Mac as Business Computer?

With the popularity of Apple’s iPod® and iPhone® more and more businesses have given Apple® computers, also known as Macs, a second look for their primary computer. And they should. Macs are very easy to use and generally have far less problems than their Microsoft Windows® counterparts. When you sit down to work on your Mac®, you get to do work—not spend your time rebooting and troubleshooting to figure out why your Windows computer isn’t working properly. If you don’t want to be a computer mechanic (or pay one) and experience the downtime involved, then a Mac might be the right computer for your business.

If Macs are such great computers, why aren’t more businesses using them? In the past there have been two main reasons, a lack of software titles and the computer itself was expensive. Today most major software is made for both Macs and Windows. You can get a solid desktop (iMac®) or laptop (MacBook®) for around $1,500. A higher-end desktop (Mac Pro®) runs $2,500-$3,500 and a higher-end laptop (MacBookPro®) runs $2,000-$3,000. In today’s uncertain economy, spending over $2,000 on a computer may not be in your company’s budget. However, you should factor in the frustration and the business downtime that often goes hand-in-hand with a Windows computer.

Another reason that businesses have resisted changing to a Mac from Windows is employees have to learn a new computer system. Not to worry, the Mac is very easy to use and it takes little time to become accustomed to it. Just like adjusting to driving a new car—it takes a little time but if the ride is a joy, it’s well worth it.

Macs are great computers but they’re not for every business. You need to do some investigating, particularly if you are making the switch from a Windows computer to a Mac. Is there a Mac version of all the software you need to use? Visiting the websites of the software you need will tell you if a Mac version exists. If there are only a few software titles that don’t work on a Mac you can run Windows software on your Mac buy using Boot Camp® or Parallels Desktop.

If most the software you need works on a Mac, the next step is to verify that the websites that you need to view, or your business can’t live without, work on a Mac in a non-Microsoft browser. Many companies are getting better about creating websites for Mac users. But not everyone has made the commitment. So you might want to head down to your local Apple Store, or to a colleague’s house, and fire up Safari® (Mac’s browser) or Firefox® to check out the websites that you use regularly.

Nothing should be holding you back from purchasing a Mac for your business if the software and websites you need or want to use work on a Mac. It will cost you more $$ to buy a Mac computer than the Windows equivalent. You also have to buy the Mac version of the software you need. However, the value of your business time and the frustrations you will avoid cannot be underestimated.

Would you consider using a Mac for your business? Why or why not?

This is an updated post from October 2008.

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