If Microsoft can bring a successful tablet in the enterprise domain, they are set for the next 30 years. iPad’s are cute for the kids and Android does not get the time of day for security reasons leaving Windows 8 a chance to consume the market. I mean just ravage it. Tearing it limb from limb making us wonder why we ever took a bite out of the poisonous Apple when this was in the near future. But before we can regret our sunk costs, Microsoft and/or its OEMs have to deliver on a few key areas.
- Form factor
This is on Microsoft and how Windows 8 was built from the ground up. Give us a device that we can turn on, connect to Active Directory and log in using work credentials. Allow us to push our normal security patches, managing it like a regular PC/laptop and you’ll have IT in your pocket. IT will love how easy it is to manage. And the business will love that IT isn’t complaining about it. Win-Win.
Do not give us an 11.6” screen like Samsung did with their Windows 7 Slate PC. I feel like Moses with the 10 Commandants holding this thing. It literally feels like a giant slate. I personally think 10.1” is too big too. I am not a fan of the Galaxy Tabs by Samsung. Not proportional enough. They are both too wide. 7” is cute but not much in the ways of business productivity. Apple has a good size that people like so stick to the 9” range. 9” inches provides a big enough screen to use the onscreen keyboard but it still remains easy to hold with one hand.
Make it beefy enough to run smoothly and have the feel of normal computer. I am not too concerned about this aspect but it is a must. Touch needs to be very responsive. Having users touch the screen 4 times before the click registers is a definite no-no.
This is an area where the cannibalization takes place. We want a device that can replace a laptop. Give us a dock we can put the tablet on that hooks into an Ethernet cable, keyboard and mouse, and dual screen monitors, natively. Ethernet so we are not constantly running on WiFi. Keyboard and mouse for obvious reasons. Native dual screen monitor support is the kicker. End users love dual monitors and will not revert back to single monitor use. If this dock can extend the tablet screen across two desktop monitors smoothly, you have a winner. The less third-party software the better which is why it should be native to the device.
If a secured 9.6” Windows 8 tablet with healthy technical specs and a fully functioning dock comes into the market then they win. What do they win, Bob? They win billions of dollars in corporate money looking to get their mobile solution in place for the future. And if they fail to produce a successful corporate tablet? Microsoft will continue to be a giant in the software industry in the short-term but will be out of business in 30 years. They have to get this right. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. I hope Apple and Google are building panic rooms because Microsoft is out for blood. Tablets are the future and we’re living in it.