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Windows 8 Surface tablet a surprise winner in IT deployment plans for 2013

by David Needle

April 1 2013

Both Microsoft's Surface Tablet and Windows Phone among mobile devices organizations plans to distribute apps for. (Chart: Aberdeen Group)
Both Microsoft's Surface Tablet and Windows Phone among mobile devices organizations plans to distribute apps for. (Chart: Aberdeen Group)

iPad faces serious competition in the enterprise if a new survey by Aberdeen Group is on the mark.

The research firm surveyed 348 organizations about their mobile strategy in November and December of last year and found Microsoft’s Windows 8 Surface tablet leading the way among mobile platforms for apps they planned to deploy in 2013.

"The data shows that IT is holding out hope that Microsoft's mobile strategy will be well-integrated with their overall data center and cloud strategy," Aberdeen research director Andrew Borg told which reported on the study. "You might say IT has been waiting for Microsoft to make its enterprise mobile play."

In terms of deployments at the time of the survey, iPad led the pack with 61%, followed by Android tablets at 40% and Surface a distant fourth at 8%, trailing the BlackBerry Playbook at 15%.

The iPad only got 15% for future mobile app deployment plans.

Can Windows 8 live up to its billing?

Aberdeen plans to release the full report next week. The one potential hole in its findings is that the survey was taken late last year when Surface tablets were still enjoying relatively good buzz following the release of Windows 8 in late October.

Since then, Surface RT tablets have been roundly criticized for a lack of apps and questions about its value proposition versus the similarly-priced iPad.

The more recently introduced Surface Pro, with full Windows compatibility, has had a better go of it, but analysts have questioned whether it really has enough going for it to displace the iPad.

Still, Borg says Apple has to continue to push the innovation envelope if it wants to hold its lead.

"If Apple does not innovate on the OS, it may impact enterprise acceptance and continued commitment to deploy apps on the Apple platform," he said.

David Needle is Editor of TabTimes and based in Silicon Valley.

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