The iPad may continue to win in the consumer market, but Windows 8 tablets will do better in enterprises.That’s because they will help meet rising demand from employees to use a tablet at work, while still pleasing IT directors worried about security and management, and purchasing directors worried about cost.
At leas that’s the argument that former Microsoft developer Hal Berenson made this week.
The point of the blog post was quite different: Berenson was chiding longtime Windows developers who want to ignore tablets and just keep writing for the Windows desktop. As he put it, “You can whine all you want about Tablets being only (and barely suitable) for consumers, but when the VP of Retail decides she’s handing all 10,000 store associates Tablets you are going to be writing Tablet apps.”
But along the way, he gave some very good arguments why companies will probably go with Windows 8 tablets over iPads:
- More control and easier management. “The VP of IT Operations will look out upon the available Tablet options and his organisation’s capabilities for managing them. He will look at how well they can enforce corporate policies, prevent data loss, centrally control the remote Tablets, tie these systems into their corporate identity systems, and meet audit and monitoring requirements. He will conclude they can do an OK job for iPads and a great job for Windows 8 Tablets …. Bad operations can put a company on the front page of the Wall Street Journal and the CEO in front of a jury. They will prefer Windows 8 Tablets, perhaps overwhelmingly.”
- Stronger security features. “Your CISO (Chief Information Security Officer) will look at Windows 8 and drool. They will see things like Secure Boot, the use of Reputation when deciding what applications to allow to run, the smoother more transparent patching process, and other basic security improvements and wish they could immediately force the company to upgrade its entire base of PCs. Then he’ll look at the Metro environment and how it solves their problem of keeping unsafe applications off of PCs …. He’ll also establish policies that favour Windows 8 Tablets over iPads …. “
- Cheaper hardware. “The purchasing department will look over the Tablet landscape and the business unit requirements and try to find the lowest priced Tablet that meets those requirements. Those Tablets will have configurations that work great for Metro apps, but are taxed by heavy use of desktop applications.”
No doubt, Microsoft will use these arguments when trying to sell Windows 8 tablets to enterprises, too.