"It is clear to me, and the Apple move really got me thinking along these lines, that people are starting to make decisions based on other criteria than pure performance and that the overall user experience is becoming a bigger differentiator. There are reasons for what is suddenly driving Apple into big companies and it is affecting the battle between AMD, Intel and Nvidia as well.
Apple's enterprise move
Last week, I was visiting one of the most powerful companies in technology - one that is typically thought of as a Microsoft partner. I noticed a lot of Apple computers and even the guy briefing me had a MacBook Air. Since this was a traditional Windows shop, I paid a bit more attention on what was going on at that site.
Apparently, the buying authority for employee devices and supplies has become decentralized and has been moved to the managers who own the related profit and loss. The idea behind this is that these managers are closer to the problems and can better assess how to most effectively spend their limited budgets.
This is a heavy laptop shop and, like most, is still on a 2-year rotation and buys laptops with full services at a cost of about $3600, excluding the software or central services from the company's IT organization. Because a few people wanted to use Apple machines, an internal peer-to-peer support organization was set up and, initially, anyone who wanted an Apple had to get special permission and generally buy it themselves.
Upon review, the costs associated with these Apple users turned out to be vastly less than those associated with Windows machines for obvious reasons, including the fact that the employee, not the company, bought them. But, when managers looked at the departmental cost, a $1800 MacBook Air saved $1800 over a $3600 Windows machine, because the annual service cost can be avoided.
As a result, employees at this company can now select, once their Windows box is up for replacement, an Apple machine and speculation is that most will elect to do that. That means they save the company tons of money and those employees are usually very happy with their computer. Many apparently elect to use their own money to buy an even better laptop from Apple." (Continued via UsabilityNews, TG Daily, Rob Enderle) [Usability Resources]