Driven by Apple's efforts to make its OS X operating system more compatible with the iPhone's, iPad's and iPod Touch's iOS, more consumers will bring OS X devices to work where IT will have to deal with them, says David Mitchell Smith, a vice president and Gartner Fellow.
RELATED: iOS vs. Android in the enterprise ]
He points to Launchpad, which displays the application folder in OS X Mountain Lion machines like the home pages of iOS devices, as an indicator that Apple is trying to make the two platforms more alike. He also notes that Apple is standardizing application names across iOS and OS X as evidenced by renaming iCal and Address Book applications to Calendar and Contacts, respectively.
Smith says the MacBook Air in particular as a device that will arrive in corporate settings more and more as it grows in popularity.
IT departments have already been forced to accept iPhones and in fact they are better accepted than Windows Phone 7 phones are among corporate IT staff, he says. With security improvements with Windows Phone 8, though, IT departments are starting to prefer Microsoft phones, Smith says.
With Windows 8 Microsoft has the potential to cut into iPhone and iPad markets, and the Microsoft alternatives hold interest among Windows shops, he says.
None of this means Apple will supplant Microsoft in business networks, he says. Microsoft caters to corporate customers and has well established relationships with them. The company will continue to develop products that will appeal to that base, he says.
While the general attitude of IT pros toward Apple will improve, "they'll never get as excited as they are about Microsoft," Smith says.