HP's Windows 8 tablet strategy against Apple

HP's Windows 8 tablet strategy against Apple

Summary: Can its emphasis on enterprise partners defeat an army of iPads?

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After bombing with the TouchPad, and bowing out of creating a Windows RT tablet to compete against Microsoft's own Surface RT slate, HP has made it clear that its new tablet strategy is not geared toward consumers. But can its strategy to court enterprise customers with Windows 8 tablets be a winner as Apple continues to make inroads with large corporations with the iPad?

In an interview with CRN, John Solomon, HP's senior vice president of Americas sales for printing and personal systems division, claimed that the company has some "unique intellectual property" that it will use with its forthcoming Windows 8 tablets. Unfortunately for the impatient, Solomon declined to elaborate on what the unique IP is, but he did make it clear that HP is interested in pursuing the "under penetrated" commercial tablet market.

Microsoft sees the more robust Windows 8 tablets, including its own Surface Windows 8 Pro, as superior productivity machines for businesses compared to the iPad, which is making inroads among corporations based on its huge commercial success. HP believes its Windows 8 strategy will be unique due in part to its "high degree of channel engagement."

One concrete step toward that engagement is HP's recent decision to give partners 60-day financing terms, which Solomon believes will help those companies' cash flow as they purchase new tablets. Considering that it's competing against the BYOD movement, where employees can make use of the iPads they already own, it's not a bad start to spur adoption.

Without specifics on how an HP Windows 8 tablet experience will be different than any other Windows 8 model, it's hard to say how successful its strategy will fare. We now know it will also have to compete against the business-friendly Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, which includes a stylus and robust encryption and VPN support (though running on Android 4.0).

Ultimately, courting vertical markets requires tailored solutions for their respective needs, and Windows 8 tablets will need to prove attractive for developers to create niche apps to service those markets. But one killer app created for the iPad instead could jeopardize the market for Microsoft's partners. Is touting superior security and "management" features going to be enough for HP to stand out?

What "unique intellectual property" do you think HP has that will allow it to succeed with its Windows 8 tablets? Do you think its enterprise-oriented strategy is the right one? Let us know in the Talkback section below.

Topics: Tablets, Hewlett-Packard, Windows

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Talkback

36 comments
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  • Enterprise security, manageability and scalability

    The enterprise problem with all tablets is their lack of manageability, security and scalability. Delivering a consistent user environment as corporate users roam is not possible with iOS or Android without third party hacks. The big question is can HP and Microsoft deliver this consistent secure environment. HP has experience, do they have the IP?
    pwgrmi
    • The days of IT running the roost are coming to an end

      When the CEO says, "You're being paid to MAKE it so I can use my iPad at work," you don't reply with "but HP..."
      baggins_z
      • True, but...

        True, but if you've got 500 sales reps or insurance adjusters, or repair personnel who want to dump their bulky laptop in favor of a slim, light, ruggedized tablet, it's pretty easy to dictate what hardware they're getting.
        dsf3g
      • Really?

        Why not? Since when did IT allow executives to make IT decisions? You tell them all the reasons why Windows 8 integrates better with your Windows infrastructure. How hard is that?
        The entire BYOD movement has been created by the Media and weak IT shops that have become spineless over the years.
        Rob.sharp
        • BYOD is a farce.

          BYOD is being proven to be more expensive, less efficient, and less effective than a using a company issued standard. That a Windows device is the best choice for a phone or tablet standard is however debatable when compared to the iPhone and iPad.

          A Windows RT tablet and a Windows 8 phone will have all the same issues for the enterprise as an iOS devise. An Intel based Windows 8 device will have some clear advantages but will it match the battery life, weight, instant on, and price point that make the iPad so attractive for a salesman that just needs to use email and Salesforce.com?
          waukonwhite
        • BYOD is a farce.

          BYOD is being proven to be more expensive, less efficient, and less effective than a using a company issued standard. That a Windows device is the best choice for a phone or tablet standard is however debatable when compared to the iPhone and iPad.

          A Windows RT tablet and a Windows 8 phone will have all the same issues for the enterprise as an iOS devise. An Intel based Windows 8 device will have some clear advantages but will it match the battery life, weight, instant on, and price point that make the iPad so attractive for a salesman that just needs to use email and Salesforce.com?
          waukonwhite
      • If your CEO is a moron

        I don't know why everyone here thinks these people are idiots. It's not your job to make whatever the CEO uses work. If it's his personal tablet then yes, that's part of your job. It's your job to implement the best possible hardware and software to help the company run smoothly and accomplish what they want to accomplish.

        If your CEO is worth anything, he will listen to you when you suggest an option because he knows that YOUR job is to find the best solution.
        dsa791
        • Exactly!!

          And if the head of the CEO's IT department says that windows is the best bang for the bucks, he will be listen to him/her over some 5th tier worker. After all, that is what the hired the IT boss for, getting the most bank for the buck. Only an IDIOT CEO would go with his 5th tier employee over his chosen expert, that he is paying hefty wages to get that kind of advice. BYOD is a pipe dream that will turn into a nightmare for those that try it. A two or three person shop might get away with it.
          eargasm
      • Real world

        I'm afraid it doesn't work like that in the real corporate world. Perhaps in a micky mouse sweat shop IT department but not in the enterprise.
        Xenon8
      • Although true...

        if you can demonstrate the ease at which a Windows tablet will be able to access his various resources... without requiring additional passwords, he'd gladly give up his iPad.
        kstap
      • Not in a large companies

        I think you have been working in too many small cow boy companies, in a large professional organisation the decision making process is a lot more professional.
        saf312
      • Of course you do...

        The purpose of IT (and particularly the CIO) is to come up with cost efficient solutions to corporate technology needs.

        If HP provides tools that make it more cost efficient for a business to use their product vs. finding work arounds to get work done on iPads... then the company is going to use HP. Because EVERY CEO cares more about THEIR bottom line than Apple's!
        Carvega
  • Elevating the base Windows experience beyond commodity level

    OEMs need to build on the Windows 8 PC stack, with excellent hardware designs, and unique software and services, to make their systems no longer commodity type systems. The differentiation needs to be meaty and not superficial. I think OEMs should have their own software houses which crank out software and services which do things like determine the location of a PC that has been reported lost; make unique extensions to Office for certain vertical markets, and resell the software; provide exclusive or discounted access to certain shows, games and other entertainment - maybe through Xbox Live, etc. The mantra of OEMs need to be differentiation, differentiation, differentiation. However don't try to alter Windows to accomplish it, but rather build on top of Windows to accomplish it, so that users will benefit from the base Windows experience, in addition to unique differentiation you provide.
    P. Douglas
    • That's actually one of the big problems with Windows OEMs

      They build on top of it. You might know this by the more common term "crapware". Businesses don't need built in software from the OEM. They will use their own software packages to take care of the things you listed, because they can usually be centrally managed as opposed to being at the mercy of the OEM to provide support.
      dsa791
      • OEMs need a refined approach

        I'm not talking about OEMs continuing to produce crapware: I'm talking about software development efforts led by user experience engineers, who make certain that whatever unique software and services are added to OEMs' Windows systems, are truly perceived to be must have, and beneficial to users. OEMs' systems development need to be led by great user experience and industrial engineers, to ensure that their systems have great appeal, and are perceived to be worth additional cost over commodity systems.
        P. Douglas
        • In that case

          it's gotta be REALLY REALLY good software. Most 3rd parties can develop better, and aren't locked to an OEM so to beat that you have to make the absolute best programs on the market. It's a lot of cost for an OEM to sink in for only part of the market.
          dsa791
        • Re: OEMs need a refined approach

          They can't afford it. You saw Lenovo's last quarterly result--it's making less than 2% net profit. HP is not likely to be much better. With margins that thin, they can't afford to take risks and try innovative new things--they have to stick with the tried and true. That's why Intel has been trying to take the lead with its problematic "Ultrabooks" effort, and Microsoft with its own "Surface" devices--those are the only two companies left in the chain making enough money to be willing to take risks.
          ldo17
      • oem are coming up

        with alot of new crap right now have you looked around they are all finaly jumping to get thier own device to maket as fast as they can .
        sarai1313
    • Manufacturers not interested

      The business of customizing hardware for specific vertical markets was long ago ceded to VARs and ISVs. That had already happened in the days of refrigerator-sized minicomputers. Vertical software for dry cleaners or HVAC contractors etc., is just not a large enough market to interest a Dell or HP. But it can provide a nice living for 30 people or so in an ISV.
      Robert Hahn
  • Aren't they mixing specs?

    Som f the specs look lir Windows RT, and others look like Windows 8 Pro.
    Troll Hunter J