Would you buy Macs for a new business?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by JasonR, Aug 21, 2011.

  1. JasonR macrumors 6502a

    JasonR

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    Nov 11, 2008
    #1
    First of all, I have to say that I, personally, love OS X and Macs in general. I have a 27" iMac and a 13" Macbook Air on the way, and have owned many other macs. I think OS is outstanding and the hardware is excellent. I prefer to work in a Mac environment over PC, however I am accustomed to both.

    I'm faced with a choice. A new, start-up business needs computers. Should I use PCs or Macs? My personal choice would be macs, and I would shop the refurb store and online/used to save money. PCs are comparably cheaper, but are they cheaper in the long run?

    I do not believe I will need Windows for anything. I will keep it on one or two machines just to have it, however I will be running a windows server (my order management / inventory management software needs a windows database). I can run the windows software using remote desktop to access the software on the windows server. I believe only one or two macs would have to run Windows in boot camp (Point of Sale machines).

    What would you do? Why? Please keep in mind this will need to be from a practical standpoint. If I decide to go with PCs, I will still have a couple of Mac's in the office.
     
  2. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

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    #2
    I would never use a mac in a business setting. All you have to do is look at the recent Roseta debacle to see that Apple doesn't care about backwards compatability for more than a few years.

    That's fine is you're a hipster who is going to be doing some website creation using Photoshop CS5, but for anything more, where you may end up using the same software for more than 4 years without upgrading it... I wouldn't trust Apple.

    Plus, there's a bit of a problem with Mac/Windows networking, and the fact that if you need to buy a new Mac today, you're stuck using a version of the OS that is still arguably unstable and buggy, and it's impossible to roll back to 10.6.
     
  3. Hallivand macrumors regular

    Hallivand

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    #3
    What exactly does your business revolve around? For a start up, it might be wiser to go Windows as you would need all the money you can get to get everything running. After your turning regular profits and are stable, perhaps look into upgrading some machines to Macintosh.

    Take into account the software you would be using (does it support Mac, Windows or cross platform) and whether the staff need to be trained into using Mac OS X.

    Just my 2 cents
     
  4. MacHamster68, Aug 21, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2011

    MacHamster68 macrumors 68040

    MacHamster68

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    #4
    on the long long run a Mac holds their value better , but initially cost far more then a comparable pc , if you need a comparable pc that is , most office task could do with a iMac G4 , i mean lots of office staff still work on old Dells that are already 5 years+ old and some even still have to work with windows xp ,windows vista is for most office staff already a step in the future , after all think business , the cheaper your cost the higher your profits
    did you think about LINUX its totally free ...i mean i run microsoft office 2010 under wine (crossover) on UBUNTU with Macbuntu , works as good as OSX and looks like it ,
    [​IMG]
    (screenshot from lifehacker)
    and here a video about cross over works on Mac and linux
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZM97x9ld-R8&feature=player_embedded#!


    i mean why spend money when you can avoid it , for server linux Red Hat , for general use ubuntu and only for specific windows tasks that cant be done under wine i would choose a Mac or a windows running pc ...brings down the business cost enormously (and Dell still supports Ubuntu)
     
  5. matbook101 macrumors 6502

    matbook101

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    #5
    +1 for linux suggestion, didn't even come to my mind when I first read this thread.
     
  6. Young Spade macrumors 68020

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    #6
    completely agree. Although it does seem like a nice idea to start fresh with all Mac machines, you might have to train the staff and it's going to cost you more up front.

    What exactly are you going to be doing with your new company? If the software doesn't require OS X which it doesn't, I think you will be spending a lot more money getting machines now that you should.

    I would say to start with Windows machines now and after you get on your feet and the company is a lot stronger, spend the money get new computers
     
  7. chrono1081 macrumors 604

    chrono1081

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    #7
    Do you ever write anything that isn't full of Apple bashing? Your above statement makes no sense. Have you even used a Mac?

    To the OP, it depends what you do. What kind of business are you running? How many computers? What type of software will you be using?

    I personally, as someone who works in IT with Windows machines daily would suggest going Mac if you can (but again, I need more information). Why? Lots less downtime, easier to set up, networking is a breeze, and you don't have to worry about people in the office sharing viruses and malware. I know many people have stated go Windows or Linux because its cheaper, and while that is true initially, you have to look at things in the long run and decide if you want to spend more up front and less later, or less up front and more later.

    In one of my previous jobs I used to go around to small businesses and recommend and set up equipment for use. Sometimes the customer already had equipment ordered and I would just go set it up. I will tell you one thing, I never once had to return to a customer using Macs (and there were quite a few) but the customers using Windows I always had to go back out, fix things, fix OS installs, and numerous other things. It comes with using Windows and there is no way around it. If your stuff works great, excellent, if it doesn't you'll be racking up bills for someone to come out and fix your equipment. I'm not saying your macs can't have problems, but it is far less likely. Most of my calls on Windows machines were software related.

    That being said its hard to make a recommendation without knowing more of what you will be doing, how many machines you need, will you need a server, how much do you want to spend on equipment, etc etc. If you are a company doing programming using Visual Studio for example a Mac based setup would not be a good idea.
     
  8. d0ster macrumors regular

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    May 3, 2011
    #8
    ^ THIS! I started my company a few months ago and did all my research beforehand. The software I needed to run were all pretty much Mac compatible and the ecommerce stuff, I chose web-based software because it's not really dependent on OS, just your web browser. That led me to run Macs for my company, personally I think it'll be less headaches down the road so I don't mind paying more upfront. Just do your research beforehand.
     
  9. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    #9
    I know several businesses that run their businesses on Macs, so it can obviously be done. There are POS packages for OS X as well, so perhaps you don't need the front counter people on Windows.

    You should also take into account the cost of maintaining a Macs vs Windows as well as the initial startup costs.

    And finally, Apple has started setting up "Business Centres" in their stores. Contract one and see what kind of price breaks and service contracts you can get there.
     
  10. MacHamster68, Aug 22, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2011

    MacHamster68 macrumors 68040

    MacHamster68

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    #10
    the retraining staff after choosing Mac's is a good point , as to my knowledge the majority of people are used to Windows , ok that would rule out Linux too ,ok you can run windows on Mac's ,
    but if that is the case why spend money on Mac's for a business that mainly runs Windows :confused:
    depending on the business your customers might think you are spending their money if they see Mac's in your office , its like if a builder comes to you to fix some plastering and turns up in a Lamborghini Aventador and a suit from Armani , your immediate thought will be "i get ripped off here"



    and PC's have a advantage , you get spares in every shop so you are up an running again in no time
    while i seen Mac's hanging around in need for repair for over 2 weeks because parts had not been in stock
     
  11. AndyfromTucson macrumors member

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    Jan 10, 2010
    #11
    I suspect that once you factor in the labor costs of troubleshooting and resolving problems, including malware, a low end Mac is cheaper than a comparable PC on average over a few years.
     
  12. Flynnstone, Aug 22, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2011

    Flynnstone macrumors 65816

    Flynnstone

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    #12
    I used to work for a pipeline construction company. It was all Macs except for my department. I'm in engineering & needed Windows.
    We also ran Linux for engineering development.
    I wouldn't run Linux in an office environment. Great server, but not for the desktop unless you have some good support.
    Frankly the Macs just work!
    I think the cost of the computers are close to irrelevant. The cost of support is a bigger cost. You can burn through the $500 (give or take) that you saved on a PC with support costs.
    So ... depending on what your startup needs are ... Mac can make sense.

    Also a little story.
    Since the company was all Macs, we didn't run anti-virus software on the Macs. I believe I had Norton on the PCs, with reduced to checking to reduce bogging down the system. Once day I got an email from the president saying he couldn't open an email from ... someone he trusted. So he asked if I could open it. It was late in the day & I tried to open it and couldn't :^O
    On my way into work the next day, I had that sinking feeling. Yep it was a virus.
    I spent most of that day "cleaning up" the Windows PCs.
     
  13. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

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    #13
    Facebook Mark Zuckerberg uses a Mac. Almost all employees use Macs.

    Google banned windows / PC from employees. Most employees choose Mac.

    etc.

    The Apple hater speaks again. Just because you have difficulty understanding value doesn't mean Apple computers are not useful.
     
  14. macsmurf, Aug 22, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2011

    macsmurf macrumors 65816

    macsmurf

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    #14
    I think it is a bad idea to get married to Apple. That is, try to make your infrastructure as independent of Apple as possible and consider what you'll do if Apple suddenly discontinue or change some product that you use.

    I don't recommend against using macs in a business environment. Just be careful what you lock yourself into. That applies to all software/hardware products of course.
     
  15. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

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    #15
    Same thoughts would have to be put in with using PC because even its largest vendor HP could abandon its core PC business at a whim.
     
  16. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #16
    Everyone that says Macs run great in a business setting either never have to interact with other businesses, are in a position to dictate which platform to use, or don't care about compatibility/enterprise support/security. Macs in the enterprise are a bag of hurt.
     
  17. macsmurf macrumors 65816

    macsmurf

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    #17
    Not really a problem, though, since you can easily buy other machines capable of running Windows.

    Will Lion still be updated and supported in 5 years? No. Will there be support for Windows 7? Yes. Will Pages exist in five years? Who knows? Will Office exist? Yes. Will the Mac Pro? I'm guessing it's unlikely but who knows?

    In fact, Apple could abandon OS X altogether, although that is extremely unlikely. They usually make these kinds of changes from one day to the other. Microsoft simply doesn't do that.
     
  18. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

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    #18
    Plenty of corporations use Mac in enterprise because it saves them resources.

    Microsoft has abandoned plenty of products. Example: Windows Mobile.

    Windows phone Kin is completely different architecture.
    WP7 is completely different architecture.
     
  19. macsmurf, Aug 22, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2011

    macsmurf macrumors 65816

    macsmurf

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    #19
    I seriously doubt that. Can you point to any evidence suggesting that OS X in an enterprise environment saves resources in general?

    If they were to abandon Windows or Office (which they won't since it is their core business) they'd announce it plenty of time in advance and would support it for a long time after it was no longer sold. Apple has a history of turning on a dime without warning.

    In my job I'm free to use any OS I want but that only makes sense because our particular department don't need to have our computers managed. We're pretty computer savvy, we don't need training, we use specialized software that the rest of the company don't, and we often need admin rights to our machines.
     
  20. Young Spade macrumors 68020

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    Tallahassee, Florida
    #20
    This. I'm pretty sure everyone here has read something about the new Final Cut pro issue that happened a month or so back. In order for Apple to stay on top of its game, they can't afford to linger in the past to support old hardware.

    As a general consumer it doesn't really affect me, but I can see why people get really upset when Apple abandons old software to move forward.

    Haha no. I think you should read more instead of just reading the headline and the topics people are creating. you're taking away in'formation like a news story they put on local tv. They just show the bad but don't really tell you what it "means".

    HP has a multibillion dollar industry in enterprise. They knew the Touchpad wasn't doing well and, instead of waiting two months to tell the BF she lost feelings for him, she told him now and did the "right thing".

    They won't abandon the PC. Nobody said anything about that. Web OS devices in particular and there is still a possibility of them licensing it out.
     
  21. JasonR thread starter macrumors 6502a

    JasonR

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    #21
    Wow...didn't expect so many responses. Thanks!

    I do not plan on doing any programming in house (other than web programming). The start up is e-commerce, and the PCs/Macs will be tasked with running order management software, inventory software, and of course e-mail/web. I plan on running as many things through a browser when possible, as I like the idea of cloud based systems. However, some systems (such as accounting, etc) may need windows to run. Ideally, only 1-3 PCs will need to run the accounting software.

    One thing I have not looked into yet is shipping software. I know of an all mac e-commerce company with 200+ employees, and they run PCs for their shipping computers. I'm not sure why.

    Again, I will be going with budget macs (think used / refurbed mac minis, iMacs, etc) except for power users (graphic designers, marketing, web programming machines).

    I'm just trying to do my due diligence before plunking down for machines. I already have one iMac 27 which I will use myself, and have a Macbook Air on the way.

    Whatever the case, I want to be streamlined and efficient. If a Mac will last me many more years than a PC and save on maintenance costs, then that's the way to go. Again, I have contacted Stone Edge Order Manager team who say I can run the order manager off a Windows based server using Mac's remote desktop feature. We will be using that app almost exclusively on 80% of the machines. The rest of the machines will be for accounting, web programming, e-commerce management, and graphic design.

    I hope that helps paint a clearer picture.

    Also, the cost of displays are an issue when ordering a PC. If I went with refurb iMacs (or slightly used) then I will obviously have built in displays. I know some displays are cheap, but just another thought. Obviously the photography and graphics guys will need good displays, and I believe iMacs and apple displays would be perfect.
     
  22. chrono1081 macrumors 604

    chrono1081

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    #22
    Actually anyone who says Macs are a "bag of hurt" in the enterprise never dealt with them in the enterprise.

    Frankly, most of the time you never have to touch them once they are set up.
     
  23. EthanMiller macrumors member

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    Aug 15, 2011
    #23
    My grandfather ran his veterinary office using only Macs since OS 7. They worked great. I ran my own business on Linux (Ubuntu) and it worked great, as well as Windows, which didn't. Here's what I have to say.

    Try the new version of Ubuntu. It's free, so there isn't any reason not to. Even virtualizing on your iMac should give you a feel. That should give you an idea of if you like the operating system. If you do, I recommend going with cheap PCs and installing Linux on them.

    Windows (for me) has very little capability in file formats. It can't read HFS+, EXT4, or any of the other filesystems I use. It's always the low spot in compatibility. Updates for Windows are funny. First you install them, then you reboot, it takes forever to shut down because it's applying updates, then it takes forever to boot because it's applying updates. I've had updates FUBAR my computers, make things not work, and cause general woe.

    Ubuntu on those computers worked great. I only installed security updates and a bug fixes. Installing software is a breeze and permissions actually work, so if you have employee accounts that you don't want installing software, they can't easily bypass it like you can do in Windows if you know how to. They ran great, and they still run great.

    For my personal use, I have two laptops - an HP G72 and a MacBook Air. The HP runs Ubuntu. I've only had one problem with Ubuntu on that, and that was because I was trying something... unorthodox. It came with Windows, and it's still on there, but I haven't booted it in a long time.

    As a new start-up, there's nothing preventing you from picking any OS you want. All of them have ways to be managed en mass, and all of them can play the inter compatible game to a varying degree (Windows at the low end of that). Windows is probably the biggest IT headache - You may hope employees are smart enough to avoid viruses, but they'll still get on, and in a setting with multiple computers on a network, the damage can be horrifying.

    For nice hardware and nice software, a Mac is your best bet. After Mac, I'd go with Ubuntu. The new Unity interface is similar to Mac in a lot of ways, and easy to figure out. Windows, you can use, and it'll work fine. The others will just likely work better.

    I'd also recommend a Linux server. I'd never trust a server to Windows - I personally have had to recover them. There was one at a museum I volunteer at that went downhill, and I had to get in without knowing any of the passwords for it. I could, which I'd really rather not have been able to do.

    Note on Ubuntu - a new version of the OS is being released on October 22. Should be a nice upgrade. There's two "current" releases of Ubuntu - whatever the newest is, and an LTS (Long-term support) release. The current is updated every 6 months, the LTS every 3 years. LTS releases have (you guessed it) longer support than the interim releases, but the interim releases have newer software.
     
  24. macsmurf macrumors 65816

    macsmurf

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    #24
    Frankly I think the remote desktop idea sucks but others might not be so picky as me. I've had to use Microsoft Exchange through vmware or citrix and I really didn't enjoy the experience (of course Exchange sucks as a native app as well but that's not my point :).

    If the computer is used mainly to run Windows software it makes sense that it's a PC. Also, I may be wrong about this but AFAIK Windows doesn't allow more than one user to be logged in at the same time, so how exactly will it work if more than one user want to access the order manager?

    I'd let the designers and programmers run whatever they want, though. Then again, I'm biased. :)
     
  25. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

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    #25
    Perhaps you should face up to reality.

    HP:

    If you read more than the headlines, you would know that it means they are going to drop the unit, and are looking for a buyer but haven't yet.



    Clearly you haven't used Apple Remote Desktop.
     

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