Can Samsung ATIV break the iPad grip on enterprise?

Will Thomas
By Will Thomas under Insights 25 June 2013

Samsung made its latest play in the mobile device market at the Samsung Galaxy & ATIV Premiere, in London last week, and The App Business was on hand to get a first look. It unveiled a host of new devices including phones, tablets and cameras, but it was two Windows-operating tablets that piqued our interest: the new ATIV Tab 3 and ATIV Q.

How others have fared against the iPad

Since the emergence of Windows 8, many have been waiting with baited breath for a breakthrough Windows-based tablet to dislodge the iPad from it’s dominant position in the hands of top execs.

Microsoft dominates other areas of enterprise IT infrastructure so a Windows tablet would simplify company-wide integration and operations, surely?

Microsoft’s own Surface and Surface Pro have gained limited traction, and been met with mixed reviews. The likes of Samsung and Asus have had more success at wrestling users away from iPads in the wider consumer market, with Android-based tablets such as the Galaxy and Nexus 7, and have thus had some enterprise influence where ‘Bring Your Own Device’ strategies are in place.

The ATIV Q & Tab 3 Propositions

The new ATIV Q tries to capture the ‘best of both’ with it’s “dual OS” – it runs both Windows 8 (full version) and Android, bringing together the power of the Android app store with an enduring popular suite of Microsoft applications. You can seamlessly switch between the two operating systems at the tap of a button, no restart required, and even add shortcuts to individual Android apps straight to the Windows 8 home screen.

This follows hot on the heels of another dual OS product, Asus’ Transformer Book Trio, and seems to signal a trend designed to cushion any transition away from Android or iOS.

The Tab 3 is a much lighter and smaller sibling, which like the ATIV Q runs a full version of Windows 8 (no Android) and comes bundled with Microsoft Office 2013 as an added bonus.

Will Samsung ATIV appeal to Enterprise?

The promise of these devices is a valid Windows 8 alternative to the iPad for business, with a wider appeal than Microsoft’s own Surface tablet. Both devices benefit from a Galaxy-inspired design and features like S Pen support, which makes them more attractive than many alternatives.

A single OS device like the Tab 3 will most likely simplify IT support and Mobile Device Management (MDM), and it’s greater portability will suit those who spend more time between offices than at them. The ATIV Q and its dual OS capability might be an easier sell to workers switching from Android or iOS devices, and its pop-out keyboard and high-resolution screen should sweeten the deal.

Whether either product is the much vaunted next incumbent of the enterprise tablet throne remains to be seen. A lot will depend on pricing points, not yet announced, and more in-depth evaluation of their usability.

The ATIV Q and ATIV Tab 3 will launch globally in Q3. No official date has been released yet.

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