back to article Seize your moment, Microsoft: iPad is RUBBISH for enterprise

Apple has given us much with its pleasing-on-the-eye iPad. But what it hasn't given us is a serious replacement for the lowly laptop or desktop. As much as magazines like MacWorld may hype it as "The New Business Machine", the reality is that the iPad is only enterprise-ready in iFantasyLand. Across the board, Apple's iPad …

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  1. David Webb

    It's the Surface isn't it, gives the best of both worlds without the worst of either, tablet form factor for when you want to play Angry Birds (or Diablo III, or Crysis....) and laptop form factor for when you want to get real work done. How many developers will be developing for Windows? That's how many will be developing for the Windows Surface full fat edition (it runs Windows).

    1. Paul Shirley

      How many will be developing for Surface in tablet mode? I'd guess somewhere in the low single digits if any. Surface Pro is just a convertible ultrabook, resisting the urge to write laptop mode apps will be difficult. Really can't see many bothering to resist.

      Surface RT is simply crippled, by lower performance, by Metro. Don't expect 'enterprise grade' apps for it any more than you see them on IOS or Android.

      1. Spearchucker Jones
        WTF?

        Huh?!?

        How is Surface RT crippled? Possibly in the same way as iOS is when compared with OSX? Or in the way that Andoid compares with Chrome, or maybe with Linux?

        That aside, assuming the developer has half a brain, development for W8 desktop and Win.x server apps is going to be defined by WinRT. This simply because the RT framework does less (in some areas) than the .NET Framework. For example you can do AES with a salt and an initialization vector in RT (as you can in .NET), but it won't encrypt or decrypt data from existing .NET apps because of API constructor restrictions*. The API differences are subtle, but the incompatibilities will that WT drives dev. Again, assuming the developers are worth what you pay them.

        * Yes, it's stupid design from Microsoft, but it is what it is.

    2. LarsG
      Holmes

      The Surface is still in fantasy land, maybe when it appears it will challenge the iPad......

      Naaah won't ever happen because it is trying to be toooo many things at once.

  2. Silverburn
    Windows

    More pressing than the apps is the inherent lack of enterprise security eco-system - a gap companies like MobileIron are trying to fill, but it's a bit like fitting the square peg in the round hole.

    Unrelated query: Why is the windows user icon a tramp?

    1. Miek
      Coat

      "but it's a bit like fitting the square peg in the round hole." -- try using a lump hammer, works every time.

    2. Code Monkey

      Re: Why is the windows user icon a tramp?

      Because Windows drives people me to drink?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        Re: Why is the windows user icon a tramp?

        Ahhh it's because Steve Ballmer is too ugly to be a prostitute, and so we have to give Windoze users a park bench alcoholic icon.

      2. Only me!
        Pint

        Re: Why is the windows user icon a tramp?

        <<<<< There you go as it's Friday :-)

    3. turnip handler
      Joke

      "Why is the windows user icon a tramp?"

      I always assumed it was because windows users are too cheap to buy a Mac...

      1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
        Windows

        ...

        I hate people being correct when they say I am a cheap skate, but I am until you realise I paid for Windows 7 (Meh) and that itself isn't cheap so :P.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Tramp......

      Because Windows Users have a lot in common with an alcohol addled tramp in that they really can't do very much when when presented with anything greater than the most basic of point and click computer tasks.

      1. RICHTO Silver badge

        Re: Tramp......

        Well at least they dont get RSI installing all those extra security patches that Linux and OS-X users need...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Tramp......

          No, they get RSI working those CTRL, ALT and DELETE keys.

  3. Steve Todd
    Stop

    Heavy lifting on an iPad?

    If you're trying to do that your design architecture is wrong. It's more like a smart terminal than a PC, and as such you should be offloading heavy work to servers where it belongs. Windows RT is no better, and full fat Windows 8 has a much higher hardware cost combined with lower battery life.

    There are many ways in which the iPad can work well in a corporate environment, Citrix for example gives you the ability to access both conventional an tailored Windows apps. Stop trying to think of it as a PC and you'll find it can solve a lot of business problems rather well.

    1. JEDIDIAH
      Linux

      It's the form factor, not the CPU.

      The problem is not the processor. It's the form factor. The "mouse-only" approach only gets you so far. So does the fact that this virtual mouse is also embedded into the display and the fact that the display itself is pretty small.

      There are many things to criticize there. A different tablet might also be more useful just as all old school graphics terminals aren't all created equal. I would hiss at a '94 era PC setup just as loudly as I would an iPad.

    2. Naughtyhorse

      Re: Heavy lifting on an iPad?

      lol

      citrix!!

      how many years since you were an end user?

      ipad + citrix... i think i have an xt in the loft that could blow the doors off that

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Heavy lifting on an iPad?

        ipad + VMWare View would be better for heavy lifting, no?

    3. Sirius Lee

      Re: Heavy lifting on an iPad?

      Steve, do you have links to information supporting this quote?

      Windows RT is no better, and full fat Windows 8 has a much higher hardware cost combined with lower battery life

      I watched the event live and listened to the pundits afterwards but there was nothing but speculation about these points. Have they been clarified by Microsoft in the meantime?

      1. Steve Todd

        Re: Heavy lifting on an iPad?

        The standard Surface tablet has an ARM CPU (not something you can throw heavyweight apps at), allows code installs only via the Microsoft app store, will only run Metro apps (no Windows Desktop or legacy code) and can't take part in Active Directory. How does this make it in any way better than the iPad? The keyboard cover? I can't see this being great to type on, no key travel or feel, and you can already use Bluetooth keyboards with the iPad.

        The Surface Pro is Intel Core i5 based, it is already known that it will cost more than the surface. It's also known that it's battery isn't hugely bigger than that of the Surface, but the TDP of the ULV Core i5 is 17 watts, roughly 8 times that of the ARM. Tell me how it is going to match the Surface for battery life?

    4. madla

      Re: Heavy lifting on an iPad?

      Absolutely agree. I work from home and the other day my Windows laptop provided by my office died. I decided to try Citrix on my mac and then on my Ipad. Both worked great to the point I wondered why I even need an office laptop any more other than maybe some local saving on an official company computer. Even then I really should be saving any files to my company's network so they can be backed up, so really, I have no need to have a Window laptop anymore if I choose...

  4. Gordon 10 Silver badge
    Flame

    More Gibbering

    So Apple dont make good enterprise apps. Dont think we can argue with that.

    Newsflash Matt this does not equal iPad is no good for enterprise. There are plenty good enterprise apps for the iPad from Third Parties that let the ipad do well in its niche which is BYOD, Note taking, and very basic office functionality.

    iPad as a desktop/laptop replacement - errr Matt nobody sane said it was (not even Apple). Whether the surface is it will take 2-3 years to find out.

    In short more inconsistent Matt Asay rambling.

    Seriously do you even try to write a coherent article any more?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Subtle point:

      They more or less gave rise to the BYOD hype. And they're still *not* focused on the enterprise.

      As to quality of the enterprise apps they make, well, most tailor-made for-the-enterprise apps turn out to be utter crap, and lots more expensive (and a lot less shiny) than the shiny kit apple ships.

      Oh, and Matt, heavy lifting? What was it again... around the time of wossname, internet exploder six I think it was. That other hype, where "everything" suddenly had to be a "web app". Designed to do single task. So if you had to do a hundred of them, you had to go through the motions a hundred times. How's that for heavy lifting?

      In fact, we're still there, modulo a lot of cookie-cutters to speed up specific tasks, unless you're a smug unix bastard and can script everything then script running the script a hundred, a thousand, any number of times.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This Is True Of All Tablets

    They never were designed for Autocad, Photoshop, developer environment etc. They are a half way house between a smartphone and desktop. It all depends upon what your needs are for a purpose.

    Hands up who want to lug around a 17inch diameter tablet (based on current technology) everywhere ?

    While we are at it lets deal with some of the Surface hype/crap. It's a tablet with a separate keyboard which are already available for android and IOS. No journalist has yet touched the surface and there is no date yet set. By the time MS eventually gets something out Google and Apple have plenty of time to up their game. Watch this space.

    1. Sirius Lee

      Re: This Is True Of All Tablets

      What's unique about the iPad is that unless it jailbroken, there's no mouse. So using the iPad as a terminal to a remote desktop is impractical. Sure, you can use an on-screen mouse. Now try lifting your arm to touch the screen all day. Make sure you have the number of a chiropractor handy. Going to solve that problem by lying the device flat? Make sure you give the doctor a call when you start feeling twinges in your back from being hunched over the device.

      Being 'enterprise' is more than apps. Its about security of the OS. Its about control over deployment. Security of sensitive information. Not forcing people to work in ways that infringe laws like employment and health and safety. The iPad is a nice device but the 'enterprise' issue is not going to be solved by app developers. And don't give be crap about 'windoze'. Sometimes Windows is as bloated as it is to address these issues. Apple can get there but in my view, their products are not there yet.

  6. teapot9999
    WTF?

    Really? I would never have guessed!

    Thanks for letting me know that an iPad using Apple's consumer software is no good at work - I would never have worked that out!

    While you are at it why didn't you point out that MS Publisher is no good for serious publishing work.

    1. Miek
      Thumb Up

      Re: Really? I would never have guessed!

      "While you are at it why didn't you point out that MS Publisher is no good for serious publishing work." -- thanks for that, consider my day truly brightened up :)

      I would also add that "Microsoft Access is not for serious database work".

      1. chr0m4t1c

        Re: Really? I would never have guessed!

        I'm not convinced Access is good for any database work.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Really? I would never have guessed!

          "I'm not convinced Access is good for any database work."

          That's most unfair. Technically I'm sure that you are right, but users have been able to create the most remarkable applications on top of it, that have a remarkable habit of becoming business critical. IT then move in, moan about how difficult it is to put all this right etc.

          But why do users do this? Usually because getting IT involved makes things slower, more costly, and often doesn't deliver what the user wanted. If you accept Access as a prototyping tool for users, then it's not bad at all.

          1. Miek
            Linux

            Re: Really? I would never have guessed!

            @AC 12:40

            "Technically I'm sure that you are right, but users have been able to create the most remarkable applications on top of it, that have a remarkable habit of becoming business critical" -- True, but typical admin users tend not to adhere to good programming practises and access tends to let them get away with many of these faux pas without pointing out to them that column names should not really contain spaces or funny characters like '?' or apostrophes.

            1. serendipity
              Joke

              Re: Really? I would never have guessed!

              @Miek

              Life in the Ivory Tower would be great except for those damn users!! I mean, who do they think they are writing VBA macros. Sacre bleu, they haven't even read our IT department coding standards manual! I say, make em all use Ipads, that way they won't be able to any DIY coding.

              1. Miek
                Linux

                Re: Really? I would never have guessed!

                @Serendipity

                Quite! Damn the users to Hell and back (we need them back otherwise I would be out of a job)

                1. Helldesk Dogsbody
                  Pint

                  Re: Really? I would never have guessed!

                  I agree wholeheartedly with the statements regarding users and Access - start them will full fat SQL to demonstrate why we don't use anything other than alphanumeric characters rather than just telling them not to do it. Let them see what issues it causes for themselves. Apparently this is too practical an approach though as it might actually teach someone something useful and has had to be filed under the same heading as percussive maintenance on users rather than just hardware and the merits of high voltage in its application as a training aid.

                  With respect to the article, the iPad actually functions quite well as a remote access tool but that's about the only area I've seen it shine in our firm - that's in the hands of the technical staff who understand its limitations rather than the coloured pencil office. I'll still take a Transformer Prime over an iPad for anything more demanding as typing on screen is still a nuisance.

                  The icon seemed appropriate as it's where I am and what I'm doing at the moment.

              2. JEDIDIAH
                Linux

                Re: Really? I would never have guessed!

                If you can really fend for yourself, then that's all well and good. Except you can't. You will inevitably get to the point where you need to be bailed out by the exact same people who's advice you decided to ignore.

                Those of us with a clue will have to clean up after you like a nanny chasing a toddler.

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. System 10 from Navarone
      Unhappy

      Re: Really? I would never have guessed!

      Our senior management didn't work it out, guess, or even consult IT. No, they've gone down the old fashioned public sector route of just spending £000s of your money on fashionable novelties and THEN discovering they're no good for serious work. There again, maybe that's a 'match' after all...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Really? I would never have guessed!

      And we might as well also state the bleeding obvious, that "Microsoft Works", doesn't.

  7. Steve I
    WTF?

    A contradiction?

    "Even simple things like embedding images in documents or emails are difficult in the streamlined iPad experience. That may make for a slick consumer experience, but it's counterproductive to getting work done in the enterprise."

    Well, ignoring the fact that "embedding images in documents or emails are difficult " is easy; if it were true, how can this make for "a slick consumer experience"?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Hang on...

    I thought this column was supposed to be about open source, right???

  9. jai

    shock horror

    y'know, they're also utterly crap as replacements for the racks and racks of servers in our data centre. just you try setting up a full Oracle database on a cluster of iPads and try and get them to successfully fail-over to your DR cluster if someone switches one off.

    It's shocking that a tablet isn't the completely technological replacement for absolutely EVERYTHING! (as Norman Stansfield might say). Thank god Matt Asay has brought this to our attention!

    1. Volker Hett
      Pint

      Re: shock horror

      What do you need those racks of servers for, accept hosting multiplayer games? As anybody knows, REAL WORK (tm) is done with Word, Excel and Powerpoint!

      Off to the pub, hopefully the bartender is not working and gives me a beer!

  10. Quentin North
    Go

    iPads in the enterprise

    We use iPads in the enterprise here, but they are used as an adjunct to desktop/laptops not a replacement. For example, at meetings we all bring iPads now and make notes on them and read documents on them. We also use iPads (and smartphone, a mix of iphone or android) for telephony using softphone clients.

    I agree that an iPad will note be used for writing that 20 page tender document or for complex budget forecasting, but it is used to distribute the documents and viewing wherever and whenever needed.

    1. Joe Drunk
      Pint

      Re: iPads in the enterprise

      Thank you Quentin you nailed it. Present day Ipads and tablets in general aren't meant to be desktop replacements. They were originally created as a shiny toy for consuming content. I believe their evolution will lead to eventual replacement of desktops if Windows 8, the increasing sales of tablets and all-in-one PCs with touch screen are any indication.

      We have meetings where some bring Ipads and some bring laptops - I belong to the latter category although my netbook weighs about the same as an Ipad. It's just more versatile and can do more than any tablet can do - presently.

      I've always wondered why tablet manufacturers and devs haven't been more focused in trying to seize a bigger chunk of the corporate pie. Limited hardware resources?

      Beer icon because it's Friday and pub o'clock approacheth!

      1. JEDIDIAH
        Linux

        Re: iPads in the enterprise

        Quite. Effective use of tablets for "serious work" seem to center about their media consumption capabilities. If you have a business task that can be described in those Quicktime-esque terms then you're good. Beyond that, you should not drink the kool-aid so much.

      2. Tom 38 Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: iPads in the enterprise

        "We have meetings where some bring Ipads and some bring laptops"

        The ones with ipads are playing Angry Birds. It's a hint the meetings are too dull :)

    2. Helldesk Dogsbody
      Thumb Up

      Re: iPads in the enterprise

      Agreed, tablets on the whole fill a useful slot in the enterprise ecosystem as long as you understand their limitations and use them in a realistic manner. I have no need for large amounts of processing power when on the move, hate smart phones with a passion and dislike the laptop boot times. As long as I have a wifi point within range I can access my desktop easily over a VPN connection and retrieve what I need to on the fly. If that's not available I move the necessary files to the tablet first. I may use a Transformer Prime rather than an iPad but it's a mix of Android and iOS devices used for the same purpose within the company.

      Oddly enough, it's the IT department that use them most. Something to do with realistic expectations I believe!

  11. Miek
    Linux

    Is this just another case of Microsoft's marketing department trying to tell us what to think? Although I'm not a fan of the iPad, Microsoft have a lot (a hell of a lot) of work ahead of them before they can actually compete with this device. Just slapping Windows 8 on a touch screen device and adding the surface moniker isn't going to cut the mustard, particularly in the enterprise sector that has pretty much adopted the iPad as the go to device in this arena.

    1. RICHTO Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Enterprises only allow iPads because users demand a tablet device. As soon as a Microsoft solution is available, everyone will beat a path to it like the better mousetrap that it clearly is....

  12. dotdavid
    Megaphone

    "Redmond's shortcomings could become assets in the post-PC era"

    For example, having no decent games would encourage staff TO GET BACK TO WORK.

  13. the hawk

    "Consumer grade"?

    I object to this characterisation of "consumer grade" as simple and shallow, "enterprise grade" as solid and powerful. I've seen more rushed, low-complexity, and downright incompetent work done with these allegedly better tools in businesses than I have outside of the workplace. Call them "feature-light" if you want, but calling it consumer software should not be an insult.

    1. Ivan Headache

      Re: "Consumer grade"?

      I Quite agree.

      When I see a Powerpoint presentations that is slicker than a well-prepared Keynote presentation then it will probably be time for me to eat my trousers.

      I think I'm reasonably safe for some time yet.

      I saw my first Keynote presentation a few years back presented by a senior Apple bod from Paris.

      He was walking about the the platform and talking, pointing at things on the screen that changed as he pointed at them.

      It was so slick it gave the impression that someone else was controlling vision mixers and VTs off-stage. But no. it was all coming off a G5 macbook sitting on the lectern (And a well timed script.)

      I was so impressed I started using it myself. Since then I've had comments (on more than one occassion) ; "Why don't our powerpoints look as good as that?"

      The iWork suite is as good as the person using it. But you have to work at it - just like you have to with PhotoShop and Autodesk and InDesign.

      Using it for 5 minutes does not make you an authority on it.

      1. Diogenes Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: "Consumer grade"?

        "When I see a Powerpoint presentations that is slicker than a well-prepared Keynote presentation then it will probably be time for me to eat my trousers." ... Would you like fries with those trousers

        I have been to an inservice where the powerpoint was absolutely brilliant (more where it was dreadful). That presentation was built using the principles articulated in "beyond bullet points"( in my minds eye I could see the "beyond bp" "script" the presenter was using) , and I can refer you to several elearning blogs where powerpoint, done well is the base that is then manipulated in a tool like articulate or captivate.

  14. Big_Ted
    FAIL

    Meanwhile in other news

    The iPhone is blasted for not being an iPad replacement

    The bike is found to be a poor replacement for cars for sales reps

    The desktop is not very portable and requies a really big bag to lug it round.

    Thanks for an article that states the bleeding obvious. You use the kit that is best suited for what you want to do not rely on one thing to do everything.

    I would never for instance expect to be able to manage with a surface on its own when it comes out, it will need a dock and seperate monitor to be useable in the office, can you imagine your CEO's face if you walk into his office and take away his nice big screen and plonk a surface on his desk and tell him to use that instead....

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmm...

    I like the idea of taking the desktop OS to the tablet, rather than taking a phone OS to the tablet. The lack of user IDs on the iPad is pretty glaring, why should everyone in a single family have to use the same settings?

    I think that the MS surface, and the newer desktop replacement sized surfaces (from the company the recently purchased) sound very exciting for CAD/Design environments. You couldn't do this stuff on iOS, it's just not up to it.

  16. Yet Another Commentard

    It's not about using it - it's all in "the cool"

    I see the point of this, but there are a couple/few things you can’t measure:

    1) The sheer pain iPad users will go through to use the shiny in corporate environments. Witness the Good app, which has the most ironic name of any software. It’s a pain, and simply does not work very well. Blackberry Server (at least from the handset point of view) Just Works. As a bonus you can access the corporate address book too (which our version of Good does not allow, other versions may). Rather than throw the iPad away in annoyance, they put up with it and more people want them. We’re nearly at 50%BB 50%idevice/android for mobile e-mail. BB falls as every individual contract is renewed, pretty much. It works,, but it's not cool.

    2) Not many people use anywhere near all Excel does. “SUM” and if you are lucky “VLOOKUP”. But your point about actually using it on an iPad is correct.

    3) An aside but both PowerPoint and Keynote should have been killed at birth. Both of them, (and that Prezzi thing) have been stifling good presenters for years.

    4) All of our iPad users also have a laptop/desktop and a phone (usually an iPhone or similar). The iPad saves no weight, it is something else to carry. And look cool on the train with.

    It’s all in “the cool” as long as people feel good using them, they will find an excuse to use them.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's not about using it - it's all in "the cool"

      It is indeed another thing to carry around, but I've heard no complaints... people used to lug around thousands (literally) of printed paper, now they use an iPad/iAnnotate, coupled with a webdav server for syncing (internal network, or via vpn on iPad). Laptop isn't a viable alternative, due to boot time/battery life. Users often even leave their laptop in the hotel when they leave for meetings.

      1. RICHTO Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: It's not about using it - it's all in "the cool"

        Simply not true. My HP Envy boots in less than 10 seconds and the battery lasts over 8 hours...

  17. Joerg
    FAIL

    Still more Microsoft marketing propaganda...

    MetroUI is a failure. Why should developers even bother when WindowsPhone got 2-3% of marketing share with MetroUI ? The people have spoken already and MetroUI it's a big failure.

    iOS not suited for corporate use due to current lack of multi-users login feature? Seriously? How many businesses give any laptop, smartphone or tablet to their employees not to each one for individual use but to be shared between a bunch of employees instead?

    Seriously?

    1. Phoenix50
      Stop

      Re: Still more Microsoft marketing propaganda...

      How is Metro UI a "failure"? Are you seriously basing that "fact" on the performance of Windows Phone 7?

      Here's some news for you - developers don't have a choice about Windows 8 - it's coming this October, and almost every new PC will be sold running it - so develop, or miss out - their choice.

      Whether you like it or not, Windows 8 is going to ship by the millions - Vista was *hated* - but still shipped MILLIONS of copies; because, and I will say it again - almost EVERY new x86 Desktop or Laptop sold was runnning Vista - you can't change it, you can't do anything about it, it's a fact and you have to deal with it. Your average consumer doesn't care about re-formatting and installing Windows 7 or another alternative O/S - they don't know how to - they will just accept it and get on with it.

      And so your complaining vanishes in to the fart-stenched night from whence it came.

      1. Joerg
        FAIL

        Re: Still more Microsoft marketing propaganda...

        You must be a Microsoft employee if with your marketing babbling seriously think that Microsoft will be able to force the MetroUI mess on everyone from developers to professional to power users to normal users.

        It's not going to happen.

        Windows8 will be skipped by most people due to MetroUI.

        Do you seriously believe that Windows8 will sell as much as Windows7, perhaps ?

        Unless Microsoft manages to fake all numbers and tell lies that is not going to happen.

        The people do not want MetroUI. That is a fact.

        1. Don Jefe
          Happy

          Re: Still more Microsoft marketing propaganda...

          MS will be able to force Metro on the masses. The poster above is correct. There won't be another option.

          If you're old enough to remember when XP came out people said exactly the same thing you are saying; but they were wrong. We called it Windows Soccer Mom Edition because of all the, what we considered, flowery graphics. The people didn't want XP at first either but it's the largest installed OS on the planet. Accept Windows 8, develop for it and move on. You'll be happier.

          1. Dana W
            Meh

            Re: Still more Microsoft marketing propaganda...

            There are several options. I use all of them. I have not touched windows in five years. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Its going to cause yet another huge run on Mac sales, even more than Vista did. And it's going to make Linux look good again to a lot of people who want a real desktop, not just a toybox full of shiny buttons.

            Wow, the Microsoft fanbois are thick today.

            1. RICHTO Silver badge
              Mushroom

              Re: Still more Microsoft marketing propaganda...

              You stick to your Linux Swiss Cheese and having to install loads more security patches than Windows, having to compile programs before you can run them, lol. and not being able to play decent games. And watch Linux devs try to keep its ancient monolithic kernel model up to date with the Windows one, forever playing catchup.

              No one will miss you. You are <1% of the market and no one cares or ever will.

          2. Joerg
            FAIL

            Re: Still more Microsoft marketing propaganda...

            Just like they were able to force Zune on the masses?

            Or to force Bing on the masses?

            Or to force Vista on the masses?

            Or to force MS Bob on the masses?

            Please...

            Microsoft is desperately trying to mimic Apple doing the opposite of what Apple does and people buy its product for.

            Microsoft managers are just plain arrogant and ignorant. They can't even respect their own customers and with the zero productivity messed up flawed design childish MetroUI they are killing their own Windows market share.

        2. Test Man
          FAIL

          Re: Still more Microsoft marketing propaganda...

          Joerg = LOL

          You're completely clueless if you think most people are going to skip Windows 8.

          Fact is, "Metro" is here to stay. It's the front end for a new programming back end (WInRT) and Win32 and the old desktop paradigm is dead, pure and simple.

          Only sad old denalists like you will continue to be stuck in their ways. Carry on living in the past!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Still more Microsoft marketing propaganda...

        re: Multi users.

        Of course people want multi user. Families want multi user, so that they can have separate settings for one device - who would buy a family set of tablets?

        Corporates want multi user, so that a device can be just given to another user, without having to involve the IT department. They want it because you get centrilised control, you don't have to change settings in more than one place, you can revoke accounts or add abilities to them easily. If a desk-side visit is required, an IT guy can logon to a machine with his personal admin account, rather than having to use locked down user accounts.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Still more Microsoft marketing propaganda...

          The multi-user argument is probably quite a valid point. However.....

          I was in the Apple store in Covent Garden a while back killing time while the other half was in a shoe shop.

          A chap came in with 2 young girls in tow, probably in the 6-7 year age group.

          He bought 2 iPads, and when asked if he wanted to join the one-to-one tuition scheme he replied that he didn't need to as he already had an iPad. He was buying these 2 so that he could get it back.

          Also last week I was down near the Festival Hall having a coffee and people watching.

          A family came by with (again) 2 young girls, this time probably in the 4-5 year bracket. Each one was clutching an iPad in a suitably child-style pouch.

          There are obviously people who will buy one for each member of the family.

        2. Stuart Duel
          Unhappy

          Re: Still more Microsoft marketing propaganda...

          I want multi-user accounts on our fleet of company iPhones (3GS) and I'd want it on an iPad too if I ever get one. And I will get a few if the Mac software our company uses for invoicing ever gets an IOS release.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Still more Microsoft marketing propaganda...

        upvote, if only for the last sentence !

      4. Anonymous Dutch Coward

        Re: Still more Microsoft marketing propaganda...

        If PCs are being sold with an atrocious OS doesn't mean that OS will stay on most of them. Yes, perhaps one release due to inertia...

        But it will change the way people think of Windows.... and not for the better. If better or less bad alternatives are seen to exist, people will switch.

        Do the math.

        1. RICHTO Silver badge
          Mushroom

          Re: Still more Microsoft marketing propaganda...

          Absolutely right. This is why manufacturers bring out Linux models - they know people will just format it and install warez Windows...

          1. hplasm Silver badge
            FAIL

            Meet Richto-

            The Win8 of MS trolls.

      5. RICHTO Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Still more Microsoft marketing propaganda...

        Windows 8 will ship in the hundreds of millions. Metro is awesome and ahead of the curve. The future is touch and guesture and Microsoft has produced a better solution for it than their rivals.

    2. Franco Silver badge

      Re: Still more Microsoft marketing propaganda...

      Almost all of our customers have "pool" laptops, for desktop users to take out for doing presentations or when they are on trips. Pool iPads are starting to appear in their place as a lighter option.

      MetroUI cannot be called a failure. Most impartial (or should that be iMpartial :-) ) tech websites agree that Metro on Windows Phone gives a great experience, but the brand awareness isn't there and neither is the app ecosystem that iOS and Android have, hence the slower uptake.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Still more Microsoft marketing propaganda...

      We do.

      There is a pool of laptops, when you need one for work (travel, presentation etc.) you take one, otherwise they sit on the shelf. The number of laptops is very small compared to the number of employees. We don't give hardware away as a prize for having a job in the company, we loan them out for company use. Subsequently, our capital and support costs are quite small, relative to alternative ways of doing things.

      People are free to use their own hardware, though we have some requirements (virus scanner and all the VPN and network stuff).

  18. ChrisInBelgium
    Happy

    iPad works just fine in the enterprise

    I use mine every day. It is just a great time saver, I use it to go to meetings, I bring my documents, do great note taking, emailing (Lotus Notes believe it or not!). Using citrix I can use several enterprise applications, using Webex I can follow webmeetings, using a specialized tool I can access several Windows PCs from wherever I am in a matter of seconds.

    Maybe the Surface will let me do all that as well, it is just a bit too late, by now, my boss, and most of my direct colleagues all use an iPad, and we have equiped our whole external sales team all with iPads.

    When I'm at home and there is a problem at work with one of the computers I have to monitor, I pick up the iPad and solve the problem in less time it would take me to get the Dell laptop out of it's bag and have it started up.

    The iPad is without a doubt, the most versatile tool I've ever had, and I'm not about to give it up for anything.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: iPad works just fine in the enterprise

      I can agree slightly on your point about taking documents into a meeting, maybe referencing email or whatever, I used mine for this just the other day.

      But, seriously, how do you take notes on these things? Through some dodgy bluetooth keyboard that's too cramped to touch-type? You can't use the on-screen keyboard for serious typing and you can't easily write notes on it with a pen, as you would with a piece of paper.

      I'm not trolling, this is a genuine question about real world usage.

      1. Don Jefe
        Happy

        Re: iPad works just fine in the enterprise

        We aren't allowed to have electronics in our meetings. Phones go in a box in the hall and laptops/pads stay in our offices. We aren't really supposed to take notes either. We are supposed to pay attention to the presenter. In our organization meetings are considered a privilege and you only get to go waste your time in them when you've got your work done. The food & drink in the meetings are nice though.

        1. Joerg

          Re: iPad works just fine in the enterprise

          What do you work for ? Nazi United ?

        2. Anonymous Dutch Coward
          Unhappy

          Not taking notes in meetings?

          I'm sorry, but do you work for a bank? Can you remember literally everything everybody said in a meeting (the important bits, that is)?

          Do you get put against a wall for bringing along paper and a pencil?

          (I understand the ban on electronic distractions, but this seems extreme)

          Or is my sarcasm-o-detector out of whack again?

          1. Don Jefe
            Happy

            Re: Not taking notes in meetings?

            Not a bank (shudder). I work at a small engineering firm that creates mechanical proofs for manufacturers (trial versions of big machines) & a few defense clients. Everything is supposed to be 'secret' even though sometimes it's just a wheel for a plane or a hydraulic cylinder for a tractor. Hence no recording devices. Our meetings never have more than one person presenting because they are quite focused on a single issue; they are not ramble sessions for middle management to try & justify their existence.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: iPad works just fine in the enterprise

        Taking notes is indeed bothersome. I don't have too many issues since my notes are very brief (for keywords the onscreen keyboard suffices for my needs, the rest is in my head). I distributed about 80 iPads in the company, most users preferred it over Android since it's more shiny. I prefer it because I have less support calls (90 % of tablet support is for the 5 android users, 10 % for the 80 so-called "fanbois").

        For the note takers (in particular iAnnotate users) I provided Wacom pens, after reading plenty of reviews. Not the cheapest option (quite the opposite), but since we use plenty of Wacom gear and have had good support in the past, the choice went that way.

    2. Robert Grant

      Re: iPad works just fine in the enterprise

      "The iPad is without a doubt, the most versatile tool I've ever had"

      Then you've never owned any netbook.

      Having seen many people struggle to peck out emails on (or print from) them, I'm far from being convinced of their actual office utility. People use iPads despite their features, not because of them. It's mind-boggling to think how well Apple have pushed form over function.

      1. Volker Hett

        Re: iPad works just fine in the enterprise

        I had an Asus EEEPC 901 and a 1005 because it fitted into my camera bag, gave them to my nephews when I got an iPad.

        Even smaller with a bigger screen and longer battery life. Great for me!

        Oh, and it even works with my Canon 5D and Sony Nex 5n. No USB and all that :)

  19. Robert Morgan
    Childcatcher

    Consume not Create

    The article is obvious, but it points out things that a few people are missing. Quentin hit the nail on the head. The iPad - and tablet devices are FANTASTIC for Consuming content, but they royally suck at creating it. The main reason for that is we've been using point and click mouse interfaces for 20 years and moving to a touch interface is still totally unnatural.

    It's fine for clicking a document and opening it, trying to modify a spreadsheet is a nightmare. It's all about requirements and being fit for purpose.

    I'd like to see iPads work as a Multi-User device - but that's something Microsoft will do, Surface will plugin with AD and you'll essentially be able to have an army of directory enabled tablets. Then it'll become more interesting.

    The whole point still boils down to the fact that it's a Consume, not a Create device though...

    1. Steve Todd
      Stop

      Re: Consume not Create

      Kind of depends on what you're tring to create. The meme that you can't create on the iPad has been disproved time and time again. Unless you have a Bluetooth keyboard (which are hardly rair or expensive these days) typing isn't much fun, but many other things can be created on it that work rather well with the touch interface.

      As for AD, that only applies to the Surface Pro. The regular Surface has no such enterprise features.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Consume not Create

      It's also interesting that where we did have forms of touch interface - Mainframe/mini hosted CAD often used light pens - it was abandoned because the experience was horrible. Probably because the screens weren't big enough and they were all veritcally mounted. I think that a multi touch tablet (particularly a large, desktop replacement type device) would be great for CAD, design and animation etc. because it would replicate the drawing board.

      1. Don Jefe
        Happy

        Re: Consume not Create

        Oh God. I learned AutoDesk products with a light pen and it WAS horrible! It seemed neat at the time but it never worked well, especially in retrospect. I also spent two years with a stupid 'cross hair' mouse with the targeting reticle on the front digitizing blueprints. Ugh. It was so awful. Now I just scan legacy blueprints and the computer figures it out. Yay technology.

        If someone made a large Cintiq style device that didn't weigh 70lbs and could efficiently run AutoCAD & associated products I'd buy two. The purchase of the technology would still be less of an investment than I made in the manual drafting tools I use for concepting.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The 95% Rule.

    The 95% rule.

    I think Matt has expectations from the 2000's - most people only use 5% of functionality of a corporate office tool. - they don't need or want to use all the features of Excel, Word or Powerpoint. The 95% want to get a job done in the easiest way possible - sod the fancy features and the gloss, we don't have the time or the motivation to learn every feature. In the PC era, I think there was the expectation that all users could do all their work done on the ubiquitous PC, regardless of role.

    With tablets has this changed? I'm a mobile worker, visiting clients doing both business and technical support. I have no reason to carry a laptop. I don't do fancy calculations on spreadsheet or complex or the most fancy presentations. All I want to do is get my job done without waiting for my laptop to boot up for 10 minutes and waiting for the damn virus checker to calm down, or to mess around with wi-fi and network settings for each client I visit. I'll kill for my employer to give me a lightweight tablet to work with. As for technical troubleshooting, any security conscious business won't let you use your corporate laptop for direct access on site!

    The 5% will always need specialist tools and use the advanced features of whatever office application - but the 5% are happy to lug heavy laptops around or if not, they're mostly likely to have a single office location - weight and ease-of-use is irrelevant - they're specialists in their field and they've had time to invest in learning to be power-users of their applications because that's their job to be a specialist.

    For the 95%, Consumer Grade is the new Business Grade - focus on productivity, not power. It's not check-box functionality certified by an IT manager, it's ease of use, it's getting a job done, it's spending time doing work not hours learning how to use an obscure feature. We want to do a job now, not tomorrow! And above all, some of us want to be home by 7pm to put our children to bed and not work late enjoying learning how to implement some stochastic modelling in Excel.

    Matt has an interest in all this, he's in systems management, managing how users use their systems, he revels in user need tick boxes and power features. He's wants everyone to be the 5%, to embrace complexity - that's his business, that's his specialisation. The threat is tablets, the 95% of his client base who prefer off-the-shelf, just works, straightforward functionality but something that always works - they don't need fancy systems management.

    So of course, he's laughs at tablets!

    Green Paperclip

    1. David Lucke

      Re: The 95% Rule.

      You misunderstand the level of functionality provided by Numbers. You are quite correct that 95% of users only use 5% of Excel's functionality. But Numbers doesn't provide that 5%. It barely supplies 3%. Some of the most basic features that you expect from Excel aren't provided (just try pasting in some data from another app, for instance). You can work around a lot of it, with effort, and that's exactly what i've had to do to make it work, but its just fundamentally hard to work with. And for the most part, its nothing to do with touch, either (though that does make row and column resizing a bit fiddly). Its just basic functionality that is missing.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The 95% Rule.

        I think most people would class cross application cut&paste as essential functionality and within the 5%.

        It pisses me off every time windows barrfffs and rdpclip.exe loses the plot and I have to restart it in order to cut and paste from a remote desktop connection to my local PC.

        Your 3% comment may be correct, but I agree with the basic idea of skinny apps for people who need less has also been "dissed" by MS, who once claimed that the 5% is a different 5% for every user, and that there was no market for a skinny version of EXCEL because it would just create unhappy users. They may have had a point?

      2. Stuart Duel
        Meh

        Re: The 95% Rule.

        I only use numbers because Excel can't express time as a unit of measure, only a point on the space-time continuum, unless I convert it to decimal format. Urghh!!

        1. Philip Lewis
          Alien

          Re: The 95% Rule.

          Gadzooks man, I thought there was something wrong with me and I was alone in the cosmos on this. Glad to see a fellow sufferer exists.

    2. Chris Miller

      Re: The 95% Rule.

      It's often quoted, and is broadly true of many software products - e.g. Photoshop - and probably 'real' products, too. I'd say it's more like 10% of functionality - but the point is that everyone uses the same 5% of the functionality (and some power users use >>50% of the functionality), but then each person makes use of a different 5% of the functionality to make up their total of 10%.

      Take a large corporate office and tell them you're going to remove some random 'minor' feature from Office. Whichever one you pick, there'll be a small but vociferous minority shouting they can no longer do their job (or at least, it's going to take them twice as long).

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The 95% Rule.

      "most people only use 5% of functionality of a corporate office tool. - they don't need or want to use all the features of Excel, Word or Powerpoint. The 95% want to get a job done in the easiest way possible - sod the fancy features and the gloss, we don't have the time or the motivation to learn every feature."

      Maybe I'm not a "corporate office tool", but it seems to me that if your job involves no computation or writing then Excel and Word might not be terribly useful under any circumstances at all. If however you were keeping the Primate House at the Zoo, Powerpoint would be indispensable. Am I missing something ?

    4. airmanchairman
      Flame

      Re: The 95% Rule.

      The sad and irritating truth is that the knowledgeable and fiercely-biased if not downright dishonest 5% hijack the opinions of the mostly-silent 95% majority time and again, skewing their clever arguments to fit rationality to their thinly-disguised hatreds and bias.

      It becomes very difficult to discern whether they truly desire to educate us when they let slip all manner of unkind digs to attack the objects of their umbrage, and use the "damnation with faint praise" tactics that we associate with that other unsavoury breed, politicians.

      In the main, they come across as paid shills when the reality of enterprise use cases of tablets (see the airline, hotel, medical and music creation industries for examples) multiply on a daily basis. Shame.

  21. Stephen Channell
    Thumb Down

    voice is the next step for tablets… not enterprise apps

    Repetitive strain injury (RSI) is the big problem with tables, not lack of apps.. proper applications just highlight the need for a keyboard and mouse-like device.

    If Apple can continue to improve Siri and Windows and Android voice remains wowfull, then enterprise apps will start to be rewritten.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: voice is the next step for tablets… not enterprise apps

      Apple, MS and Google can continue to develop voice recognition tech such as Siri all they want but I think my boss summed it up pretty well when he said: "Siri is pretty good, but I'm never using it because I feel like a twat telling my phone to do things." This goes double when you're around other people.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    iPad is laughably unsuitable for any kind of enterprise level use, but our organisation is riddled with them, because hardware buying is no longer controlled by IT. It's controlled by dickheads in management who want a new shiny toy like all the other managers have.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Google run OSX or Linux, Windows is banned.They seem to do okay.

    Microsoft do make Office for the Mac and you still get the menu bar with the Mac version but the Windows version is Ribbon toolbar only.

    Office on the OSX has always been nicer than the Windows version for some reason. So long as you don't need to use the noddy database called Access.

    If you continue to support Windows and give Microsoft all your cash then it's never going to have a rival. OSX rivalling Windows has brought the price of Windows upgrades down in price massively. Not using Office will reduce the price of that too.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Hmm...

      Funny that Google manage to develop so much software for Windows when they don't use it.

  24. MikeS
    FAIL

    Missed the point......

    i think this ariticle completely misses the point of why iPads arent any good in the Enterprise

    ..and that is because they are not managable, not becuase of the quality of the apps. There are no enterpise level management tools to track, monitor and mange and support them in an enterprise environment..

    Apple arent interested in the corporate market, if you want ot use them there its ok, but they follow the $$$'s and thats (currently) in the consumer market not the enterprise.

  25. Juz
    IT Angle

    There's a world outside IT

    I get very frustrated when I read these type of articles. There's a massive world of users of IT who aren't PC/desktop centric. Look at the Airbus EFB announced this week for iPad. Most retail platforms are extending their functionality to mobile devices to be used on the shop floor and beyond. Don't let the fact that devices like the iPad can't run Excel blind you to the fact that these devices are finding lots of niches in vertical markets that can't be met with more traditional devices - the iPad and others will continue to do well here. The test for Microsoft is whether they can get these vertical apps ported to the Surface when it eventually becomes available.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Touchscreen

    It is certainly very noticeable how, over the past 18months or so, many boards I watch have become littered with errors, incorrect words etc. Often followed by an apology for the 'autocorrect'.. People are trying to do things with touch screens and even worse little 'smartphone' screens that simply are not suitable for competent work.

  27. zenkaon

    Lock down

    How do I lock down 100 iPads and ensure that they all have the same software on them? How do I roll out upgrades and new apps to all my users iPads? If the answer involves me having to physically touch any of the iPads then it's a fail.

    My iPad sits on my sofa where it belongs.

    1. Steve Todd
      Stop

      Re: Lock down

      You start by reading this http://www.apple.com/ipad/business/resources/ where Apple tell you exactly how to do that.

      1. MikeS

        Re: Lock down

        those articles dont explain how to do so, they just refer to using Mobile Device Management (MDM), protocol and an unamed 'thirdparty' product....

        the remaining bulk of the othere documentsy describe how to preconfigure ipads, not how to manage/support/maintain the devices once in the hands of the enterprise users.

        1. Steve Todd
          FAIL

          Re: Lock down

          You can use 3rd party MDMs if you want, but there's one built into OS X Lion server. Don't have OS X server? It's a $50 app store purchase to upgrade from standard OS X, no need for CALs or anything extra beyond that.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Enterprise will be an old skool niché in 5-10 years, due to the consumerisation of IT, user (inc. CEO/MD demands), more stuff moving over to server-side applications, better security. application virtualisation, applications and data in the cloud.

    1. Don Jefe
      Meh

      WTF are you on about? Where do you think enterprises/large companies are going to go? Internal "clouds" have been around for decades and big business has been using them all this time. Nothing is changing on the business side. It just seems new to the consumer.

  29. Jonathan 29

    Office for Ipad

    MS should be launching Office on IOS and Android in November, so I should think all those arguments about Numbers being crap will vanish. It might seem counter intuitive, but how can they afford not to support the Ipad.

    By the way does anyone know anyone who wants a Windows RT tablet? Even the fanboys will presumably wait for the Pro version.

  30. yossarianuk
    Linux

    Only one 'desktop' will remain.

    So Linux will be the only true desktop left?

    KDE 4.9 is about to be released with features aimed at power users...

    Unlike Windows8/Apple/Ubuntu tablet style nonsense KDE is actually designed for a desktop (i.e one you can actually do work in)

    (they do have a tablet version also http://community.kde.org/Plasma/Active/Installation)

    1. Don Jefe
      Meh

      Re: Only one 'desktop' will remain.

      The Linux desktop isn't supported by the VC community and hasn't been for years. It is best left to phones and servers.

  31. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  32. AdamChew

    @Matt

    I have news for you the Mac equivalent of the Surface Pro is the Macbook, they too run desktop applications. As a tablet no one knows how well it can run those desktop applications except the boys at MS.

    How much do they cost no one knows,

    The ARM surface is practically useless because there are too few apps.

    As for the iPad it is still the early days and give it a few years the landscape will be different and the apps will be as powerful as the desktop ones.

    Matt, why not visit this topic again in a few years and then we see who has crows for lunch.

  33. John A Blackley

    Reality? Whose reality?

    "the iPad is only enterprise-ready in iFantasyLand."

    Strange. All across the United States, in almost every healthcare institution you can find, healthcare professionals appear to think differently.

  34. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    The iPad is a very cool toy and one that many (not me - cost prohibitive) find indispensable in their everyday lives BUT if you look at what people who create for a living are saying a truth emerges: that the small form factor that makes iPad so easy to tote around while remaining just large enough to be useful for visual content is far too small for the adjuncts needed to create volumes of whatever. That is, these people tote around a keyboard of some kind because it hurts to squish your hands into a 10" tabslab configuration.

    Some will come back with "write by hand" but I like many of my generation and (to judge by actual examples from my colleagues) just about everyone from the generations after mine have abominable, unreadable scrawl for handwriting that often cannot be read back after a couple of weeks have passed and the subject has been forgotten. I also get terrible writer's cramp, always have. And no-one in the produce-content-to-feed-me-n-the-wife-n-the-kids business will write by hand by preference.

    Once you are using a keyboard you lose most of what makes the iPad to thunderously useful - portability.

    FULL DISCLOSURE: I used to produce content, quite a lot of it, using a blue Handspring Visor with an ultra-cool folding Stowaway Keyboard. I'd still be doing it if I could find a decent replacement for the battery/button board for the Visor. All the ones I've had in my hot'n'sweaty hands have suffered battery leaks and are destined for uselessness (because of corrosion in the foil-contact buttons) as a result.

  35. theloon
    Joke

    you mean legacy enterprise apps

    my company does not have a single installable enterprise app for 30k+ users, unless you work on some bespoke area, say compiling code. It's all web based.

    So which magic enterprise area does MS think they are targeting which iPad can't get to?

  36. Lone Gunman

    not quite there yet ...

    I've had my iPad for nearly a year and its not quite there yet to be a functioning office machine but its definitely close. I have VDI on it so remote into my desktop and I have no problem typing on the touchscreen keyboard so long documents/emails are fine. I can even plug it into an external monitor or projector.

    What it does seriously need though is the ability to use a mouse as its damned difficult to use Windows using a combo of different touches for mouse clicks and trying to scroll round stuff is a bloody nightmare. Fix that and I will have a viable laptop replacement.

  37. Mephistro Silver badge
    Holmes

    Seriously...

    IMHO tablets with tactile interfaces don't belong to 'company space' -except for some well defined niches-, as the interface is terrible for most 'serious' office work. A capacitive screen is only a poor substitute, in terms of speed and performance, for a keyboard+mouse. And also the size of the screen makes it far easier to view documents in a laptop screen than in a tablet. If you don't trust me, try to understand a big&complex spreadsheet in one of those tablets, and then try it in a laptop. In Ergonomics terms, tablets, PCs and laptops play in different leagues

    My prediction is that executives, marketing, PR guys and whoever has a secretary to write their documents for them will want a shiny shiny tablet, while the people that does the real work will allow you to remove their laptop or desktop 'from their cold dead hands', and tell you to stuff your tablet where the Sun doesn't shine, thus invalidating the tablet's warranty. :-D

  38. Volker Hett

    surface is a laptop

    but reversed, the keyboard is in the lid.

    So yes, for work related things, and we all know that anything not closely tied to Excel, Word and Powerpoint is not work per se, this is a much better choice.

  39. Tank boy
    Go

    A few old sayings:

    Murphy's Law of Combat: "if it's stupid and it works, it isn't stupid"; and: "One size does not fit all". Not every gadget is going to the perfect piece of tech for every job. It's the smart people that realize that an iPad probably isn't going to be the best at building spreadsheets, but a desktop isn't exactly the most mobile piece of equipment to take on the road.

    Marrying what works is a dance between functionality, practicality, and price.

  40. Spiff66
    Facepalm

    Did anyone actually say...

    Ipads or whatever are good for the enterprise? Also all the bitching is about apps not the actual hardware or iOS, so yeah you'd be a real prat to use an ipad or any device from anyone if the type of apps you needed just weren't there. However and pay attention here, JUST BECAUSE IT DOESNT WORK FOR YOU DOESN'T MEAN IT WONT WORK FOR ANYONE ELSE. Ok, make sense? Now go play in the traffic.

    Whether surface will gain traction in business is open to debate. However as its a MS product, it should play nicely with windows environments, so there will be some who will deploy it as a preferred device. Its down to whether the apps are in fact there and if there is a suitable variant of the MS products like office, project, visio, one note etc etc then it would be a sensible option. Otherwise it'll be no worse or better for business than any android or ios device.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Speechless ..

    > I've been forced to use Keynote at my last two employers, and it has been a mostly acceptable alternative to Microsoft's PowerPoint .. Microsoft will bring its enterprise-ready applications to its own devices, as the company has touted with its soon-to-be-released Surface .. it's too soon to write off Microsoft's chances. Microsoft has the business productivity apps that enterprises want, and they're not the toy versions that Apple ships.

    Matt Assay leaves me speechless, as usual. I've rarely seen such hype over an imaginary tablet with a foldout keyboard. Besides which, there are such hybrid devices currently on the market (iirc, I've seen one advertised on telly). Your company couldn't do business without PowerPoint - you cannot be serious !

  42. David Gale

    Retro TC100 refresh please

    Will someone please take the original HP TC1100 tablet design and stuff it full of modern kit? We still use our nearly decade-old TC1100s with full-strength Photoshop as part of a PC-based production workflow. The tablet capability saves hours and it's still the only tablet / laptop with a decent screen size that can fit (with keyboard in place) at a decent viewing angle on an aircraft seat tray. Docked with a full size screen, it's also a very usable desktop. It's time that HP realise the brilliance of that original design and did a refresh!

  43. FrancisYoung

    I beg to differ

    Having handled my first iPad under a year ago, I have since deployed a hundred to field staff. Few ever use their laptops any more in the field, with some leaving them plugged in on their desks at home base.

    I do agree that MS Office alternatives have been shocking on the touch screen. Until now.

    An app called CloudOn has just appeared, and provides real Word 2010, Excel 2010 and PowerPoint 2010 on a server, with a quite useable touch screen functionality. Free for now, expect them to charge a usage based licence fee next year. But it ups the ante for Microsoft to deliver cloud based Office to the iPads, and not only to its own tablets, whenever they appear.

  44. Watchovia80
    Joke

    ease

    "Even simple things like embedding images in documents or emails are difficult in the streamlined iPad experience."

    ... Wait, have you used an iPad?

  45. psvt

    Thriving in this enterprise

    Most executives have iPads in my enterprise, a 100+ year old traditional company with several billion in revenue.

    Here is what they use it for:

    a) email and web , using our VPN

    b) SAP business objects reporting

    c) SAP CRM mobile sales

    d) Keynote presentations

    e) View PDF, Word, and Excel documents (not edit them)

    f) Do iPad-dy things - listen to music, watch videos, use travel apps like Concur.

    The more tech savvy middle managers with iPads tend to also:

    f) remote desktop in to the VPN

    g) edit Word or Excel docs in Pages or Numbers (this tends to work fine if there aren't heavy macros; but causes round trip formatting problems)

    Is this rubbish? Matt, you're prone to hyperbole, but this is just link bait.

  46. 45RPM
    Headmaster

    News to me

    I've been using Apple kit in the enterprise for ten years now, starting with a G4 tower and now using a MacBook Air and an iPad. The Air is used to write Windows and Linux software (I like to keep my hand in), and manage my teams etc. the iPad is unbeatable for presentations, notes and convenient working on the train.

    Of course, if we're talking SQL databases and the like then the iPad is unsuitable. For server tasks I recommend HP servers with Linux. Experience tells me that Windows is the weakest link, I'm afraid, and it really has nothing to commend it. It's expensive, inelegant and slow.

  47. johnnydfred

    Yeaaah. OK, then why am I the only person at meetings with a laptop? Seriously, the iPad is coming into meeting rooms whether you guys like it or not.

  48. Ioannis
    Mushroom

    And here's your skewering Sir

    http://www.macworld.com/article/1167790/macalope_climb_every_mole_hill.html

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