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Can Email Hosting Provider Microsoft Save Corporate IT from the iPad and BYOD?

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August 13, 2012

Can Email Hosting Provider Microsoft Save Corporate IT from the iPad and BYOD?

By Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor


And so enters email hosting provider Microsoft like a warrior in one of the games that runs on its popular Xbox game console, ready to save corporate IT managers from the insidious Apple (News - Alert) iPad.


Some credit Apple products—such as the iPad—with the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend, which has terrorized corporate IT departments by introducing a raft of devices that are insecure and don’t play well with company IT policies.

“BYOD is an IT challenge that had its origin in RIM’s inability to develop a credible enterprise class alternative to the iPhone (News - Alert),” explained Mark Eisenberg in a recent blog post. “As company executives began adopting iPhones for their personal use, the legacy nature of the BlackBerry (News - Alert) became intolerable, and they began to demand that IT make the iPhone an option in the corporate environment.”

But now that old corporate stalwart, Microsoft (News - Alert), has arrived with an iPad challenger that might just start to reverse the BYOD game. Windows 8 is a lot sexier than previous iterations of the iconic OS, and some speculate that it could provide a credible enough challenger for the iPad that corporate IT departments could stop using Apple’s offerings.

“While the iPad has found a home in specialized niches such as real estate and hospitality, sales and engineering, it’s unclear how much mainstream corporate IT departments really want to support the iPad,” added Antone Gonsalves on ReadWriteWeb. “When Microsoft releases the various versions of Windows 8 and its new Surface tablet, a lot could change.”

That’s because Microsoft knows the enterprise market and what the corporate world needs and expects from technology.

“Microsoft’s enterprise pedigree positions it perfectly to offer an enterprise-ready alternative to the opportunity the iPad has opened up,” noted Eisenberg. “The company has spent over 15 years learning the enterprise which include servers on the backend, clients on the desktop and management and deployment servers around them. And an entire ecosystem that fills in the gaps between their products.”

Security, manageability, governance, and support are not in the genes of a consumer device, according to Eisenberg. Microsoft understands and caters to those needs unlike Apple.

The technology giant also powers Office, Exchange and a range of other collaboration tools.

More than 90 percent of businesses still use Microsoft Office, according to Gonsalves in ReadWriteWeb, and with Office 13 there will be much improved support for touch and stylus as well as integration with e-mail servers, document management systems and databases.

“If someone wants to create or modify Microsoft Office files on their tablet or use other Windows applications, Microsoft has a definite advantage,” concluded Ezra Gottheil, analyst for Technology Business Research, in the ReadWriteWeb piece.

It remains to be seen if this will be enough to kill the iPad in the corporate environment, however. Microsoft, which invented the tablet market in 2002, already has used a game restart. Is Windows 8 a powerful enough weapon to vanquish its seemingly invincible foe?

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2012, taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.




Edited by Jamie Epstein







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