Apple's offerings have long been seen as consumer products that are not adequate for business use beyond the very restrictive fence of the creative art departments. This perception has been around for a long time,
despite various studies and surveys that indicated otherwise, but it looks like things are finally changing and the potential of the platform is being recognized.
Awareness of the Mac platform is on the up and up these days, with more and more people speaking and writing about it, especially in a business context. There seems to be a consensus that Macs are better as strictly personal computers, but taking one to work is still seen as questionable move. Studies that looked at the TCO and ROI of Macs have been around for many years and Apple products have always gotten top marks, but these days, people are starting to also look at other, more immediate factors.
Macs are gaining ground especially with SMBs, because of key factors such as the lack of licensing cost per seat and the lower cost and flexibility of server hardware, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. Improved reliability and security, the longevity of the hardware as well as the ease of keeping software updated all add up.
While big companies that have huge investments tied up in proprietary hardware are still reluctant to make the jump, smaller, more agile companies can start taking advantage of Apple's products and thus save and make more money today.
While Macs and OS X are still not a huge threat to Windows's entrenched position, with the big corporations, the slow but steady adoption of Macs for home and small business use will have long-term implications. Already Apple, Macs and OS X are enjoying good reputation gains while Windows and especially Vista is seen as being a non-success.