Macs or Windows. Or, not And.

July 24, 2008

The primary consideration when choosing the flavor of client computers in a managed environment is the energy, and therefore cost, required to manage them. Settling on one operating system makes managing the network easier. Therefore, the people who do that for you – your network administrators – decide what stays and what goes. And they, like the rest of us, follow the path of least resistance.

To that end, even if Macs understood Group Policy, folder redirection, Remote Procedure Call, UNC naming, and DOS commands – all natively, they’re still not identical. They clearly look and behave differently.

Common conventions make supporting any product easier. So as long as MacOS and Windows aren’t identical, Mac users will require – and deserve – support from Macintosh professionals. Though a given environment might be 2% Mac, your IT support staff cannot be 2% Mac-knowledgeable. Your small percentage of Mac users, deserving of exceptional Macintosh support, require expertise scaled to the depth of the product knowledge base, not to the presence of the product in your environment. Adding Macintosh experts to a largely Windows environment makes supporting your now heterogeneous environment more expensive, and therefore, less attractive to management. Long live homogeneous network environments!