One for the “who’da’ thunk it” department.
Consistent with the landmark MobileFirst enterprise software for iOS devices collaboration IBM and Apple announced last year, Big Blue has finally gotten around to authorizing Apple’s MacBooks as an option for laptops supplied by the company to its employees–apparently a spectacularly popular policy decision with many of its employees according to the Twitterverse.
Beginning immediately, all IBM employees can now specify a MacBook Pro, Macbook Air, or a PC when setting up new workstations or laptop replacements. The Apple machines will arrive in employee hands pre-loaded with security, Wi-Fi, and VPN software so users will be able to just plug in and get to work and connect to the internet to get started, according to the memo. IBM already has some 15,000 Macs in use by employees thanks to its BYOD program, but expects to have roughly 50,000 Macbooks in use by its workforce by year-end 2016, which the company notes in a memo to employees will make it the biggest “Mac shop” in the enterprise.
Given the historic rivalry in the PC sector between IBM and Apple, the idea of IBM becoming the biggest Mac laptop customer on the planet seems a bit surreal. However, Big Blue bailed out of the personal computer business in 2005, selling its PC related assets and intellectual property to Chinese computer maker Lenovo.