Dell Executive Takes Jab at iPad, Says it Isn't for Business
June 6, 2012 11:00 AM
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Dell's Joe Kremer
Exec hinted at Apple's iPad tablet as being more of a pretty toy rather than a functional device for businesses
Joe Kremer, Dell Australia managing director, attended a media and analyst briefing in Sydney yesterday where he hinted at Apple's iPad tablet as being
more of a pretty toy
rather than a functional device for businesses.
"People might be attracted to some of these shiny devices, but technology departments can't afford to support them," said Kremer. "If you are giving a presentation and something fails on the software side, it might take four days to get it up and running again. I don't think this race has been run yet."
Kremer is referring to the tablet race, of course. Apple's iPad, which launched in 2010, has dominated the tablet market since its arrival. Others have tried to compete, but either failed or fell way short of Apple's capabilities.
Currently, Apple's iPad accounts for about three quarters of all tablet sales. It's even the tablet of choice for businesses. Many have tried to put a dent in Apple's tablet sales, including Hewlett-Packard's TouchPad. The TouchPad was axed only six weeks after launch, and Research-In-Motion's PlayBook is barely a blimp on the tablet sales radar.
Samsung is the closest thing to an iPad competitor
with its Galaxy Tab, but again, it's not nearly enough to budge the Cupertino giant. Amazon's Kindle Fire, which saw huge success in late 2011, can't even seem to touch the iPad. The Fire's sales have dropped 80 percent in the first three months of 2012.
However, Kremer and other PC executives see
as a potential new beginning. Many businesses use desktop and notebook PCs, and with a Windows 8 tablet, all of these can be tied together for a more convenient work experience. Many have high hopes that Windows 8 will allow other tablet makers to take a hit at Apple's market share.
This may not be the case, though. There have been many complaints geared toward
Microsoft's Metro UI
in Windows 8, saying that the user interface is great for regular consumers, but not so much for business. A recent report noted that Microsoft is ripping out huge parts of legacy code that allowed third-party app developers to re-enable the Start Menu and Start Button, which was a staple in Microsoft's traditional Windows operating systems. Microsoft is also planning to disallow users from directly booting to the desktop. Instead, they'll be redirected to the Metro UI graphical environment.
With Microsoft's Metro UI geared more toward consumers who want entertainment more than anything else, Windows 8 may not be the life saver that Kremer and other PC companies hope for.
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Just one tool of many
6/6/2012 4:37:00 PM
It seems like everyone has a different idea of what "business" usage means, for a tablet. Here are my experiences with tablets at work.
Sales guys and execs love the things, because they live their lives according to schedules and contacts, emails, notes, etc. Tablet are great for that sort of thing, but they always ask for a way to integrate with their Microsoft Exchange.
In the office, anyone who has been in a corporate environment knows that most businesses run on an ERP system. Do tablets integrate into that? Not really, even though I have seen a few ERP systems with beta apps, that seem to be used just by their own technicians for doing something quick while in the field. Basic office users have no need of a tablet or app for their work (purchasing, invoicing, receiving, etc.) I have tried using a Remote Terminal Session on the tablet to run the ERP software, and while it works, it is clunky and the most frustratingly slow and awkward experience I have had. It is kind of like trying to eat green peas with chopsticks.
For the shop floor, maybe a tablet can be used for quick lookups of inventory or logging in to and out of jobs (machining centers, etc.), but there are already cheaper and dare I say better devices for that sort of thing...scanning guns.
One place that tablets work well is with shop floor monitoring and data monitoring of tests or processes. I have written apps that can display temperatures in furnaces, SPC data collected from various machines and measuring devices on the shop floor, etc. This is where Android is nice...I can write an app and deploy it on my device right away for testing, no approval by Apple required.
So, I think tablets have their uses in business, but it is just one tool of many.
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