VMware has been talking for years about the "post-PC era" and how mobile enterprises are increasingly using non-Windows devices to get work done.
Now VMware has data that it claims shows Microsoft is about to lose its title as top dog in the enterprise desktop PC market to Apple, as more workers succumb to the irresistible allure of Macs.
VMware recently commissioned Sunnyvale, Calif.-based market research firm Dimensional Research to survey 376 IT professionals. The results show that Windows is "losing its grip on the enterprise," Erik Frieberg, vice president of marketing for VMware's End-User Computing group, said in a recent blog post.
"Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the results is that Windows is no longer the platform of choice in the enterprise with users overwhelmingly preferring Macs," Frieberg said in the blog post.
Seventy percent of respondents said their organizations officially support Macs today, and 73 percent said their employees prefer Macs over Windows PCs because they're easier to use, according to Frieberg.
However, the survey also showed that IT professionals don't think Macs are easier to support. And about half of respondents said only some of their organizations' enterprise apps are ready to run on Macs.
In addition, three-quarters of IT professionals disagree with the popular -- and much-debated -- belief that Macs are more secure than Windows PCs.
"While employees clearly prefer Macs, there are challenges from an IT perspective that Macs must overcome before they can replace Windows PCs in the enterprise," Frieberg said in the blog post.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the solution to these problems can be found within VMware's own product portfolio. Frieberg said 89 percent of respondents said it would be "valuable" to run Windows on Macs using virtual desktop software, while 91 percent said the same for being able to run virtual desktops on Windows, Mac and Linux.
That may be the case, but it's tough to conclude that Microsoft's massive global enterprise Windows business is waning based on a survey of 376 IT professionals, especially when the geographic range of the survey isn't made clear.
Rand Morimoto, president of Convergent Computing, an Oakland, Calif.-based Microsoft partner that handles virtual desktop projects, told CRN that Mac usage is growing with his enterprise customers, but adoption rates vary depending on geographic region and industry segment.
Macs are the dominant PC choice for startups, media organizations and academic organizations, but aren’t so prevalent in regulated industries like healthcare, defense and legal circles, Morimoto told CRN.
And while Macs are popular in California, Morimoto said he sees fewer enterprises using Macs in the rest of the U.S. and even less Mac usage in Europe, Japan and China.
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