Tablet computing has quickly become a hot market in a world stuffed with gadgets and gizmos. While the Apple iPad has retained the lead position among tablet PCs, other tech companies are catching up fast, including the Windows-based Android and Galaxy tablets—and, surprisingly, a soon-to-arrive tablet from Microsoft.
The software giant plays hardball
Microsoft’s dominance in the software industry is undisputed. But for 2012, the flagship company for office productivity suites is making a foray into hardware with the Microsoft Surface tablet.
There are both pros and cons to the Surface. It sports simple, yet extremely useful features that other tablets lack, like a kickstand and locking cover. However, this tablet will only be available online and in Microsoft retail stores.
Many have expressed surprise that Microsoft would introduce a product that competes with its partners, such as Android and Galaxy, which run on Windows software. But Microsoft remains optimistic about the possibilities presented by the Surface.
Tablet computing for business: Things to consider
Many people have found that tablet PCs are a convenient fit for the modern style of business. These highly portable devices truly let you work anywhere, and provide a lot more workspace than smart phones.
But if you’re considering an investment in tablet environments for your company, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Platform: Consider the current tech ecosystem in your company. Most businesses still run on Windows software, and the iPad—while slick and powerful—is, like most other Apple products, locked into proprietary platforms: it’s powered by iOS and runs only Mac-based apps.
- Portability: Each tablet comes with various sizes, weights, and battery life. You’ll need one that fits your individual needs and can be transported easily.
- Pricing: How much tablet PC can you afford? The latest iPad 2 starts at around $400, and the new Samsung Galaxy will run $350 or more. Microsoft has not yet released pricing for the Surface, and the Google Nexus will debut later this year at $199 to compete with Amazon’s Kindle Fire.
It seems that tablet computing, with its fierce competition and top tech players vying for the market, is here to stay—which is great news for the mobile lifestyle many of us enjoy today.