Posted by: Onuora Amobi
Microsoft, Microsoft Surface, Windows 8, Windows RT
There have been many mixed opinions about Windows 8 out there both in the enterprise and regular consumer market.
While slow desktop and laptop sales could simply be a result of an extended PC lifespan as tablets continue to dominate the scenes, what about Windows 8 and RT tablets? Why aren’t consumers jumping at the chance to get a platform that combines the mobility of a tablet with the power of Windows?
There are many reasons why this could be happening, but honestly it might just come down to price. No, Microsoft Surface and other Windows RT/8 tablets aren’t necessarily overpriced for what they are giving you, but its about perceived value.
Apple and Google have established mobile ecosystems. They have 750,000+ apps and consumers understand how to use them at this point with minimal learning curve involved. Windows 8 and RT tablets have less than 50,000 apps, require a learning curve over traditional Windows and have very little “killer” features that they can’t find on an Android or iOS tablet – except for x86 legacy app compatibility.
Honestly though, many consumers don’t care about that. The want a device that is either established, or at the very least has less cost-risk. This is why both myself and my peers at Windows 8 Update and Enterprise have talked about the idea of 7-inch Windows tablets that can help bring the price down and “introduce” consumers to Windows on a tablet without having to pay $500+ pricing to do it.
What about the Enterprise world though, what’s holding it back from adopting Windows 8 tablets in a big way?
Marketing could be part of the problem. Or, there may be no problem here at all. Businesses are often slow to move, carefully considering the pros and cons before jumping in.
In fact, Avanade is reporting that many major businesses are now considering Windows 8 tablets for their needs, particularly the Microsoft Surface Pro. For those that are unaware, Avanade is a company that was jointly formed by Accenture and Microsoft and focues on helping companies adopt, use and manage Microsoft technology in the enterprise world.
According to Avanade, while businesses aren’t seeing any crucial reason to adopt Windows 8 on their existing laptops and desktops, they are interested in a mixed ecosystem that brings touch PC tablets to specific employees and parts of their business. Particularly sales people, field service staff, health care professionals and financial advisers have reason to strongly consider Windows 8 tablets.
In fact, many of these businesses are considering ditching the iPad in favor of the Surface and other Windows 8/RT devices. The biggest reason is that Windows 8 tablets fit easily into existing the Windows 8 infrastructure. They work well with existing Windows-based security solutions, Windows legacy business apps and reduce IT headaches.
Several of the businesses Avanade is working with are still in the “consideration” stage before making the leap. One company that isn’t shy about making the change is BMW, though. BMW has now started adopting Windows 8 tablets (the Surface Pro) for use in showrooms. They find it gives their staff a way to show customers features and customization options quickly without having to go back to the office.
Enterprise growth could be key to Windows 8′s success
While Microsoft might eventually make a play at the 7-inch market and find other ways to entice everyday consumers into switching to Windows 8 for both PCs and tablets, the key is to first win over the enterprise world.
Enterprise customers don’t care as much about the shear number of mobile apps, as long as they fit within the company’s specific plans. Again, many of the 750,000+ apps found on Android or iOS are of an entertainment variety and of little use to many types of businesses.
Enterprise customers take their time before jumping in, but are also more willing to spend top dollar on new technology, even if it isn’t necessarily proven quite yet.
Ultimately though, if you win the enterprise, you could win the everyday consumer, too. As business workers use Windows 8 tablets on a daily basis, a lot of the perceived problems with Windows 8 will start to fade away. They will start getting used to the new OS and are more likely to buy such devices for their home as well – or at least that’s the general idea.
What do you think, does Microsoft’s biggest chances for success with Windows 8 lie in the enterprise?