According to PC stalwarts like Dell and HP, we just need to wait for Windows 8 to launch before the enterprise will embrace tablets. Meanwhile, Apple keeps making inroads with a market segment it never succeeded much with before -- and it's quietly launched a new tool to further iPad deployment among large organizations.
The free Configurator tool (available via the Mac App Store) allows an IT department to prepare a large number of iOS devices (30 at a time) to be deployed immediately. It lets you mass-update to the latest iOS version, and sync apps and install remote management software across your device fleet. You can further divide the devices into groups, allowing you to tailor the user experience to certain segments, and even manage check ins and check outs of iPads.
It's pretty easy to envision scenarios where the Configurator would be useful. A hospital could roll out iPads across its staff, with apps installed depending on your role and medical specialty. Likewise, a school could deploy iPads and divide them by grade levels, installing appropriate apps for the child's grade.
Apple still will never court enterprise in the way that Microsoft needs to, but at this stage of the game, it doesn't have to. With a commanding market share and customers dying to use the iPad at work, a little tool like Configurator can go a long way in making iOS devices more palatable to enterprise IT departments.
- Apple's new iPad could alter the PC upgrade cycle
- Enterprise to Apple: Forget the new iPad, the iPad 2 will do
- Apple's next-gen iPad: New battlefields emerge
- Apple's New iPad In The Enterprise: Laptop Replacement Gets Closer