All of this comes down to expectations and planning.
If your view of iPads is they "just work", you're going to be very disappointed when you try to deploy them in any significant number. But the same is true of Windows. If you buy 100 Windows desktops and put them into a completely fresh network with no domain controller or SCCM you're likewise going to struggle.
There are a lot of problems with iPad management, but most of them can be resolved to some extent with a little planning and research.
I'm not just digging at apple for hidden costs, Google has a 15 quid fee per device too to be managed iirc. Just seems like everything you need to do involves some extra expense with apple - I've bought my mac mini to manage my iPads with profile manager, oh the server app is 15 quid etc...
you also don't require the server app, you can use plenty of other free cloud based MDM options. its all down to what you expect to get for the price you pay - hell you can even use configurator to "manage them" for free, it just ends up giving you a boatload of extra work. and then it comes down to is it cheaper to buy the mdm solution or pay you for the time it takes to manage them manually.
I totally agree with you but what do you expect from an app that costs £13.00 in the UK?
I've never said on here that "iPads just work"
There are too many schools buying iPads without thought or planning involved (and involving IT admins from the start) and then buying them from "so called" iPad resellers that know absolutely nothing about iOS and have no credentials when it comes to explaining about the infrastructure required to properly manage and deploy them.
If you want a MDM solution that you would be more familiar with then don't look for some thing that has to run on Mac OS, both of these below are Enterprise level solutions and "just work" I'm sure it's likely you may have looked at either of these already...
Mobile device management | Microsoft
Enterprise Mobility Management | Devices | Workspace | Apps | Content | Email | Browsing | AirWatch
If a teacher came to me just before or during a lesson wanting me to push out a bit of software for ANY device whether it be a PC, Mac, iPad, Android tablet, or anything else I would tell them to go to Plan B - because it wouldn't be happening, not ever. Do it once, even if it is possible, and you've just created a rod for your back. Even if you could, it wouldn't be a good idea because if its a new bit of software you (1) should really be testing it first; and, (2) should be considering the impact on your network of a bunch of devices downloading software all at once.
For the consumer, who is the largest purchaser of computers by far - iPads do just work. Nothing "just works" on a mass deployment scale without considerable work on the backend. Even Chromebooks require an existing Google Apps account and a reasonable amount of setup to get everything just right.iPads 'just work' which is complete rubbish and because of that all these costs are not put forward at all to begin with. Also you expect a tool to be able to do its job at least a little, Apples MDM is junk and can barely make a dent in the configurability anyway even if it does work that one day or so.
So, let's see you just "get" (i.e. buy) a Windows server (but no special hardware required...oops wait) and licensing including CALs (don't forget those), spend a considerable amount of time configuring it, setting up DNS, DHCP, AD, GPOs, WDS, etc. Test, test, test. Tweak this, tweak that. Oh, wait you've never setup a Windows AD server before - pay someone to do it (so you don't stuff it up). Test, test, test. Tweak this, tweak that. If it doesn't do something you want it to, you can script it (except for Windows RT, which requires an MDM type solution...er em.)You also don't need to go and buy a bunch of very specific hardware then layer on more and more management just to get the basics. You get Windows Server and with AD it manages Windows clients, if it does not do something you want it to you can script it. Apple is different, like a Porche dealer, every little thing is extra and if your really lucky they will charge you double for a version with all the features stripped out that's 'cooler'.
Yep, just works out of the box.
Or, you just "get" (i.e. buy) a Mac to function as a server, pay $20 for Server.app and nothing for CALs. Spend a considerable amount of time configuring it, setting up DNS, DHCP, OD, Profile Manager, DeployStudio, etc. Test, test, test. Tweak this, tweak that. Oh wait you've never setup a Mac server before - pay someone to do it (so you don't stuff it up). Test, test, test. Tweak this, tweak that. If it doesn't do something you want it to, you can script it (for Macs not iPads)
So, in the real world management of all devices on a mass scale takes some actual hardware and considerable effort. Imagine that. Those CALs can cost a pretty penny for the Windows server too.
Last edited by seawolf; 6th June 2014 at 05:32 AM.
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