Business dilemma: Windows RT tablet or iPad?

Moderated by Steve Ranger | October 22, 2012 -- 07:00 GMT (00:00 PDT)

Summary: If you're looking to buy tablets for your business, soon there will be a tough choice. Will the new Windows RT tablets be a better long-term choice than Apple's iPad?

Matt Baxter-Reynolds

Matt Baxter-Reynolds

Windows RT tablets

or

The iPad

Matthew Miller

Matthew Miller

Best Argument: The iPad

84%
16%

Audience Favored: Windows RT tablets (84%)

The moderator has delivered a final verdict.

Opening Statements

Windows RT tablets are easy on developers

Increasingly, businesses are looking to deploy tablets to their organization as a "first class" platform to deliver solutions on.

If you're deploying tablets in the business you want your in-house teams and your partners to be able to develop software that runs on them. Most enterprises develop software in Java and .NET. Evolving skills and tooling over to Windows RT is straightforward. Going from Java and .NET to the relatively oddball programming model for iOS (Cocoa Touch, Xcode, and Objective-C), is not. You're going to need new developer workstations (can't use a PC to compile iOS software), and everyone's going to have to learn brand new skills.

So, if you're looking to buy hundreds or thousands of tablets and use them as a platform for delivery of enterprise solutions, you'll find it easier, cheaper, and less risky to develop software for Windows RT compared to iPad.

iPad features tons of apps and a track record

If you asked me last month which tablet one should buy for business I would have said the only real choice was the Apple iPad, largely due to the thousands of applications, solid platform support, and large user bas . Microsoft Surface/Windows RT appears to be a solid product, but there are a lot more questions than answers concerning the range of applications, durability and reliability of the device and OS, and the consumer appeal for BYOD.

Talkback

114 comments
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  • RT is the future

    Ipad is a good device in my opinion, but is limited for multimedia purpose..Navigation,online video, bunch of games...RT goes far beyond this, even as tablet limited to a metro UI and apps, you still have a option to run the desktop UI, and for sure you gonna be able to run specifics programs...Imitating a full desktop PC, and a full OS W8!
    Edson Nascimento
    Reply 1 Vote I'm for Windows RT tablets
    • YOur confused

      Windows RT has no desktop at all. Windows 8 has both the desktop and the RT (aka interface formerly known as metro), but RT has just that... RT. There is no option to run a desktop, the closet thing you can do is run a desktop which being remoted from another system running VMware View or Citrix XenApp/XenDesktop, but guess what the same can be achieved on an iPad. Your confused.
      MrTomahawk
      Reply 1 Vote I'm Undecided
      • Actually, Windows RT does support the Windows desktop ...

        ... but that desktop DOES NOT support legacy Windows applications. So what good is it? It offers the Windows RT user 100% compatibility with other Windows devices.

        The lack of compatibility is the biggest challenge for Windows notebook users who use the iPad as an auxiliary device.
        M Wagner
        Reply 2 Votes I'm Undecided
        • Nope

          The only reason to have classic desktop in Windows 8 RT, is to run MS Office. As it is only business application what you ever need and you ever can run on that Windows version.

          And as it is now a business, you don't need anything else than MS Office. Every game, every third party application are OUT. They are not needed, or wanted.

          Windows 8 RT + MS Office + Physical keyboard is the business tool. But only idiot buys Windows 8 RT tablet then, as notebook is MUCH better choice right away from that point, especially if you need MS Office for typing instead just presentations.
          Fri13
          Reply Vote I'm Undecided
          • But why do I need MS-Office....

            ....when I have done just fine without it for years?
            bobjones2007
            Reply Vote I'm Undecided
        • But what about Win8 apps>

          Aren't they going to be available for all Windows platforms? That should be happening fairly quickly.
          stano360
          Reply Vote I'm Undecided
      • Actually, Windows RT does support the Windows desktop

        But that desktop DOES NOT support legacy Windows applications. So what good is it? It offers the Windows RT user 100% compatibility with other Windows devices.

        The lack of compatibility is the biggest challenge for Windows notebook users who use the iPad as an auxiliary device.
        M Wagner
        Reply Vote I'm Undecided
        • yes

          You're right it's not Windows 8 Pro but those tablets are coming and early pricing puts them around the same price as RT. Enterprises already have the tools and developer eco-system to support Windows RT and Win 8 Pro. It would be foolish to dump that for Apple when you already have a dev work force ready to develop METRO apps. Whether it RT or Win 8 Pro enterprises win.
          Rob.sharp
          Reply 2 Votes I'm Undecided
      • yes but

        "If you're deploying tablets in the business you want your in-house teams and your partners to be able to develop software that runs on them. Most enterprises develop software in Java and .NET. Evolving skills and tooling over to Windows RT is straightforward"

        that's the thing, you don't want your developers to learn/buy new stuff, etc, etc.
        ozinanoypi
        Reply Vote I'm Undecided
        • ozinanoypi, What are you suggesting?

          Businesses are going to pass on tablets altogether then? nuh uh. The win 8 pro tablet will be just what they want , but even RT is the smallest learning curve.
          Do you think businesses are going to decide, well since there is some learning, we might as well jump into cocoa and objective-C and buy Macs for the whole place?
          xuniL_z
          Reply Vote I'm Undecided