In a head-to-head cost comparison, Lennox pitted an Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch against a Dell Precision Laptop M4400, similarly configured. Lennox included two dozen factors, ranging from starting price to wireless and video cards to webcams. The final analysis: the MacBook costs $1,899 with a delivery in one to three business days, whereas the Dell costs $2,223 with a delivery in two weeks. Here is Lennox's comparison chart on Facebook.
An Enterprise Desktop Alliance survey of 260 IT admins found that Macs were cheaper in six of seven computer management categories: troubleshooting, help desk calls, system configuration, user training and supporting infrastructure (servers, networks and printer).
PCs are cheaper
An anonymous reader writes: "Almost all the Macs in my company require VMware, Fusion/Parallels or WinXP with Bootcamp, which means time spent configuring and supporting the PC side of the setup, as well as constant hacks and workarounds to get features that are a simple setup on the PC to work on a Mac. Add to that no centralised administration with Active Directory, problematic setups with network shares, email quirks and the like, and I would have to say I completely disagree that Macs are cheaper than PCs."
An anonymous reader writes: "A corporate Mac environment without the need for Windows applications would definitely be cheaper to manage. But when you add VMWare into the mix, I think it can potentially cost more."
Chris writes: "User support cost savings are eaten up by transition costs: backup, systems management, antivirus, office software, rights management, Excel/Word/PPT macros. All that stuff needs to be changed or implemented redundantly. Unless you take the plunge and move fully to Macs or are able to clearly separate Mac and PC usage, you end up paying more due to necessary redundancies. And yes, Mac technicians want more money even though you might need less of them."
An anonymous reader writes: "Macs might be cheaper if one did not have to integrate them into an already Microsoft-centric enterprise. While Snow Leopard does support Active Directory and Exchange, Sharepoint does not work seamlessly. Microsoft Office for Mac does not play nice with PC Microsoft Office when it comes to formats. Macs only work well in an integrated environment as long as you use some sort of virtual machine like Parallels or VMware to load Windows. At that point, your cost savings go up in smoke."