Florentin Albu, CIO at the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, said whether Surface will make a breakthrough depends on the type of work being done. For example, workers who are information consumers – such as executives – have already made a move towards iPads and to a lesser extent Androids. In contrast workers who need to do heavy document editing, Excel processing, desktop-publishing and the like are unlikely to be convinced, he said, while for staff involved in data entry the cost of the hardware will be the main barrier.
He said: “I believe that unfortunately the Surface tablet needs to catch up with iOS and Android ones, and it is not the hardware but the application ecosystem that will win this war. The Surface banks on the significant number of applications that come with the Windows heritage (well at least the ones running on Windows 8). Most of these however have been designed in the pre-cloud era.
“Looking at the iOS or Android ecosystem, mostly everything is designed to use the cloud – for storage, processing, integration etc. Clearly this will change as Windows apps are catching up. Will the change come in time though?”
Albu added: “In a BYOD era, the question is which device is more appealing to the end user? I have not seen the Surface generating much co-worker envy, like the iPads or – to an extent – the Galaxys have done…we will definitely see an uptake of Surface in the enterprise, it might not, however, be to a point of domination.”
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