Research firm: Windows 8 tablets could beat iPads in enterprise markets

In late February, Dell announced it was selling a version of its Windows 8-based Latitude 10 tablet with better security features for the enterprise market. While Windows 8 tablets have only been on sale for a few months, it's been nearly four years since Apple launched its first iPad tablet.

Even with that much of a head start, a new white paper from the research firm Moor Insights and Strategy claims that Windows 8-based tablets could be the big winner over the iPad in terms of selling units to enterprise customers. The paper claims several factors should make Windows 8 tablets like the Dell Latitude 10, the HP ElitePad 900 and the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 more attractive for businesses.

The paper points out that all three tablets have batteries that can be removed and replaced by enterprise customers and the battery for the Latitude 10 can be removed and replaced by anyone. By contrast, the battery for the iPad can only be removed and replaced by Apple. All three Windows 8 tablets are also considered to be better made than the iPad and all have more ports for expandability, although the report does concede that the iPad's display has a higher resolution.

Perhaps more importantly, the three Windows 8 tablets have better security features and better compatibility with current PC enterprise software than the iPad. It states:

The new breed of enterprise tablets supports new touch-based scenarios with known IDE (integrated development environment) while supporting full backward compatibility with legacy peripherals and software. iPads require new apps written with new IDEs and do not support legacy OSX apps and hardware.

Finally, the three Windows 8 tablets cost about the same as Apple's iPad, but the research firm believes the iPad actually costs more if the company has to put in the management tools it needs for the iPad to work for the business. The white paper's conclusions made a good argument that, at least for the moment, the iPad is not the way to go for enterprise customers interested in buying tablets for its workers.

Source: Moor Insights and Strategy | Image via Dell
Via: AllThingsD.com

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This report ignores one major advantage of the iPad: the Volume Purchase Program. There is currently no way for an organisation to bulk-buy an app published in the Windows Store, other than purchasing a sideloading package for the app directly from the publisher, something that practically no publisher actually offers.

Having everyone buy apps individually may work for BYOD, but in organisations issuing their own kit, where IT is expected to provide a device that is ready for use, its a massive PITA if you want anything other than desktop software and free apps.

The main reason Windows tablets can beat iPad in an Enterprise....Microsoft Office. Outlook offers 100% compatibility with Exchange. Excel and Word docs can be shared over the server as well and you need an open file system which iPad doesn't support. For those who carry docs via a thumb drive from work to home, an iPad doesn't support this either.

They wont have to buy any new software as any version of Office from Office 2003 forward will work. Most Windows XP apps will work and all Vista and 7 apps will work. In fact they have to change nothing on their network. For the iPad you have to rethink the whole setup. Allowing people to use iPad for email isn't enterprise usage by a long shot. People really need to understand what Enterprise usage really means.

'could' beat iPads in the enterprise market.

They need to hurry up because right now I cant see it happening and every day its not happening they have further to go to make it happen.

Honestly I think people just want a tablet that works, that they know and that gets their specific jobs done. That tablet already exists and in some corporations that tablet is already deeply entrenched. That tablet is not running Windows 8.

All Microsoft need is right decisions. They have everything else. Enterprise market, no problem. I don't see a right decision they made past year.

You are right, 2012 and 2013 so far have been kind for Microsoft. They need to refocus and bet back on track. Competitors are not just sitting still and are more than willing to "eat Microsoft's lunch." A lot of "lunch" has already been eaten.

Makes sense. I dont use my Android tablet much but when I am ready to buy another one, will probably be a Windows 8 tablet. With most companies running mainly Microsoft, the Surface is a perfect fit for a tablet.

techbeck said,
With most companies running mainly Microsoft, the Surface is a perfect fit for a tablet.

And this research firm didn't even consider the Surface... only HP, Dell, and Lenovo. There are many more devices to choose from if you choose a Windows tablet over iPad.

I think based on their criteria of price, they can't compare a Surface Pro to the iPad. From my personal experience, yes, Windows 8 on tablet form factor will beat the iPad in enterprise environments. The numbers won't be phenomenal, but it can beat the iPad there.

Windows RT/Surface RT, will not beat the iPad, in the enterprise or anywhere else IMO.

MorganX said,
I think based on their criteria of price, they can't compare a Surface Pro to the iPad. From my personal experience, yes, Windows 8 on tablet form factor will beat the iPad in enterprise environments. The numbers won't be phenomenal, but it can beat the iPad there.

Windows RT/Surface RT, will not beat the iPad, in the enterprise or anywhere else IMO.

Depends on what version. Price wise, RT can compete with the iPad. RT sold 1.1 million so far compared to 400k Pros.

Time will tell tho.

techbeck said,

Depends on what version. Price wise, RT can compete with the iPad. RT sold 1.1 million so far compared to 400k Pros.

Time will tell tho.

I'd say feature wise, they could compete. Price is a different story though. Apple at least offers cheaper options. The $329 iPad mini stayed sold out at our store here in Houston from 2 weeks before Christmas until mid to late February. And we got a good supply of them when we actually had them, they just sell so fast.

Oh yes, RT can compete with the iPad, Pros cannot. Which is why I think the article did not mention Surface. The Pros cannot compete on price and RT hasn't done that well relatively speaking.

techbeck said,

Depends on what version. Price wise, RT can compete with the iPad. RT sold 1.1 million so far compared to 400k Pros.

Time will tell tho.

MorganX said,
I think based on their criteria of price, they can't compare a Surface Pro to the iPad. From my personal experience, yes, Windows 8 on tablet form factor will beat the iPad in enterprise environments. The numbers won't be phenomenal, but it can beat the iPad there.

Windows RT/Surface RT, will not beat the iPad, in the enterprise or anywhere else IMO.

They currently cannot but they will soon. If Microsoft re-enables enterprise features removed from RT, drops the price of surface rt by $100 they can pickup a ton of sales.

MorganX said,
Oh yes, RT can compete with the iPad, Pros cannot. Which is why I think the article did not mention Surface. The Pros cannot compete on price and RT hasn't done that well relatively speaking.

Correct, the article focuses on cheaper Atom-based Windows 8 tablets... so you get the backward compatibility with x86, and the competitive pricing.

pgn said,

They currently cannot but they will soon. If Microsoft re-enables enterprise features removed from RT, drops the price of surface rt by $100 they can pickup a ton of sales.


"They could if....." . Personally I would never buy an iPad as well a Surface Pro because neither one address my needs; my next Tablet will probably be a Helix.
But again using the " If" parameters if MS will port Office to Apple and Android the scenario would change again.
Only time will tell what will really happen.... Analysts can just guess as well as all of us. Well yes they are paid to do so....

This would be a certainty if we could use RSAT and join them to a domain. WSUS, local gp, secpol and powershell support gives them a leg up but its far from a slam dunk.

If you do a TCO analysis over 5 years, including the valuation of programming for a diverse environment, I think your administration will find that it just doesn't make sense. The reason businesses standardized was to reduce those support costs and for most businesses if not all, BYOD just doesn't work long term. Its a nice political gesture for the employees, but its just not practical.

Drewidian said,
.....

Agreed.
I'm not a decision maker, I get to sit back and shake my head.

This is only for top tier knowledge workers.
Operational staff get VDI with thin clients.

Drewidian said,
If you do a TCO analysis over 5 years, including the valuation of programming for a diverse environment, I think your administration will find that it just doesn't make sense. The reason businesses standardized was to reduce those support costs and for most businesses if not all, BYOD just doesn't work long term. Its a nice political gesture for the employees, but its just not practical.

Keep employees happy could bring higher productivity; for example in our company people have twenty five days paid days of vacation per year, in December an July the monthly paycheck is doubled etc.
From a strictly financial point of view such benefits are more onerous than the standard ones but we have other advantages which overall increase our results.
It is indeed a tric

i dont see why not? i beleive windows 8 tablets are way better than ipad even for consumer. spending 600+ euros for a device that do only web and games is meh! Also apps are overated. apps need internet connection so why do we need them? just pin the site and you got the real thing on your computer

ikr! windows 8 mops the floor for me. I get an active digitizer for drawing, note taking, and annotating. I get all my desktop programs like Gimp, Office, chrome, SketchUp, Allmyapps, Zune, and my animation software with no equivalent on the iPad or Android. I get to have a live screen in front of me and paired with Decor8 I can have the awesomest start screen to date. I will be getting an Ativ Smart PC 500T so I have a real keyboard to make my book like a laptop and since it is removable I can take it to school. I will have good front and rear cameras so I can use them for HQ video chat and making mini animated movies in my studio I am going to redesign. Windows 8 is the best thing that has ever happen to me and nothing else comes close.

Panagiotis G. said,
i beleive windows 8 tablets are way better than ipad even for consumer.

Fair opinion.

Panagiotis G. said,
spending 600+ euros for a device that do only web and games is meh!.

Agreed. What device are you thinking of there?


Panagiotis G. said,
apps need internet connection so why do we need them?

Uh...what?

Panagiotis G. said,

just pin the site and you got the real thing on your computer

Wait..what?

CSharp. said,

Uh...what?

Wait..what?

Why do you need a Twitter app when the Twitter website works just as well? Because, as you know, the Twitter app requires an internet connection... why not just visit the website? Same with Facebook. Pin it to the start screen and be done with it.

That's the reasoning.

rfirth said,
Why do you need a Twitter app when the Twitter website works just as well? . [...]Same with Facebook.

Yeah. You don't necessarily need either a Twitter or Facebook app. agreed. Beats me, how that is an argument against apps in general...

rfirth said,

Why do you need a Twitter app when the Twitter website works just as well? Because, as you know, the Twitter app requires an internet connection... why not just visit the website? Same with Facebook. Pin it to the start screen and be done with it.

That's the reasoning.

Because an app can be optimized for touch. Most websites are stil not friendly for touch and when you want to type a quick message an app is simply faster. Not to mention that an app comes with a live tile which is very handy. Makes it clear whether or not a visit to facebook is worrth it

I think they mean having a real alternative for the CEOs that want a slate instead of the headache of managing consumer devices.

barteh said,
iPads aren't aimed at the enterprise market, I don't see this as a valid comparison?

Haha I wish.

You have asshats that try to shoehorn iToys into business scenarios and insist that they increase productivity when actually they're a huge pain.

barteh said,
iPads aren't aimed at the enterprise market, I don't see this as a valid comparison?

So they added VPN etc. support just for fun?

barteh said,
iPads aren't aimed at the enterprise market, I don't see this as a valid comparison?

Precisely why Windows 8 tablets will beat iPads in the enterprise market.

Man, these analysts are good!

BajiRav said,

So they added VPN etc. support just for fun?

I think Apple is being opportunistic about enterprise support, especially in light of BYOD policies. But they are not really going out of their way to please that part of the market, especially when it would inconvenience regular users.

siah1214 said,

You have asshats that try to shoehorn iToys into business scenarios and insist that they increase productivity when actually they're a huge pain.

I also have this problem!

BajiRav said,

So they added VPN etc. support just for fun?

lol, just because it has VPN support, doesn't mean its aimed for business?
Don't get me wrong, I love my iPad, but if im going to VPN onto my work network, I want to browse my network and access a file. I cannot do this on my iPad.