Some people seem to view Windows 8 tablets as being late to market… I can see how that can be an easy perspective to align with, but I view it more like a scenario from The Innovators Dilemma. The current market leader (the iPAD) only came to the market a couple years back.
I had my first Window’s tablet PC back in early 2002 when Microsoft contracted with Acer to create some convertible, stylus-based tablet prototypes. They gave me one to use and I used it daily as my primary machine for a long while.
When the iPAD came out, it was the first commercially viable tablet. The device compromised on a number of features. It turned out there was a market large enough (even with those concessions) that it didn’t really matter. The iPAD design was easy to use and opened up computing to a whole new market.
Since then there have been a number of new approaches brought on the market (e.g., Kindle, Nook, Galaxy, TouchPad). Some have been a success, while others – not so much. But each of these had innovations that were beyond the capabilities of the iPAD. This continued innovation demonstrates that there is still a great deal to learn about this market and its needs.
Now the Windows 8 tablets are coming out. They have many new capabilities that none of the solutions had before, they also continue to support the market for stylus capabilities. It will likely be a case of a rising tide lifts all boats and the features that the market embraces will be added to the other solutions. Naturally, some will just make the changes more quickly than others.
Some call this the “post-PC era” – which they usually mean the “post-windows” era. It will be an interesting time for the tablet market and for IT organizations, since there could easily be a feature/function horserace. This will continue to shift the expectations of the BYOD space. But for those organizations that realize that BYOD is not really about devices but about information access and storage as well as HR policies, the user base will be happy and productive.
Based on some network bandwidth projections (from CISCO), it appears IT organizations will have numerous devices to contend with for years to come.