05 Jul 2012

Microsoft Surface - a game changer for business?

In the wake of Microsoft’s announcement of its new Surface tablet, what will businesses make of the device? Will it be a game-changer for business tablets – becoming the default choice for our tablet compute? Actually, there are some compelling reasons to think so. Beyond its most noticeable feature (its colourful keyboard), here’s why Surface could be making its presence felt in your business: 1. It’s not just Windows compatible, it is Windows Surface will arrive in two versions. The first is aimed at consumers. The second, being dubbed ‘Surface Pro’ is aimed squarely at business. Expected to launch a few months after its consumer counterpart, the Surface Pro will run Windows 8 Professional, including a classic desktop mode. This means that it will be compatible with all Windows 8 applications – from Microsoft Office to Lync. This will open it to a wide variety of applications that today’s tablets otherwise don’t run. When it comes to existing custom applications within business environments, IT managers may find it’s far more cost effective to deploy Surface than it is to create mobile versions for other platforms. 2. Business hardware The Pro features up to 128 GB of storage, as well as a more powerful Intel Core i5-based processor and an estimated one third more battery capacity. These will go some way towards giving it the grunt it will need to run Windows 8 apps. Other hardware features include the already-mentioned keyboard, which will afford many business users faster input (there’s also the possibility of a regular keyboard and mouse via the USB slot). 3. Microsoft understands the enterprise While Apple has a firm grip on the consumer tablet space, it’s put less emphasis on the business environment. In a terrain where Microsoft has an advantage, expect Surface to be easier for IT departments to manage and less troublesome to bring into existing environments when it comes to security and configuration. For businesses not quite yet ready to embrace BYOD with gusto, Surface is shaping up to deliver the benefits of today’s tablets, and more. When businesses can finally get their hands on it, there’s going to be a lot to like.   Robin Marchant is Brennan IT’s National Marketing Manager.