“Maybe it’s time to leave your laptop behind.”
That’s the closing line to the new ad for Box, a service that lets you back up and work with your documents in the cloud.
The ad only shows the iPhone and iPad being used. PDFs are read like iBooks, leaving feedback is as easy as commenting on Instagram, and a PowerPoint is given on a fancy big-screen TV from a tablet with no wires. It all looks surprisingly pleasant, despite the fact that it’s clearly stuff we all do all the time for work.
Just as Apple’s recent iPad ad showed that there is real, creative work to be done on tablets, Box’s ad does the same for the boring old office work we’ve always had to do too. All it takes is to simplify how we think about certain kinds of work.
Box is a company that has 97% of companies in the Fortune 500 using its product in some capacity. With 20 million individual users, that’s a lot of mindshare at a very large number of very important important companies. The thing is, they’re telling all of their customers that, yeah, we think you could do your work on just your phone and tablet.
Apps like Box, Google Drive, and Apple’s iWork have all had options for working on your phone or tablet for some time now, but it’s still been considered a given that a traditional laptop or desktop was needed to do “real work.” Box is making a public bet that it’s no longer the case — and Microsoft still hasn’t proven that it can release a touch-based operating system or tablet with mass market appeal. How are they supposed to convince companies to stick to the Windows (and with it, Office) brands if people want to use devices that don’t run them?
Maybe that’s why Samsung, HP, and Lenovo are all making Android-based tablets and “all-in-one” PCs aimed at the business market and not paying much attention to Windows: they’re skating to where the puck (read: the enterprise buyer) is going, rather than where it is.