Apple iPad wins ZDNet Great Debate, but Microsoft Windows RT has serious potential

Apple iPad wins ZDNet Great Debate, but Microsoft Windows RT has serious potential

Summary: The app story for the Apple iPad helped secure the win in this ZDNet Great Debate, but if Microsoft can get developers on board and deliver with its solid Surface hardware then Windows RT may be the better enterprise solution in the future.


I took part in another ZDNet Great Debate this week where I was arguing that the iPad is better for business than Windows RT, but the readers sure thought I was wrong with voting split 85% to 15% in favor of Windows RT. In the end though, Steve Ranger gave the nod to me as the debate winner for the short term. I agree that Microsoft has the ability to change my opinion if they can show support for developers and make Windows RT compelling. I am going to check it out first hand when my 64GB Surface hopefully arrives tomorrow alongside my iPad 3.

I enjoy participating in these debates since I glean some great perspectives from my opponent and the readers. I think Microsoft has been fairly successful so far in generating enthusiasm and discussions around Windows 8 and Windows RT and now they have to keep up the chatter. Today is the official Windows 8 launch event in New York and it is interesting to read about the excitement for Microsoft products, unlike what we have seen in a long time.

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Topics: Mobility, Apple, iPad, Microsoft

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  • Windows RT

    + the upcoming release of Windows Intune will make it a great tablet for the enterprise. It only needs the business applications to catchup which shouldn't be too long.
    • Windows RT was not made for enterprise

      It doesn't support AD.
      • Good point, they should stay away from all non AD devices

        So in addition to shunning Windows RT devices, they must also avoid Android and iPad tablets. After all, these devices don't support AD either.

        Good news for Microsoft then because ONLY Windows 7/8 tablets support AD so enterprise MUST purchase Windows 7/8 tablets or nothing at all.
        • iPad's support ldap

          So yes in a way they do support AD. But I believe what he was referring to is one of the benefits MS could have brought to the table is if it did have AD integration.
      • In a way it does

        Since the tablet is meant to be an individualized device it does not support AD Logins directly but Intune can associate an AD user to the tablet and set restrictions and settings. I have seen some companies offering ways to manage tablets and smartphones using the power of AD but most of them fall short. Intune paired with WindowsRT has the power to change the whole corporate tablet game.
  • Spurious debate

    Technology everyone has used vs technology few people know well.

    Try again when Windows 8 has been out for a couple of years. Of course, you won't need to because the enterprise market penetration stats will speak for themselves.
    Tim Acheson
  • Once the apps are there

    Once the apps are there I think Win RT will make a compelling choice. For now I'm sticking with my ASUS Transformer.
    • Applications are not there in Asus Transformer, so why you are sticking to


      iPad makes more sense, if you care about applications. It has like 100 time more applications than Android, including all kinds of business applications.
      • But if we use that same argument

        "iPad makes more sense, if you care about applications"

        But Windows makes more sense, if you care about applications. Clearly millions of OS X users didn't get the memo that applications are the only things that count.

        Clearly then, application counts are only a small part of the computer purchasing decision making process. If it were as cut and dry as you suggested, everyone would be stupid to ever use OS X.
        • It is not comparabe to Macintosh-Windows situation

          Both platforms have huge number of applications, and while Windows having more definitely makes the platform more versatile.
        • Part 2

          It is not as with Android and iOS -- Android has just few apps.
      • Are they usefull applications?

        I've never seen the App proponents mention the word "usefull" in the same sentence when talking about the amount of apps the iOS ecosystem has.

        Sure there are a lot of great apps, but there are likely alot of useless and duplicate apps, which would cut the App argument down quite a bit.
        William Farrel
      • Huh?

        What apps aren't there? Google Play Store has the same kinds of apps that Apple's iTunes Store has. Maybe not as many in sheer numbers, but as many in quality apps.
      • Not for me

        The iPad does not make sense for me. I need a tablet that I can use to connect to my work machine and workf from there. Thanks to the Citrix Receiver app and our Citrix based VMs I can do that. And because the transformer has a keyboard dock and can accept a USB mouse, I can use this device with no compromises.

        When I'm done with work, I can detach the tablet part and relax on the couch and surf the web tablet style.

        Now, having owned a 7" Android tablet for over a year, and a Transformer for about six months, I can tell from experience that the 7" tablet is by far the one I prefer using as a tablet. In fact, most of the time i'm using my Tansformer in "laptop mode." For that reason and because i'm using it a great deal to remote into work where I work as a Windows Sysadmin, when I do decide to get a new tablet/laptop hybrid there's a good chance I'll go with a Win RT machine. Why RT? Well, if nothing else, the Transformer has spoiled me as far as battery life goes. I loooooove not having to worry at all about plugging in. RT will offer similar performance, but probably not Win 8 Pro.

        Now, as for smartphones and tablets, I'll likely stick with Android. I really like the OS for phones as well as small, 7" tablets. My next 7" tablet will probably be a 32GB Nexus 7.
      • Because...

        ...because I dropped $500.00 on it 6 months ago.

        That said, there are a gajillion apps out for the Transformer, including the two I need most. 1) a good web browser 2) Citrix Receiver.

        RT will have a decent web browser out of the box, but the Citrix Receiver app is still in beta, as far as I know. Once I know for sure that I can connect to my work PC with Citrix on an RT device it will become a viable option for me. But I've got to get my money's worth out of the Transformer before I even think about buying another similar device.

        My next device will probably be an RT tablet/laptop. I've become spoiled by the joys of all day battery powered computing thanks to my Transformer, so I'm not sure that a Win 8 Pro device will satisfy.
  • Apple iPad wins ZDNet Great Debate, but Microsoft Windows RT has serious po

    Microsoft Windows RT has potential. Its just a matter of whether the business can leverage that potential. Between the two there is no question that I would go with Microsoft Windows RT. The Microsoft Surface is redefining devices.
    Loverock Davidson-
    • Loverock Davidson-when you use words like "leverage that potential" or

      "redefining devices" my heart goes all a flutter with excitement .....Please Lovie give more verbal words to hang on .....Zdnet would be lost without your words of wisdom. I wonder if that line would make it on Saturday Night Live?
      Over and Out
  • by the numbers

    Developing into a 250,000 app ecosystem can't be encouraging. The sparsely populated Windows RT ecosystem must look pretty tempting.
    • Especially

      Especially if Microsoft manages to move a lot of Surfaces over the next few months. If they do, then developers will flock. I also suspect thath because of the nature of the device and the ecosystem developers will be able to charge more for their apps. Yea, there will probably be a few 99 cent "Angry Birds" type apps, but don't be surprised to see a lot of $9.99 over.

      And for me that would be a good thing. I don't like "freemium" games, for instance. I'd rather pat $10.00 once, than .99 cents today and then another .99 cents every time I want to upgrade the experience.
  • Translation: Which consumer entertainment tablet best works for business

    Seems like a pointless argument now that there are Tablets available that run the full version of windows on them.

    In respect to business applications and getting work done, mobile operating systems just do not come close to comparison of full desktop operating systems.

    Apple needs a MacPad.