While there is an interest in tablets in the enterprise sphere, one analyst expects the new form factor will be confined to secondary device, at best, for the next little while, at least.
Despite equipment manufacturers starting to introduce tablets to market, tablets are not any time soon going to replace the laptop or the desktop. But they will play the role of an additional device for the enterprise user, said Tim Brunt, senior analyst for personal computing at Toronto-based IDC Canada Ltd.
Research in Motion Ltd.’s envisions its PlayBook tablet as an extension of the BlackBerry within the enterprise, where users of the business smart phone will acquire the PlayBook as an additional device. The Waterloo, Ont.-based company’s director of product strategy, David Heit, described the PlayBook as “a giant BlackBerry,” useful for much more than just e-mail.
He points to new research from IDC Canada that indicates a Canadian portable PC market that performed slightly better than expected in 2010 Q4 at a growth rate of 2.9 per cent year-over-year. He notes that the Apple iPad was not included in the figures.
Lisa Watts, director of ecosystem development for the Santa Clara, Calif.-based chip maker’s business client platform division, said Intel hopes to add some of the capabilities of its VPro platform to help enterprises remotely protect data and support mobile devices such as tablets.
Brunt thinks bringing that technology to the tablet would be “incredibly impressive,” but it doesn’t necessarily have to be hardware-based. Desktop virtualization is useful for security and manageability, he said.
“It makes perfect sense,” said Brunt. “It actually could be used as a lever to increase adoption right now.”
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