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I am a big believer that as enterprises embrace a mobile strategy that includes iPads and iPhones, there will be a gravitational pull to the cloud.
Additionally, this transition to mobile and cloud will decrease the relevance of Microsoft in the enterprise, especially small – medium business (since they missed the boat on mobile and to some extent cloud services).
As I thought about this post and started writing, this morning TechCrunch has a post on “Box: Mobile Adoption Is The Gateway Drug To The Cloud In The Enterprise”.
“When Box tracks its enterprise sales, it tracks the reason for buying, and this past year, the company found there was a 30x increase in the number of enterprise deployments that were mobile-driven.” WOW…is that telling!
The move to iPads has enterprises adopting SaaS / cloud services much faster then originally thought. The ability to quickly (with a few swipes) deploy and enable a CRM application or a collaboration application is very compelling. Especially if the security and privacy concerns can be mitigated. Traditional IT must be agile and address this trend. Enterprise IT will need to figure out how cloud becomes an extension of their infrastructure and services or become less relevant to the value that can be delivered to business.
Many of you know by now that I have left Microsoft a month ago after 9+ years. I’ll write more about that later, as well as discuss my new place of employment and focus.
For now, however, I would like to tell a quick story. My new employer gave me the choice of a Windows XP laptop or an Apple MacBook Pro, and for my mobile phone it was either Blackberry or iPhone (thank goodness I do not have to have a Windows Mobile phone again – for the last 9 years I have had to suffer with WM). Well, after being on Windows 7 at MS, there was no way I was going to XP. So I went Apple all the way! I wanted to take a first hand take at Mac, as well as break my tie to Microsoft for a number of reasons (more on this later).
After about 2 days, I quickly fell in LOVE with Apple products. The MacBook and OS 10 simply blow away Windows (any Windows)! And the iPhone (mind you, I had to settle for 3G) was light years better than any Windows phone (Windows Phone 7 is certainly a huge improvement from WinMo, and I had the opportunity to use it, but I would still take iPhone any day)! It has now been about 3+ weeks on Mac/iPhone and I have decided that I will be getting the iPad v2 when it comes out, and the next laptop I buy my children and/or wife will be Macs. No more Windows machines in my house!
Now, please note that I also LOVE Mac Office 2011. But Windows…OMG…I can’t believe I was using Windows PCs (and still have some at home that I have to support) for most of career. There is only one thing, one application, that I miss having for my work pc – OneNote. I am considering Evernote or Pear Note. But otherwise, I am all in on the Mac.
My MacBook and iPhone ROCK!
HP released another video of their slate device last week, highlighting some of the some of the gaps in the iPad feature set – notably including a two cameras for photos and video conferencing, and extensibility/data transfer through media such as SD or USB, HDTV connectivity. Some additional specs we are hearing include 32GB storage, 1GB RAM, wi-fi, bluetooth, GPS, and more.
Mashable has a post on some more specifics on the leaked specs here.
All we need now is to know when we can get one!!!
With the LOUD release, and all the buzz of the Apple iPad, and the recent announcement at CES by Steve Ballmer and HP regarding the HP Slate, its a real exciting time in my opinion, because although these are cool products, it really reveals new experiences for the consumer and the business user. This new product category will drive huge investments in new applications and will likely reveal new business models that we have not even imagined. I thought about adding the Kindle to this discussion, a great innovation in itself, but its simply a “reader”. The iPad and the HP Slate (and likely other Windows 7 slate devices) are new type of computer IMHO.
It is certain that whenever Apple introduces a completely new product, there is a lot of attention and buzz in the industry. Apple did not disappoint in that regard with the iPad launch earlier this week. It was a big deal and everybody seemed to be watching, twittering, blogging, and talking about the iPad. Although I am hearing many in my industry make comments like “its just a bigger iPhone”, I disagree. I think the iPhone is being used for things the iPad is better suited for (web browsing, reading, video, etc.).
Apple did a great job in building an aesthetically beautiful machine, something they do well, and additionally not just releasing a product, but with it, services and rich experiences like iBook (although its not live yet). They don’t launch new products, they launch new experiences!
However, I think the iPad certainly comes with some significant shortcomings as well. I have listed some here: no camera, no multi-tasking (that’s right, only one app at a time), no SD slot.
No multi-tasking really hinders its opportunity. I would think my friends at Pandora would not like that. As I type this blog in Windows Live Writer, I have one of my Pandora stations playing in one of my browser tabs. If I want to read a book on an iPad, I can not have music playing in the background…
I do love the 10 hour battery life! WOW.
Disclaimer: This is not a product review or comparison. The HP Slate is not released, and I have not tested or used either product. My notes here are based simply on what I have read about these products so far.
As for the HP Slate (to be released; see story here), it is going to run Windows 7. I can use it like I use my laptop – listen to Pandora, read a book, even use the camera for a Skype session, all at the same time. If I am a developer and want to build apps for it, I can use the same development environment and tools (Visual Studio) I use for any Windows PC device. Additionally, Windows 7 comes with Windows Touch, so like the iPad, it enables you to use touch gestures with it.
All and all, I think this is an exciting development for client technology when we consider these new innovations, combined with cloud services available for consumer experiences as well business services like collaboration, web conferencing, email, and much more!
What’s next in this space? My guess is in addition to more Windows 7 devices, you will see some running Android.