Waiting for your company to buy you an iPad? It's more likely to be a Windows slate

Windows 8 predicted to be top tablet choice for business...

Windows 8 predicted to be top tablet choice for business...

The days of the desktop PC being the business computer of choice may be numbered but workers shouldn't hold out hope of the company buying them a new iPad any time soon.

Firms are putting off buying tablets, according to research by analyst house IDC, and are still evaluating how to fit slates into their existing IT infrastructure.

Apple iPad

Apple's iPad still leads tablet sales, but businesses may be waiting for the release of Windows 8 touchscreen devicesPhoto:James Martin/CNET

Businesses will begin buying tablets in larger numbers in the near future, the research firm predicts, but it expects companies to choose Windows tablets over iOS, Android and BlackBerry Tablet OS devices.

"The new Windows 8 operating system will likely be able to make a strong impact not just in the commercial segment but in the consumer segment as well, further intensifying the OS battle," IDC said in a statement - citing Windows 8's redesigned user interface based on the Metro design developed for Windows Phone 7.

According to IDC, 4.4 million tablets were shipped in EMEA during the second quarter of this year - nearly double the shipments in the previous quarter - which IDC attributed to soaring demand for the iPad 2, plus the launch of tablets running Android Honeycomb.

According to IDC's figures, Apple's hardware accounted for 66 per cent of tablet shipments in the second quarter of this year, with Samsung a distant second (seven per cent), followed by Acer (six per cent), Asus (3.3 per cent), Archos (2.4 per cent) and RIM (2.1 per cent).

IDC said the iPad 3, which is expected to launch this year, will help iOS maintain dominance in 2012, but Android is forecast to gain market share, reaching 34 per cent in 2012. IDC said there is likely to be additional competition from the BlackBerry Tablet OS, which is expected to make further inroads with both consumers and business.

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