Upcoming Microsoft tablets based on Windows 8 have a challenge and an opportunity following the decision by Cisco to discontinue Cius, its business tablet offering. Windows 8 tablets have a very big advantage over the popular iPad as the OS will support apps which are currently supported by Windows 7 as well as those which might be developed for Windows 8. iPads, on the other hand, are capable of running only iPad optimized apps and not apps for the iPhone.
The most notable advantage which is offered by even Windows RT, a more limited variant of Windows 8 for ARM based devices is that it can seamlessly integrate Windows applications like Microsoft Office, a feature which the iPad cannot offer. In essence, Windows 8 based mobile devices are more appealing when compared to the iPad from an IT management view. Therefore, the key challenge which lies ahead for the success of the Windows 8 based devices is to ensure that employees of IT firms be allowed to bring their own device to work and also adopt Windows 8 as their workstation of choice.
It is likely that consumers who are looking to upgrade their personal mobile device will prefer Windows 8 based tablets as they already would already have experience with Windows on laptops. Much of the popularity of Windows 8 devices will depend on how well the operating system performs, price, how optimized the OS is for touch-centric devices and the hardware of the devices. Further, Microsoft is also hoping that a compelling suite of applications for the Metro interface will draw in more buyers.
The death of the Cisco Cius business tablet could prove to be advantageous for Microsoft as it offers certain valuable lessons. Firstly it shows that most businesses aren’t looking to purchase tablets which are business oriented tablets for their employees as most employees bring their own mobile devices which are capable of supporting business related tasks. However, it is evident that corporate offices are open to procuring mobile PCs as a replacement to desktops and since most desktops so far are run on Windows, it is likely that Windows 8 tablets might soon be the ideal choice for corporate offices looking to replace desktops at their work place. Windows 8 may just succeed where the Cius failed because it manages to retain its consumer-oriented focus while combining enterprise effortlessly.