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Dell's Joe Kremer  (Source: images.smh.com.au)
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 Windows 8 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.

Source: Financial Review





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