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IBM Division Investigates Corporate Mac Migration Feasibility

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IBM's Research Information Services division is investigating the possibility of moving a significant numbers of employees to Apple's Macintosh platform according to a report acquired by RoughlyDrafted.

“In line with IBM’s external strategy of offering a true ‘Open Client’ that may be Windows, Linux or a Mac,” the document noted, “[Research Information Services] is focusing on providing an IBM application stack on multiple Operating Systems, rather than be confined to one or the other.”

The first phase of the pilot program was conducted between October 2007 and January 2008. During this phase, 24 MacBook Pros were distributed to researchers and used as the primary notebook, with the employees' existing ThinkPads acting as backups if needed.

Of the 22 of 24 who responded, 18 said that the Mac offered a “better or best experience” compared to their existing computer, one rated it “equal or good,” and three said the Mac offered a “worse experience.” Seven reported having no or marginal prior knowledge of using Macs, while 15 reported having moderate or expert knowledge of the platform.

Other highlights:
- 86% of pilot users requested to keep the Mac
- More new hires are requesting Macs
- Research and Academic clients have a growing Mac community
- IBM internal software made for Mac was easy to install
- Some key software was unavailable for Mac, including DB2 and Websphere Application Server, Rational Application Developer IDE for J2EE apps, WebSphere Integration Developer SOA development tool, and Microsoft Visio.

Some Comments:
- "When presenting at customer or external meetings, I have been greeted with the 'wow factor.' 'Where's the ThinkPad, IBM uses Apples now?'"
- "This can free us from the Windows stranglehold."
- "It has been easier learning the Mac than learning Vista."
- "The ability to run Windows XP in a VM under Parallels is a great feature."

An expansion of the pilot is planned for 2008, supporting up to 100 users by the end of the year. As a grain of salt, IBM has been heavily invested in Linux and the pilot is likely to simply fall in line with efforts to break reliance on Microsoft Windows. That being said, the company has been re-invigorating efforts to develop Mac software, including versions of the company's Lotus Notes client for iPhone and Lotus Symphony.

Article Link
 

EagerDragon

macrumors 68020
Jun 27, 2006
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We are a big IBM customer, if IBM continues this roll out some of us maybe able to get Macs at work. I will be talking to IBM (about their Sametime product) in the next 10 days, maybe I can get some info about their Mac roll out.

We shall see.
 
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EagerDragon

macrumors 68020
Jun 27, 2006
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Vista is the worst thing that ever happened to Microsoft, Balmer-monkey excluded.

I rather have Vista installed on my Mac (heavens forbit) than see Balmer do one of his stunts.

Then again running into a skunk maybe more entretaining.

for the layman, like me, what does this mean?
Great evidence that Microsoft (little by little) is loosing their grip on the Enterprise.
 
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Frisco

macrumors 68020
Sep 24, 2002
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Dude, just give me a frigging Mac and my productivity will go up 100%. I have been saying this since I entered the job market in 1998 and people are still laughing at me; yet I am stuck with conforming to Windows's woes.
 
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ckurowic

macrumors regular
Sep 16, 2007
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I am amazed and a bit discouraged that it has taken folks this long to start rejecting Microsoft's crap they try to market as software. In relation to the article, I have always supported a mixed platform environment. I like the idea of diversity :).

Dude, just give me a frigging Mac and my productivity will go up 100%. I have been saying this since I entered the job market in 1998 and people are still laughing at me; yet I am stuck with conforming to Windows's woes.

Yeah I hear you on that. Some people simply work and think differently (no pun intended). They should be free to choose their desired platform.
 
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137489

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Nov 6, 2007
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This is interesting news. :eek: Of course now that IBM sold their desktop/laptop division to the Chinese Company Lenovo. But Wow. Interestingly enough In an article a few years back Microsoft said they are backing Novell Linux (formally Suse) - I think IBM is ticked over that because they had a big steak in their competitor Red Hat. either way, more macs usage is good.

Since IBM is so interested in Linux, it only makes sense. MAC OSX is FREE BSD with a Darwin X11. Apple has been the only company to make a useful consumer desktop/laptop with a Unix/Linux base.

I just got my first mac yesterday. Cool thing about it - with what comes with mac, I just got rid of half my software. Most is already functional in mac, where as I had to find software to do the same thing in Windows. And you know what. Mac makes it easier to do than the Windows software....

the only thing I use windows for is the few apps that is not available for mac, or the MS version is still better for my needs. But either way, about 10 CD's just got donated as I no longer need them.

Mac is easier to use
integrates with everything
is smart compared to windows

I am never going back to strickly Windows again, and my use of any MS just dropped 65%
 
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irun5k

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Jan 14, 2005
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This is good news, no doubt. But, for whatever reason, I don't think Apple takes corporate customers very seriously. Perhaps they think it would tarnish their iLife, iFunForAll image. But after all, Unix has historically been all about business- not fun and games.... yet Apple doesn't hesitate to brag about their Unix roots. (although I wonder... have they toned this down recently?)

I could see some admin types in my company potentially getting Macs, but without any modern Java support, there is no way that developers, QA folks, tech writers, etc. could switch.
 
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137489

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Nov 6, 2007
840
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This is good news, no doubt. But, for whatever reason, I don't think Apple takes corporate customers very seriously. Perhaps they think it would tarnish their iLife, iFunForAll image. But after all, Unix has historically been all about business- not fun and games.... yet Apple doesn't hesitate to brag about their Unix roots. (although I wonder... have they toned this down recently?)

I could see some admin types in my company potentially getting Macs, but without any modern Java support, there is no way that developers, QA folks, tech writers, etc. could switch.


While Java is still heavily used, more companies are turning away from it as it takes too long to do anything and ther hibernate thing. Personally, most companies (believe it or not) are starting to dump Java (although they will still be using it for a long time due to what they have invested). A few companies I was at are looking to turn back to C++, turn to Python, or actually move on to .NET (mostly C#).

But anyrate - with MS you have to buy your programming languages (or install free versions of Enthought Python). With Linux/Unix, you have C++, Java, Python, MySQL, and a few others included - so the cost deminishes drastically. Plus given most Linux distributions had dropped by the way side - or just don't exist anymore - it is hard to say what will be supported and if they will stick around for the long haul.

Since IBM is interested heavily in Linux/Unix, makes sense for them to pilot integrated machines. IBM sold their desktop/laptop division, but kept their server division. And what connects with Servers - Personal computers and laptops, so with Apple's market share increasing - it only makes sense for them to start using them if they want their servers/software to interact properly.

And for the person who posted about Apple not caring about businesses, the tide is turning. there are alot of 3rd party medical software companies already writing apps for MAC, Intersystems Cache which is used heavily in the medical and banking industries runs on a mac, and Intersystems is starting to move the utilties to more a browser based - so they can offer more than just having the tool box on Windows.

The tide is turning and Apple is becoming mainstream computing.
 
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EagerDragon

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Jun 27, 2006
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Some items big business wants:
1) Better management tools to be able to load a system remotely, monitor the system and remotely login and fix it. We are talking large scale here not 20 workstations. We are talking about thousands of workstations
2) Tools to build and deploy their own buld of the OS. They want to configure an image their own way and be able to build any system with that image.
3) Enforce rights via LDAP or AD
4) Integration with Microsoft tools, email and scheduling (like the iPhone will have in 2 months)
5) VPN specialy Cisco
6) Virus tools and enforcing that the workstation be up to date, If not up to date not allow it on the network.
7) Know what products are coming and the schedule for their release, and the feature set.
8) Time frame to roll out a product after a long Several monts to a year test
9) Preferential price for bulk purchases
19) Some input on future products and features
 
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twoodcc

macrumors P6
Feb 3, 2005
15,307
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Right side of wrong
wow, i'm surprised at this, and glad to see it. i think it's good that they are trying linux also.

the Mac is growing. it's good to be a part of it.
 
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