Microsoft helping partners push iPad out of enterprise

ipads in the enterprise

Microsoft really wants to sell their Windows 7 tablets so they provided their partners with some material to show why the iPad isn't the right choice in a corporate environment. The material was a 10 slide powerpoint that was leaked to ZDNET showing many of the pro but mostly cons of the iPad in a business environment.

Microsoft has a tough road ahead of them if they want to beat out the iPad in business. According to The Guardian, Apple stated in their latest earnings call that 80% of Fortune 500 companies are testing or deploying the iPad in some capacity, the same goes for 60% of FTSE 100 companies. Competing against numbers like this means Microsoft and its partners will need to create a very well designed, user friendly tablet that can get people talking like the iPad did on its release.

One of the slides Microsoft sent out contains a list of things that their enterprise customers told them were important in their business environment. This slide lists things that the iPad can't do in the enterprise and all of the things that the Windows tablets will be able to do. They include things like remote support, peripheral support, encryption and choice in hardware.

Microsoft also asked their customers why they would choose the iPad and included some of that data in the slides. From that information Microsoft was able to include three things that make the iPad something they would choose for their environment: appeal, form factor and the ability to easily consume data.

Android tablets are completely absent from the slide show which may mean Microsoft doesn't feel they hold enough of a market share to worry about. One also has to wonder what kinds of enterprise integration options the iPad 2 will bring and will it warrant a new slide show from Microsoft?

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Android are absent from the slide show to give the impression they do not see them as competition. If they mentioned them that would only add credibility to another serious competitor.
I hope Microsoft do well as it will raise the bar for all others.

Haha, if they're making people buy Windows 7 tablets, oh boy, they're going to feel cheated. Windows 7 is not exactly pleasant to use as a touch OS. Windows 8 - maybe - but I hope not too many are falling for this. That MS pushes file management as "good" is an indication of how skewed their reality perception is. It's *very annoying* to file manage much with your fingers. That a touch OS makes minimal use of that is an indication of a well thought out touch OS.

Oh, and it's annoying to window manage with your thumbs too. If Windows 7 wouldn't have windows, it'd be much easier to use as a touch OS. Unfortunately, it's not just in the OS, but also in the name. One of the banes of a good touch OS. It's as good for Microsoft they have it in a name, as if a desktop OS would be called "Joystick OS 7".

I work in IT as a software developer and I'd say most of you dont know what your talking about when it comes to enterprise systems. The IPAD lacks in several areas that makes it a terrible choice as apart of an Enterprise system, it has little to no integration with most enterprise software, SharePoint/Lotus Notes/Documentum content management software, lack of hardware or decent software encryption, lack of support from 3rd party software vendors, lack of support for Microsoft features (remote desktop, lynx because more than 80% of all enterprise systems use Microsoft's operating system), compatibility with enterprise software, and many other reasons. The tablet market is new so 80% however huge it may seem is still a very small, Microsoft has this enterprise field covered on all bases and are setting the standards to how systems are supposed to run and form (especially with the rise of cloud enterprise solutions) that it really isnt a competition if Microsoft decide to release an enterprise tablet solution.

BlackBerry smartphones are not the "coolest" device out there. They don't have "retina" screen. Hell, even Smart 2 had just 360*480 screen.
BUT they were designed to serve business, and meticulously so.
Their useability sometimes overwhelms.
Big enterprises are able to set policies that help control tens of thousands of such devices. Just 8 BES servers can service 100K users. You can strictly control each & every aspect of device usage.
THAT is why big enterprises select devices like that.
The big enterprises are not in favour of consumer devices like iPhones joining their network.
Or iPads.
The likes of HP or Alcatel-Lucent don't do "cool". They do "functional".
Quite big people in HP are seen carry iPAQs or Samsung smartphones (no touch screen).
Quite most people in Alcatel-Lucent carry BlackBerries.
Eurostar is full with people carrying BlackBerries.

Windows Mobile had similar (enterpise) functions, but at version 6 totally lost the Cool factor. And BlackBerry enterprise features are stronger than WinMob 6's.

Now I hope Windows Phone 7 will re-enter Enterprise market, as even sceptical consumers already love it and there are lots of people that just hate the way Apple does business, so they will be happy to get viable alternatives on board when they become available.

And so there is still hope not only for Win 7 tablets (which will be well demanded by mammoth companies), but may be for WebOS from HP's new acquisition, Palm, OR, -- BlackBerry tablet or Android one. Some people might have invested in iPads, but others - provided that Microsoft delivers - would rather invest in Windows 7 tablets.

My personal bet would be on Win 7 as these devices will be slim laptop replacement and so would need to run Windows in Windows shops -- OR -- Android devices for shops that want Linux. But don't write off the other contenders.

I believe iPad has got formidable competition in Enterprise market.

EastExpert said,
BlackBerry smartphones are not the "coolest" device out there. They don't have "retina" screen. Hell, even Smart 2 had just 360*480 screen.
BUT they were designed to serve business, and meticulously so.
Their useability sometimes overwhelms.
Big enterprises are able to set policies that help control tens of thousands of such devices. Just 8 BES servers can service 100K users. You can strictly control each & every aspect of device usage.
THAT is why big enterprises select devices like that.
The big enterprises are not in favour of consumer devices like iPhones joining their network.
Or iPads.
The likes of HP or Alcatel-Lucent don't do "cool". They do "functional".
Quite big people in HP are seen carry iPAQs or Samsung smartphones (no touch screen).
Quite most people in Alcatel-Lucent carry BlackBerries.
Eurostar is full with people carrying BlackBerries.

Windows Mobile had similar (enterpise) functions, but at version 6 totally lost the Cool factor. And BlackBerry enterprise features are stronger than WinMob 6's.

Now I hope Windows Phone 7 will re-enter Enterprise market, as even sceptical consumers already love it and there are lots of people that just hate the way Apple does business, so they will be happy to get viable alternatives on board when they become available.

And so there is still hope not only for Win 7 tablets (which will be well demanded by mammoth companies), but may be for WebOS from HP's new acquisition, Palm, OR, -- BlackBerry tablet or Android one. Some people might have invested in iPads, but others - provided that Microsoft delivers - would rather invest in Windows 7 tablets.

My personal bet would be on Win 7 as these devices will be slim laptop replacement and so would need to run Windows in Windows shops -- OR -- Android devices for shops that want Linux. But don't write off the other contenders.

I believe iPad has got formidable competition in Enterprise market.


In europe the ipad isnt such a big _thing_ as it is in the US. Some people have it, not much.. a few schools use it to attract some more students (free ipad by following course X or Y).
But windows is by far the largest, linux is also rather small. Blackberry's are used on (mainly) SBS exchange servers. Largest competitor would be blackberry, but as WinMo can work on the same network designed for Blackberries, WP7 will most likely be on top quickly as soon as companies do their next upgrade. (most tech's get upgraded roughly every 3 years. As WP7 isnt even a year old, theres 2 more years for MS to show their potential with WP7.

I doubt it will work to be honest. The iPad is already becoming entrenched in education (schools are buying them by the truck load) and next step is enterprise and with iPad 2 around the corner, MS is going to need to pull more then a rabbit out of their hat to stop companies investing [heavily] in Apple. Hell I could be totally wrong and MS pull this off, but with the current state of tablets and Apple's current dominance, can't honestly see it happening right now.

I'm not an apple fan and basically don't get swayed by apple's propoganda.

For Microsoft to market the reasons why not to buy an iPad they HAVE TO HAVE a competative product. You can 'sell', 'market', and diss the opposition all you want, but hell, if they have a product out there doing the some of the job, it's better than not having a product at all.

Now to top it off MS are moved forward with getting OneNote on iPad and possibly other apps too... how frickin embarrassing. Let's just rollover and yield. Urgh.

Is MS just complacent or just over confident? It doesn't matter, they just have to change their procedure and development processes, listen to their advisors, work with partners and get solutions out to the real world. I'm sure everything is just peachy at 1 Microsoft Way, Redmond - in their own world.

I hope they make a viable Windows tablet soon. There's this huge push from upper-administration to do a massive iPad deployment, but we (IT) don't want it for a few specific reasons.

Our arguments against the iPad:
- No form of user authentication on the local network whatsoever.
- No logging, security access control, etc.
- Doesn't work with the majority of our existing systems.
- No easy way to manage/deploy applications.
- No easy way to allow users to access their files stored on our servers from the iPad.
- Limited web support (our site, as well as a number of third party sites we use, require flash).

Their arguments for the iPad in our workplace:
- It's cool.

Joey H said,
I hope they make a viable Windows tablet soon. There's this huge push from upper-administration to do a massive iPad deployment, but we (IT) don't want it for a few specific reasons.

Our arguments against the iPad:
- No form of user authentication on the local network whatsoever.
- No logging, security access control, etc.
- Doesn't work with the majority of our existing systems.
- No easy way to manage/deploy applications.
- No easy way to allow users to access their files stored on our servers from the iPad.
- Limited web support (our site, as well as a number of third party sites we use, require flash).

Their arguments for the iPad in our workplace:
- It's cool.

Exactly. I think they'd just making talk to hopefully push Microsoft to produce a viable solution. We need some tablets out on the market now, not at the end of the year. Lets get things going.

I hope they do. Apple products (Hardware wise) are for common users (or as I call them "mortals"). Power Users need more, like Android or Windows

Gabureiru said,
I hope they do. Apple products (Hardware wise) are for common users (or as I call them "mortals"). Power Users need more, like Android or Windows

Power Users are not the staple of most business.

Gabureiru said,
I hope they do. Apple products (Hardware wise) are for common users (or as I call them "mortals"). Power Users need more, like Android or Windows

I totally disagree. I'm a "power user" and I prefer Apple products. I feel more at home even though I'm an IT manager for a company that runs Windows.

giantsnyy said,
I totally disagree. I'm a "power user" and I prefer Apple products. I feel more at home even though I'm an IT manager for a company that runs Windows.

I second that - I'm a UNIX head who moved to Mac OS X - the power of UNIX and access to big name software; win-win situation.

Mr Nom Nom's said,

I second that - I'm a UNIX head who moved to Mac OS X - the power of UNIX and access to big name software; win-win situation.

Maybe we should re-evaluate self proclaimed power users.

The 'power' of UNIX? Really?

Over 20 years ago when studying compuer science, several of our classes detailed the failings of the generic UNIX I/O model and the need for an object based OS model. A couple of years later, this is exactly how NT was designed, and why it was purposely not UNIX.

Sadly, even though there have a been a few other non-UNIX attempts, Microsoft is the only company to realize the pitfalls and limitations of the UNIX model and advanced OS technology past the 1970s.

Seriously, when I read this stuff it is like hearing, "I like CPM and playing on a PDP too. They are best ever!"

I then think little boys and girls that grew up with the Linux boom and have no idea what they are giving up and what the entire industry has given up to bandage and claw and grasp to hold on to set of technologies that should have died years ago. And sadly this includes Apple's OS X as well, instead of breaking ground on a new OS, they did the Frankenstein thing instead - which is why even the kernel today that was bandaged for multi-threading on a single CPU back in 2000 has horrible problems with funnel locks on SMP systems today.

PS, you can turn on the UNIX subsystem on Windows Vista/7, then you have a win-win-on win, with a full BSD/SVR5 UNIX running on a modern OS.

thenetavenger said,

Maybe we should re-evaluate self proclaimed power users.

The 'power' of UNIX? Really?

Over 20 years ago when studying compuer science, several of our classes detailed the failings of the generic UNIX I/O model and the need for an object based OS model. A couple of years later, this is exactly how NT was designed, and why it was purposely not UNIX.

Sadly, even though there have a been a few other non-UNIX attempts, Microsoft is the only company to realize the pitfalls and limitations of the UNIX model and advanced OS technology past the 1970s.

Seriously, when I read this stuff it is like hearing, "I like CPM and playing on a PDP too. They are best ever!"

I then think little boys and girls that grew up with the Linux boom and have no idea what they are giving up and what the entire industry has given up to bandage and claw and grasp to hold on to set of technologies that should have died years ago. And sadly this includes Apple's OS X as well, instead of breaking ground on a new OS, they did the Frankenstein thing instead - which is why even the kernel today that was bandaged for multi-threading on a single CPU back in 2000 has horrible problems with funnel locks on SMP systems today.

PS, you can turn on the UNIX subsystem on Windows Vista/7, then you have a win-win-on win, with a full BSD/SVR5 UNIX running on a modern OS.

1) I never stated that *NIX/*BSD was perfect - it has flaws and most of them have been addressed in Plan9 but that has never really taken off as a project for the mainstream, it is still very much an academic hobby with limited application in the real world.

2) Windows NT superior? come on, 20 years they hobbled win32, compromised with an otherwise first class design for the sake of backwards compatibility. Was Windows NT good on paper? sure it was but in reality, when push comes to shove one has been suffering on the cmd, drive letters, an inconsistent and broken file system layout that looks like someone vomited files in random directories rather than any sort of logical plan etc. What Windows NT could have been in irrelevant when one considers how it has actually turned out. Is Windows 7 better than previous releases? sure but I'd expect that future releases to be better than the past.

3) *NIX/*BSD isn't the silver bullet/solution to all of life's problems - are there people who claim it is? sure there are but the few some how don't define the whole. One only needs to look at the security or there lack of with IRIX - every service and port open by default in the old days for the sake of 'making things easy' thus making it a mecca for being hacked. No one claims that *NIX/BSD is the be all or end all but give Microsoft's failure to take advantage of the underlying strengths of Windows NT, all the hypotheticals in the world will not change the simple reality of where Microsoft product is today.

I don't see MS winning this one. The only thing their tablet is going to have is basically a Win7 interface, which is how they plan on implementing what they are proposing. Lets see them implement a tablet interface that incorporates the above while implementing some sort of cool / nice to look at interface (like the iOS stuff). I'd like to see something with with the Metro interface or something similar to WP7 in their tablet. Right now, MS doesn't have a prayer. Once again, they are playing follower instead of leader.

nytiger73 said,
I don't see MS winning this one. The only thing their tablet is going to have is basically a Win7 interface, which is how they plan on implementing what they are proposing. Lets see them implement a tablet interface that incorporates the above while implementing some sort of cool / nice to look at interface (like the iOS stuff). I'd like to see something with with the Metro interface or something similar to WP7 in their tablet. Right now, MS doesn't have a prayer. Once again, they are playing follower instead of leader.

They are probably sick of apple always dissing their competition.. just a reaction

nytiger73 said,
I don't see MS winning this one. The only thing their tablet is going to have is basically a Win7 interface, which is how they plan on implementing what they are proposing. Lets see them implement a tablet interface that incorporates the above while implementing some sort of cool / nice to look at interface (like the iOS stuff). I'd like to see something with with the Metro interface or something similar to WP7 in their tablet. Right now, MS doesn't have a prayer. Once again, they are playing follower instead of leader.

There is nothing wrong with a Windows 7 environment as long as they adapt it to be a little more mobile friendly. For enterprise, I think they should be laughing at the iPad and taking Microsoft seriously because that is just where they excel and leave everyone else behind. I think big enterprise would much rather have a Win7 type environment, functionality and seamless integration than the iPad which has none of those.

I can't believe people are actually taking the iPad so serious to think that they'll be able to hold that lead or steal the big corporations from Microsoft. The iPad is the first real tablet on the market. There hasn't been much released yet. How about we wait it out a bit to see all the offerings this year from Microsoft and Google and then see how serious people take the iPad. It's the Android tablets that have the much bigger chance of taking those clients from Microsoft. That's who they should be afraid of.

nytiger73 said,
I don't see MS winning this one. The only thing their tablet is going to have is basically a Win7 interface, which is how they plan on implementing what they are proposing. Lets see them implement a tablet interface that incorporates the above while implementing some sort of cool / nice to look at interface (like the iOS stuff). I'd like to see something with with the Metro interface or something similar to WP7 in their tablet. Right now, MS doesn't have a prayer. Once again, they are playing follower instead of leader.

Uh, businesses don't care about the "cool / nice to look at interface"...... that's the consumer. The question is functionality, and the iPad severely lacks that.

andrewbares said,

Uh, businesses don't care about the "cool / nice to look at interface"...... that's the consumer. The question is functionality, and the iPad severely lacks that.

80% of the Fortune 500 disagree, to some degree.

Ryoken said,

80% of the Fortune 500 disagree, to some degree.

That 80% that disagree to some degree don't have many options considering there's nothing out there yet other than the iPad and they don't make decisions based on what's coming out but what's already out.

Lachlan said,

They are probably sick of apple always dissing their competition.. just a reaction

But I guess you like it when Windows disses the competition eh?

andrewbares said,
Uh, businesses don't care about the "cool / nice to look at interface"...... that's the consumer. The question is functionality, and the iPad severely lacks that.

Not when you can connect third-party devices, like barcode scanners for instance, in the dock.
It's less and less true that businesses don't care about software ergonomics. After going through the hassle of installing heavy apps like SAP, that's where we're heading, and with reason.

ZekeComa said,

But I guess you like it when Windows disses the competition eh?

never said that.. I am just saying it is standard competition talk. Apple has been commenting for months about how Windows tablets suck. Microsoft needs to defend their tablets. This is the first time I have heard Microsoft say their tablets are better at something

nytiger73 said,
I don't see MS winning this one. The only thing their tablet is going to have is basically a Win7 interface, which is how they plan on implementing what they are proposing. Lets see them implement a tablet interface that incorporates the above while implementing some sort of cool / nice to look at interface (like the iOS stuff). I'd like to see something with with the Metro interface or something similar to WP7 in their tablet. Right now, MS doesn't have a prayer. Once again, they are playing follower instead of leader.

"some sort of cool / nice to look at interface (like the iOS stuff)."

You dont get it honestly.

Example in my industry I would have a retail store director, manager, assistant manager, at a retail location. They want to use OFFICE apps, Excel or Outlook, or Sharepoint in conjuction to Excel..whatever. They want to do this to see critical information, inventory, sales etc. Today they have to go to a thin client and hit a Terminal Server or to a full PC to do this. They want to carry around a device that can do this, a windows tablet.

Security and Systems people are concerned about PCI compliance and other security matter. Systems administrators care about keeping the device up to date and locking it down so when they have to support 800 of them a user wont jack one up.

No one in the chain, from the user to the administrators cares about "cool". All of them put down the device when the go home. Microsoft's slide shows this and enterprise customers, the smart ones get this.

Ryoken said,

80% of the Fortune 500 disagree, to some degree.

Got a real source for that? More like 80% of Fortune 500's will let an iPad connect to either a completely segregated, totally locked down, internet access guest network....or via Active Sync (apple gets from MS) to get their email like a smartphone. I would hope that those corporations MAKE the users sign an agreement and push policies, like forced passwords, screen locks and REMOTE WIPE if they lose those iPads.

Ruran said,
Hm, wonder if Microsoft can pull this off.

Probably. They'll probably never be on top when it comes to consumers, but with corporations they stand a chance.

Ruran said,
Hm, wonder if Microsoft can pull this off.

Large businesses will jump at the chance to get native Office (Outlook, Excel etc) in a tablet form factor - even more so if it isn't to difficult to port across other in-house or 3rd party apps to the platform...

dr spock said,
Large businesses will jump at the chance to get native Office (Outlook, Excel etc) in a tablet form factor - even more so if it isn't to difficult to port across other in-house or 3rd party apps to the platform...

Microsoft is lining up their ducks nicely; Silverlight now has access to native code, integration with Office - Office and Windows are confirmed to be on ARM processors in the future. People underestimate Microsoft - remember when Intel stuffed up with P4 but here we are and Intel marked a come back. Microsoft is a big company and changes can take time and won't happen over night.

Apple has one thing going for it - a clean slate where as Microsoft has a legacy that can be a burden as well as an asset