Will Microsoft Surface Change the confront of Mobile Video Conferencing?
With Microsoft announcing the set afloat of the Windows 8 based “Surface” tablet they have seen a gap in the market. Tablet computing has hit the consumer market by storm with Apple and Samsung being the major players, but within the enterprise market there has been little penetration. Blackberry and Cisco have both failed miserably with their Playbook and CIUS whilst Apple and Samsung nevertheless do not have the features being demanded by IT security and infrastructure departments.
In the enterprise world a new laptop for example must work with existing management and security tools and it must be able to run the company’s existing applications. These are often internally developed applications designed to run on Windows. This will be meaningful to the success of Surface within the enterprise.
The Microsoft difference should allow enterprises to continue to use their same management toolset and internal applications but just extend the profiles to include “Surface” users. When “Surface” can be treated no differently to a laptop then it makes the case for implementation becomes a whole lot easier.
The Surface, will no doubt come with MS Lync encased which will bolster Microsoft’s penetration into unified communications and videoconferencing. Adding connectivity to video conferencing gateway will allow Surface to participate in video conference calls with any room based system, iPad, iPhone, Desktop or Mac both within and outside of the organisation.
By far the majority of laptop users in the enterprise also have a desktop PC it will be interesting to see the impact that Surface will have on traditional standalone video conferencing devices and on desktop video conferencing. It makes much more sense to have video conferencing running on Surface and remove the additional desktop appliance all together and that follows why would I want video conferencing installed on my PC at all taking up valuable screen real estate?
It is clear from the exterior design; to the magnetic cover of the Surface that Microsoft intend to go head to head with Apple but also providing some extras like USB 3 in the Pro version.
Questions do keep:
How will Microsoft price the Surface? – Will they be pitching at the iPad pricing, laptop pricing or some kind of middle ground?
How will Windows 8 be received by the enterprise? – The majority of enterprise leapt from XP to Windows 7. Will they be willing to have a mixed OS ecosystem?
Apple are clearly the leaders with mobile apps. and hardware desirability. Will Microsoft be able to make a respectable dent in this?