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Tight lips lose Apple business

December 15, 2006 | Computers

Though I realize that they’re not perfect and that there is plenty of room for improvement, I do love Apple’s products. That said, they have some stupid practices. Being tight lipped about every aspect of products in development is one of them, and today it cost them 18 laptop purchases and guaranteed that there wouldn’t be any other purchases from where I work.

The MacBook that was purchased for testing went over like a dream. The Support Services Manager loved it and was interested in everything I showed him about OS X. A few of the Techs already own Macs at home and were the ones who initiated the process of looking into Apple as something they could use at work. A triple boot Mac/Windows/Linux solution was perfect for what they needed. They could have everything.

But Apple had to go and be stupid.

The main issue is driver support for Vista. For the purchase of the laptops to go through they needed to know what the driver support timeline for Vista was. Apple wouldn’t say. Since these were going into the tech department and would have very wide roles, including on site service, the driver support and reassurance of ongoing active development of Bootcamp and its associated drivers were crucial to the purchase. But Apple wouldn’t comment on a development timeline.

They’re giving up the chance to break into a Microsoft Certified Gold Partner because they don’t want to just say what the development timeline is on drivers. Call me naive, but that’s just downright stupid. I really think that the initial 18 laptop purchase would have just been the start of it. The more people around here would have used the machines the more they would have liked them and the more the stigma of ‘the other OS’ would fade away.

Dumb move, Apple. Dumb move.

Postscript

The only good thing coming from this is that I now inherit the test machine. So I’m gonna get to use a decked out MacBook Pro at work. Really decked out – I don’t think they left an upgrade option unfilled when they ordered it. Finally I won’t have to duck and weave back and forth between my PC Desktop and personal Mac Laptop to get work done efficiently.

6 Responses

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  • Agreed, dumb move there. They should learn to really loosen up sometimes. Protecting their secrets is one thing, but that’s just sad. But it’s their loss (and your gain, apparently 😛 ).

    Joey Brooks, December 15, 2006 10:55 am | permalink

  • I think parallels runs vista. Granted a group license on top of a cost for 18 laptops would probably suck.

    reepicheep, December 16, 2006 12:23 pm | permalink

  • You must have missed the MCGP part… we don’t pay for anything Microsoft.

    Shawn Parker, December 16, 2006 10:28 pm | permalink

  • I meant the licenses for parallels desktop for mac. It already has vista drivers and support that allow you to run it ontop of mactels.

    reepicheep, December 17, 2006 1:19 am | permalink

  • We’ve also got VMWare at our disponsal… though Parallels is clearly in the lead for virtualization on the Mac Desktop I think that it would have been "taken care of". Our company has a ‘use what you sell’ mentality.

    On top of that – direct hardware support is more important than virtualization. The Triple-Boot scenario was gonna be a standard config in the office. Virtualization, though nice, is still not a primary use scenario.

    Getting the configurations they want has lead them to Lenovo, which, get this, is $1,300 more a laptop – and it doesn’t triple boot! The was a case where the Mac was actually cheaper. I can’t remember if I’ve ever heard a Mac being that much cheaper than a competitor.

    Shawn Parker, December 17, 2006 9:55 am | permalink

  • Ah, I see. Well sometimes the situation determines the need. For most, virtulization would be a welcome addition, and built in support on the intel chips makes it blazingly fast. However, sometimes consistency and a good administration policy trumps frills. Oh well, I do hope apple will clean up their act. Best of luck and sorry you guys don’t get to play with some eye candy.

    reepicheep, December 17, 2006 11:22 pm | permalink

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