The eternal struggle: Mac vs PC

Which is costlier to support in the enterprise?

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It's no secret that Apple prices its Macs on the high end of the retail computer market. But throw in enterprise requirements, connectivity to backend systems and applications, hidden management costs, support costs, and maybe a desktop virtualisation layer, and suddenly calculating the cost of a computer isn't so simple.

Among readers, though, there's not much gray area: They're either in the PC camp or the Mac camp. To be fair, readers' opinions stem from what works in their own IT environments. Thus, they're neither right nor wrong, because IT environments vary greatly (which is why Macs and Active Directory may work well in one scenario and not so well in another).


CIOs can learn from the issues raised in this debate, such as the hidden costs of desktop virtualisation entering into the equation. Here are some of the more compelling reader comments, which have been edited for grammar and brevity:

Macs are cheaper

Dave writes: "I and another person support more than 60 Mac Pros in a Windows dominated network environment, in multiple buildings and locations. The Macs bind and log in through Active Directory without issues, as well as use all features as on the PCs. We use Apple Remote Desktop to remote support and push updates. For more than eight years, we have had 100 percent uptime. You guys need to get with the rest of the real world who are dumping Windows and enjoying a less stressful support life with the Mac. Win PC admins are a dying breed."

Billy Lenox writes: "I want to set the record straight on all the rumors that fly out all the time that Macs are more expensive than PCs. Yes, this was true back in the 90s. But since the switch to Intel, Macs have became cheaper. By the way, Apple does have a low cost Mac called the Mac Mini at $799. The equivalent Dell is $889."

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