updated 01:00 pm EST, Thu March 8, 2012
Dell preps pro tablet for Windows 8 launch
Dell's namesake founder Michael Dell in an interview (video below) let slip that his company was planning to be one of the very first with a Windows 8 tablet. The company not only wanted to be in early but would have a tablet on sale "the exact day" Windows 8 was shipping, alluding for Bloomberg to a direct collaboration with Microsoft. The CEO was adamant that corporations wanted a tablet that could be locked down and run their legacy Windows apps.
"Having a secure Windows tablet that works with all the Windows applications -- we're hearing a lot of demand for that and we think that will be quite attractive," Dell said.
Asia division lead Amit Midha added that Dell would keep making Android smartphones and tablets, but wanted to "lead the market" for Windows 8.
Microsoft has long made it evident that it believes much of its future depends on getting acceptance in the tablet space, particularly among pro users. Its once-safe corporate sales are being threatened by the iPad, which is in use among most of the Fortune 500 and is known to be cutting into use of traditional notebooks in certain cases. The devices are both typically cheaper as well as longer-lasting on battery and more portable.
Significant barriers still exist to corporate adoption. Getting legacy app support will require Intel-based tablets that are still poised to cost much more than an iPad and may suffer in battery life. Getting the true touch-native interface requires getting heavily modified or from-scratch apps; without, many apps will still be using a traditional desktop interface akin to Windows 7.