Apple iPad sales hit 2 million last week – a milestone few companies or products have ever achieved… let alone in their first two months of sales. And while iPads have yet to significantly impact the enterprise, it has become apparent to most global enterprises that the Mac has grown in both presence and relevance. In fact, more and more companies today are offering their employees Mac and Windows options for their personal desktop environment. This not only makes for happier users, it also helps to ensure that already productive Mac users remain that way.
Further, this trend has spread to include, not only the traditional media, broadcasting, and advertising verticals that one might expect, but also unfamiliar territories such as financial services and technology as well. News from Google this week reveals that, due to security concerns, they are moving away from Windows PCs enterprise-wide, in favor of Mac and Linux clients.
And yet, with today’s growing base of Mac users accessing a primarily Windows-based enterprise, fundamental differences between the Mac and Windows operating systems can make the integration between Macs and Windows a significant challenge. Most fundamentally, Mac performance and file integrity can be compromised because of incompatibilities between Windows and Mac OS X operating systems – largely caused by the differences in the file sharing protocols they are designed to use. In the Windows case, file sharing is conducted using the Server Message Block (SMB) protocol, which lacks many of the capabilities included in the Mac’s default Apple Filing Protocol (AFP).
And, as Mac users encounter data integrity issues or become dissatisfied with system performance, they naturally turn to the Help Desk, which has seen a significant increase in inbound calls from Mac users who simply need a way to share data with Windows-based systems.
What’s needed is a solution that ensures transparency between Mac and Windows, in what is becoming less and less a Windows-centric world.