Microsoft Surface Takes On the Enterprise
March 29, 2013 12:33 PM
comment(s) - last by
Hopefully it will have better sales there than in the consumer market
Microsoft's Surface tablet
hasn't had the best of luck
with consumers, so Microsoft is hoping the device will fare better with the enterprise.
Panos Panay, Microsoft's corporate vice president of the Surface tablet unit, told an audience at the U.S. Public Sector CIO Summit in Redmond that the Surface will now expand beyond the consumer market and into the enterprise.
“Granted, for your organizations … it wasn’t our primary target at launch, but please understand that when we designed these products, we designed them with you in mind,” Panay said. “We did design them to get the consumer market first, or retail. No doubt. But we’re right on the cusp of turning that corner and bringing these products into the market where we really want to be.”
Microsoft has already started allowing enterprise customers to order the Surface with Windows RT and Surface with Windows Pro through its volume ordering program.
Panay made the argument that Surface RT is designed more as a tablet while the Surface Pro is a PC that is powerful enough for the enterprise.
“Surface RT was designed as a tablet first,” Panay said. “I want to be super-clear on what we designed Pro for. Very easy to understand. This should be the fastest PC you pick up. Period. People get confused because of the form factor. … It was designed as a PC. We often get judged as designing a heavier tablet and not enough battery life. Be very clear: What we designed was a PC.”
Surface with Windows RT made its way to the public on October 26, 2012. It features the Windows RT operating system and an ARM processor for a starting price of $499. Surface with Windows Pro was released February 9, 2013 and features the Windows 8 Pro operating system with an Intel processor. It starts at $899.
Back in December,
Boston-based brokerage firm Detwiler Fenton said that
Surface's main problem was distribution
Customers could only buy the Surface with Windows RT tablet at Microsoft Stores, and the issue with that is there's only 31 of them, with another 34 smaller Microsoft kiosks around the U.S.
The lack of exposure at places like Best Buy and Staples was hurting the tablet after its Oct. 26 release.
This was resolved later in December, when Microsoft started
allowing third-party retailers
to sell the Surface -- near the end of that quarter.
Earlier this month, a
source anonymously revealed that Microsoft had sold 1.5 million Surface tablets to date. More specifically, the company had sold a little over a million Surface with Windows RT tablets and about 400,000
Surface with Windows Pro
tablets -- missing analyst expectations.
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RE: Better than most people give it credit for
3/30/2013 8:56:39 AM
To further this thread, let me explain my dilemma. I am a technology liaison for a campus with 230+ teachers, administrators, counselors, and other staff. We have numerous iPad carts with 30 iPAds each. While I am by no means an IT expert, I am better with technology than 99% of the teachers I know, including many of the business teachers who teach webmastering, etc.
Overall, the iPads are useful. However, these things are major pain in the butt for the following reasons:
1) No real way to update iOS all at once. Yes, you can download the update on the master Macbook and try to install it that way, but it fails more times than it's successful. Thus, you basically have to pull each iPad out and go through the update process one at a time...we're talking about 2 hours, IF everything goes smoothly, to do a 30 iPad cart.
2) No way to set up the apps in folders a specific way on one iPad and have that cloned to the other iPads like a Windows PC can be "imaged."
3) No "user" accounts. Thus, if one student uses an app and leaves data there while working on a project, the next kid on it can use that data to cheat, or can overwrite, delete, or damage the first student's work if it's one of the apps that does not require signing in, like Pages or Keynote.
Thus, I think that if they can get the prices down a bit on the Surface Pro, with at least half of it's 64GB of storage useable AND the chance to use real user accounts and other Windows features in addition to a REAL MS Office experience as opposed to the MS Office clones like CloudOn on the iPad, it at least has a place in education. If I could set one up, clone that image to 39 other tablets with ease, and use the advanced computer management properties of Windows to control updates / etc., then life would be far better for us.
However, the problems as I see it is there is no education / volume licensing program for apps right now, so we as a large district would never make the switch. Right now, the iPad's cost of about $640 for a 32GB version with the warranty our district buys is high enough that we could easily argue for the Surface Pro if we could get one w/ about the same useable storage (28+GB) for apps and data for $699-799 WITH the keyboard, full Office app, and a decent app store volume licensing agreement.
RE: Better than most people give it credit for
3/31/2013 5:24:49 PM
have update days, at start of class plan for non iPad using tasks and start off by having each kid grab an iPad and check for update and apply.
"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins
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