Oct 30 2013

Why Businesses Should Upgrade to Mac OS X Mavericks

Better support for multiple displays, improved security and a new data transfer protocol make the new Mac OS a winner.

There’s one big selling point that every company should consider when talking about an upgrade to Mavericks, Apple’s latest version of its Mac OS X desktop operating system: It’s free.

In a bold move, Apple has decided to give away its desktop operating system for the first time. For users of its mobile products, this is nothing new, as iOS and its subsequent upgrades have been free from the beginning. So a free desktop OS was perhaps inevitable, especially as whispers grow louder that Mac OS X and iOS could soon become one.

Apple claims the new OS has over 200 features, spanning a range of improvements in accessibility, automation, client management, Finder, Maps, the Mac App Store, multiple displays and more.

The new compatibility with multiple displays is a welcome relief. Full-screen mode on multiple displays was a headache in previous versions of the OS because going full-screen rendered the secondary display useless, showing nothing more than the default gray linen background. As Macworld writer Dan Moren quipped last year, “I sure hope you like that linen pattern that Apple seems to be using everywhere now, because if you’re using multiple monitors, you're going to get an eyeful of it.”

But have no fear, multiple display support is here. Mavericks users can now run an application in full-screen mode on one display and continue to access their desktop or run another full-screen app on the other.

That will make workstation setups like this a lot more manageable:

My Workstation, 16-07-12

What’s In It for the Enterprise?

As with most OS upgrades, Apple has made tweaks and improvements to security. FileVault, the Mac’s built-in encryption application, can now be managed through mobile device management solutions, making it easier for IT workers to manage systems on the go. Additionally, new Macs can be automatically rolled into the company’s mobile device management solution upon setup.

Similar to iOS 7’s per-app VPN feature, Mavericks offers application-specific VPN as an option for users. That means applications that store or transmit confidential information now have an additional layer of safety.

In addition to fortifying data protection, Apple has also boosted data transmission with its new protocol for transmitting data between Macs, called Server Message Block 2 (SMB2). The company promises that “SMB2 is faster, increases security, and improves Windows compatibility.”

The improvement in Windows compatibility is key because, while Macs have been increasingly embraced by the enterprise, companies have invested and continue to invest in Windows machines in far larger numbers.

Last, the Mac App Store has finally been rolled into Apple’s Volume Purchase Program, which makes purchasing Mac applications much more manageable, according to a report from CITE World.

Has your company upgraded to Mac OS X Mavericks yet? Let us know in the Comments.