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Macs: the Ideal Corporate Developer Computer? Macs: the Ideal Corporate Developer Computer?
Dear Mr/Mrs CIO/CTO,

Here are the top ten reasons you should consider Macs for the IT department.
  1. Java
    Java, the de facto standard for enterprise IT, is a first class citizen on OS X. Unlike Windows, where you need to separately install 130+ MB JDKs and version conflicts abound, Java is tightly integrated into the operating system. Furthermore, Apple hooked Quartz and used a shared library-like mechanism with Java, making for the most eye-pleasing, fastest Java around.

  2. Xcode
    Xcode is free. And its not crippled in anyway like Visual Studio Express. It supports Java, C, C++, Objective-C and Applescript. Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition, on the other hand, sets you back $799.

  3. Eclipse
    Xcode, however, only allows you to target the Mac platform (with the exception of Java projects). If you’re more of a Java purist or would like to work with other languages (e.g. Perl, Ruby, Python, COBOL, etc. etc.), Eclipse runs beautifully on OS X.

  4. Unix
    Its Unix-based! No need to maintain a separate Unix/Linux workstation. Did you know OS X has the largest desktop Unix install base? Didn’t you notice at the last Linux/Unix/Security conference that a seemingly disproportionate number of experts used Macs?
    And should your developers need to work on the Linux/Solaris boxes in the datacenter, they can do so with the built-in SSH/X11 server.

  5. Security
    Need I say more?
    OK. OK. So you read the latest McAfee whitepaper on OS X vulnerabilities... But other experts have dismissed it as scare-mongering .
    Besides, you can always install the free, industrial-strength ClamXav when the first real OS X-specific virus does arrive.

  6. MS Office 2004
    Strangely enough, Microsoft is one of the largest software vendors for OS X, thanks to its Mac Business Unit and the great work they've done porting Office to OS X.

  7. Windows
    And should your developers need to run Windows to work on their .NET applications (why should you, if MS itself doesn’t use it in Vista?), Boot Camp is only a reboot away.
    Reboots a productivity drain? (are you sure you use Windows?) Just fire up XP (or Linux or DOS for that matter) in Parallels Workstation at near-native speeds.

  8. Spotlight
    When Microsoft pulled WinFS, one of the most compelling features to migrate to Vista went down the drain. Get a foretaste of it, even on your FAT32 Boot Camp partition, with Spotlight.

  9. Its not that expensive
    Have you see the prices for the latest MacBooks? They’re right there at the $1000 sweet spot.
    Heck, even Cnet found the findings of research firm Pipper Jaffray newsworthy.

  10. You’ll keep your developers happy
    Here’s how Werner Vogels, Amazon’s CTO puts it:
    “If you hit the gateway page, the application calls more than 100 services to collect data and construct the page for you.' [...] 'Developers of our services can use any tools they see fit to build their services. [...] Whatever tools are necessary, we provide them, and then get the hell out of the way of the developers so that they can do their jobs. [...] Developers are like artists; they produce their best work if they have the freedom to do so, but they need good tools.'"

I’ve worked in several Fortune 500 companies and it puzzles me no end when corporate developers are straightjacketed into using a locked-down, standardized desktop.

Hellooooo!!!! These are your developers, folks!!!! These are the guys who’re supposed to push the envelope to get you your competitive advantage! How can they do that when they’re using the same build as the folks in the secretarial pool?

Besides, we’re just talking IT, not the whole company. Just order Macs instead of Dell/HP during the next upgrade cycle and call it a pilot.

And should it work out... then you can start looking into using Macs for everybody else. Either way, you’ll look good at the next board meeting.  

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