Microsoft launches Apple community for IT administrators

Apple founder Steve Jobs loved Bob Dylan, who sang, “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing.” It seems Microsoft listened to Dylan’s advice and launched the Apple Technical Community for IT professionals.

Welcome to Microsoft Mac Administrators

The move reflects Mac’s continued growth across the enterprise, particularly in the US. Apple has done what everyone once thought impossible, and its platforms now account for 40% of business PC deployments.

At the same time, Microsoft has worked hard to ensure that its solutions remain relevant on every platform as heterogeneous computing evolves significantly in today’s environment under CEO Satya Nadella.

In a way, Microsoft’s new Mac community reflects this new wind.

Microsoft on the Mac in the Enterprise

Arnab Biswas, senior product manager for Microsoft Intune, announced the new Mac forums in a blog post.

“We were inspired to create this community based on feedback from the many organizations that have used Microsoft 365 products, including Microsoft Intune, to manage Macs in the enterprise,” they wrote.

While the company emphasizes that its community does not intend to replace official product support, Microsoft describes its position as a place for IT professionals “to use Microsoft products on Apple Mac devices in the enterprise.” Passionate about and knowledgeable about.”

The move reflects IT’s use of Microsoft Intune, Exchange and other company products as part of the Apple management stack. Top third-party MDM providers, such as Jampf, have already integrated Microsoft’s solutions into their offerings.

Seeing unprecedented growth in macOS management

The prevailing reality is that as Apple’s business presence grows, so does the demand for using Microsoft’s management solutions, such as Intune, on that platform. This is good for all parties, especially in mixed computing and legacy environments.

“Mac management has been a focus for Microsoft 365, evidenced by the macOS capabilities provided, and we continue to see unprecedented growth and customer interest in macOS management. That’s why we wanted to provide a platform where organizations, especially the IT community, can showcase their achievements, share tips and tricks, and collaborate with other Microsoft 365 or Intune administrators around the world,” Biswas said. wrote.

Who can participate? what do you get?

Communities is available to anyone with a Microsoft 365 account. Like the powerful Mac Admins community on Slack, you can ask questions, answer questions, provide feedback, and participate in discussions related to Microsoft 365 on Mac.

The community also provides an archive of past posts, comments and advice. Microsoft employees moderate the forums.

To join the community, email MacAdmins@microsoft.com and provide a Microsoft 365 email address. Once logged in, technical professionals can explore the pages here.

Backwards

Employee choice is a growing force in technology deployment. Some of the world’s leading companies now understand that as work becomes increasingly dependent on technology, the technology of choice has become the employee experience.

Employees don’t want to be like the Jetsons at home and the Flintstones at work. They want to use the best available technologies to get the job done – and employers want to hire them.

Given the choice, employees overwhelmingly prefer Mac. Cisco confirmed earlier this year that two-thirds of employees would use Macs in the workplace if given the choice. In early 2023, Cisco had about 56,000 Macs in use, along with 68,000 Windows PCs.

There is no doubt that as technology upgrades, the use of Macs in the company will continue to grow. Cisco said that given the opportunity to make a choice, 24% of current Windows-using employees would switch to Macs. It’s not the only major enterprise customer making a rapid move to Mac.

Microsoft clearly understands this, and while the consumer PC business remains important to the company, the main drivers of growth today are services and infrastructure.

The new Microsoft Community for Mac administrators is a clear demonstration of that.

Please follow me on Mastodon, or join me at AppleHolic’s Bar & Grill and Apple discussions Groups on MeWe.

Copyright © 2023 IDG Communications, Inc.

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