134 degrees F in the warehouse.

We make all their fleet decals where I work.

I've been inside their world hq and they have about 13 or 14 buildings at least, each would appear to be 7 or 8 floors tall. Each floor is a huge open space with cubicles set up. Inside each cubicle was someone typing in a 'Word' document on a PC.

If this is true, there will be a tremendous shortage of macs while the order is filled.
Oh yeah....Each floor of each building has it's own IT guy, as I recall.

stingerman
Mar 3, 2004, 11:21 AM
Not in our shop. In our last round of upgrades, they didn't even send a new power cord.

I reuse my mice and keyboards between Macs and PC's. Power cords too, they are all interchangeable.

If this rumor is true, we did Apple a great disservice by publishing it. Now Apple's competitors will be applying even greater pressure on FedEX and giving them financial incentives not to switch.

MacDaddy38017
Mar 3, 2004, 11:36 AM
Well, first of all, I can say definitively that there are no enterprise applications here that use MS Access as a back-end and I know of none that use Access as a front-end. As a developer here at FedEx and a heavy home-mac user, I would LOVE to switch, but I haven't heard anything. FedEx used to be a mac shop several years back, it would be great to be again. That's all I feel I can say about this in a public forum.

Thanks many posters for the FedEx compliments!

MacDaddy38017

trueSpace8
Mar 3, 2004, 11:59 AM
According to one unconfirmed source, Federal Express may be looking to make a significant purchase of Macs to replace their current PCs.

Reportedly, the move is under consideration due to the recent wave of viruses that have swept the PC world.

While Macs are not inherently immune to virus attacks, most viruses have been written on the Windows/PC platform.

Actually, we in marketing here at FedEx used Macs exclusively through the mid-1990's. They weren't really used for any Mac-specific purposes, however. I don't see any reason that could hold up the migration back, since MS Office is the main tool. There are certainly some Access applications out there somewhere, however.

rt_brained
Mar 3, 2004, 12:01 PM
According to one unconfirmed source, Federal Express may be looking to make a significant purchase of Macs to replace their current PCs.

Reportedly, the move is under consideration due to the recent wave of viruses that have swept the PC world.

While Macs are not inherently immune to virus attacks, most viruses have been written on the Windows/PC platform.Whoa, whoa, whoa there...

Don't you mean to say that Macs and PCs probably get the SAME amount of viruses?! In fact, we probably get way way more. So many more that the people who write computer viruses look down on the other people who write viruses for Macs. Oh yeah, that's pretty much common knowledge around the virus writers...union.

So if you don't want to be made fun of and laughed at real super hard, then you probably shouldn't be stupid and try to write something like that for the Mac.

Roget
Mar 3, 2004, 12:02 PM
I used to for a call center consulting company where I had the opportunity to visit around 20 call centers. Most were Fortune 500 companys and were focused on customer technical and/or product support.

In late '99, I visited and toured a FedEx call center in Overland Park, KS (they have (or had at the time) more than one). They were the only center that I visited that *did not* use Windows computers. Instead, each customer representative had either a unix box, or terminal on their desk. I believe it was a Sun system running Solaris, but when I asked the center manager for details, he didn't know any answers.

I suppose as long as the system was up and running without a hitch, he was a happy camper.

MacDaddy38017
Mar 3, 2004, 12:11 PM
Actually, we in marketing here at FedEx used Macs exclusively through the mid-1990's. They weren't really used for any Mac-specific purposes, however. I don't see any reason that could hold up the migration back, since MS Office is the main tool. There are certainly some Access applications out there somewhere, however.


There are no ENTERPRISE apps, there are however most likely some niche department apps out there written in MS Access. I happened to have written one of them, I confess.

whooleytoo
Mar 3, 2004, 12:14 PM
The emac/iMac is not a business machine. I wouldn't want either one of them in my business. What happens if the screen dies? You've got to have separate monitors for easy swapping.

That's certainly a valid criticism. However, in the iMac's favour, the all-in-one design makes it easier and quicker to install (and move, which can happen quite a bit in open plan offices). Plus, its form factor is both space saving and ergonomic.

MorganX
Mar 3, 2004, 12:30 PM
In the 2 years that I worked for FedEx Express, there were 3-4 times that viruses resulted in a complete shut down to the tracking system across the country, not to mention cash registers. Needless to say, customers were frustrated, money was lost, time was wasted trying to resolve issues and looking up prices. The problem is that all computers are tied to a central server, and if that server goes down, all computers across the country do too, so replacing computers in each FedEx station will probably not happen, but replacing the main server at HQ probably would make better sense.

Doesn't the tracking system still use AS/400s as it's backbone?

macthulhu
Mar 3, 2004, 12:31 PM
The FedEx computer that our receptionist had for years, up until about 8 months ago, was almost certainly a Mac. It looked to be a rebranded Performa 636... minus any removable drives and extra ports on the back. The interface was also very Mac-like... I'm sure my fellow addicts here can pick out an OS 8 or 9 screen anywhere they see one, no matter how dressed up it seems to be... The computer was pulled out of here and their services were migrated to a web interface. I'm only suggesting that I don't think they ever had any particular aversion to Mac based solutions. Just a thought.

MorganX
Mar 3, 2004, 12:34 PM
This would be the shot in the arm Apple has needed for a very long time - a major presence in a large enterprise. Its high time OS X/Macs made the move onto corporate desktops. Hopefully Fed Ex's influence will convince others to follow suit!

With Microsoft considering an interim release of XP (read, worthless) to continue the revenue stream and dupe those who purchased 3 year upgrade protection, now is a good time for all competitors to strike. Time to put up or shut up. Linux has no viable offering, the Mac, this is Apple's best shot, but pricing and inability to purchase cheap replacement parts and the overall cost will probably be prohibitive, but who knows.

SiliconAddict
Mar 3, 2004, 12:43 PM
Because Linux really isn't a viable alternative for a desktop computer. Supporting Linux and it's hodge podge of propritary software is just as much of a problem as you can imagine. At least with the Mac you have a clear OS vendor with well established companies that provide excellent third party software.

I can imagine they'd replace computers in one of three locations: offices, terminals, or back end hardware. I doubt all three would happen at once.

Bull. What does the average corp user do on their computer? E-mail, Web, printing, some proprietary software? All of which can be implemented on Linux. Hell you can even run Office 2000 on Linux. These excuses are about as old as the ones some misinformed ITer spout out against Mac OS. Users do not need to know how to deal with the OS. All they need to know is how to launch their apps and interact with those apps.
Its IT users that need to know the OS to fix things, yes like it or not things DO breaking on even Linux or Mac OS. So as long as you can go file -> print. Can type www.insertwheteverhere.com in their browser. Can open and manipulate Office documents. Linux IS a viable solution.....when properly implemented. You can't take a copy of SUS off the CompUSA store shelf and drop it into a large scale environment. It takes planning. It will take consultants and it will take some basic training on the users part. But it CAN be done. Short term it will cost companies some growing pains and some serious upfront cash to implement but long term Linux can save companies money.

sethypoo
Mar 3, 2004, 12:53 PM
i just hope this doesnt make mac a platform that more virus writters will target

I feel the same way. Remember, if everyone switches to the Mac platform, guess who all the viruses will be written for?

MorganX
Mar 3, 2004, 12:54 PM
Bull. What does the average corp user do on their computer? E-mail, Web, printing, some proprietary software? All of which can be implemented on Linux. Hell you can even run Office 2000 on Linux. These excuses are about as old as the ones some misinformed ITer spout out against Mac OS. Users do not need to know how to deal with the OS. All they need to know is how to launch their apps and interact with those apps.
Its IT users that need to know the OS to fix things, yes like it or not things DO breaking on even Linux or Mac OS. So as long as you can go file -> print. Can type www.insertwheteverhere.com in their browser. Can open and manipulate Office documents. Linux IS a viable solution.....when properly implemented. You can't take a copy of SUS off the CompUSA store shelf and drop it into a large scale environment. It takes planning. It will take consultants and it will take some basic training on the users part. But it CAN be done. Short term it will cost companies some growing pains and some serious upfront cash to implement but long term Linux can save companies money.

Why run a Kludge API bridge to run Office 2000? What about Office XP and the next versions, and all the other apps. Wait and hope for compatibility, pray for no glitches or lost data... I don't think so. Linux isn't going to save that much money. Not on the desktop, not in user training.

edit: BTW, which distros run Office 2000? More money going up in smoke figuring that out.

Click on the XP start button, now click on the KDE or GNOME equivalent. You want me to give that to Betty Boop? Get real.

This is what Kills me about Linux people. Stop trying to tell people, oh, it's good enough. It's just as good as, you can jump through these hoops and then shoot a bank shot off the Sears tower...

Just fix it. And if you don't, then don't whine about no one wanting it on their desktop.

Let me see Open Source desktop apps as polished as Office XP or Keynote. Visio or InDesign, or even MS Publisher. Then we can talk business desktop.

edit: Linux and Open Office are simply not as good as MacOS or Windows XP for consumer and general business desktops. JMO of course.

usarioclave
Mar 3, 2004, 01:04 PM
I visited FedEx as a vendor a few years ago, and the were a big unix shop on the back end, and doing a lot of citrix/windows for various things.

I suspect that there are a lot of technical thumbs up for FedEx moving to MacOSX, the main one being that it's a real unix-like system. If this is being driven by Real IT (instead of, say, the desktop support group) then it'll probably happen.

The downside right now is the almost complete lack of system management tools for MacOS X. Of course they could write their own, since it's just unix, but a commercial solution would be superior.

tace
Mar 3, 2004, 01:05 PM
If Apple is serious in getting into Business Computing, they really need to license IBM as a reseller and/or mfg. of Business PCs running Mac OS X.

Wouldn't you like your company to give you a new box they acquired for their usual rate of around $1000/box, that runs Mac OS X + Office? Possibly IBM Blue or Black in color and even possibly Cube shaped? You plug your current mouse and monitor in and IT hauls your old PC away to be given to charity.

Les Kern
Mar 3, 2004, 01:44 PM
Cool trivia fact: Did you know there's an arrow hidden in the FedEx logo? Can you find it?

http://www.fedex.com/images/ascend/shared/express_logo.gif

Besides the one in the "F" when magnified 150 times?

bilingual
Mar 3, 2004, 01:57 PM
It looks like Fedex is considering to go back where it started. I remember a couple of years back an insert in some magazine where the most popular logos designed on Macintosh were displayed and praised. Guess what? FedEx logo was displayed prominently as one of the achievements of the work that can be done on a Macintosh platform.

wembley
Mar 3, 2004, 02:09 PM
I always knew FedEx is the best shipping company--here in the United States, at least--and this just confirms it.

Cool trivia fact: Did you know there's an arrow hidden in the FedEx logo? Can you find it?

http://www.fedex.com/images/ascend/shared/express_logo.gif

That arrow thing is pretty cool!

I'm a FedEx fan b/c their tech has always been better than UPS (not to mention Airborne or USPS).

Want to redirect a package to a different location before it arrives?

- FedEx: Sure!
- UPS: We have to make a failed delivery attempt first, then we can do it. :confused:

Want a package delivered to your gated apartment complex, or to the building manager?

- FedEx: Yup. And you can set up all future packages to be signed for by manager.

- UPS: We don't even try to get into the building. Pick it up at the depot. You can have someone else sign for package, but only on a per-package basis after a failed delivery attempt.

I am not suprised that FedEx has their tech screwed on tighter.

TimDaddy
Mar 3, 2004, 02:14 PM
Hah! I didn't even see that! I guess I was looking too hard. I "found" an arrow pointing to the left. Accross the bottom of the d and E, and the arrow comes to a poin as the d rounds up. I'm sure no arrow was intended there, I was just looking for one!

210
Mar 3, 2004, 02:40 PM
I don't know if this has been asked before, but what other major/big companies use Apple/Mac?

hayesk
Mar 3, 2004, 03:11 PM
A Worm wouldn't necessarily have to have administrator access to do the sorts of things that the Windows worms are doing. It can read the address book, send emails, delete just about all the Applications, and the users files all without the admin password being entered.


Maybe. A corporate user would not have admin privileges. Therefore a script could not delete apps. (regular users can only read and execute apps). It could delete the user's files, yes, but that's what backups are for.

laserbeahm
Mar 3, 2004, 04:33 PM
Does this mean I actually have to buy antivirus software?

windowsblowsass
Mar 3, 2004, 04:45 PM
Apple's main problem is that they don't have business-tailored computers. What kind of computer could FedEx buy ? iMacs with DVD-R and 32MB graphic cards ? G5 + flat screens ? eMacs ? None of those computers are corporate machines.

I think Apple needs to (1) have a corporate/large business offering (cheap boxes, with smaller hard driven & less powerfull graphic cards), better support and ... a better image in large corporation where Mac OS is (still) seen as a nice little computer for graphists. When will Apple make a strong advertising campaign to fight against those myths !!! :mad:
xserve

mikeyfern
Mar 3, 2004, 04:53 PM
I was just in a Little Caesar's the other day and they use macs for their menu displays. How did I know? Because one of them had a kernel panic and needed to be restarted. Judging by how long they took to get my Crazy Bread I'm pretty sure no one knew.

sethypoo
Mar 3, 2004, 04:59 PM
I was just in a Little Caesar's the other day and they use macs for their menu displays. How did I know? Because one of them had a kernel panic and needed to be restarted. Judging by how long they took to get my Crazy Bread I'm pretty sure no one knew.

Were these OS 9 Macs? Or OS X?

I doubt they were OS X Macs.

And I thought Little Ceasars shut down..... :confused:

AirUncleP
Mar 3, 2004, 04:59 PM
You plug your current mouse and monitor in and IT hauls your old PC away to be given to charity.

What happens in the real world:
1. Take to your local school.
2. Ask for a tax write off for $2000 on a $200 machine.
3. School tosses it because it's so outdated.

nagromme
Mar 3, 2004, 05:41 PM
Were these OS 9 Macs? Or OS X?

I doubt they were OS X Macs.

And I thought Little Ceasars shut down..... :confused:

If it was literally a Kernel Panic, then it had to be OS X.

And Little Caesar's didn't shut down. They just rebooted.

Wonder Boy
Mar 3, 2004, 06:12 PM
I always knew FedEx is the best shipping company--here in the United States, at least--and this just confirms it.

Cool trivia fact: Did you know there's an arrow hidden in the FedEx logo? Can you find it?

http://www.fedex.com/images/ascend/shared/express_logo.gif

yes i can.

ALoLA
Mar 3, 2004, 06:15 PM
I can see why big corporations would finally want to switch over. I suspect the recent round of virus patches broke something at my workplace, because things that were working last week no longer work. Not to mention the fact that I still can't install the latest service pack for Windows 2000 because it disables all of my Microsoft applications. Sure, I can upgrade to the XP versions, but all that means is more $$$ for MS, and cost for the companies. It's about time these corporations saw the light. :D

rdowns
Mar 3, 2004, 06:27 PM
Occasionally I see numbers like this and I can't figure out what you're doing. I worked in a Windows shop where we had 1200 workstations, about 50 servers, spread over 12 sites. Support for daily problems and a rather complicated inhouse business app was handled by two techs, one DBA who admitted he only put in a good 4 hours a day, and two people to answer the phone and do training classes. These folks were never busy and the only time I ever saw them work overtime was if we were swapping out a server and it had to be done at off hours.

If you're not buying Joe's backroom PCs, hardware failures aren't really that frequent, there are tools that will push security and software updates to workstations automatically, WTS and other tools will let you remotely admin servers and workstations, and if you've got a virus scanner installed (client and/or mail server), you're okay there. Apply a little security to your users (don't make them an Admin) so they can't just install every piece of junk software they think looks neat and you'll reduce a ton of calls right there.

Ghost is a wonderful tool too, make the users save all documents to network drive (which of course is backed up). If they do manage to trash a machine (never seen it happen to anyone who wasn't an Admin), reblast the standard image and boom you're up and running in a matter of minutes. If they are on a portable, partition the drive so that there is a system and data drive. Change my documents to point to the data drive and again if they trash the system, blast an image to the system drive.

You'll get no argument from me. Out IT Director is an AS/400 dinosaur and spends most of his time protecting the only technology he knows. We have 2 AS/400 programmers and 2 Web/VB programmers and a web developer. It's insane.

I run our Internet sales division of 14 employees. I've grown the business tremendously and demanded and got all new PCs for my group and I have admin access. I handle most of the tech issues quickly and without their help. Makes our support numbers even more insane. While I am respnsible for sales and marketing, I plan/help design the web site (not the actual HTML coding) and work with a programmer on our custom sales system. Damn, I'm not paid enough.

Sadly, this type of IT waste is rampant in companies. I can say that as I worked as a reseller for 12 years. It happens when Presidents and CEOs are not tech savvy and buy all the bulls**t spoon fed to them by IT people. I have pled with my President to take a technology for CEOs course but she says she doesn't have time. My reply, want to see profits rise instantly, go!

rdowns
Mar 3, 2004, 06:33 PM
As for the G5, the box is simply too big and expensive. I am sure Apple is aware of this problem, but does not want to crucify current sales of premium products.



Apple head up its ass marketing rears its ugly head again.

rdowns
Mar 3, 2004, 06:41 PM
I don't know if this has been asked before, but what other major/big companies use Apple/Mac?

Avis is a big Mac user. I was involved in a 700 CPU sale to their reservations center in Tulsa back in the 90s. Of course, Apple came in and took the sale direct to win the business on price. They let me have the monitors and printers though and I got a trip out of the deal also. I also know they are still pretty heavy Mac users in their Long Island corporate HQ.

uberman42
Mar 3, 2004, 08:22 PM
Maybe that is why the xServe G5s have been delayed. maybe VT and FedEx bought up a large portion of the xServes. :D

rdowns
Mar 3, 2004, 08:23 PM
Maybe that is why the xServe G5s have been delayed. maybe VT and FedEx bought up a large portion of the xServes. :D

FedExServe G5s?

hughdogg
Mar 3, 2004, 08:47 PM
Everybody has been thinking about desktops as the Mac's that FedEx would buy..what about iBooks? I mean, they are 'relatively' cheap, portable so they can be flexible, have great wireless and battery results, and by most accounts are indestructible. Would seem to fit with the more flexible and mobile workforce, that many offices are requiring.

In our company, if you are a manager level or up, you are getting a laptop.

Also, I think a migration to OS X server is very plausible, given the earlier comments about FedEx being a heavy duty Unix shop.

Cheers,
Hughdogg

axle_512
Mar 3, 2004, 09:21 PM
Apple's main problem is that they don't have business-tailored computers. What kind of computer could FedEx buy ? iMacs with DVD-R and 32MB graphic cards ? G5 + flat screens ? eMacs ? None of those computers are corporate machines.

I think Apple needs to (1) have a corporate/large business offering (cheap boxes, with smaller hard driven & less powerfull graphic cards), better support and ... a better image in large corporation where Mac OS is (still) seen as a nice little computer for graphists. When will Apple make a strong advertising campaign to fight against those myths !!! :mad:

What's wrong with a G5 + a flat screen in a corporate environment?
What's wrong with a powerbook in a corporate environment?

mattmack
Mar 3, 2004, 10:44 PM
I don't know if this has been asked before, but what other major/big companies use Apple/Mac?
Genentech uses a lot of macs
as well as some mid size construction firms I've worked with

JGowan
Mar 3, 2004, 11:30 PM
... They are not the anti-captalist hippy weedsmokers that people associate with macs...WTF!! I've never heard that association in all the time I've known about Apple, owned a Mac or followed the corporation. Perhaps you've been toking a little much of the best weed in the Shire, hobbit! :D

mattmack
Mar 4, 2004, 12:00 AM
WTF!! I've never heard that association in all the time I've known about Apple, owned a Mac or followed the corporation. Perhaps you've been toking a little much of the best weed in the Shire, hobbit! :Dwould that be longbottom leaf or southfarthing :confused:

jwdsail
Mar 4, 2004, 12:53 AM
Apple's main problem is that they don't have business-tailored computers. What kind of computer could FedEx buy ? iMacs with DVD-R and 32MB graphic cards ? G5 + flat screens ? eMacs ? None of those computers are corporate machines.

I think Apple needs to (1) have a corporate/large business offering (cheap boxes, with smaller hard driven & less powerfull graphic cards), better support and ... a better image in large corporation where Mac OS is (still) seen as a nice little computer for graphists. When will Apple make a strong advertising campaign to fight against those myths !!! :mad:

Well, what I've been saying ever since the first Netbooting demo (early iMacs w/ early MacOS X Server) is that Apple should team w/ IBM to create a large enterprise Server/client package made of a high end IBM server running a slightly modified MacOS X Server (on Power proc) and thin-client versions of the iMac (no hard drive, perhaps no optical drive). IBM would build the server hardware, Apple would build the iMacs, both would make money based on the sales, and both would be happy to see better sales of PPC chips.

Maybe one of these days..

scottlee
Mar 4, 2004, 05:30 AM
I think Nissan switched to Mac also. I have not seen this personally but a friend who worked at a dealership told me this last year.

takao
Mar 4, 2004, 05:46 AM
Well, what I've been saying ever since the first Netbooting demo (early iMacs w/ early MacOS X Server) is that Apple should team w/ IBM to create a large enterprise Server/client package made of a high end IBM server running a slightly modified MacOS X Server (on Power proc) and thin-client versions of the iMac (no hard drive, perhaps no optical drive). IBM would build the server hardware, Apple would build the iMacs, both would make money based on the sales, and both would be happy to see better sales of PPC chips.

Maybe one of these days..

hm macosx on POWER architecture ? hm that would be a lot of work since IBM's own AIX is #1 performance wise there ..
increased support between those to operating systems would be _a lot_ more useful and cheaper than developing a macosx version which would run on POWER architecture where AIX already is really good/optimized. AIX already is supporting Linux native (The 'L' in AIX 5.1L stands for Linux-support).

MorganX
Mar 4, 2004, 08:35 AM
You'll get no argument from me. Out IT Director is an AS/400 dinosaur and spends most of his time protecting the only technology he knows. We have 2 AS/400 programmers and 2 Web/VB programmers and a web developer. It's insane.


AS/400s are like Macs. Security is boosted through obscurity. Both over-priced. Both very good in their niches. Because you don't understand it, doesn't make it a dinosaur or useless. I think you would be shocked at how many corporations still utilize AS/400s. SNA is a dinosaur, AS/400 are not. The AS/400 is a great DB/2 server. Stays up forever.

sabbath999
Mar 4, 2004, 09:01 AM
My uncle is a senior programmer at Fed Ex in Memphis, TN. After my grandmother's funeral a couple of years ago, I was talking with some of his co-workers and boss... they were all big NeXT fans and I was able to get a bunch of unused NeXT materials from them... they also were using BSD, so this is no reach at all... these guys all hated windows with a passion, so this story rings true to me.

JGowan
Mar 4, 2004, 09:09 AM
would that be longbottom leaf or southfarthing :confused:I dunno... whatever Gandolf and Bilbo were getting high on at the beginning of the First one. :cool:

Joulesverne
Mar 4, 2004, 10:11 AM
This would be fantastic news if true, although it's difficult to believe that Macs would be accepted by the multiple layers of bureaucracy and corporate PC types that would exist in an organisation as large as Fedex....

The best part of the mac system as it exists today is interoperability. I use Panther on a PB17 at work where the Mac OS is not only NOT supported, but is actively rejected. Fortunately, a couple of the IT folks are kind enough to give me things like IP lists for printers, DNS addresses, and other critical pieces of simple information typically buried in .exe applications.

My kids school uses primarily macs, but has Linux servers and several windows machines. This stuff all works together and is managed by one IT person. The thing to watch out for is Microsoft tying up the net in some proprietary format. As long as things run pdf, html, xml, TCP/IP, etc there is room for all comers. At this point I would be happy to just see acceptance. The way I've done it is to bring in my own hardware and deal with my own issues. Stay out of IT's hair, and keep the communications responsible. Eventually people start seeing the benefits, and then they start asking questions. After five years of PC centric IT, we just hired someone in IT who is a mac afficianado.

Fight for keeping the interfaces OPEN... Thats the important thing. Apple is doing exactly the right thing with their approach to software.

And last, but not least... If its true... Raise a mug to the bold at FEDEX... Here's to the crazy ones....

--------
The Ox is slow, but the earth is patient.
-high road to China.

september29th
Mar 4, 2004, 10:28 AM
I do a great deal of shipping through FedEx at work… I’ve noticed a few changes to the FedEx website. japan.fedex.com (here’s a good example)

The buttons are very similar to ones found in OSX. While this may not be indicative of a move by the company (the person who put the page together, may have purposely designed it that way), I think that when there’s smoke – there’s fire.


.mCr.

PS – UPS recently did a revamping of their print/internet campaigns. I’ve spotted various Mac’s placed throughout it.

sushi
Mar 4, 2004, 10:45 AM
I happened to have written one of them, I confess.
Poor bastard...

Then again, I am teaching Access! :eek:

Sushi

Jackk
Mar 4, 2004, 10:47 AM
Does Apple or any other major supplier lease computers? I mean amounts like FedEx might need. I think leasing is the trend in big corporations nowadays.

Krevnik
Mar 4, 2004, 11:24 AM
i just hope this doesnt make mac a platform that more virus writters will target

The only virus code out there that works on OS X right now is public code written to show how one could get user-level access using a buffer overflow exploit. So while code exists that can start executing arbitrary commands, nobody has actually bothered to find a buffer overflow exploit. Not to mention the fact that vulnerabilities are only public enough for about 2 weeks for an exploit to be made and taken advantage of. Windows viruses attack exploits that have been public and have had patches available for months.

The development cycle of viruses and the nature of updates and trust in the Mac community makes it difficult to target the OS X platform for viruses, even if it grows.

superfula
Mar 4, 2004, 03:04 PM
I'm not sure if this is good news or bad news. FedEx isn't exactly looked upon favorably in the business world. There's a reason why UPS is whooping them in market share.

MacDaddy38017
Mar 4, 2004, 03:48 PM
I'm not sure if this is good news or bad news. FedEx isn't exactly looked upon favorably in the business world. There's a reason why UPS is whooping them in market share.

Well, I have to stick up for my company here.

For the third consecutive year, FedEx has made the top 10 of Fortune magazine's "Global" and "American" Most Admired lists. (UPS didn't BTW) FORTUNE's "Most Admired" rankings are selected by a cross-section of 10,000 executives, directors and security analysts from more than 60 industries.

FedEx has an excellent business reputation.

Naimfan
Mar 4, 2004, 04:04 PM
I have to agree with the above poster--FedEx is a very well run and highly regarded company.

On the main point, if FedEx were to shift to Macs, even partially, I don't see how that could be anything but positive. This is an area Apple really needs to develop more--getting into the enterprise. I'm no expert on things like this, but it would appear to me that OSX makes it FAR easier to integrate Macs than the earlier OS' did.

Best,

Bob

superfula
Mar 4, 2004, 04:06 PM
Well, I have to stick up for my company here.

For the third consecutive year, FedEx has made the top 10 of Fortune magazine's "Global" and "American" Most Admired lists. (UPS didn't BTW) FORTUNE's "Most Admired" rankings are selected by a cross-section of 10,000 executives, directors and security analysts from more than 60 industries.

FedEx has an excellent business reputation.

Here's a tip for you, the top ten is really meaningless. What people look at are the individual industry ratings. When you see Walmart and Microsoft in the top 10, you have to realize something is up. Top 10 is based on brand recognition. The companies who advertise the most get in the top 10. That's about it.

mdriftmeyer
Mar 4, 2004, 04:31 PM
i fear someone's been sipping from the Microsoft FUD fountain. While it is possible to find proprietary software that runs on Linux, most is open source. There is no more a hodgepodge of Linux software than there is of Windows or MacOS. All support organizations know the mantra, "We don't support that." The supported computer in business is the one running the standard IS build. Anyone calling the HelpDesk to complain that Frobozz Fritzwerks makes his screen flicker will receive The Mantra in response. If he presses the matter, his hard disk will be wiped and the standard build re-installed. The message is clear: if you run non-supported software, you're on your own.

Linux is actually easier to manage because configuration files are simple text documents, not Windows Registry arcana.

-- Bill

Being a daily consumer of Debian Sid/KDE 3.2 BranchCVS how is your rebuttle recanting what the prior poster said regarding Linux is not a viable Desktop Vendor Solution with comparison to Mac OS X?

NeXTSTEP was a viable Desktop Vendor Solution and you can run an entire business on it quite well, in its day--we did at NeXT and believe me most of the Way Cool applications people thought were available on NeXTSTEP weren't half as cool as the ones we had in-house for our consumption; a mistake Steve has remedied with Apple.

I hope OS X gets Fed-Ex not just because it's my favorite platform for its MVC paradigm or because it is now a blend of proprietary and open source code, Quartz and Darwin respectively, but because all the subtle nuiances that make one more productive are most complete with OS X. And hopefully with more of the old Mac paradigms either advanced or removed OS XI will be even better.

Having to support many large scale enterprise customers, prior to leaving Apple Enterprise back in '98 I had three systems on my desktop. One was of course Openstep 4.2--primary system, the second was System 8.x and the third was Rhapsody, now OS X.

What I got more work done in was clearly Openstep and with OS X we get a blend of the best that single user environments offer with the myriad of needs multi-user large corporate networked clients offer.

I still read that People complaining about Column View. Hate to disappoint you folks but when I've got over 6,000 ATT Wireless Systems I used to browse to track down information and all I had to do was CMD-~"username" and it zipped through the hierarchy and redrew the column views showing just where this directory was made life quite enjoyable for me. I then drag n' dropped a symlink to the Workspace Shelf/Dock and built my section of needed resources via Icon. When I didn't like that Workspace instance I opened a new view free of Icons and built a new list of reused resources. I minimized the view as an Icon and still my pretty desktop background was free of Iconic clutter.

If I needed to work via Terminal.app and was to damn lazy to remember the pathway via escape completion I just "cd 'drag-n-drop symlink'"ENTER/RETURN and I was where I need to be to do either shell work or myriad other tasks.

System-wide Openstep made my workload seemless. Whether it was working with Sybase dealing with customer tracking issues then autogenerating RTFD based reports with the aide of EOF or whether it was dealing with Timeline projects via Diagram! or Quantrix or working on NeXTAnswers via custom in-house tools I felt like I always earned my paycheck working at NeXT or Apple Enterprise.

What technologies cannot replace is Social Engineering. Hire socially inflexible managers will bury a group within a corporation or a company every time.

No company I have worked for since leaving Apple comes close to the Vision of both Management and Engineering that extends across every mundane process from Corporate Supplies to SQA Testing to Status Reports to Internal Documentation of all Processes.

Linux has a serious need and call to arms for Focus and self-less Vision beyond that of basic technical functionality before it can even be equal on all fronts with Apple.

Technically, Linux beats Windows and thank the Universe it does. My next purchase will be a G5 not running Linux but OS X, period. After that I'll buy a Linux PC for Web Development and testing--only a myopic-minded person ignores the benefits of Linux and OSS.

OS X and Linux should be the defacto in this Industry.

-Marc J. Driftmeyer

rdowns
Mar 4, 2004, 05:43 PM
AS/400s are like Macs. Security is boosted through obscurity. Both over-priced. Both very good in their niches. Because you don't understand it, doesn't make it a dinosaur or useless. I think you would be shocked at how many corporations still utilize AS/400s. SNA is a dinosaur, AS/400 are not. The AS/400 is a great DB/2 server. Stays up forever.

I agree, the 400 is a great server/storage box. We use some archaic custom program that is just pathetic. We have beautiful web based front ends for my group to access information there but our mission critical app is still on the 400. We have the talent to replace it but the director would never get rid of his "cash cow".

iShater
Mar 4, 2004, 05:52 PM
Ooh - horrid!! I presume that it is just the interfaces that are based in Access - with an Oracle back-end or something. At least that way, the conversion process isn't as bad as it could be. I bet their corporate IT people are just falling over themselves to get rid of Access.




Excellent point - especially as their PC vendor (HP / IBM / whoever) probably offers a Linux solution anyway.

I hope their interface is not Access. I did coding in Access as an interaface to an Oracle dbase, what a pain. Access saw some data types differently, etc. That wasn't find to debug. :rolleyes:

richard788
Mar 4, 2004, 09:39 PM
cMac = The new headless stripped down corporate Mac.

bloosqr
Mar 4, 2004, 10:06 PM
Let me see Open Source desktop apps as polished as Office XP or Keynote. Visio or InDesign, or even MS Publisher. Then we can talk business desktop.

edit: Linux and Open Office are simply not as good as MacOS or Windows XP for consumer and general business desktops. JMO of course.

I think it depends on the business and what the desktops are being
used for. In many cases if the desktop is being used as a glorified
terminal i.e. a sales application which connects to a central server,
a custom application used by a slew of people in sales/production,
and perhaps in some specialized cases custom "homebrewed" apps
such as render farms, mathematical modeling (i.e. finance, pharmaceutics, search engines), then businesses could move over quite easily .. "back office" such as sendmail/postfix : samba/nfs servers : web/apache servers : nis/nfs servers have already been quite successful..

Incidentally (since this is a mac site) I personally am a switcher from Linux to Mac *but* I/we run Linux as our primary desktop at work (academic environment running numerically intensive code) w/ openoffice to take care of day to day "word doc", power point and graphics needs.

MacDaddy38017
Mar 5, 2004, 10:34 AM
Here's a tip for you, the top ten is really meaningless. What people look at are the individual industry ratings. When you see Walmart and Microsoft in the top 10, you have to realize something is up. Top 10 is based on brand recognition. The companies who advertise the most get in the top 10. That's about it.

hmm, lets see here. Individual industry rankings. Okay, here's just one,

Federal Express Corporation ("FedEx Express") and FedEx Logistics Inc. are top performers in logistics excellence, says Logistics Management & Distribution Report magazine in its Annual Quest for Quality survey. Results appeared in the publication's August issue.....
"The Quest for Quality survey is the only industry-wide survey program in transportation," said Thomas Esposito, magazine publisher. "Many shippers view it as the industry's top award." Esposito noted that FedEx has consistently held a top ranking in the annual survey.
FedEx Express, the world's largest express transportation company, is rated the industry's best in the air-carrier category, based on its on-time performance, value, information technology, customer service, and equipment and operations.

FedEx has also recently won numerous "Carrier of the Year" and other awards from the likes of Dell Computers, Wal-Mart, Compaq, Colgate-Palmolive, Lowes, Borders, International Paper and GlaxoSmithKline to name a few.

I think that safely closes out this argument. I think I might be talking to a closet UPS employee anyways :)

MacDaddy38017
Mar 5, 2004, 10:52 AM
Here's a tip for you, the top ten is really meaningless. What people look at are the individual industry ratings. When you see Walmart and Microsoft in the top 10, you have to realize something is up. Top 10 is based on brand recognition. The companies who advertise the most get in the top 10. That's about it.

Also, the two companies that you mentioned, Wal-Mart and Microsoft are ALSO top in their individual industry ratings (hate them as we might)--so the Forbes Top Ten list isn't meaningless after all! As a tip to you, you might want to use other company names. Your argument only helped my case.

just a tip.

volfreak
Mar 5, 2004, 04:24 PM
Seems some are starting to really look at a change like this (or at least what the impact of not changing could be).

Maybe there'll be some numbers come out of this to back up that Macs are more cost-effective.

http://www.eweek.com/print_article/0,1761,a=120978,00.asp

kingtj
Mar 5, 2004, 07:42 PM
Actually, I'm an I.T. professional - and I often recommend Macs to my clients. To my surprise, almost all of them already acknowledged that they believed or "heard before" that the Mac was a really good computer/solution. I think I only had one person give me a really negative response to the idea.

Apple has strong brand recognition and a pretty good level of respect, overall, in today's marketplace.

Sometimes I do think that by recommending a Mac, I'm shooting myself in the foot, because yes - I do make most of my money from Windows PC problems. (I'd say I average 1 to 2 calls per day to fix Windows PCs that have gotten sluggish to the point of being unusable, gone crazy with pop-up advertisements, or just plain froze up upon boot - all due to spyware/ad-ware + virii and trojan horse programs on them.)

On the other hand, I also think I'd really rather get paid to help these people learn to better use their new Macintosh and OS X than get paid to sit and watch virus scanners slowly go through every file on their hard drive, edit system registries, painstakingly trying to find where some "malware" is loading during boot-up, and so on.

At least for the forseeable future, I'd still have some "job security" if more folks went to a Mac, because there really aren't many I.T. people who feel comfortable working on Macs. I'd have a nice little niche for myself, since I'm pretty proficient with either Mac or PC....


Companies may be unhappy but I've yet to meet the IT professional who advocates moving away from Microsoft. Microsoft is their job security.

A good analogy is my company and my brother's. Both are about 175 employees and are heavily computerized. My company is a Windows shop and we have 4 support people to deal with the daily problems. My brother's company is primarily Mac and they have 1 support person. Imagine savings like those for a large scale company.

chriscorcoran
Mar 5, 2004, 08:18 PM
Finally! A major corporation is seeing the ture light and moving to Apple! Soon FedEx will even be fast then they already are! Can you imagine? I mean they already ship things before you think about even wanting to ship something. Soon they will be shipping things back in time! lol

superfula
Mar 5, 2004, 08:19 PM
hmm, lets see here. Individual industry rankings. Okay, here's just one,

Federal Express Corporation ("FedEx Express") and FedEx Logistics Inc. are top performers in logistics excellence, says Logistics Management & Distribution Report magazine in its Annual Quest for Quality survey. Results appeared in the publication's August issue.....
"The Quest for Quality survey is the only industry-wide survey program in transportation," said Thomas Esposito, magazine publisher. "Many shippers view it as the industry's top award." Esposito noted that FedEx has consistently held a top ranking in the annual survey.
FedEx Express, the world's largest express transportation company, is rated the industry's best in the air-carrier category, based on its on-time performance, value, information technology, customer service, and equipment and operations.

FedEx has also recently won numerous "Carrier of the Year" and other awards from the likes of Dell Computers, Wal-Mart, Compaq, Colgate-Palmolive, Lowes, Borders, International Paper and GlaxoSmithKline to name a few.

I think that safely closes out this argument. I think I might be talking to a closet UPS employee anyways :)

I actually don't work for UPS. Just have a lot of knowledge in the shipping business.

I find it humorous that you quote Logistics Management & Distribution Report, since Fed Ex is really the only company that considers it a "top award". No other company acknowledges it as viable. In fact, some believe it to be a "purchased" award, if you get my drift. And "the world's largest express transportation company"? That is quite untrue. FedEx holds what...a 20% market share? UPS 65ish? Rough guesses, but you get the picture.

Like I said, the top 10 is meaningless. Companies get on that by advertising a lot. Do a little research on the Forbes polling. You're good if you lead your industry. Your in the top 10 by advertising.

Honestly I wouldn't expect anything different from a FedEx employee. Grasping at straws to try and make the company look good. Their service definitely doesn't cut it, so they resort to other "marketing" ploys.

TBH, I worked for FedEx for a year, a couple years ago. All FedEx employees, aside from the ones that actually know what goes on, which I was privy to, so I'm not surprised in your thinking. FedEx is running scared and it shows.

ThomasJefferson
Mar 5, 2004, 08:37 PM
Just waited in line at a FedEx for about 1 hour last night. Only two people working in the place. Service did not impress me, maybe macs will help them, but I would rather have more warm bodies employed.

macghost
Mar 8, 2004, 04:07 AM
I won't give many details since it may kill the deal, and out my source.

But I happen to know that a Fortune 500 company is seriously considering the switch over! Going over the numbers in the proposal as it sits currently makes a very compelling case.

The company could pay for 2/3 of the cost of the hardware purchase in what they would be saving on their MS license fee! If they do go for it and it is, as I said a VERY real probability that they will, be about 60,000 machines over about 18 months.

There are no major stumbling blocks regarding software since the things that they use have a Mac version or are custom apps that they could port over with a minimum of effort.

What makes me think that they are truly and seriously thinking of giving the thumbs up on the deal?

Well... The fact that the Apple solution will SAVE the company over $50 million per year over the other possible solutions just between license fees and electricity. Not to mention the average of $30 million they are currently spending or losing on virii. Hard numbers adding up to that amount of money can not be ignored by even the most dirt ignorant. And the company in question has already contacted Apple to work out some of the details.....

It is still not a lock. However you would have to be a true idiot to turn down $80 million a year in found money in this economy.

macghost
Mar 8, 2004, 04:24 AM
it is not unlikely that FedEx would look at the switch. I happen to be privy to another Fortune 500 company looking into it. And they are looking at it really hard! The case is a compelling one! The amount that the company in question is currently paying in their per seat license for MS OS would cover 2/3 of the hardware switch over. And with the number of units that the company uses on the desktop etc. they would save according to the initial figures around $80 million per year using Macs then PC's in just license, virii, and electricity. When factoring in other costs like training and reduced IT overhead they will likely break the $100 million per year mark!

And in this economy hell ANY economy noone not criminally stupid turns down $100 million a year!

Savage Henry
Mar 8, 2004, 04:56 AM
it is not unlikely that FedEx would look at the switch. I happen to be privy to another Fortune 500 company looking into it. And they are looking at it really hard! The case is a compelling one! The amount that the company in question is currently paying in their per seat license for MS OS would cover 2/3 of the hardware switch over. And with the number of units that the company uses on the desktop etc. they would save according to the initial figures around $80 million per year using Macs then PC's in just license, virii, and electricity. When factoring in other costs like training and reduced IT overhead they will likely break the $100 million per year mark!

And in this economy hell ANY economy noone not criminally stupid turns down $100 million a year!

Haven't you just said this?

MacDaddy38017
Mar 8, 2004, 07:43 AM
I actually don't work for UPS. Just have a lot of knowledge in the shipping business.

I find it humorous that you quote Logistics Management & Distribution Report, since Fed Ex is really the only company that considers it a "top award". No other company acknowledges it as viable. In fact, some believe it to be a "purchased" award, if you get my drift. And "the world's largest express transportation company"? That is quite untrue. FedEx holds what...a 20% market share? UPS 65ish? Rough guesses, but you get the picture.

Like I said, the top 10 is meaningless. Companies get on that by advertising a lot. Do a little research on the Forbes polling. You're good if you lead your industry. Your in the top 10 by advertising.

Honestly I wouldn't expect anything different from a FedEx employee. Grasping at straws to try and make the company look good. Their service definitely doesn't cut it, so they resort to other "marketing" ploys.

TBH, I worked for FedEx for a year, a couple years ago. All FedEx employees, aside from the ones that actually know what goes on, which I was privy to, so I'm not surprised in your thinking. FedEx is running scared and it shows.


FIrst of all, I'm sure UPS is a great company to work for, there's no shame in admitting it.

Also it sounds like someone has a personal beef against FedEx. Every company has its detractors so I understand we would have some too. I would like you to start quoting some facts to support your argument in this case though. "No other company considers it a top award" sounds infantile to me. Give me a few stated examples with proof please, or your argument just comes across as meaningless. You use "All" and "Some" in your argument without references. True arguements are based on solid facts. I challenge you to present them.

It is fairly evident from your last post that you are exaggerating your importance and knowledge in the shipping industry. FedEx IS the leading company in the express (overnight) market. In the non-express (2nd day / 5-7 day) market UPS currently holds the lead because of their much larger ground fleet. If you did know anything about this industry you would be knowledgable of this. FedEx though has achieved double digit growth in ground for the past few years at UPS expense however.

Also, If 20% marketshare (overall) tailing UPS means that FedEx sucks, then you must believe that Apple Computers must REALLY suck because it only has at most 7% marketshare--an argument that most in this forum would disagree with you on.

You might want to get with an above poster to help you craft a solid argument. At least HE had a specific case to back up his gripe against FedEx.

MacDaddy38017
Mar 8, 2004, 07:44 AM
This has been a fun exchange but I'd hate to diminish this thread to just a slugging match between two people at loggerheads so this will be my last post on the FedEx GOOD vs. FedEx Bad thread. I feel satisfied I successfully defended my case to an opponent who has none.

Just for kicks, Anyone want to suggest a final score for the match????

TimDaddy
Mar 8, 2004, 08:12 AM
I usually use the United State Postal Service. :)

MacDaddy38017
Mar 8, 2004, 09:12 AM
I usually use the United State Postal Service. :)

Goodonya mayte! if you are sending an overnight letter USPS then most likely it is getting transported on a FedEx plane as per our partnership with USPS!

Read:
http://www.usps.com/news/2001/press/pr01_015.htm

-macdaddy

uzombie
Mar 8, 2004, 09:54 AM
Fedex Shipping software is awful. Serve disconnects were commonplace when talking to the servers (and slow when near 4pm)

As an admin, its the worst installer and extremely slow. Not only do you need to buy label supplies (used to be supplied) but it also requires administrator access to run (not poweruser, not reg user). Whoever wrote it, has no idea about security or that it leaves that PC open.

If they write an OS X client (likely), I wouldn't be surprised it needs root access! Unless they hired some top-notch OS X programmers, I'd be wary of their product.

Their service, though, when there is a problem...is top notch.

Diatribe
Mar 8, 2004, 11:43 AM
You know what, I actually think it's going to be bad when big companies decide to switch. Apple can't even deliver xserves on time. How are they supposed to ship in such large quantities AND maintain availibility for the consumer market? Right, they can't. Apple can't even provide as many iPods as people would want, not even talking about the minis. And this is the only reason why they have them out later in the rest of the world. Apple sucks at delivering large quantities of products. That's why I dare to say, this would be one hell of a disaster.
Just my $0.02

rt_brained
Mar 8, 2004, 12:25 PM
i just hope this doesnt make mac a platform that more virus writters will targetThe more we publicize these stories about corporate switching, the more appetizing the platform will become.

Believe me, neither large corporations nor the government agencies doing the same appreciate this kind of news in a public forum.

If the FedEx story is true, then hurray for Apple. But OS X is not bullet-proof, and we should learn to practice some restraint, rather than become a beacon to all of those who'd take pleasure in exposing any possible weakness in the operating system.

tntoak
Mar 8, 2004, 09:15 PM
My $0.02:

Didn't Microsoft begin a new licensing program when they released XP that effectively tripled the cost of licenses to corporations? Comparing the cost of OSX licenses to Windows Licenses alone would cut costs. Furthermore, when you consider the fact that OSX can run not only Mac software, but Darwin-compatible software as well, you effectively increase the options on that front as well. Finally, since OSX is so compatible with non-Mac networks, you alleviate many of the concerns associated with changing platforms. XML, SQL, etc. are all cross-platform standards that can be used for databases, records, etc.

Granted, you will have a large initial crunch resulting from people having to adjust to OSX, many of whom have probably never used a Mac in any form before. But once that initial learning curve has been traveled, I honestly think that you have a more cost-effective, stable IT infrastructure to work from. As far as tech support goes, you will probably see more issues that are easily resolved (i.e. swap out memory/HD, reinstall the OS image, etc.) than the typical Windows issues (such as virus/spyware removal, registry configuration errors, faulty updates crashing the OS, etc.).

I can't speak to the differences between Windows and MacOS in a corporate environment, but I know that at the university I attended, the techs spent less than 5% of their time actually troubleshooting or maintaining the Macs. Considering that in the labs the Mac/windows ratio was 1:1, that's a pretty telling statistic. And the Macs were often in heavier demand than the Windows machines, simply because you knew that you could sit down, launch Word, and type your paper. And this was before OSX was released.

One of the biggest myths about the Mac is that "there's no software for the Mac". But when you look at the major retailers (i.e. catalog & web-based companies), you see that there is far more software than you might see on the shelves of CompUSA, Fry's, BBY, etc. Database software? Check. Photo editing software? Check. Email/contact/personal organization software? Check. Photoshop, FileMaker, etc. all were first sold for the Mac.

I use both Windows and OSX daily - I have to use Windows (NT, of all things) at work, and I have both a WinXP and an OSX machine I use at home. All in all, I honestly spend much more time enjoying my Mac than enjoying Windows. How many people have spent hours downloading patches and updates for their Windows machine, then had to turn around and figure out why the PC is suddenly noticeably slower? OTOH, I turn on the Mac, fire up whatever program I need to work in at that particular moment, and have fun doing it.

The less time spent on updating machines and making sure the registry is not corrupted, the more time users can spend on actually being productive. That's why i have more fun on my Mac, because I'm far more productive on it than on my Windows PC.

macghost
Mar 9, 2004, 03:30 AM
Haven't you just said this?

yeah... I hit the button and it told me I was not logged in. So I went back and redid the post and looked at some of the figures again and thought of a couple of other areas that they would save some cash on. I forwarded the information to the people working up the proposal for them to confirm them.

Sorry for the double post.

atomwork
Mar 9, 2004, 06:04 AM
First my Dad, now it's Fed-Ex, tomorrow World Domination !! Mmwwhuuuu Haa Haaa Haaaaa!!!

I sincerely hope a) they go through with it, b)others follow, and c) the source isn't a pile of poop!!:)


sounds good but once apple has 50% then we get all those crap viruses too. I somehow like the fact that not everyone has a mac. makes me and my mac feels special;)

cu
dave

ewinemiller
Mar 9, 2004, 06:57 AM
Didn't Microsoft begin a new licensing program when they released XP that effectively tripled the cost of licenses to corporations? Comparing the cost of OSX licenses to Windows Licenses alone would cut costs.

I think that is just client licenses to server products, so I can see where buying an Xserve and using it for server duties could be a nice cost savings. However, if AppleCare is the same for Xserves as it is for the rest of Apple's line, I would be hesitant to place mission critical stuff on a machine I have mail in service for. I don't know enough about Apple's service on Xserves, it could be possible that they do same day onsite service like IBM, Compaq, Dell, etc. do, I just haven't seen it mentioned.

As for spending a ton of time fixing registry problems or stuff like that, I don't know anybody competent who spends any time doing that stuff. If you're running one of the 9x versions of windows, which you shouldn't be doing in a corporate environment, or you give everyone admin rights to a NT, 2000, or XP box (again a big no-no) you will have problems because the users can just install every piece of junk software/malware/spyware they find on the web, delete stuff at will, etc. But if you use NT, 2000, or XP, have a virus scanner, and apply a little bit of common sense when you set up user rights, Windows works just fine.

iPC
Mar 9, 2004, 10:25 AM
I have been in charge of the desktops at my job for a little over a year and a half now. With a proactive plan regarding windows update and norton anti-virus, we have not lost one machine since I took over. I am not really bragging, just pointing out that it is easy to do with basic over the counter tools. All our machines now run XP Pro (and the latest version of Office) and they all run 24 hours a day (we have a lot of IMAP email coming in). Easy enough to set windows update to automatic download and install at 3am, and have Norton do a full system scan every night at 8pm. The initial install of each machine took a while (close to 3 hrs each, but that includes all the network config, local vs network printers, and installing our custom business software), but doing it right has kept things fairly clean.

The only problem I have had is users installing HOTBAR without knowing what it was. My fav quote is "I didn't know what it was, so I just said yes." Odd how depending on whom you talk to, the word "yes" gets interchanged with "no."

When I read these stories of big companies wanting to switch, and the "virus problem" is mentioned, I just cringe. The problem is not the virus, but the user of the computer, and the IT department in charge of watching over these machines.

I am all for people switching from Windows to Mac, but it should be for the right reasons.

ingenious
Mar 9, 2004, 10:38 AM
sounds good but once apple has 50% then we get all those crap viruses too. I somehow like the fact that not everyone has a mac. makes me and my mac feels special;)

cu
dave


I read somewhere in a thread here that hackers ARE trying to get into Mac OS X, but it's supposed to be very difficult and is considered a major coup if you do get in. So, if 10.3 is that secure, by the time apple *has* 50% of the market share, we will have OS 11 or 12 or w/e and it will be so secue that no one can get into it! HA, well, anyway it will be more secure.

barbezat
Mar 10, 2004, 08:09 PM
I bet apple is making a push at companies like Fedex - just look at all the amazing marketing connections they are establishing with Big Businesses. ...an Apple exec goes in to Fedex and pitches why they should switch, gives them a discount on a huge volumed order and everyone wins.

Apple's getting saavy again.

----------------------------

I don't think so...
My company (a national financial services co. w/ 1000 employees) is 99% PC. When an opportunity came up where we were going to purchase 100 new laptops, I thought this would be a great time to bring Apple in for a PowerBook demo.

I called the Apple store, the main Apple switchboard, pre-sales tech support, sent emails to everyone under the sun, including the "switch" group - the BEST response that I got was from the Apple Store who said they would pass my inquiery up to management. I have not received a single phone call or email from Apple.

Meanwhile, in 20 minutes I was able to arrange delivery of an HP, IBM, Dell and Gateway laptops. All of those companies are interested in my $250,000.00 project, but it seems that Apple does not need the business...

If Apple is gaining corporate PC market share it is due to Microslop's blunders - not because they did anything special.

tntoak
Mar 10, 2004, 08:56 PM
----------------------------

I don't think so...
My company (a national financial services co. w/ 1000 employees) is 99% PC. When an opportunity came up where we were going to purchase 100 new laptops, I thought this would be a great time to bring Apple in for a PowerBook demo.

I called the Apple store, the main Apple switchboard, pre-sales tech support, sent emails to everyone under the sun, including the "switch" group - the BEST response that I got was from the Apple Store who said they would pass my inquiery up to management. I have not received a single phone call or email from Apple.

Meanwhile, in 20 minutes I was able to arrange delivery of an HP, IBM, Dell and Gateway laptops. All of those companies are interested in my $250,000.00 project, but it seems that Apple does not need the business...

If Apple is gaining corporate PC market share it is due to Microslop's blunders - not because they did anything special.


One example does not mean that that is Apple's policy, however. And if the project is worth just $250k, perhaps that's why you never got a response. If they make a new deal with FedEx, the value of that project will easily exceed $1 million. On the other hand, it is also possible that your inquiry never got past the Apple Store, for anyone of a number of reasons.

Don't panic
Mar 10, 2004, 09:04 PM
I read somewhere in a thread here that hackers ARE trying to get into Mac OS X, but it's supposed to be very difficult and is considered a major coup if you do get in. So, if 10.3 is that secure, by the time apple *has* 50% of the market share, we will have OS 11 or 12 or w/e and it will be so secue that no one can get into it! HA, well, anyway it will be more secure.

I think one of the things people are missing in the "no virus for macs" is that being lost in a windows environment actively PROTECTS Macs.
Even if a very effective OS X virus was designed (and it will be), it would not spread as efficiently because it would likely fail to infect windows machines and multiplicate there, therefore propagating very slowly in a linear rather then exponential fashion. Like most other infecting agents, computer viruses/worms tend to be host-specific and don't cross barriers easily.
Of course if someone comes up with a 'dual-boot' virus then it's a different story, but that would probably be harder to write and easier to detect.

tntoak
Mar 10, 2004, 09:20 PM
I think one of the things people are missing in the "no virus for macs" is that being lost in a windows environment actively PROTECTS Macs.
Even if a very effective OS X virus was designed (and it will be), it would not spread as efficiently because it would likely fail to infect windows machines and multiplicate there, therefore propagating very slowly in a linear rather then exponential fashion. Like most other infecting agents, computer viruses/worms tend to be host-specific and don't cross barriers easily.
Of course if someone comes up with a 'dual-boot' virus then it's a different story, but that would probably be harder to write and easier to detect.

On the "dual-boot" virus idea, would it be possible to code one in Java?

barbezat
Mar 11, 2004, 11:09 AM
One example does not mean that that is Apple's policy, however. And if the project is worth just $250k, perhaps that's why you never got a response. If they make a new deal with FedEx, the value of that project will easily exceed $1 million. On the other hand, it is also possible that your inquiry never got past the Apple Store, for anyone of a number of reasons.

I agree that one example does not make it a policy - either way. Although my last job was with a multi-national pharmaceutical comapny and we had trouble getting the same thing there...

My point is that IF Apple expects to convert corporate america (more than 1 company at a time) away from the HPs, Dells & IBMs, they will need to do a much better job of positioning/marketing their products and services for this new audiance. Your regular consumer (myself included) may be willing to shell out $270 for an iPod that is not even shipping yet - but I can guarantee that my company is not going to spend a dime on equipment that has not been tested and run through it's paces on site - and we will not pay for access to their equipment for this testing - why would we when everyone else provides it at no cost?

If Apple wants to get serious about gaining corporate market share, it is going to take more than a bunch of "switching" ads - they need to get into the trenches with IT folks and SHOW them (not just tell them) how good their products are.

It KILLS me to know that one of the big PC makers are going to get this business when I would MUCH rather send it to Apple. But when they show ZERO interest in gaining our business (while the PC makers are bending over backwards) - I see no other options :(

kingtj
Mar 12, 2004, 12:10 AM
I hate to say it, but I think you're also blessed with a little bit of pure luck.
I was in charge of corporate desktops for 6 years with a previous employer, and currently do quite a bit of administration (remote and on-site) for clients who hire us when they can't afford a full-time I.T. employee on staff.

I'm very familiar with the security permissions and tools one can use to reduce the risk of problems. Still, it's more a matter of "when" than "if" you'll have trouble in an all Windows environment.

For example, you say you use Norton anti-virus? Well, I get at least one call per week to repair machines that were running the latest version of Norton anti-virus with the latest signature updates, and *still* got infected with trojan horses or virii that Norton never found. It's not a *bad* product, but anyone who says it has a 100% detection rate is being dishonest. Especially with the recent "dialer" and "downloader" type trojan horses, the AVG antivirus product can find many that Norton can't.

Also, not everyone can just go applying all the Windows updates as soon as they're released and not have issues. I used to work in a place that did manufacturing, and they used a specialized Windows package called Intellution. (Allowed rapid development of applications that controlled equipment like furnances, conveyor belts, etc.) Anyway, I remember one of the Windows NT service packs severely breaking Intellution - and the company's response? "Yep - we know. Just don't run our product on systems with the latest update until we get our next version out."

Switching from PC/Windows to an alternate platform to avoid the virus problem can make plenty of sense. It doesn't have to be Mac, of course. It could be Linux, FreeBSD, or something else entirely. But OS X is probably your next most logical choice for a user-friendly workstation environment right now.... Windows architecture has a number of "weak spots" that inherently make it vulnerable to attacks. (EG. Active-X support in the browser)


I have been in charge of the desktops at my job for a little over a year and a half now. With a proactive plan regarding windows update and norton anti-virus, we have not lost one machine since I took over. I am not really bragging, just pointing out that it is easy to do with basic over the counter tools. All our machines now run XP Pro (and the latest version of Office) and they all run 24 hours a day (we have a lot of IMAP email coming in). Easy enough to set windows update to automatic download and install at 3am, and have Norton do a full system scan every night at 8pm. The initial install of each machine took a while (close to 3 hrs each, but that includes all the network config, local vs network printers, and installing our custom business software), but doing it right has kept things fairly clean.

The only problem I have had is users installing HOTBAR without knowing what it was. My fav quote is "I didn't know what it was, so I just said yes." Odd how depending on whom you talk to, the word "yes" gets interchanged with "no."

When I read these stories of big companies wanting to switch, and the "virus problem" is mentioned, I just cringe. The problem is not the virus, but the user of the computer, and the IT department in charge of watching over these machines.

I am all for people switching from Windows to Mac, but it should be for the right reasons.

iPC
Mar 25, 2004, 09:39 AM
I hate to say it, but I think you're also blessed with a little bit of pure luck.
I was in charge of corporate desktops for 6 years with a previous employer, and currently do quite a bit of administration (remote and on-site) for clients who hire us when they can't afford a full-time I.T. employee on staff.

I'm very familiar with the security permissions and tools one can use to reduce the risk of problems. Still, it's more a matter of "when" than "if" you'll have trouble in an all Windows environment.

For example, you say you use Norton anti-virus? Well, I get at least one call per week to repair machines that were running the latest version of Norton anti-virus with the latest signature updates, and *still* got infected with trojan horses or virii that Norton never found. It's not a *bad* product, but anyone who says it has a 100% detection rate is being dishonest. Especially with the recent "dialer" and "downloader" type trojan horses, the AVG antivirus product can find many that Norton can't.

Also, not everyone can just go applying all the Windows updates as soon as they're released and not have issues. I used to work in a place that did manufacturing, and they used a specialized Windows package called Intellution. (Allowed rapid development of applications that controlled equipment like furnances, conveyor belts, etc.) Anyway, I remember one of the Windows NT service packs severely breaking Intellution - and the company's response? "Yep - we know. Just don't run our product on systems with the latest update until we get our next version out."

Switching from PC/Windows to an alternate platform to avoid the virus problem can make plenty of sense. It doesn't have to be Mac, of course. It could be Linux, FreeBSD, or something else entirely. But OS X is probably your next most logical choice for a user-friendly workstation environment right now.... Windows architecture has a number of "weak spots" that inherently make it vulnerable to attacks. (EG. Active-X support in the browser)
I do agree that some of it has been luck. But it is also a small enough company that if anyone has a question about something (email, link, whatever) they can just call me. They understand that 30 seconds of explaining now versus 3 or 4 hours rebuilding machine is preferable. I am also lucky in that our email hosting company is small, and willing to run custom anti-virus configs for us (catches over 90%, which isn't great, but he never blocks anything that shouldn't be - runs on win2k - blech).

As for the "virus" situation with OS X... there are many root exploits out there, for linux, bsd, OS X, whatever. The difference is they require some sort of personal interaction with the target machine.