Wednesday, April 6, 2022

2022 Six Colors Apple in the Enterprise Report Card

Jason Snell:

Now that there have been two surveys, we can compare last year’s scores with this year’s and see how sentiment has changed. Except for macOS identity management, which took a drop, and security and privacy, which remained the same, all scores were up. Biggest moves were software reliability and deployment, followed by the future of Apple in the enterprise.


John Welch wrote: “If your needs happen to align with Apple’s almost perfectly, then it’s amazing. But there are a lot of critical holes, especially regarding macOS. Automation is particularly bad in that there is no one coherent automation framework a la Windows and .NET/PowerShell, but rather a mélange of things that communicate in the clumsiest of ways, leading to AppleScripts calling shell scripts, shell scripts calling AppleScripts, having to bundle entire scripting implementations in an application to call a python script, one automation framework that only works in a user context, other automation frameworks that clearly only exist as a way to run iOS shortcuts and which would not be that useful for many enterprise needs. That’s not to say the iOS integration and support is bad—but Apple clearly views user-created automation as a toy best left to children. In comparison to what MS has done with PowerShell at all levels of their platform, Apple fundamentally has no clue about supporting user-created automation that doesn’t begin and end with Xcode and Swift. Apple’s documentation for any of their automation efforts is at best described as ‘bad,’ and the only reason the automation documentation not being the worst part is that Apple’s support in their own products for automation is so relentlessly abysmal. Apple has the resources to fix this—they currently don’t care to.”


James Smith wrote: “Feedback assistant is still not where it needs to be, and I rarely get responses to issues raised there. I’m left to raising tickets through the AppleCare for enterprise program if I actually want traction on an issue.”


Bart Reardon wrote: “Taken in isolation, there are obviously things that one could complain about. But when held against other hardware vendors in the same space, there’s almost no comparison. The 14″ and 16″ MacBook Pros took the crown from the 2012-2015 MacBook Pros as the best hardware form and function. (RIP Touch Bar and butterfly keyboard!) Still too early to get a good metric on the instance of warranty claims versus non-Apple devices in our environment for the new hardware.”


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Ghost Quartz

Apple’s scripting/automation seems focused on empowering individual users, rather than enterprise workflows. It’s a shame; I would love for system configuration to be driven programmatically, but Apple apparently has no interest in documenting the operating system’s internal systems, leaving us with a mess of undocumented subsystems and poorly documented command-line tools.

The sheer number of folders stuffed into ~/Library and background processes on a fresh install of a modern macOS leaves the distinct impression that whatever design discipline was present in the early days of Mac OS X is now gone. Like, what is all this crap? I think the annual release cycle is to blame; developers to follow the path of least resistance to get it out the door in time.

I’m not even against lots of features per se, but there should be more care put into their construction.

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