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45% of businesses offer Macs to employees, 77% find Apple more reliable - survey

A new survey of IT decision makers in the enterprise found that almost half of businesses now offer their workers Macs, while the vast majority feel Apple's Mac platform is more reliable than PCs running Microsoft's Windows.

The new details were released this week by virtualization maker Parallels, which polled more than 200 IT heads about their attitudes towards Macs in the enterprise. The survey found that 45 percent of businesses currently give employees the option of using a Mac at work.

Among those who don't offer Macs, a whopping 95 percent said they would be more likely to do so if they had access to a single central management system for both Windows PCs and Macs.

Most IT decision makers agree that Apple's Mac platform is more reliable, easier to support, and would even help attract employees.

Apple's Mac lineup also ranked favorably against Windows when IT decision makers were asked about performance and reliability. Among those polled, 77 percent said Macs are more reliable than Windows machines, 65 percent said Macs are easier to support, and 65 percent said offering Macs would likely help attract employees.

Still, Macs are being held back in the enterprise because many decision makers — 70 percent at those who do not offer Macs — said they don't have the expertise to manage Apple's devices. And 68 percent of IT heads at Mac-less businesses said they don't allow Apple hardware because they are unable to run Windows applications in OS X.

Apple has steadily been gaining market share in the enterprise, with recent trends suggesting the company could account for 11 percent of the total global business market by 2015. Many believe the strong performance seen by the Mac is being driven by a so-called "halo effect" with the iPhone, as corporations and their workers begin to buy into Apple's ecosystem.

In addition, Apple has also been making strides in security and encryption — advances that have helped to make both iOS and OS X viable and attractive options for government agencies.