Saturday, May 4, 2013

Tablet and App Development For Work

As you know from reading this blog I am a big fan of the tablet and it's many uses. This morning , in reading Om Malik's "Intel's dilemma and the slowly crumbling PC ecosystem" (reading on Flipboard with my iPad) I began to see the dilemma of the tablet industry also.

How about this scenario. Microsoft and Intel just don't know quite what to do because of the years of controlling the PC industry. In their minds they are now looking for ways to return all of us to their world, the one they understood. In the beginning, well a little later than the beginning, Microsoft and Intel had control of the enterprise, or the enterprise had control of Microsoft and Intel. The enterprise dictated what could be used and Microsoft and Intel built that. One big happy family.

Along come new 'toys'. New entertainment devices. New smartphones, new tablets. Shunned at first by the enterprise (insecure, too costly to support, etc) however loved by the people.

Today the difference is the consumer is gaining power. The consumer may be getting their way within the enterprise with BYOD. The consumer does not want that big ugly, clunky thing called a PC. The consumer wants something that is light, slick looking, easy to use, and above all does everything they want. It is wireless and will be able to connect from anywhere.

Now for the conundrum; what does the tablet industry really do? First they need to address what does the consumer really want? It could be the tablet industry is making a wrong choice and are as confused at Microsoft and Intel.

When talking to the consumer we get many answers. Yes the consumer is looking for an entertainment device. I want to read my books, my magazines, watch my video's, get my email, and all other personal things I can think of, don't forget Facebook.

There is another consumer that wants to write letters, review and edit my spreadsheets, edit photo's (lightly) for my blog/newsletter/presentation. The tablet is a great way to create a great presentation and I can connect it to a projector or just use the tablet in a small meeting.

I need to be able to access company drives for data, I need to be able to get data from online points and all other areas where my documents are stored. I need to be able to edit them from wherever I am and then put them back.  I need to be able to connect an external drive. I need to connect a keyboard WHEN NEEDED - not all the time. In limited cases I should have access to an on-screen keyboard however if I am good at the knowledge of the keyboard then a Swype like keyboard would be a great advantage.

The issue I see is the tablet makers appear to be still thinking like Amazon (or Apple); this is just an entertainment device. For one thing tablet makers are attempting to control their environment, the consumer uses many environments. Amazon, Android, and Apple, are trying to keep us all in their universe and that is not going to work. The PC was success to a large degree because of it's openness.  I believe this is what took the PC ahead of the Apple computer - back in the day.

I have to admit it is interesting how Amazon has become a big player in this market, this world of the 'Tablet'. You will only find an Amazon tablet in the custody of a person wanting to be entertained. The rest of us, who purchased iPad's, and Android devices want to be entertained however we also want to be able to get some work done on the tablet without, and in some cases severe, limitations.

I have not mentioned the Microsoft Surface because at this point Microsoft is still trying to relate to a PC and I do not believe that will work. I spent a great deal of time at the Microsoft store and was impressed but not enough to consider it for the long term.

Om Malik had a great deal more to say and he makes very good points. Read "Intel's dilemma and the slowly crumbling PC ecosystem".