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What Windows 8 Tablets mean for CIOs?

By SiliconIndia   |   Friday, December 7, 2012
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Bangalore: The fetish towards BYOD has sparked a new trend in the technology circle. Employees are now more inclined on carrying their own devices to work which gives them a competitive edge over the company-provided inferior PCs. The tablet market is already making its mark with i-pads and Nexus7s doing the rounds. And with the introduction of the Windows 8 tablet, a new realm has been unfolded before the CIOs to conduct their operations. As such, it becomes all the more vital to explore it pros and cons to identify and exploit its potential to the fullest, reports Shane O’Neill of CIO.

While Windows 8 tablets has proved to be a boon for C-level executives who are on-the-go at all times, it doesn’t serve much purpose with mainstream workers who rely on computing power supporting multiple applications simultaneously.

Brian Ranger, general manager of systems and technology for international builder PCL Construction, is of the opinion that Windows 8 devices have an edge over the iPad when it came to efficiency and compatibility with critical business applications, according to CIO Journal.

Consequently, there has been a steep decline in the sales of PCs, read 8 percent in the third quarter of 2012, owing to the popularity of tablets in the corporate arena, according to the research firms Gartner and IDC.

As of now, Microsoft has released two versions of Windows 8 for tablets. The first one is an ARM-based tablet running a Windows 8 variant, titled Windows RT which it claims to be more power efficient. The second version uses Intel processors and runs on a full version of Windows have been named Windows 8 Pro tablets.

Nevertheless, Windows 8 tablets are not void of drawbacks or benefits for that matter. Gartner analyst Leslie Fiering, gives his insight on the same. He states, “The hardware for Windows RT tablets looks to be good, but the relatively high prices of these devices and lack of overall apps and lack of compatibility with Windows legacy apps are a concern for the enterprise.”

Moreover, if one analyzes the advantages of Windows 8 tablets, it starts a new revolution in the tablet market. For instance, it features security enhancements such as Secure Boot, BitLocker and AppLocker, which is effective against malware and hackers. It can also support Windows 7 and Vista legacy apps, not to mention its ability to align with both Windows 8 PCs and Windows Phone 8 smartphones. On top of that, its operating system is equipped with multi-touch capability for tablets.

When pitted against each other, the advantages seem to overshadow the disadvantages, viz-a-viz low computing power for ARM-based Windows RT tablets, complex functioning, lack of apps (4000) compared to the Apple iTunes store (700,000 apps) and Google Play Store (600,000 apps) and negative publicity.

For IT executives, they should conduct a detailed scrutiny before issuing Windows 8 tablets to their employees if they are putting their money on the BYOD trend. For the time being, iPads and Android based tablets are ruling the corporate market.

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