Tablets Are The Entry Point For Windows 8 In Business – Pay Attention Partners!

TabTimes has a story that says:

Tablets will be the ‘stepping stone’ for Windows 8 adoption in enterprise

I agree. Whether there’s resistan to change from IT, or a lack of desire to move beyond Windows 7 at this point, mobile devices are what will drive Windows 8 deployment in the business. This is driven by 3 desires:

Users Want Tablets

They want light, mobile, touch devices with long battery life. The iPad, a consumer device, is selling into businesses in huge numbers. The traditional 15” laptop that’s heavy, unattractive, and has a short battery life is not meeting the demands of the mobile worker. It’s been a constraint on their ability to work for years … spending more time worrying about finding the next power outlet than dealing with their customers.

IT Needs Control

Redmond might think that BYOD is only a large enterprise phenomenon, but it’s happening in SMEs and large enterprises. Every event I present at, I see a large percentage of people using tablets to stay in contact with work/customers and/or to take notes. All these businesses need control over mobile devices. Consumer devices aren’t designed to be managed. There’s lots of solutions for managing iPads, iPhones, Android, etc, but not one of these control systems can manage a mobile device the same way as a business can manage and support a PC.

The Business Wants Cost Reduction

1 PC. 1 laptop. 1 tablet. 1 smart phone. Maybe a home PC too. That’s a lot of stuff for one user. And that’s a lot of cost for the business (licensing, support, etc). Wouldn’t a tablet (such as my Samsun ATIV SmartPC) that runs Windows 8 Pro, can do all the tablet stuff, and do the common light weight Office stuff, be a replacement for all but the phone? Actually, with Lync/Skype, you could replace some of that phone stuff too Smile It’s an x86 device so you can run your LOB apps, run your Windows Store apps, and manage it like a laptop.

That’s why I think the Windows 8 tablet with an Intel processor is such a great business machine, and the thing to focus on for Microsoft infrastructure deployment partners. I’ve been talking about this in the Distributor/partner bootcamps that we’ve been doing at work. New devices are now possible that suit the needs of business users. Intel based Windows 8 Pro tablets offer the best of both worlds: tablet and PC. Mobility, battery life (mine has 13 hours), lightness, and legacy support. Plus you can deploy a corporate OS image onto them! Attach Software Assurance and you get all the nice stuff in Windows 8 Enterprise. Use a single device instead of a farm of devices for each user, and use the cost savings to get SA, the Enterprise edition, and take advantage of the mobility, remote access, security, and manageability features that Windows 8 Enterprise includes.

As a partner, you can deploy these devices for your customer … fine.  You make a couple of quid and they get the equivalent of a disconnected iPad. The real magic is when you implement the services that light up this device … be it a managed Office365 account, Windows Intune management (early next year), or enable remote access via Windows Server 2012 (Direct Access, Remote Desktop Services, etc). That’s where the services company adds value and can make a living.

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