Pardon us if we ask you a personal question, but what device did Santa bring you this Christmas? You know we adore all of our E2 community, and all of you have been quite good this year. So we figure Santa brought you guys a lot of devices.
We’re not asking because we’re nosy or because Santa didn’t bring us anything good. We’re asking because we know that E2 readers are on the cutting edge of mobile devices. And we know that the direction you all are heading is also the direction the enterprise will be headed. There are a lot of form factors out there right now, and each has its strengths and weaknesses. The one you guys 'n' gals are picking is likely to be the one that will be the workhorse in the enterprise for the near future.
We’re offering four choices: tablets, smartphones, ultrabooks, and coal.
A lot of analysts are predicting that tablets will replace the PC as the primary work device. But while the tablet is fantastic at consuming data, it is still hard to input data with it. Innovations like the Surface keyboard cover may help, but we’re still talking about a small form factor to use all day.
The smartphone is probably never going to be the true workhorse of the enterprise because of its size. But penetration is high and still growing. It may be that the enterprise’s best choice is still the reliable old PC paired with a smartphone for mobile use.
Speaking of that reliable PC, the old reliable has had new life breathed into it by ultra-light, ultra-powerful PCs running Windows 8 with touch screens. Even ultrabooks with no touch screens, running Windows 7, still give tablets a run for their light weight, ease of use, and mobility, plus they're significantly better for inputting data. Of course, cost is an issue, as well as dealing with the fact that moving them around, while better than a desktop machine, is still more work than a true mobile device.
Tell us in the comments what you think the dominant form factor will be for the next year or two. And, of course, we know some of you, however good you were, got coal or socks or underwear for Christmas. Feel free to tell us about that in the comments section, too. We’ll happily commiserate.