Apple Retail Stores making a play to sell Macs to Windows based business customers

Apple is to make a play for the currently Windows based business users in a new sales initiative according to reports. Retail Stores will now display a 27-inch iMac in their business section prepared with Parallels and Windows 8. From 9to5Mac:

Select Apple Retail employees will also be trained on the Parallels and Windows software, and special Parallels demos have been created for Apple Stores. The goal of this new initiative is to push employees to be able to show businesses that currently work on Windows that all purposes of Windows could either be replaced or used (with Parallels) on a Mac computer.

There's no denying that Windows still overwhelmingly controls the business market, and for many companies moving away completely and going to OS X would be expensive and impractical. Parallels isn't quite the same as running native Windows, but it's close enough for most purposes, and who wouldn't like to be staring at something like a 27-inch iMac all day at work instead of a generic looking Windows box? And, let's not forget that the MacBook Pro was judged to be the best performing Windows machine.

It's also a far cry from the Mac vs PC days, instead focusing on how Apple's hardware can work in tandem with Microsoft's operating system. Parallels isn't the only method of running Windows 8 on a Mac of course. More recent updates to Mountain Lion added better driver support for Boot Camp to install Windows 8 on a separate partition, but Parallels is possibly more consumer friendly.

Let me know what you think of this, though. Do you think this is a smart play from Apple to push business sales, or do you think they'd still be better served pushing the distinct strengths of the Mac as it sits?

Source: 9to5Mac

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Richard Devine

Senior Editor at iMore, part time racing driver, full time British guy

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Reader comments

Apple Retail Stores making a play to sell Macs to Windows based business customers


I guess it's good for start ups... Because as you alluded to, the cost to upgrade a business from Windows to Mac is expensive and impractical.

Since this is limited to Apple stores, the practical impact will remain miniscule; or at least globally it will be insignificant.

A 27 inch iMac would be a nice machine to have. But, if I were in the market for an AiO, I would probably look at a Windows 8 AiO, due to the cheaper costs. Acer has a really good AiO (at Best Buy), for $1300, that comes with the wireless peripherals, has really good internals, and a full 1080p 27 inch screen.

HP is also a good candidate, as they have several models that are under $1000.

My dentist recently redid the entire office with Apple products. iMacs at the front and every exam room. Think he has a MacBook Pro. They have one app that is running in Parallels. Of course, most patients don't realize that, not sure that half the staff even does, or, more importantly, care. My hyginest commented how much more smooth everything runs now.

Wasted money. Small biz can run Mac based systems quite well often but once you get to about 20 seats or higher the toolset you need just isn't there on the Mac platform. From shared storage, security to software distribution and more the Mac just isn't a viable platform as a business begins to grow. Apple's unpredictability doesn't help either. I think Apple ecosystem is a no brainer for most micro companies but equally a no brainer (pejoratively) for companies that are large and need more sophisticated tools.

It's useful to have a both-and approach.

I moved to a Macbook Air this summer, and I wouldn't have done so without the ability to run Windows 7 with Boot Camp, as it's still my main operating system for schoolwork, etc.

Having a well-built device without all that bloatware is really nice. (Yes, I could have figured out how to install Windows fresh with no additional programs on a PC. But Boot Camp made it so easy.)

I've been running win7 with parallels for the last 2 years on 27" and recently on MBA. Oddly Win 7 seems to run better on Parallels than it did on my Dell. But that could be that I don't tax that OS with more than a couple of applications now.

My only business requirements for Windows is SQL Server and app testing on IE. Having used Microsoft products for over 20 years the experience is night an day. OSX is much more reliable, faster to navigate and less cluttered which means less time with setup/configuration/maintenance. Unfortunately there is no replacement for Excel and to some extent Word if you are performing more complicated business tasks. But the Mac version of both is good enough. For a small business there is no reason to stay with the continuing maintenance costs of operating a Windows system unless your industry app is not ported to OSX. But as others have said, as you scale up and want more atomized control on workstations then Windows may be the only solution. I have never deployed Mac on large scale so I'm not familiar with what can and cannot be done.

I often go months without restarting my Mac....I just don't think about it for any reason. My co-workers on Win 8 and Win 7 can't make the same claim, especially Win 8. Their restarts are usually required and create more non-productive, non-billable time. Again, more maintenance. This maintenance time is second nature for technical people, but most businesses don't have techs at every computer. The non-billable time associated with maintaining a Windows environment is often overlooked in the total cost of ownership. And it is not insignificant.