The first phase of the pilot program was conducted between October 2007 and January 2008. During this phase, 24 MacBook Pros were distributed to researchers and used as the primary notebook, with the employees' existing ThinkPads acting as backups if needed.
Of the 22 of 24 who responded, 18 said that the Mac offered a “better or best experience” compared to their existing computer, one rated it “equal or good,” and three said the Mac offered a “worse experience.”
Seven reported having no or marginal prior knowledge of using Macs, while 15 reported having moderate or expert knowledge of the platform.
- 86% of pilot users requested to keep the Mac
- More new hires are requesting Macs
- Research and Academic clients have a growing Mac community
- IBM internal software made for Mac was easy to install
- Some key software was unavailable for Mac, including DB2 and Websphere Application Server, Rational Application Developer IDE for J2EE apps, WebSphere Integration Developer SOA development tool, and Microsoft Visio. (which can be got round either with boot camp or Parallels (my italics)
- "When presenting at customer or external meetings, I have been greeted with the 'wow factor.' 'Where's the ThinkPad, IBM uses Apples now?'"
- "This can free us from the Windows stranglehold."
- "It has been easier learning the Mac than learning Vista."
- "The ability to run Windows XP in a VM under Parallels is a great feature."
Personally I know that I work about 10 to 15% faster using my Mac at home, though it is always getting the IT boys to go for a trail - though I do see a large Mac community at work and maybe it might be worth a trial other than in the ubiquitous graphics department being the only ones in a large corporation to use it.