Thursday, 31 March 2011 16:07

Dude! You're getting an iPad 2.


Dell's newest dude, Andy Lark, has unknowingly punk'd and pwned himself with one heck of a statement: that the iPad will 'fail in the enterprise'. Quick, someone tell Captain Kirk!

Uh-oh. All those 'padds' you saw on the Starship Enterprise clearly weren't iPads of the modern variety, but 24th century sci-fi versions that nicely predated the current tablet revolution.

Andy Lark's decree came forth in an interview in Australia's CIO Magazine, with the larkish statement now having made its way fully around the world, and harking back to Michael Dell's statement that Apple should close up shop and return all the money to shareholders - just before Apple's continuing decade-long run to the top of the IT and consumer electronics totem pole.

However, a declaration that iPads would 'fail in the enterprise' is at odds with Apple's own statements, which declare the iPad an incredible enterprise success story thus far.

Apple's "iPad for Business" page lists benefits such as seamless integration, apps for business and hosts a range of customer stories.

Delving into the seamless integration, Apple states that it offers MS Exchange ActiveSync support, standard-base servers, VPNs, enterprise Wi-Fi network compatibility, device security, network security and platform security.

Apple is also busily working on iOS 5.0 which will deliver even more enterprise integration than has already been made available, with enterprise customers as unshy as consumers in making their demands known, even if Apple can sometimes take its jolly time to fulfill those very high expectations indeed.

Dell's Mr Lark is convinced that Android will win the enterprise race, coupled with Windows 7, but is this any surprise? Dell does not sell iOS, but it does sell Windows and Android.

You'd hardly expect Mr Lark to state that the iPad would wipe out all enterprise competitors, now, would you?

However, just because an IT executive makes a statement does not mean it is true.

An excellent example of this is Mr Lark's assertion that an iPad with mouse, keyboard and case would cost $1500 or $1600, saying that 'that's not feasible' - even though power notebooks have cost $1600 or more for years (despite low, low notebook prices today), and even though there is no official mouse option for the iPad 1 or iPad 2 whatsoever.

Dell's future tablets will be Android Honeycomb and Windows hybrids, although there will surely be Android-only and Windows only tablets to come from the Dellsters.

Naturally, given that Dell does not sell iPads or iPad 2s, Mr Lark says that 'choice' is very 'important', although your choice will be Honeycomb or Windows from Dell.

If you want to choice of iOS, it's something that Dell cannot sell and will never sell - despite HP once dabbling into iPods way before the iPhone and iPad became the rip-roaring techno-phenomena that they are today.

What we now need to see from Dell is this Honeycomb/Windows combo tablet that Dell's Andy Lark has spoken so highly of.

Will it be as light as an iPad 2? Will its battery last as long? Will it have a universe of official and unofficial accessories? Will it be able to upgrade to Android OS 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4. 3.5, 4.0, 5.0 or any other Android OS version?

The answers to these questions is unknown. Some answers can be guessed, but the best answer of all will be Dell's new tablets making as quick a global appearance as possible.

Then we'll see whether Dell's tablets will outpace Apple's - and we'll see just how competitive and innovative Dell can become, especially now that it has spoken!


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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