IDG: Businesses love their iPads

A new study from IDG Connect has some rather troubling information for Microsoft. The study takes a look at how professionals are using iPads at work, how happy they are with the device, and whether or not they would consider swapping it for something else.

Some analysts have already said that tablets running Microsoft's Windows 8 tablet will probably appeal more to enterprise markets than to the wider public, so they've definitely got plenty of reasons to be concerned about how Apple's iPad is faring with professionals.

The good news for Microsoft in the report is that not too many businesses in North America and Asia are buying iPads for their employees (13% and 10% in NA and Asia, vs 40% and 47% in Africa, respectively). The bad news is that the professionals who do have iPads, whether company supplied or brought from home, aren't very interested in switching to something else anytime in the near future, even though they admit that it does have limited functionality.

The iPad had completely replaced laptops for some of the people surveyed, but the majority said that they weren't giving up their PCs or laptops any time soon, about 16% of them said that they were using their other devices less. Interestingly, this was particularly true for the Middle East (70%) and Asia (63%). What makes iPads more appealing to people in those areas than in the rest of the world?

Here's where the bad news for Microsoft comes in. Out of everyone who was surveyed, only 17% said that they would even consider replacing their iPad with anything else. Although most of the people who use their iPad at work bought it themselves, they knew what they were getting into: only 13% said that they bought the device just because they had heard or read good things about it.

As mentioned earlier, there are way more businesses in Europe and Africa who are buying iPads for their employees than in North America and Asia. For Microsoft, this could be the silver lining. Right now, the number of businesses who have officially adopted tablet computing is relatively small, and Microsoft still has a good chance of jumping into the market. This all depends, of course, on whether or not those businesses decide to adopt tablets at all.

And since most people haven't gotten a chance to see and use Windows 8 yet, Microsoft still has plenty of chances to convince people – and this includes businesses and consumers – that they offer a better product. This will probably be a lot easier with businesses, who are used to using Microsoft products more than Apple's, than it will be with consumers, who haven't yet really been convinced to give anything else a second look.

Image courtesy of IDG Connect

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Wait until they need comprehensive infrastructure and managed devices that are secure.

The iPad trend will disappear rapidly once they find they can get the same viability out of Windows 8 and get back all the centralized IT and security features. If they had need of or had informed IT departments/consultants, they would already have this with Windows 7 Tablets that are less expensive.

There are several of the larger retail corporations in the USA like Acosta that have made the move from Windows TabletPCs to Windows 7 TabletPC touch only devices that are far less expensive than the $2000 TabletPCs they were using 8 years ago.

iPad is not technology, it is marketing to people that didn't realize the technology already existed.


I still can't plug any custom built hardware into an iPad.
Can't utilize a 30 year old DOS based database on an iPad easily.
Can't utilize any of the BILLIONS of windows applications on an iPad with reliability.

I'd say that since windows is a long supported OS as long as there is backwards compatibility then windows tablets will eventually win out for businesses.

And until they can be locked down and controlled centrally, no financial organization is going to roll them out en masse. Nor is anyone needing to comply with certain regulations on document tracking and protection.

Battery life, battery life, battery life, battery life,...... battery life, battery life, battery life, battery life.

xpclient said,
Battery life, battery life, battery life, battery life,...... battery life, battery life, battery life, battery life.

rofl, just imagined Ballmer on stage

"even though they admit that it does have limited functionality."

Coming from a business person, that quote doesn't even mean the same thing we think it means. All that means is that the app developers aren't giving the business folks what they want and need to step up there game. Doesn't say anything about the iPad itself, just the software developers.

ILikeTobacco said,
"even though they admit that it does have limited functionality."

Coming from a business person, that quote doesn't even mean the same thing we think it means. All that means is that the app developers aren't giving the business folks what they want and need to step up there game. Doesn't say anything about the iPad itself, just the software developers.

No it means iOS is too limited for business apps. Windows 8 will end that problem.

KingCrimson said,

No it means iOS is too limited for business apps. Windows 8 will end that problem.

Care to give an example? I can't think of a single thing that business person needs done that can't be done on an iOS device if the app developers program it.

ILikeTobacco said,

Care to give an example? I can't think of a single thing that business person needs done that can't be done on an iOS device if the app developers program it.


Taking electronic notes? And I'm not referring to typing…

MFH said,

Taking electronic notes? And I'm not referring to typing…

Weird because that is how I take notes on my laptop just as does everyone else that I go to class with for an MBA. We type what the professor says. That's how note taking works. Are you going to argue that a sheet of paper is bad for taking notes because you can't do with it without a pencil or pen also?

Also, look up iCooly

ILikeTobacco said,

Weird because that is how I take notes on my laptop just as does everyone else that I go to class with for an MBA. We type what the professor says. That's how note taking works. Are you going to argue that a sheet of paper is bad for taking notes because you can't do with it without a pencil or pen also?

Also, look up iCooly


I could be wrong, but weren't we talking about the iPad just a minute ago… So how are you drawing/sketching on your MBA during lectures? And please don't tell me that you're using pen and paper for that… I'd rather write and sketch on a tablet with an active digitizer and have all my notes in one place…

DJ Dark said,
I actually wish they'd do this at the company I work for... we still do manual, tree killing, paper reports o.o

Have they never heard about emails or electronic documents? You don't need an iPad to read reports…

MFH said,

Have they never heard about emails or electronic documents? You don't need an iPad to read reports…
They still use as/400 for gods sake! Lol

All the senior people in my company have and love there iPads, along with the iPhone. And the only reason I can see for the iPad to be seen to be innovative and leading edge. We call it the W@nK factor, or the W@nk Pad. It really a consumer product geared around the iTunes Store/Model of downloading Video, Music, Apps and $$$. We are now designing the future infrastructure around this product and we don't even have a road map available from Apple as to what will be coming up on future releases. Every vendor that comes through the door now has an app or make an app for their. Its complete mayhem if someone mention iPad and app the mgmt are all over it, can see, can get a trail, then we get the app and it can do about 10% of the real product , then we get the dreaded sales pitch that the feature will be available in a future release… I usual just nod at this point and think that's never going to happen.
Back in the real world of enterprise IT got in a Slate from Samsung with Win 8, it was very impressive. Can't wait for the Beta and more hardware from the manufactures - Lenovo, Hp, Dell. I am also interested in seeing what the next version of Office will be like on a slate.. Will there be a cut down/lite Outlook Client???

This report does mean anything in the long-run, because not all the competitors have come out with their offerings.
Microsoft has yet to play their card, and also, Google's Android has yet to come out of "beta".

Only because ipads are "cool" and "hip" at the moment and businesses want to show their customers that they are "cool" and "hip". Once ipads go stale (which they have already done so in the tech world) businesses will transfer to Windows 8 Tablets/Galaxy Tabs.

sam232 said,
Only because ipads are "cool" and "hip" at the moment and businesses want to show their customers that they are "cool" and "hip". Once ipads go stale (which they have already done so in the tech world) businesses will transfer to Windows 8 Tablets/Galaxy Tabs.

The boss here has one, and it goes everywhere with her. emails and calendars on the move - why carry around her £2000 macbookpro when the "expendable" and easier to move/use on the go £400-500 iPad can go instead.

i probably won't switch her to a windows tablet either, because the iPad works, all our apps are web based so the os matters not, we just need a reliable piece of hardware with a web browser.

sam232 said,
Only because ipads are "cool" and "hip" at the moment and businesses want to show their customers that they are "cool" and "hip". Once ipads go stale (which they have already done so in the tech world) businesses will transfer to Windows 8 Tablets/Galaxy Tabs.

Wishful thinking and completely wrong.

Vice said,

Wishful thinking and completely wrong.

Okay we will just ignore the study which state that Windows 8 Tablets are more highly anticipated than the ipads in business use.

sam232 said,

Okay we will just ignore the study which state that Windows 8 Tablets are more highly anticipated than the ipads in business use.

Yes we will because such a study is ridiculous.

Enron said,

No study matters at this point. Neither does that article. It all comes down to how well it's marketed once it's released.

You can market a turd all you want, but if it's not a quality device, it won't sell. In this case, the iPad is the best on the market and this is proven by them crushing the rest of the field. Unless Microsoft can undercut the price of an iPad (which it looks like they won't), it's going to be a massive flop.

Astra.Xtreme said,

Unless Microsoft can undercut the price of an iPad (which it looks like they won't), it's going to be a massive flop.

So you suggest: Microsoft can't release something better than the iPad and therefor have to undercut Apple…

MFH said,

So you suggest: Microsoft can't release something better than the iPad and therefor have to undercut Apple…

Since we are in a recession, price means almost everything. And since the iPad dominates the market right now, nobody is going to take the chance of getting something subpar that costs more. Simple economics. And FYI, I never said Microsoft can't release something better. Those are your words...

Astra.Xtreme said,

Since we are in a recession, price means almost everything. And since the iPad dominates the market right now, nobody is going to take the chance of getting something subpar that costs more. Simple economics. And FYI, I never said Microsoft can't release something better. Those are your words...

No that's your religious belief that Apple is god and Microsoft is crap.

Astra.Xtreme said,

And FYI, I never said Microsoft can't release something better. Those are your words...

You said: "In this case, the iPad is the best on the market and this is proven by them crushing the rest of the field." Which implies that nobody would pay more for a worse product. Further you say: "Unless Microsoft can undercut the price of an iPad (which it looks like they won't), it's going to be a massive flop." which implies that Microsoft has to undercut the iPad as it's worse than or only as good as the iPad. So I'd say YOU said that Microsoft can't compete with the iPad in terms of quality…

MFH said,

You said: "In this case, the iPad is the best on the market and this is proven by them crushing the rest of the field." Which implies that nobody would pay more for a worse product. Further you say: "Unless Microsoft can undercut the price of an iPad (which it looks like they won't), it's going to be a massive flop." which implies that Microsoft has to undercut the iPad as it's worse than or only as good as the iPad. So I'd say YOU said that Microsoft can't compete with the iPad in terms of quality…

You do realize that Windows 8 tablets aren't on the market yet, right? Break down my English, word by word, and maybe you'll understand that I didn't say anything false. Nowhere did I mention anything about quality. The iPad being the #1 on the market is a fact right now. Maybe Microsoft can push them out of the way, but the pricing is going to speak a lot about it.

Edited by Astra.Xtreme, Jan 19 2012, 5:27pm :

KingCrimson said,

No that's your religious belief that Apple is god and Microsoft is crap.

Please show me one place on Neowin that I've ever said that Microsoft is crap. Please do. Hell I've even said that I'd buy a Win 8 tablet if it was reasonably priced. Get off your high horse and move on if you have nothing intelligent to add to the conversation...

Astra.Xtreme said,

Break down my English, word by word, and maybe you'll understand that I didn't say anything false.

I already did…

Astra.Xtreme said,
Nowhere did I mention anything about quality.

You implied it as you said that Microsoft has to undercut the iPad as nobody would pay more for a subpar experience…

MFH said,

I already did…
You implied it as you said that Microsoft has to undercut the iPad as nobody would pay more for a subpar experience…

Nobody will take a "chance" at a subpar experience. Words are a powerful thing, hence why I told you to break down the English... The iPad has been around for years and has proven to be a great tablet, so why would somebody pay a lot more for something that could be terrible. Plus with the iPad 3 coming out this year, Microsoft will have to offer something truly wonderful to justify the price. People that want tablets want tons of app choices. It will take Microsoft years and years to gain an offering like the iOS app store has. My point still stands.

Astra.Xtreme said,

The iPad has been around for years

A total of 2, don't make it sound like the iPad has been here for ages…

Astra.Xtreme said,
Microsoft will have to offer something truly wonderful to justify the price.

They already do. They have the better developer environment (tools, languages,…). They offer better functionality (starting with hand writing support,…) to an open model where you're not limited to one company, support business class security features,…
BTW: by your definition of iOS's advantage nobody in their right mind would have ever used something but Windows on their PC, neither would somebody choose Android over iOS. In reality both happend: OSX has it's share on the desktop market and Android crushes iOS in terms of usage…