The blogs and computer web sites are ablaze with excitement and opinions
about Microsoft bringing their Windows 8 OS to their very own tablet. While the
name "Surface" has been around for a while with their larger "coffee table"
style screen, this in itself will be a huge make or break product for Microsoft.
My take on this is it will find a nice niche within the business sector simply
because we all are very comfortable working with Windows OS systems on our work
stations and using Microsoft Office. Taking a tablet such as this on the road
with you for doing your work is a no brainer. It will have wi-fi capability
which we all use anyway. Add Microsoft's cloud capability, Skype, and this will
be a win-win for any SMB. Microsoft said it will be priced similar to Apple.
It should be, as the same plant that makes the iPad is building Microsoft's
The Separation Begins
With the introduction of Microsoft's tablet running Windows 8, we
will finally have a business user-friendly tablet. Will it kill the iPad and
android based tablets? No. What it will do is start increasing awareness
within the business sector that there is a now a tablet that is designed with
them in mind. The only downside is Microsoft is way behind in apps and if you
are in love with Apple or android apps then this tablet is not for you. Stay
with what you have. If you been holding off buying a tablet for your workplace,
wait until Surface is out (or Windows 8) and you will be impressed. Windows 8
is going to be exciting. While it will be available on other tablets (ASUS for
one will have a model), Microsoft marketing their own will be interesting to
watch. Either way, Windows 8 and the Surface tablet will be a game changer for
the business sector. This fall, look for the first in what will be a huge
marketing push in the tablet war.
As tablets become business friendly and companies like ASUS adding Windows 8,
one needs to ask, "Are tablets going to be the kiss of death to laptops and
desktops in the workplace?" The answer to that depends on who you talk to.
For mobility, tablets have all ready found their foundation. Companies have
embraced tablets for their sales force, for their staff who uses fleet vehicles
and depending on how well Windows 8 catches on this could be the straw that
breaks the camel's back for laptops. I am not saying laptops will become
extinct like the dinosaur. Municipalities, law enforcement, healthcare, ect.
will continue to use laptops both in and out of the office. Tablets however
being less expensive, easier to carry around, and (with Windows 8) having the
same functionality as a laptop, rest assured, laptop sales will take a hit.
What you may find is older employees who are used to laptops or do not like
swiping or typing on glass may refuse to give up their laptops for tablets.
Older employees hate change and embracing something new takes time. Many
tablets come with dockable keyboards or bluetooth keyboards so this could help.
The issue will be security and laptops still beat out the tablet for network
security and adaptability. As for the desktop, sales here continue to drop
for consumer use however in the Enterprise level, the demand for desktops are
still running strong. Again due to storage capacity, security, the need to run
multiple and secure software, desktops are probably safer than laptops for
survival of the fittest.
A recent survey conducted by a company called "Poll Position" had some
interesting numbers about tablets and their future. Over 1,000 people were
asked about tablets and here are some stats to look at:
46% believe tablets will replace laptops. 49% between the ages of 18 to 29
do not think tablets will replace laptops. 37% between 30 and 44 did not think
laptops will be replaced either. 30% between 45 to 64 also feel the same. Over
65? Guess what. Laptops will still be around. My final stat. 53% of men and
39% of women think tablets will replace laptops. (surveyed by sex) 20% did not
have any opinion on subject.
In summary, as I stated at the beginning of this article, the jury is still
out on tablets. They are here to stay as companies continue to fine tune the
product and add more features. Windows 8 which has Microsoft Office and other
common functions for the workplace will be a OS to watch this fall when it makes
its debut on the tablet scene. Personally, I think all 3 will work in harmony
for the forseeable future. While tablets have their limitations for
connectivity, as we become more of a mobile society, these little devices have
found their niche in business.