Home' LAPTOP Magazine : February 2012 Contents an inability to view multiple users’ calendars at
Organizations have also turned toward web-
based email offerings such as Google’s Gmail.
Since the mail client is hosted in the cloud, it is
platform-agnostic. As long as your employees have
a web connection, they can access their corporate
email. Gmail has the added benefit of allowing
users to collaborate on documents in real time
via Google Docs.
Business App Gap?
One of the biggest problems enterprises face
in allowing employees to use Macs on the job
is that many legacy applications are Windows-
dependent. “ We believe the typical organization
has around one application for every 10 users
and a little bit more than half of their applications
require Windows to run,” explained Michael Silver,
research vice president and distinguished analyst
with Gartner Research. “So if a 10,000 -user
organization has 1,000 applications and 500 of
them require Windows and each user requires two
or three random applications from these 1,000,
making sure the user has the capability to access
the application they need to do their job can be
a little tricky.”
Moving away from Windows-
dependent software, modernizing
your infrastructure, and adopting
platform-agnostic web-based programs
running off of HTML 5 can go a long way toward
making your network more Mac-friendly.
Unfortunately, legacy software seems to have
a shelf life comparable to your average Twinkie’s.
These aging programs are a major point of concern
for the financial sector and engineers, as well
as pharmaceutical and other industries. Some
applications, such as Intuit’s QuickBooks, just
plain don’t run on Macs, nor do they have a Mac-
Lean on the Cloud
The cloud is one place you wouldn’t expect compat-
ibility between operating systems to be an issue.
But that isn’t always the case. Take, for example,
Microsoft Office 365, a cloud-based enterprise
productivity solution that allows employees to
collaborate on projects online.
While the web-based component
of Office 365, known as Office
Web Apps, is Mac-compatible,
the offline component, Office Pro
Plus, is not.
“T he problem is they have maybe
20 percent of the functionality of
Microsoft Office 365, so there are
significant limitations to using just
Office Web Apps,” Silver said.
Apple’s iWork productivity suite
offers some compatibility with
Microsoft Office, and with Apple’s
iCloud employees can access their
iWork documents from any web-connected Apple
device. But just because iWork can read Office
files doesn’t mean Office will read iWork files.
“ You’ll be saving your documents or exporting
them and keeping them in the Microsoft format
a lot if you are exchanging them with Microsoft
Office users,” Silver said.
Google Docs and OpenOffice also serve as
decent cloud-based productivity soft-
ware offerings for Mac users. But, Silver
pointed out, neither truly offers the kind of
functionality that Office does. “They don’t
have all of the features of Microsoft Office,
and they certainly don’t have 100-percent
compatibility [with Office].
Running Windows on Macs
If you’re a Mac user stuck on a Windows
network, Apple’s Boot Camp lets you
partition a section of the hard disk for use as a
full-fledged Windows machine. The problem with
Boot Camp is that it can’t run Windows and Mac OS
X simultaneously, meaning every time employees
want to switch between Windows and OS X, they’ll
have to restart their machines.
Virtual solutions as Parallels and VMWare
Fusion 4 have helped to alleviate this problem by
giving users access to both a Windows and Mac
environment at the same time. The Mac environ-
ment serves as the base operating system, while
the Windows OS sits in a window on the user’s
However, each of these solutions requires a
Windows license key to function properly and can
put significant stress on a company’s IT department.
That’s because each user running either of these
solutions is working with two operating systems.
“There’s a lot of overhead to this, although it’s
certainly a good alternative,” Silver said.
Establish Security Guidelines
One common belief about Macs is that they are
inherently more secure than Windows-based
PCs. The truth is, Apple’s OS X is still vulnerable
to Trojans and malware. “Organizations need
NuMBER of EMpLoyEES uSiNG
pERSoNAL MACS At WoRk duRiNG
thE NExt 12 MoNthS
Stay the Same
Source: Forrester Research
Laptop | February 2012
MACS AT WORK
Links Archive January 2012 March 2012 Navigation Previous Page Next Page