Windows 8: Which Type of Tablet is Right for Your Business?

The enterprise world and Windows 8, do they go together? There are certainly some very contrasting opinions regarding this. While many skeptics will tell you that Windows 8 has changed too much and that Start UI isn’t the best platform for business, this isn’t necessarily true. Mobility is becoming increasingly important to businesses, and Microsoft’s Windows 8 (and RT) offers a platform that works great in a variety of situations and is very similar to Windows Phone 8 as well.

While IT departments might have to perform initial training to get consumers used to the “metro” interface, once it is done, businesses will likely enjoy that the Microsoft experience is very unified and similar regardless of whether you are using a laptop, desktop, tablet or even Windows-based phone.

Unfortunately, the world of Windows RT and Windows 8 is also a bit confusing. There are hybrids, convertibles, all-in-ones and many other types of computing devices. There are all both ARM and x86 tablets. Microsoft’s business blog has now put out a wonderful post that goes into detail about the three different category types for Windows tablets. This piece is certainly worth checking out, but we’ll do our best to highlight a few of the key points as well:

ARM-based Windows RT Devices. These tablets are designed for companies that need the most mobile solution with the best battery life. Windows RT tablets can’t run legacy Windows applications, but instead have lighter designs and yet still have the power of Microsoft Office onboard.

Atom-based Windows 8 Devices. If you need good battery and a lower-weight but still have a need for certain legacy apps, Atom tablets come in handy. They might not be able to do tasks that are very demanding, but they can handle basic management applications and other tasks. These devices don’t sacrifice too much on the mobility side of things either.

Core-based Windows 8 Devices. Need a full PC in a tablet packaging? Intel Core processors give you that. Most programs used by businesses will play nicely here, and you can even hook your tablet up to a bigger monitor alongside a keyboard and mouse to turn this into a true full-powered computing experience. That said, these are much more expensive and generally have poor battery performance while also weighing quite a bit more.

In a nutshell, it is important for a business to determine which category they fit into. Honestly, the answer might be a little bit of everything depending on the group of employees your business is deploying them to.

Although I’m not trying to generalize too much here, most businesses will probably find that Atom-based solutions are the best for their needs. Why? The Windows Store is still growing, and relying completely on the Start UI isn’t going to work for that many companies, making ARM an option only for some.

As for Core-based devices, these are fully functional but at the cost of mobility.

Are you considering bringing the power of Windows 8 to your organization? If so, which class of tablets seems to fit your company’s needs and why?

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