Microsoft: Windows tablets are better than Android devices for schools and government

Microsoft is preparing to officially announce new members of its Surface family of tablets on Monday, and the company is hoping to have its hardware used more by schools and government organizations. Standing in the way of that goal are a wave of cheap tablets made by a ton of different OEMs that use the Android OS.

In a white paper published by Microsoft this week (in PDF format), the company tries to make the case that educational intuitions and government agencies would be better off buying a Windows 8 tablet rather than an Android device. One piece of concern is with security. Microsoft claims:

Most Android devices still feature a user selectable setting to allow installation of apps from unknown (unsigned) sources - enabling and encouraging third party app stores such as the Amazon (Android) App Market or various app stores offering pirated apps. However, this opening also enables malware, and with Android malware threats growing by over 30,000 over the last year alone, the security risks could be significant.

The paper also points out that security updates for Android tablets are fragmented thanks to different schedules for OEMs and wireless carriers. By contrast, all Windows 8 tablets are updated at the same time by Microsoft with no such need to go through a PC maker or wireless network's timetable.

In addition, Microsoft's paper makes the case that productivity on Windows tablets is better than Android-based solutions, thanks largely to the familiarity people have with Office applications. Microsoft says that Android apps sometimes need extra code to be written so they will work well with existing documents and apps.

Ultimately, Microsoft says that the cheap prices of Android tablets are the only real incitement for schools and governments but that using Windows tablets for their needs is a better choice in the long run.

Source: Microsoft | Image via Microsoft

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Tablets are a great way to increase productivity, both at workplace and at school. All of them, whether it's Apple, Android or Windows environment, can help students and workers get data on the go which can be crucial in today's world.

Those that think that tablets are only for games or watching videos are clearly not familiar with these benefits, or they haven't used them.

stevan said,
are clearly not familiar with these benefits.

Microsoft is welcome to familiarize people with these benefits, through their marketing campaigns. People love arguments that convince about usefulness, especially if a product is expensive. You don't sell a tablet the same way as you sell a perfume.

stevan said,
Tablets are a great way to increase productivity, both at workplace and at school. All of them, whether it's Apple, Android or Windows environment, can help students and workers get data on the go which can be crucial in today's world.

Those that think that tablets are only for games or watching videos are clearly not familiar with these benefits, or they haven't used them.

A simple laptop is a lot more productive than any tablet could ever hope to be. A cheap $300 one even.

stevan said,
Tablets are a great way to increase productivity, both at workplace and at school. All of them, whether it's Apple, Android or Windows environment, can help students and workers get data on the go which can be crucial in today's world.

Those that think that tablets are only for games or watching videos are clearly not familiar with these benefits, or they haven't used them.

Getting data = consumption. Education needs to involve production. It would be like trying to teach a pre-computer math class with a text book but no paper and pencil.

mrp04 said,

A simple laptop is a lot more productive than any tablet could ever hope to be. A cheap $300 one even.

Who said they aren't?

Spicoli said,

Getting data = consumption. Education needs to involve production. It would be like trying to teach a pre-computer math class with a text book but no paper and pencil.

Being able to fetch data on the go increases productivity.

The fact is, tablets increase productivity both at workplace and at school. A LOT of educational institutions and companies are implementing laptops into their work space. But I guess this means nothing to you guys.

Laptops would be a much more cost-effective way to go. Between laptops and smartphones, that leaves a very small niche for tablets.

From experience, laptops usually get trashed in schools if they are not owned by the student themselves.

Ace said,
From experience, laptops usually get trashed in schools if they are not owned by the student themselves.

And tablets get stolen.

I find this really strange. iPads/Android is NOT a productive device! Having annoying interactions with USB devices, poor office software, and the lack of a desktop (yes a desktop is still required to maximize productivity!), just makes them not stand up to a surface! You can pick up the Surface RT for students and 100% lock down anything they can do - unless they crack the secure boot =P - and still have a perfectly productive. Have "docks" in labs where you need it (monitor+usb hub cable) and BAM - full keyboard and monitor good to go!

UseLess said,
I find this really strange. iPads/Android is NOT a productive device! Having annoying interactions with USB devices, poor office software, and the lack of a desktop (yes a desktop is still required to maximize productivity!), just makes them not stand up to a surface! You can pick up the Surface RT for students and 100% lock down anything they can do - unless they crack the secure boot =P - and still have a perfectly productive. Have "docks" in labs where you need it (monitor+usb hub cable) and BAM - full keyboard and monitor good to go!

"iPads/Android is NOT a productive device!"
Wonder what kids in college are using these days to study, take notes, etc. I don't see a single surface in my university.

UseLess said,
I find this really strange. iPads/Android is NOT a productive device! Having annoying interactions with USB devices, poor office software, and the lack of a desktop (yes a desktop is still required to maximize productivity!), just makes them not stand up to a surface! You can pick up the Surface RT for students and 100% lock down anything they can do - unless they crack the secure boot =P - and still have a perfectly productive. Have "docks" in labs where you need it (monitor+usb hub cable) and BAM - full keyboard and monitor good to go!

It's funny you talk about being productive on Windows, but you have such a lack of apps and you can't install your normal software on the RT.

We had elementary students creating movies and sharing those movies with their teachers and posting stuff to Wordpress on our Transformers.

A full Surface I would agree is the best device, but have you priced those? They are finally getting cheaper and better, but RT devices are in no way better than most of the Apple/Android counterparts.

We are going back to Windows devices from Android because a lot of the software just doesn't work on anything else. We also can't use RT because it won't work on a domain. We are getting Asus X202Es which are Core i3 and have touchscreens. Not to mention, most students use Chrome, which isn't available on RT.

onionjuice said,

"iPads/Android is NOT a productive device!"
Wonder what kids in college are using these days to study, take notes, etc. I don't see a single surface in my university.

They are playing candy crush, not taking notes.

University / college student paid their tuition with loan and some have no income to afford such luxury. Lucky enough if their parent get them laptop or Surface (if this parent like surface). Some parent are not tech savvy and relied on their judgment on what to get. I am MS supporter so all my family including my college kid use window phone. If my kid want android / iPad then they have to pay for it themselves.

onionjuice said,

"iPads/Android is NOT a productive device!"
Wonder what kids in college are using these days to study, take notes, etc. I don't see a single surface in my university.

Using Windows tablets should be better for schools in the short run, too. I love Android, and I love my tablet, but all I use it for is reading books, comics, and playing games (if you classify mobile games as true games). I can't imagine even attempting to be "productive" on one. I do have some office apps installed, but I only use them for viewing. Android would be cheaper, certainly, but you get what you pay for.

KibosJ said,
I've got to agree. Windows is the way to go for productivity

Yeah I love my 2013 N7 but I gotta agree that Windows is probably the way to go for true productivity
.

KibosJ said,
I've got to agree. Windows is the way to go for productivity

Well, It would be nice if MS could demonstrate this in their advertisement (and I'm strictly speaking of tablets) . If that's the case, it would be a convincing selling point.
So far, the only feeling that MS provided with surface RT, is that's a purely commercial solution, and consumers won't spend their money just to please MS.

Typical ms scare mongering fud. Users can turn off that "user selectable setting to allow installation of apps from unknown (unsigned) sources". "sometimes need extra code to be written so they will work well with existing documents and apps." that problem could be solved by sharing the original code so no extra code is needed. "cheap prices of Android tablets are the only real incitement" cheap prices are not the only real excitement. Malware isn't limited to Android, it is everywhere, even on ms devices.

There's a dutch expression "We from WC-eend ... advise WC-eend"

I can also pay somebody some money to recommend my product...

I have yet to see a "study" *cough* marketing campaign *cough* that shows otherwise. As for the "study" itself, no biased at all... MS probably intends to dump all of those failed RT tablets to students. Desperate is desperate.

francescob said,
What's wrong with QuickOffice? Less data shown is less data to study!

Yup, timmy get's it easy with QuickOffice

Relativity_17 said,
Fewer CPU cycles devoted to rendering data means more CPU cycles to keep the OS running quick and smooth.

In my experience, which is owning a WP8 and a W8 device and having multiple close friend who own GS3s, 4s and ASUS Transformers, 8 is much quicker and more fluid at the OS level. I've heard there are Android devices where the OS isn't choppy and I believe there are, but I haven't gotten to play with any that fit that bill.

Also MS office beats the competition any day of the week.

spenser.d said,

In my experience, which is owning a WP8 and a W8 device and having multiple close friend who own GS3s, 4s and ASUS Transformers, 8 is much quicker and more fluid at the OS level. I've heard there are Android devices where the OS isn't choppy and I believe there are, but I haven't gotten to play with any that fit that bill.

Also MS office beats the competition any day of the week.

My S3 runs great. I don't have any problems with smoothness. The Transformer, does lag a little, I agree, but not badly.

The main issue is just apps. With RT, being limited to ONLY the store, won't work in schools. There are too many apps or other software needed that either aren't available, or you can't install because it's RT.

farmeunit said,

My S3 runs great. I don't have any problems with smoothness. The Transformer, does lag a little, I agree, but not badly.

The main issue is just apps. With RT, being limited to ONLY the store, won't work in schools. There are too many apps or other software needed that either aren't available, or you can't install because it's RT.


List 5, please! Also, your arguement won't hold up for a simple reason: That missing "apps" that would work on a non-RT version (speak: desktop) wouldn't run on an Android device either.