Welcome to Brown’s Bytes! Your weekly insight from Mobliciti’s CTO Andy Brown. Follow #brownsbytes
20th November 2020
Regular readers will know that I’ve spoken before about Mac in the Enterprise.
On the whole, the Enterprise space was a Windows world and the laptop space has been no different. The shift to remote working has resulted in more Window 10 laptops going out the door than ever before. Microsoft has also done an amazing job in closing the design gap with their Surface range of devices to make it an even tougher market for Mac to break into.
And yet – things just got VERY interesting…
The first Macs running on Apple silicon have now landed and I think it’s fair to say that it’s the beginning of a big shakeup in the market.
The Apple M1 powered MacBooks have just moved the goalposts when it comes to the usual trade-offs that you see in a laptop for efficiency/heat/noise/battery vs performance.
At its heart, the M1 is an ARM-based chipset instead of the usual x86 type of processer we’re used to (on both Windows and Mac). And while the smartphone and tablet market is driven by ARM-based processors, the PC world has stayed on x86 architecture since the very beginning.
History hasn’t been kind to previous attempts to shift to ARM-based silicon in laptops – Microsoft has tried on more than once occasion and it’s simply not worked. Slower machines running less software was a tough sell!
The traditional wisdom was that ARM-based was efficient on power but too slow to ultimately unseat the x86.
As a result, I and most other people were pretty sceptical about whether Apple could pull this one off – in particular in the short term. However, it really does seem they’ve moved things on significantly… the new M1 based devices aren’t just close to Intel performance… they’re actually comparable to Intel’s most powerful Core i9 chip for laptops!
And this is the first attempt!!
How has Apple pulled this off??
Well, since the very beginning of the PC era, the processor was designed by one company (Intel / AMD etc) and the OS was written by somebody else (Microsoft). The previous attempts to move to ARM were based on a similar approach. Microsoft basically took an off the shelf CPU and then layered their software on top – even when they worked more closely with Qualcomm on their devices, it’s still not really moved the dial.
Meanwhile, Apple is famous for wanting to control everything themselves. And with the M1 they’ve actually designed a chipset based directly on the requirements of macOS and updated macOS to also work more closely in return. Seems obvious when you say it, but this is a first and the gains being seen already are amazing…
We’re seeing an entry-level M1 device outperform the current top of the range Intel Macs even though they have less memory… and don’t forget they’re also smaller, lighter, cooler, quieter and have twice the battery life!
Meanwhile, Apple has also managed to create an efficient engine to allow all existing Apps to run on it as well… it really is looking like a no brainer if you’re shopping for a Mac to move to the M1 based devices.
Apple has pulled off a step-change in laptop performance overnight. And the way they’ve achieved it is arguably hard for Windows-based devices to quickly emulate.
And this is just the beginning for Apple…
Time for Enterprise to consider it?
Mac is as manageable and secure as Windows if you do it right… get in touch if you’d like help or advice on how to deliver and embrace Mac.