InfoWorld's Chad Dickerson talks about migrating to the Mac. The mere fact that this article is getting written shows tremendous progress for Apple.
I've written not-so-favorable columns about Macs before (on a Windows XP system) and I've had a Mac at my desk for months, but it occupied the last port on my KVM (keyboard, video, mouse) switch -- a true IT afterthought. On a recent Friday, weary from shopping for a new PC, I grabbed the 3-year-old G4 at my desk (a 450MHz processor, same as my Dell) and took it home to see what all the Mac and OS X fuss was about. My plan was to add it to my existing home network, which consisted of two PCs and a Linux server. I plugged the Mac into the fourth port on my four-port KVM switch, mostly excited about iTunes. My Linux-served MP3 collection forced my unwitting experiment in enterprise Mac integration.
Fast forward to Monday and the KVM switch is in storage. I don't need it because the Mac does everything I need. It replaced the Linux server and one of the PC clients, and I've mainlined the keyboard and mouse directly into the Mac. My experience with OS X at home felt like crossing a chasm.
Now, you might ask: What does this really have to do with enterprise IT? The answer is simple: I used the Mac running OS X to replace a PC client and Linux server; the level of functionality was raised; and I did more with less. All the GNU and Unix tools I've used for years were right there in OS X: ps (process status), rsync, top, SSH (secure shell), Apache, Samba, and various Unix shells. I was able to access Windows file systems, and I easily shared Mac files to the Windows machine on my network via Samba, the open source file-sharing stalwart. I hardly struggled even for a second.
Wow. Bear in mind that Dickerson is the CTO of InfoWorld - so a lot of IT guys and IT chiefs are going to see this article. For years, Apple couldn't buy a break in the IT press. This is great news for them.