If I was a CEO, CTO or CIO and I had to make decision about what tablets to buy for our organization, what would I choose?

If the question was asked today, in August, the answer would probably be – it depends – let’s wait and see about these new Windows 8 tablets.

Now to be clear, I love the Ipad. I bought an Ipad, got an Ipad 2 and will probably get an Ipad 3 when that comes out. It is, a supremely capable device.

In addition, there are a lot of apps being developed on the Ipad for the Enterprise. These applications are increasingly being developed in HTML and JavaScript and are (more and more) seamlessly able to connect to legacy applications.

From an executive’s perspective, this is attractive and would make the Ipad a serious contender for enterprise use.

In addition, employees know them, already use them and LOVE them.

Seems like a no brainer huh?

All my Apple friends use these points relentlessly and continue to insist that the Ipad will never be dethroned as the king of tablets.

I disagree. For several reasons.

Price

The Ipad remains very vulnerable at it’s price point. With taxes, a base 16 GB Ipad 2 that has Wifi only is about $538. That’s a lot of money. For consumers, thats a lot of money but even with a steep enterprise discount, that would be a ton of money to spend – if Microsoft had a similar tablet with a base price of $299. Multiply those numbers by 5,000 employees and you start to see who would win that discussion.

Development Languages

At this point, we are pretty sure that Microsoft will allow Windows 8 development staff to use .NET, Silverlight, XAML, JavaScript and HTML 5. The Ipad will allow for JavaScript, IOS and HTML 5. If that’s true, then an executive has to decide whether to make the investment in resources to support Apple development or simply use the team that already there in house. No brainer to me.

Integration

While the Ipad will allow development in JavaScript and HTML 5, it’s still a different (aka non PC) platform. Anyone who has extensive development experience can testify that it’s much more difficult to develop for 2 different platforms than staying on one common platform. This has to be strongly considered.

Security

In a Microsoft world, an Ipad is an Apple device. From an enterprise perspective, that means a foreign object on the network with all sorts of requirements for monitoring and maintenance. One more device you have to worry about upgrading and securing. A potential hassle.

Deployment

So we have 5,000 Ipads. How are we going to deploy them and make sure they are all up to spec and are able to support employees questions? If your current IT shop is all PC, you may need new deployment resources, new software, consulting firms etc. Not so much with a Windows 8 tablet.

Accountability

This is by far the most important.

Anyone who knows how enterprise projects are pitched, approved, developed, executed and supported knows that management usually has one major concern throughout the process.

“Who is responsible for this?”

This is Microsoft’s ace in the hole. If an organization already has an enterprise level agreement with Microsoft with established SLA’s in place, Microsoft need to throw Tablet support in there.

Their pitch needs to be:

“Why would you want to call both Microsoft and Apple on the phone? With Apple saying it’s our fault and our technicians not being able to troubleshoot Apple products, it becomes a royal mess. You need a single point of contact for all your support needs, you’re already paying a lot of money for it, why don’t you take advantage of it?”

Game over.

That is something any executive has to seriously consider. Who wants to be on the phone with Apple support and have them point the finger at MSFT and vice versa?

Anyway, that’s my take. If Microsoft have a decent, affordable and competitive Windows 8 tablet, they’ll be just fine.

Microsoft sales staff, pay attention. 🙂

Let me know if you agree…

About the Author

Onuora Amobi is the Founder and VP of Digital Marketing at Learn About The Web Inc. Onuora has more than a decade of information security, project management and management consulting experience. He has specialized in the management and deployment of large scale ERP client/server systems.

In addition to being a former Microsoft MVP and the founder and editor of EyeOnWindows.com, he is the CEO of a Pasadena based online marketing education startup - Learn About The Web Inc. (www.learnabouttheweb.com) and The Redmond Cloud (https://www.theredmondcloud.com).

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  • Rodney Jenkins

    I totally agree. 

    After all, IE is the worst browser but has the majority of users…

    • Dd

      it has improved quite a bit, though it still sucks -.-

  • Scientificbob

    Indeed.  It’s painfully obvious.
    I’ld even go futher. 

    Suppose your company is all Apple.  Then STILL you need to account for yet another device…  Now you have macs running mac OS and you need to add other devices running another OS.  Surely their would be better integration of iOS in an all mac world, but it doesn’t change the fact that you have a SECOND OS to keep into account.  This inevitably results in the need of more know-how and additional resources or training accross the board (users, maintenance, security, network integration, development, support, …)

    Whereas a win8 tablet is just… windows.  There literally is NO difference between a win tablet, a win laptop or a win desktop.  It’s all just windows…
    The exact same business processes and procedures allready in place apply.  No need for anything extra.  At all.

    It’s just another windows machine.

  • krustybaguette

    Sounds good but I doubt if it’s economically feasible, even if MS gets into the hardware business and builds its own tablet. If they bought HP they could resurrect the Slate with Win8 AND go after the consumer market with a repriced Touchpad! But I’d be shocked to see that happen.