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%)

Closing Statements

All the pieces are in place for Windows RT

Matt Baxter-Reynolds

Windows RT should have a great showing in the enterprise space. This is in Microsoft's DNA - all this consumer-centric stuff is something that they're learning to do, although they've had amazing success with the iPad. Questions remain about how good the MDM story is, and how practicable managing sideloading apps it, but it should make a good showing. All the pieces are in place, the only question for me is whether iPad has got too big of a head start of Windows 8 and Windows RT and that iPad will become the de facto enterprise tablet.

Right now iPad is the best choice

Matthew Miller

While readers have overwhelming voted in favor of Windows RT over the iPad, I still think at this time the iPad is the clear winner for the enterprise customer. Windows RT has the potential to be a valid choice, but Microsoft has to provide more than Office (limited as it is), a keyboard, and attractive hardware. Apple owns the consumer market and is working hard to secure a role in the enterprise. Visit the Apple iPad for business site and you will see numerous testimonies of using the iPad at work. The iPad has proven to be reliable, desired by employees, has over 250,000 tablet apps, and is the device for IT departments to seriously consider.

And now, the winner is...

Steve Ranger

This is a tough one. There’s a lot of excitement about Windows RT and some great – and not so great - reviews of the Windows RT model of Surface. Mostly they seem to like the hardware but consider the OS to be a bit undercooked. Assuming that becomes the general perception of RT devices it is likely the majority will stick with the iPad for business right now, especially as so much tablet usage in enterprise is being driven by bring your own device rather than enterprise procurement.

Still, there is plenty of pent-up demand within enterprise for Windows tablets - and once Windows RT gets past any teething troubles it might have, it will be a real contender. Something like Surface Pro, with a full version of Windows 8, could be an even more powerful proposition and is only a few months away.

So in the short term Matthew is the winner – although long term Matt’s arguments will become more compelling.

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