Apple tightens its tablet grip on enterprises ahead of Windows 8

Apple tightens its tablet grip on enterprises ahead of Windows 8

Summary: A new survey from ChangeWave finds tablet adoption increasing among corporate tech buyers, and Apple extending its lead over rivals while Microsoft prepares its tablet-friendly operating system.


While Microsoft continues to complete Windows 8, its first operating system to enthusiastically embrace tablet computing, Apple's iPad is strengthening its grip on corporate buyers.

A new survey conducted by ChangeWave Research shows that companies are stepping up their tablet purchases, and that a growing number intend to buy iPads, as opposed to the rivals currently on the market. ChangeWave said its survey of 1,604 corporate tech buyers shows the highest level of corporate iPad demand it's ever found in a survey.

See also: Windows 8 slate or iPad: Which is the better tablet for the enterprise? Virtualizing Windows 8 under OS XWhy Apple doesn't need to innovate much to stay ahead of the competitionHere's what's wrong with Windows 8

The results can't bode well for Windows 8. PC growth, and by extension Windows growth, has slowed over the years, while the market for tablets, primarily the iPad, has soared. Windows 8 is the touch-friendly operating system, designed to help Microsoft tap that market.

And while the consumer market will be tough to crack, given the lead that Apple has there, the corporate business has been seen as one where Windows 8 tablets could make inroads. That's in large part because of Microsoft's long history of selling to enterprises, and the manageability that corporate buyers expect in devices that run Windows.

The new survey, though, suggests that the iPad is increasingly meeting the needs of those potential customers. ChangeWave found that 22 percent of the respondents plan to purchase tablets for employees during the second quarter, and that 84 percent of those companies are planning to buy iPads. That's a seven-point gain from a survey the firm did in November. Some of that interest is no doubt fueled by anticipation of this Friday's debut of the new iPad.

What's more, those buyers are increasingly shying away from tablets made by companies other than Apple. The interest in buying devices from every other tablet manufacturer, from Amazon to Samsung, declined from the November survey. So while buyers are increasingly looking to buy tablets, more often than not, they're only looking at picking up iPads.

The second most popular tablet-maker among corporate buyers is Samsung. ChangeWave found that 8 percent of respondents that are planning to buy tablets for employees intend to pick up a Samsung device, down from 10 percent in November.

Jay Greene, a CNET senior writer, works from Seattle and covers Microsoft, Google and Yahoo. He's the author of the book, Design Is How It Works: How the Smartest Companies Turn Products into Icons (Penguin/Portfolio). He started writing about Microsoft and technology in 1998, first as a reporter for The Seattle Times and later as BusinessWeek's Seattle bureau chief.

Topics: Laptops, Apple, Tablets, Software, Operating Systems, Mobility, Microsoft, iPad, Hardware, Windows

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  • Corporate Market

    Phew! Good thing it's 'only a fad' and 'is only a toy'!! ;)
    • Windows tablets are expensive!

      I was reading an article recently on a different tech site. That article relate to the Top 5 Windows Tablets. I only had a quick scan but what caught me immediately was the price of the devices - between AUD$1,600 to AUD$1,800. That is an absurd price for a tablet (and Windows fanbois reckon Apple devices are expensive!) aand if that level of cost continues with W8 tablets, then it is hard to see how those could succeed. I'm sure some will respond and tell me how there are much cheaper Windows tablets and in so doing they will have missed the point. The article, as stated, was about the "best" Windows tablets, meaning that any other far cheaper tablet was anything but the best!
      • You're Talking About x86 Machines

        The tablets you're talking about are the current x86 based crop of Windows tablets, which have been around for years and are clearly a niche market. Most of the point of Windows 8 is that it is supposed to be able to fit to the new tablet market, which means ARM based processors, capacitive screens, thin and light hardware with a long battery life.

        I'm not saying that the new crop of Windows 8 tablets will be a resounding success, but you can't really tell a thing about the next crop of Windows tablets by looking at the ones available now. The reception of the Metro interface is a much bigger concern than the Windows tablets currently on the market.
      • If you are talking WOA

        Then, you must know that WOA is not exactly Windows. While it will carry that label, it will have these "strings attached":

        - it will run NONE of the existing Windows applications;
        - it will be locked down, just like the iPad is;
        - you will not be able to buy Windows and install it on any ARM tablet;
        - you will only be able to purchase (!) Apps from the Microsoft App Store, just like you have to purchase Apps from the Apple's App Store for the iPad.
        - the quality will vary wildly, they will have all different form factors, different interfaces etc.
        - likely, almost all of these tablets will cost more than the iPad;
        - almost guaranteed none of them will have the new iPad's display (Apple has probably pre-ordered all production of hi-res LCD displays for most of 2012)

        Given all this, any sane person will chose the iPad.
      • You're Talking About x86 Machines

        Aren't those the ones that count?

        Aren't those the [b]'real'[/b] ones that you do [b]'real'[/b] work on that Windows fanboys like to thump their chests about?

  • I have noticed iPad purchases by businesses as well.

    I consult for many different industries using ERP software. Food industries, distributors and even battery backup companies are rolling out iPads in droves. iPads, their apps and connectivity (via the Apple port) enable companies to do all of the activities they used laptops for (including remote connection to PC's and peripherals). These companies find the price and mobility of the iPad far superior to laptops - be they Windows or Mac.

    Apple is on a long-term roll with their iPad!
    The Danger is Microsoft
  • Not even bitten, but still shy

    Companies are "shying away" from vendors other than Apple because vendors that IT people figured they could trust -- like HP and Dell -- fell on their butts and abandoned their tablet offerings. As if Microsoft didn't have enough challenges, these are the horses they have to ride into battle.

    Putting Windows 8 on an HP tablet is not going to make HP a trusted tablet vendor, no matter how many soothing words the HP and Microsoft salesmen try to whisper in IT's ear. Heck, HP came thisssssClose to getting out of the PC business entirely. Meg Whitman says they're staying in, but how long will she last? Dell just hired a guy who looks for all the world like a successor for Michael Dell, who stepped down once and may again. The new guy might as well be Leo Apotheker... he's the kind of guy you hire to run a software company.

    Sure, a few IT folks will buy Windows tablets from HP and Dell, but most will hold back to see if the guys who did buy get struck by lightning. Can Windows 8 tablets succeed if Samsung is the only hardware vendor IT can trust?
    Robert Hahn
  • Uh, only 22% said they were deploying tablets Q2...

    So before anyway wants to declare victory here that still leaves 78%, a pretty large not buying tablets for employees majority. Microsoft still has a very good opportunity here.
    • I agree... Still we have to keep in mind that of that 78%

      there is likely a sizable percentage of that number of businesses that will NEVER see a use for a tablet no matter who makes it and this includes running on W8, Android or iOS.

      Pagan jim
      James Quinn
      • You know Jim, I think I'll disagree with that statement

        I think we'll reach a point sooner rather than later where the tablet is going to be a Must Have device in the workplace just as the desktop/laptop is now. The iPad has shown a definite benefit in many of the largest corporations--adopted by several banks, hospitals and other businesses because of their mobility and convenience. As they become more powerful, I could easily see them replacing laptops at least for mobile computing.
    • That may be true, but there's a snowball effect...

      Whoever has a dominant share of the market share, especially when it comes to new platforms, has a huge advantage. Sure, there may be 78% that have yet to move on tablets and that leaves an opening for MS, Android, etc., but where do you think enterprise software shops are going to focus their development efforts, on a platform that already has significant penetration or those that MAY get penetration? At this point, developing (for enterprise apps) for iOS is a given, where doing so for any other platform becomes more of a strategic move where you're willing to make a commitment to invest in it so you can say you support it in hopes that that platform becomes a player in the enterprise down the road.

      Contrary to the belief of some that enterprise use of iPads is pretty limited to e-mail and RDP sessions to Windows machines, the number of enterprise apps for iOS/iPad is growing every day. ERP and CRM companies, as well as those making niche software titles (e.g. digital dication) are developing clients for their offerings. For example, both the accounting/billing system and the document management system used by my company have already released or have announced iOS client apps for their offerings, but have yet to even mention Android, MS or Blackberry.

      It's similar to lock-in, but as opposed to iTunes/iCloud, it's 3rd party developers that create the lock-in by developing enterprise apps for iOS/iPad only. It's a huge advantage for Apple as the early leader. Everybody else has an uphill battle.

      Also, it's easy to look at Android and say that because of their marketshare on the phone side, they're well positioned to move on the enterprise, but that's not necessarily the case. Many enterprise apps don't translate well to the smart phone form factor, so the tablet market share specifically is going to more of an influence on enterprise app developers than any success Google's had on the smart phone side.
      • A quick note in followup:

        Despite many of the anti-Apple arguments, at least one of the world's biggest banks has fully embraced the iPad for both internal and external use while others have clearly recognized that the iPad is a prime tool for customers to access their account information. As such, the iPad is currently the best choice available in a market standpoint with Android (not counting phones) a distant second which may even be subsumed by W8oA if it can override WinMob's old reputation.
    • Microsoft's opportunities...

      ... are worthless if they aren't supported by their customers. While I do agree that WinME and WinVista were absolute failures, XP and Win7 have more than made up for them. Now, Win8 has the chance to really move ahead since the hardware structure is already in place, at least in the consumer field. On the other hand, it seems like the majority of techies currently testing the public beta of Win8 hate the interface, which could seriously affect its adoption in the market Microsoft really needs to retain: the enterprise. Apple already has its foot in the door there, if IT doesn't embrace Win8 fully then we could see Apple take as much as 50% of that market.
  • The real use of iPads

    For every reported great use of an iPad in enterprise there are lots of IT departments groaning because their sheep like CEOs and execs want to be able to carry iPads. Doesn't matter that they're insecure, their screens are too small or they need to use essentially a remote desktop or just don't run internal applications, their purchase has to be justified.

    If an enterprise really needs tablets and has some rational management, they're waiting for Win 8.
    • Translation: I don't like the iPad ... lets make something up

      The iPads are walking into the enterprise for a simple reason ... it can do the job for LESS price. Sure, it can't be used for everything that a laptop can do (it is not a replacement), but it can do a hell of a lot of work where $500-$800 is actually cheaper (specially if you factor in the cost of the extra software licenses to have that laptop actually do some work). And the development cost to support an iPad (and even an Android tablet) is the same as developing for the PC ... only that it can also be used on any platform (not just a PC .... if designed right).

      Also, the reasons why Android is being avoided like a plague are:
      - All Android tablets SUCK. Not a single one is good enough for real world usage. Not even the Asus Transformer.
      - Not a single Android OEM is providing any kind of decent or even minimally acceptable support to the products. If you get one update during the lifespan of the device, it is a miracle.
      - Heavy fragmentation. Unlike windows PC, where you can move from one vendor to the other without problems, when it comes to Android, moving from one vendor to the other is a complete gamble. Applications that work on one, may or may not work on a device from a different vendor ... even when the version of the OS is the same.
      • Apple Fanboy Rant spotted!

        I have plenty of real world usage where the ability to sideload applications is a MUST. Would Apple allow me to do that? No! In my mind, iPads SUCK

        Look, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. For you to trumpet all those lines about "lack of support", "Android tablets SUCK", "Heavy fragmentation" ... I HAVE YET TO SEE YOU POST ONE SINGLE SOLID EXAMPLE OF EACH. Until you do so please stay away from being a fanboy.
      • Please explain how side loading is a "must"

        From what I've seen so far, the enterprise has no trouble with generating its own iOS apps and installing them without the need to "sideload".
      • RE: Apple Fanboy Rant spotted!


        Do a little research. Apple provides tools (geared towards adminstrator) that allow the deployment of apps without using the App Store. As I said, these are geared towards admins, so it's not the same process as an end user sideloading apps from 3rd party stores on an Android, but we are talking enterprise here, and in fact, Apple does in fact provide you the ability to do that.

        That being said in combination with your "iPads SUCK" statement, maybe you should take some of your own advice.
      • Don't you love it when clueless didiots say dumb things?

        "sideloading" .... that is all you have to say?

        I'm assuming you have the ability to self educate yourself .....
    • The mindless IT have had to relearn who their customers are.

      The mediocrity of MS tools and OSes (while catering to IT) served MS well. They were able to remove choice from the users of their products and force substandard tools like Exchange. Worst email server/client experience on the planet.

      The CEOs and top execs finally got the lazy IT people to start doing their job. Nothing more.