Apple’s iPad Will Be a Better Corporate Device Than Every Windows On ARM Tablet

Apple’s iPad Will Be a Better Corporate Device Than Every Windows On ARM Tablet

Many pundits have made the argument that the iPad’s days in the business and corporate world will be numbered once Microsoft releases Windows 8 and Windows on ARM (WOA) tablets later this year. The biggest rationale behind this argument is that corporate IT departments will feel much more comfortable deploying and managing Windows devices and that they will already have the skills, tools,  and resources needed to setup, secure, and roll out Windows-powered iPad competitors.

That argument lost a lot of credibility this week when Microsoft acknowledged that WOA tablets cannot be managed like other Windows variants including Windows 8 on PCs and x86 tablets or PCs running Windows 7, Vista, or XP. This makes the iPad much more suited for business than Windows on ARM devices.

Microsoft quietly listed this information in a guide for businesses to its Windows 8 Consumer Preview. In a section called discussing the various form factors of Windows 8 devices Microsoft said that “the ARM- based version of Windows does not include the same manageability features that are in 32-bit and 64-bit versions.”

That’s rather vague and it could imply that WOA tablets might have a different set of management options or a subset of the standard capabilities that can be applied to Windows PCs using group policies in Active Directory but Microsoft goes to suggest “businesses can use these power-saving devices in unmanaged environments.”

It’s looking like WOA tablets won’t be able to join an Active Directory domain, which would mean not only is there no traditional management capability but there wouldn’t even be access to centralized corporate user accounts.

That pretty much eliminates any confusion about the ability to manage these low-cost tablets. Add to that the fact that they also won’t be able to run any existing Windows applications (with the exception of Microsoft Office) and it becomes clear that WOA tablets pose significant concerns and challenges to business and enterprise environments without offering much in return.

Given that the iPad can be centrally provisioned and managed and that there are tens of thousands of business apps for it, it clearly is more business-worthy.

Of course, Windows 8 tablets based on x86 processors will offer a full range of management capabilities, but those tablets are expected to be more expensive and have shorter battery life than both their ARM-based counterparts and the iPad.

It’s also worth noting that the iPad is an option that is available today as are apps and management solutions for it. In fact, many businesses have already adopted it to some extent or have conducted pilot projects. There may even be a version of Office for the iPad available in the near future – one that I’d bet is pretty similar to the WOA version. That makes the iPad not just a better solution than WOA, it also gives it some advantages over any Windows 8 tablets.

Related
  • Markus Albrecht

    Where do you have that iPad background image from? It’s just great! Can you provide me with a link? :)

  • Markus Albrecht

    Where do you have that iPad background image from? It’s just great! Can you provide me with a link? :)

  • tv_gadget

    By the time WOA hits the markets the iPad will be 150,000 apps ahead of it..Also the iPad is already a pretty successful corporate device, not only because it has a huge number of corporate friendly apps but it syncs perfectly with iPhones which has already beaten blackberry as the choice mobile device for corporate users!

    and If you really want x86 based windows 8 devices then please check the prices of the current x86 windows 7 tablets see if u can buy one that has at least 5 hrs battery life and costs less than $1000

  • ddevito

    The iSheep keep forgetting the fact that in order to develop iOS apps you need a Mac, which most companies (as the past 30 years has proven) won’t do. And Objective-C is an awful language stuck in the 80s.

    WOA apps will be written in .NET, which 65% of the world already uses.

  • ddevito

    iOS apps are written on macs, which most companies won’t buy. Plus they need a Mac, which most companies won’t buy.
    WOA will be written in .NET which 65% of the world already uses.

  • Julius Pap ?

    the metro ui isnt very appealing .

  • Benjamin Gibson

    Its too early to tell besides windows8 consumer preview is still in its beta form. also the ipad needs microsoft office in order to be more corporate complaint. Dont jump to conclusions you fruit cakes, remember when steve jobs died his final words were woa, woa woa.

  • captainjy

    I’m sorry, but i completely disagree.  Apple is terrible with updates from major versions to major versions.  Time and time again iOS devices get slower and slower with updates.  From what I am reading and seeing in demos, Windows 8 looks blazing and this is key in the consumer and corporate sectors.  

  • KasualKomment

    Perhaps you mean that the consumer version being shown won’t support joining to a domain.  That is certainly analagous to Windows 7 having Home and Professional verions. But to suggest that the features in Win 8 kernal are somehow different for the ARM processor goies against everything Microsoft and everyone else has wrtten about it.  Knowing some developers who have ARM tablets from last year helps support the idea that the kernal code is the same.

    Or did you mean something completely different and are basing it on actual experience?

About the author

Ryan FaasRyan Faas is a technology journalist and consultant living in upstate New York who has written extensively about Apple, business and enterprise IT, and the mobile industry. In addition to writing for Cult of Mac, he is a contributor to Computerworld, InformIT, and Peachpit Press. In a previous existence he was a healthcare IT director as well as a systems and network administrator. Follow Ryan on Twitter and Google +

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