NASA Mac users resist the switch

Organizations resist change so it is no surprise that parts of NASA's Johnson Space Center are resisting the move to a desktop standard based on an Intel/Microsoft platform. Although the objections have focused on process the disagreements go far beyond process to the deeply held beliefs of many Mac users that Apple technology is superior for certain applications.

The same argument frustrated many Betamax VCR users who saw the market shift to one dominated by VHS technology. Although many acknowledged that Betamax technology was superior VHS marketing won the battle. The difference between that classic battle and the one currently going on in NASA is that no one made the VCR users switch from one format to another. Eventually they discovered there were more movies available in VHS format and there was a gradual if grumpy migration.

Mac users at NASA do not want to migrate. The budget arguments - that one standard is less expensive and more efficient - do not convince them. They do not believe that the market has left them in the dust.Without a doubt there are certain applications - graphic arts and design for example - where Macs clearly outshine the competition. If the performance of the equipment can be the basis for the standard instead of merely price or the convenience of support then Mac addicts can hang onto their beloved technology when it is more effective and will perhaps be more willing to move when it is not.

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