Windows 8 based tablets may be able to effectively mitigate the shortcomings of existing tablets to improve their use for business and content creation purposes.
IDC believes poor physical design for tablets and the lack of useable software for content creation are aggravating users today. Thus, the importance of Windows 8, Microsoft's latest operating system which will be released in the next few days, cannot be overstated.
IDC believes success of Windows 8 in the consumer space can lead to success in the enterprise space. Given the fact Asia Pacific enterprises have just begun to migrate to Windows 7 on their PCs, Windows 8 is unlikely to find a foothold with Asia Pacific enterprise PC customers for at least 12 months. The enterprise opportunity for Windows 8 in turn will lie with next generation devices and users who practice Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) at the workplace.
Microsoft's Asia Pacific approach for Windows 8 adoption has been clearly focused on device proliferation. Not only has it engaged with partners on designing touch enabled tablets, convertible devices and traditional PCs since Windows 8 was announced, Microsoft also caused many raised eyebrows by introducing its own designed Surface tablets. Although Microsoft's market message was confusing at best, the reception for Windows 8 has been relatively well received in the consumer space.
The enterprise space, however, may not be as receptive for Windows 8 as the consumer markets, at least from the traditional PC standpoint. This is especially true in Asia Pacific, where the migration to Windows 7 only got into full swing in early 2012. As Windows 8 comes with downgrade right to Windows 7, IDC expects many organisations in Asia Pacific to opt for the tried and true Windows 7 instead of the yet unproven Windows 8.
New direction for Microsoft
Nevertheless, Windows 8 represents a new direction for Microsoft, and with it, Windows 8 can fully benefit from the consumerisation of IT and BYOD trends happening in full effect across companies in Asia Pacific. More specifically, Windows 8 based tablets have the potential to become the de facto companion devices for many enterprise users.
According to a recently conducted end-user BYOD survey by IDC Asia/Pacific, BYOD tablet utilisation in the enterprise is low compared with smartphones and notebook PCs. When asked, only about 35 percent of the respondents who own a tablet utilise it for work (ie BYOD), compared to 78 percent for smartphone and 55 percent for notebook PC. IDC also found that tasks preformed by tablets owners for work is very similar to that of the smartphone. The top three tasks on both smartphones and tablets were:
- checking e-mail/calendar
- browsing the Web
- reading documents
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