The latest to hit the tablet market space are Microsoft’s Surface and Google’s Nexus 7. Microsoft with its Surface launch is all set to shake up the tablet market, especially the enterprise segment. Until now tablets were largely media consumption devices and it is in this context, we believe that Microsoft Surface can emerge as a game changer device, giving both end consumers and enterprise consumers unprecedented possibilities.
Microsoft launched two version of its tablet, names the Surface RT and the Surface Pro, designed for two different processors and user cases. The Surface RT, the lighter device will run the Windows 8 in its metro interface, and Pro version designed for enterprise users is expected to run the full desktop version of the OS.
The Surface Tablets combines the best of mobile phone and PC experience which will give the Microsoft a clear edge over the rival devices. A full access of desktop applications via tablet is likely to encourage more users to shift from iPad to the Surface. The popularity of iPad owes a lot to its success in attracting developers. Now Microsoft has made a smart move by integrating mobile and web based apps, which will help it gain access to both mobile and Windows desktop-based developers.
Notable features flaunted by the Microsoft Surface includes full HD screen, multiple USB ports, micro SD card slot with an internal storage capacity of 32, 64 and 128 GB depending on the iteration. The keypad is one of the most highlighted features. Tablets are largely used to consume content. With Microsoft’s little kickstand and a touch cover with inbuilt keyboard, this is going to change, and will actually replace laptops for business users.
Microsoft’s dominance of enterprise mobility, to a large extent, will depend on it ability to embrace BYOD trend. The key announcements made during Microsoft Windows 8 launch early this week indicate focus efforts towards this direction. Windows 8 with Office 2013 was launched with apps such as OneNote; SkyDrive enabling cloud services; and social collaboration via SharePoint and Lync. Windows 8 with increased focus on cloud and social and its compatibility on the Surface will definitely help it generate significant interest amongst enterprise users.
One of the other key determining factors for the Surface to penetrate into the enterprise market is the pricing – which will need to be competitive or at least comparable to iPad.
Overall, the Surface brings users the best of tablet and laptop and enhances productivity and usability for both enterprise users and consumers. It offers a range of HTML 5 empowered web and software as a service (SaaS) services.
Especially from the enterprise perspective, Microsoft Surface has a huge enterprise potential given Apple’s limited applications, narrow enterprise focus and too much of user control. How fast Microsoft can establish itself as a market leader will depend on its enterprise app market strategy, support to the developers and the end users.
Please do send us what you think as well as what you are seeing within your enterprises.
Director, Enterprise Mobility