IDG Connect – Kathryn Cave Global Apple or Android?

Last week, we ran a short poll to our readers asking whether they had a tablet device and if so, which one they use. The results were more or less as anticipated. Out of 1792 global IT and business respondents a significant 65% did own a tablet. Out of this tablet owning group 83% had the iPad, whilst Android devices amounted to 13% of our readership and other operating devices amounted to only 4%.

via IDG Connect – Kathryn Cave Global Apple or Android?.



The Tablet is the Ultimate Mobile Personal Computer | TechPinions

Although, the notebook PC is portable you don’t typically see consumers move around, walk around, or stand up and use their notebook. This is because the form factor lends itself to a desk or a lap where the screen sits at arm’s length away. Tablets are very different. Consumers are comfortable using them while standing, walking, sitting on the couch, laying in bed, in the bathroom, by the pool, at the beach, in the kitchen, etc. The tablet is not designed to be viewed at arm’s length and because of that our relationship with this form factor changes. We can use it in different ways and more importantly take it places we would not or could not take our clamshell PCs.

via The Tablet is the Ultimate Mobile Personal Computer | TechPinions.

I agree, and I think this is the key point that people miss when arguing iPads are toys because they’re less powerful than a traditional PC. Form factor matters, and the world is plenty big (and complex) enough for both approaches.

I think Apple has a key problem to solve, however, to fully leverage this advantage. Bright sunlight and iPads don’t mix.


iPad takes 96% of tablets, iPhone 53% of phones in Good mobile enterprise study

Enterprise mobile services vendor Good Technology reported that iPad accounted for 96 percent of tablets and iPhone 53 percent of smartphones activated by the more than 2,000 companies using its services in the fourth quarter, giving iOS a 71 percent share of all mobile devices.

via iPad takes 96% of tablets, iPhone 53% of phones in Good mobile enterprise study.

Color me unsurprised.

That 53% iPhone number is certainly buoyed by bring-your-own-device policies. My guess is that the iPhone revolution will, in the end, result in far fewer corporate smartphones overall. Why should a company pay big bucks for hardware and data plans when they can let the employees foot most/all of that bill?

And I suspect that the only hope for Android smartphones to proliferate as either corporate or BYOD devices (for anything more sophisticated than email) will be the virtual containers being erected to protect corporate data from the rest of the phone.

There’s virtually no hope for Android tablets, at least until there are radical changes to the current market dynamics.

OnLive Brings Superfast Windows to the iPad | TechPinions

By running instances of Windows on a server instead of a game, OnLive has duplicated the trick for productivity software. It works a bit like Citrix’s server-based Windows, but with performance so good you think the software is running locally, and on a really fast machine at that. The key to the performance, says OnLive CEO Steve Perlman, is that it was “built against the discipline of instant-action gaming.”

The OnLive Desktop app will be available from the iTunes Store later today. A basic version, which includes Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel and 2 gigabytes of online storage, is free.

via OnLive Brings Superfast Windows to the iPad | TechPinions.

Update: Mossberg reviews the new OnLive service.

Update 2: Microsoft and OnLive sort out licensing issues.

I’m simultaneously mystified, intrigued, and concerned.

Remote desktop apps such as iTap RDP do a remarkably good job at translating the traditional keyboard/mouse environment into a touch world, but it’s still a tedious experience at best. If the application running in the remote environment is painful while sitting at a laptop (a not-uncommon experience in large corporate environments with huge legacy environments), it’s going to be excruciating on an iPad, much less an iPhone or other smaller-screen device.

Thus, I generally advocate against exposing the desktop environment through an iPad as a substitute for native apps, and solutions like this make me nervous that more companies are going to try to replace a laptop with an iPad without significantly rethinking the ways in which users interact with the corporate ecosystem.

Returning to the mystified/intrigued half of my brain: how can OnLive give tens of millions of iPad users a free virtual Windows box with a free copy of Office? This will definitely be interesting to watch.

Enter, Prise | asymco

In thinking about how this market will evolve, I hear about “consumerization” and cost reduction as benefits and justification of this shift. But fundamentally, what is happening is a classic low end disruption. Enterprises increased their demands beyond what the users in those enterprises could absorb. Instead of ultra-secure, locked-down and immobile computing, users were looking for flexibility, agility and mobility. That’s what Apple was listening to.

Apple’s best strategy today would be to persist on this trajectory and listen to the under-served consumer rather than the over-served and over-demanding IT manager.

via Enter, Prise | asymco.

(I find “immobile computing” particularly apropos.)

Horace Dediu once again takes a fresh look at Apple; in this case, looking at the enterprise, he remarks on the explosion of money spent on iPads and Macs in the corporate market over the last two years.

Another quote:

However, if the pattern emerges as an extension of the near past, Apple’s position in the market at nearly 30% share next year would be a sea change. It may challenge for the top spot among all vendors to the sector.

Counting tablets, HP is about to lose its seat to Apple as the #1 PC vendor in the world; if Apple also becomes the #1 enterprise PC vendor next year, we’ll know the future has finally arrived (or perhaps that things are chilly in the underworld, depending on your perspective).

(Oh, and Horace? Great title.)

Apple iPhone wins enterprise, is Microsoft relevant? – Computerworld Blogs

Fueled by the iPhone and iPad, Apple is in the enterprise — most recently becoming mobile device vendor of choice for one of Microsoft’s oldest enterprise allies, Lifetime Products.

via Apple iPhone wins enterprise, is Microsoft relevant? – Computerworld Blogs.

Another older link: Microsoft-centric shops using Apple for mobile. Microsoft v Apple for the enterprise mobile market will be a fascinating story for another couple of years, at least.

Tim Bajarin posted recently (again) about the prospect of Microsoft purchasing RIM.

I think he’s correct on most fronts: it seems like a natural fit and it probably won’t happen. However, I think Horace Dediu has persuaded me (Did Microsoft pay for the wrong Skype?) that despite the inherent advantages to both companies, such an acquisition would be less effective than Bajarin posits (also see Dediu’s | Nobody wants to buy RIM on this topic).

(I also wonder whether the centralized nature of RIM’s service offering has taken too many PR hits for Microsoft or anyone else to resuscitate the model.)

Another open question regarding Microsoft, Apple, et al in the enterprise: will there ever be another RIM or Microsoft in the enterprise space? Both carved out near-monopolies (RIM in mobile telephony/messaging, Microsoft in server software), and while Microsoft has managed to hang onto its hegemony, I’m inclined to think that in the mobile computing space at least there won’t be any one big winner. The consumer world is apparently happy with multiple standards, and I think the enterprise is (willingly or not) going to reflect that, both inside and among large companies.


Bitzer Mobile nabs $4.7M to secure native and HTML5 mobile enterprise apps | VentureBeat

Bitzer offers what it calls a “secure container” that can be downloaded from most app stores that lets enterprise clients securely run native and HTML5 apps on their mobile devices, including iPad, iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone 7 devices. In addition to the secure container, Bitzer provides corporate employees a platform that allows enterprises to transfer all sorts of apps into the container, including custom and legacy apps.

via Bitzer Mobile nabs $4.7M to secure native and HTML5 mobile enterprise apps | VentureBeat.

Worth a closer look, methinks. I’m inherently skeptical about the usability of apps that try to do too much, but if the container is intelligent/thin enough, this could be a useful tool.

(Discovered via another VentureBeat article, The iPad is an incredible tool for work — if your IT department will allow it)

Apple MDM: traffic flow

When managing Apple iOS devices over the air, it’s important to remember two vital facts:

  • You can’t talk to the devices
  • The devices won’t (usually) proactively talk to you

This, naturally, leads to the question: how can you manage them? Enter Apple, the great intermediator.

Apple relies on its Apple Push Notification Services (APNS) to handle two distinct types of communications: “wake up” messages, and application notifications.

The latter is highly visible to users: app badge updates and other messages that are delivered via modal dialogs or the Notification Center. A third-party or enterprise in-house app must have one or more servers configured to talk to Apple to request that such notifications be delivered.

Wake up messages, however, are effectively invisible to end users, and are vital to MDM.


Apple MDM: the basics, part 1

It’s perhaps not terribly surprising that many corporate customers of MDM (mobile device management) solutions don’t really understand how it works. The better MDM vendors provide enough information for the IT department to get the service running, but Apple is inscrutable, and in most environments everything “just works”, at least well enough to focus on other problems.

So let’s start with the basics and see where we land.


Apple in the enterprise

The iPad has clearly made great strides with businesses of all sizes, but it’s useful to to recognize why Apple is not a great fit with the enterprise.


It’s no secret that big companies like to know where their vendors are headed. When you’re dealing with tens of thousands of employees, technology transitions are painful and expensive.

Apple is neither predictable nor transparent, and has little compunction about pulling the rug out from under customers who are conservative about changes.

At the Fortune 200 firm where I spend a great deal of time consulting, every monitor has a VGA to DVI cable; every laptop is presumed to have a VGA port, despite the many superior digital options available for years. Apple has transitioned video out ports several times in just the past decade, and as far as I can tell has never manufactured a laptop with a VGA port. Floppy drives, optical drives, Firewire, USB, Thunderbolt…Apple has been a frequent trendsetter, both in embracing and abandoning technologies.

And good luck asking them what they’ll adopt or abandon next.