Apple and Microsoft have traditionally coexisted by offering products typically geared towards consumers and businesses, respectively. However, tablets and smartphones have recently grown in popularity in business circles. Apple's heavy market share in the two industries mean that more employees are using Apple handheld devices for work – an environment traditionally dominated by Microsoft and Windows. Furthermore, studies suggest that Apple device owners are increasing consideration of using Macs for their standard computers. As such, lines are blurring and some businesses must find a way to integrate the two platforms.
To counter the challenges met by switching back and forth between the two, many businesses are using web applications that do not require software to be written for a specific operating system. Cloud-based applications can be accessed through the web, regardless of which machine the user is running. To achieve maximum efficiency, many are using third party browsers such as Firefox or Google Chrome, instead of Apple's Safari and Microsoft's Internet Explorer.
Additionally, Microsoft has developed some of its core applications for the Mac OSX operating system. The Microsoft Office suite is the most popular example. By installing this software onto a Mac, users can save files and transfer them across the two different platforms with little interruption.
PC World writer Lloyd Case wrote a recent article describing the experience of switching between platforms running Microsoft Office applications as very user-friendly.
"Other word processors, spreadsheets, and presentation programs do exist for the Mac," Case writes. "But I know Word pretty intimately, and I use Excel pretty regularly. Transferring files is, for the most part, straightforward."
Businesses that will be using both platforms should contact a business technology consulting firm to determine which actions will achieve optimal results.