Dell recommends Windows 8.

Windows 8 Aims for Enterprise Tablets

Curtis Franklin Jr., Executive Editor | 10/29/2012 | 65 comments

Curtis Franklin Jr.
A new OS for a laptop computer is one thing. A new OS as the center of an enterprise computing strategy is something else. Microsoft hopes Windows 8 is both.

Among the ideas Microsoft has discussed in presentations about Windows 8 is the notion of tablet devices as true enterprise platforms. While some vendors and CIOs might argue that existing tablets have already proven their enterprise worthiness, there's little doubt that many companies have been waiting for a tablet OS that is designed to be centrally deployed and managed before making the official plunge into the deep end of the tablet pool.

In a presentation at the just-concluded Gartner Symposium in Orlando, Fla., David Willis, a Gartner vice president and distinguished analyst who is the firm's chief of research for mobility and communications, spoke about the things that an enterprise must consider when decisions are being made about adding Windows 8 or any tablet devices to the enterprise platform mix.

The first two things that Willis pointed out were the sort of ideas that seem simple, and yet don't stay in the plans for many companies.

The first is that few companies are going to be able to run a single operating system across a platform type, much less the entire enterprise. While the idea of Windows 8 on every client device is seductive, our current IT environment makes such homogenous ecosystems less common than the proverbial hens' teeth. The second concept is just as important and even more likely to be outside the thinking of the enterprise IT staff.

Turning tablets into enterprise platforms isn't about making employees happy: it's about making them more productive. While happiness is often a very good thing, it's rarely sufficient (in and of itself) to justify the expense of bringing a new client type into the enterprise IT mix. A focus on productivity will keep IT moving in a rational direction and might even allow for the achievement of employee hapiness. Reversing the emphasis will seldom work as well.

Willis spoke of the need for thinking about different types of machines in different roles within the enterprise, rather than trying to tie every device (and every employee) into a one-size-fits-all straightjacket. Fully specified and rigidly controlled devices are the proper response for very specific functions tied to single applications and sensitive data. Enterprise-supplied and controlled devices that fall short of the full lockdown implied in the first set of devices are ideal for the general corporate role and can be appropriate for many different levels and types of employee. Spreading out farther, we get into the realm of the employee-supplied device.

BYOD can be an ideal solution for employees who need access to targeted application data, including email, calendar/PIM, and document sharing. In general, these BYO devices will have less corporate control and awareness, with many companies moving to a use model in which the organization has the ability to wipe specific application data without harming the entire device. Questions of confidentiality, regulatory compliance, and legal discovery availability plague these devices owned by employees, but management abilities built into Windows 8 promise to simplify at least some of the issues around BYOD and corporate responsibility.

One of the more serious points Willis made concerned justification for tablet devices and the way they should be considered in the overall corporate mix. These are, he said, "third devices," that supplement laptop computers and smartphones without replacing either. Too many companies, he said, try to justify tablets by asking the question of how many laptops can be discarded or how many smartphones not purchased. These are the wrong questions, he said, missing the strength and the point of tablets. They are highly mobile devices that augment information gathering and collaboration, and should be seen (and used) in that context.

There's no question that context is critical, and the context of the Windows 8 launch is the growing presence of tablets in the enterprise. Will Microsoft's Surface and the host of Windows 8 tablets that join it in the market become the de facto standard tablet in the enterprise? That's the question that Microsoft, its shareholders, and the rest of the industry want to see answered. The answer begins to appear on Friday. Whatever it happens to be, how will you and your enterprise use the result?

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Marif   Windows 8 Aims for Enterprise Tablets   8/12/2013 9:19:28 AM
Re: BYOD and Windows 8
@TJGUK: I don't know why MS is not trying to be innovative in ideas rather they are trying to improve the services which have been taken over (in competition) by other technology firms. A couple of decades ago it was a good approach to refurbish the ideas in better ways which were initially conceived by other smaller companies. Earlier that worked pretty well for MS as at that time those companies where not enough strong financially to develop a high tech interface. But now the things are changed and most companies are coming up with a product which already has all the ingredients of a successful product. So MS is finding hard to make something even better like in the case of bing, zune, mobile OS etc. It is time that they should start leading instead of following.
J-Lo   Windows 8 Aims for Enterprise Tablets   8/7/2013 6:38:25 PM
Re: BYOD and Windows 8

I agree with you. In my eyes Google is the horse I would place my bet with. In a very shot time they have rocketed success in everything they have done. They are very new compared to MS but look at the way the company has come at par with MS. No doubt MS is good at many things they do, their MS office is still the most used suite globally. But other than that I don't think there is much from MS to offer what google has not bettered. 

TJGUK   Windows 8 Aims for Enterprise Tablets   8/2/2013 9:47:21 AM
Re: BYOD and Windows 8
It is certainly hard to imagine MS going under but one thing I have learned is that any tech company can go under fairly quickly. Apple is making inroads and Google is certainly a major factor. Either one of them can step right into MS shoes should MS continue to flounder. Google makes a better browser, a better phone OS, better search, better maps, has cloud capabilities and an office suite. I really think things will change over the next few years for the worse for MS.
J-Lo   Windows 8 Aims for Enterprise Tablets   7/19/2013 4:41:04 PM
Re: BYOD and Windows 8
Marif, I agree and thats eactly was my point and on the other hand I was discussing the supply side for alternate as well.
Marif   Windows 8 Aims for Enterprise Tablets   7/18/2013 1:13:43 PM
Re: BYOD and Windows 8
@J-Lo: For enterprises, MS and linux may have close competition in terms of market share when management of servers is concerned. But if we talk about client machine same in those enterprises, MS still leads with a big margin because at the client end we have all kind of users; technical, non technical and linux is not currently the first option for non technical users which are normally greater in number in enterprises. So I would not say MS is sinking but its market share of home users is really being tested; not by any other OS but by tablets.
J-Lo   Windows 8 Aims for Enterprise Tablets   7/17/2013 6:14:12 PM
Re: BYOD and Windows 8

TJGUK, I don't know about MS sinking..... the world is changing and so does the computing world. Win8 was specially designed keeping in view cloud technology. I do not really know if globally companies will drop MS products and switch over to alternate. But question remains is it really possible for Apple to ship such a number of hardware across the globe or for Linux to come ahead and become leading software supplier for entire computer producing industry of the world. 

TJGUK   Windows 8 Aims for Enterprise Tablets   7/1/2013 11:09:02 AM
Re: Win 8 for Enterprise Tablets
That might happen. Especially since they mostly operate under Android or iOS so it should be easy to do like when they had just BB. Win8 on the other hand...
TJGUK   Windows 8 Aims for Enterprise Tablets   7/1/2013 11:07:04 AM
Re: BYOD and Windows 8
MS would be wise to dump Win8 for phones and use the BB os if they ever do buy RIM. That would have made more sense to me but MS is full of hubris and missed out on a good oppportunity. I think MS will sink with Win8. Or 8.1
J-Lo   Windows 8 Aims for Enterprise Tablets   6/14/2013 1:17:09 AM
Re: Win 8 for Enterprise Tablets

TJGUK, since BYOD is here and is not going anywhere. The best would be all mobile developers agree to come up with one model each that has similar security protocols which can become industry standard for use under BYOD regime.

J-Lo   Windows 8 Aims for Enterprise Tablets   6/14/2013 1:14:52 AM
Re: BYOD and Windows 8
This is really an interesting situation and if it happens......... which seems somehow not possible at the moment. Do you think MS will change RIM to window phone or they will continue with it as it is?
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