NetworkWorld - The enterprise opportunity Apple is hiding from

(8-Feb-10) There probably isn't a week that goes by without an enterprise IT manager hearing one of their users lament "why can't I have one of those cool iMacs instead of this boring, grey PC?" It's enough to make even the strongest IT manager run for the hills.

The power of the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) marketing machine is strong -- the machines are just cool -- and while Apple is focused squarely on the consumer segment, with products such as the iPhone, Apple products are coming onto the radar of the IT department more and more. It's called the halo effect; Apple's consumer success is causing users to agitate to have the same cool tools that they use at home available at the office as well.

While IT had a list of tried and true answers to bar Apple for many years -- cost of support, compatibility with Windows networks, cost of acquisition -- those barriers have been coming down, one by one. New management tools make managing mixed networks simple. Apple's move to the Intel chipset makes managing mixed environments easy -- you can even run Windows on a Mac device. And the increased reliability of an Apple machine can net-out the marginal difference in acquisition cost.

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