Apple’s more popular than ever with enterprise users, claimed IDC analyst, Michael Rose, this week.

Explaining the growing popularity of the Mac, he said: “As we’ve seen with consumers, small and medium businesses (SMBs) as well as large organizations are starting to consider the possibility of deploying more Macs within their corporate environment."

Why’s this happening? Well, we know it’s down to the iPod halo, the iPhone halo, the Mac halo, the OS X halo and the sheer media love-in surrounding Steve Jobs. We also know it’s because of the vexations of Vista, the lack of interest in any but the high-budget Windows machines, and finally, well, let’s just say it’s the software, stupid…

What this comes down to, according to the IDC analyst, is that business users as well as consumers are flocking to the Mac, "because of the company’s positive mindshare within the IT user market," the analyst said, adding, "among other reasons.” So that’s a lot of reasons.

Why hasn’t this story been more widely heard? Well, Rose’s observations were quietly made within the press release trumpeting the release of VMWare Fusion 2.0 (a free update for existing users, $79 for everyone else, and the new version promising a better user experience than ever, alongside a batch of features for enterprise users.

Rose plugged the virtualisation software, saying, “With technologies available today, like VMware Fusion, ‘switching’ to a Mac by individuals within organizations, whole departments or even across the entire company, is more conceivable because it allows users to adopt Apple hardware and software, while enabling the continued use of Windows applications and their associated management infrastructure."

Meanwhile in the red corner, CNNMoney has begun campaigning for the editors at the Wall Street Journal to drop ailing giant AIG (before it brings the entire global financial system to ruin) and drop Apple directly into the Dow Jones index.

CNNMoney editor at large, Paul R. La Monica, notes, "Apple dominates the consumer electronics market with its iPod and iPhone and is expected to generate $40.4 billion in sales in its next fiscal year – higher than the estimated revenue for Dow components Coca-Cola, Walt Disney and Alcoa."

Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster, in a note issued to clients yesterday, estimated "that Apple will sell 2.8 to 2.9 million Macs and 11 million iPods [and 4.1 million iPhones] in its fourth fiscal quarter, which ends Sept. 30… based on data released at midday by the NPD Group," Philip Elmer-DeWitt also reports for Fortune.

We here at 9 to 5 Mac think the message to enterprise IT buyers is pretty clear: "Don’t settle for shoes that don’t fit that your employees can’t wait to cast off when they get home; don’t adopt suburban families in an attempt to make things real once you’ve made your millions, go for the best – Get A Mac."

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