Construction firm gives Windows 8 tablets the nod over iPads

by David Needle

October 19 2012

PCL Construction has already jumped on the Windows 8 bandwagon.
PCL Construction has already jumped on the Windows 8 bandwagon.

Count PCL Construction as a fan of Windows 8 tablets even before Microsoft and partners officially roll out the new devices later next week.

Brian Ranger, GM of systems and technology for PCL Construction, the 6th largest construction firm in the U.S., began using the preview version of Windows 8 back in February, and told the Wall Street Journal that it’s now using the final version of the software to help field workers communicate and share information from construction sites.

“I’m hearing a lot less struggle with managing the Windows 8 devices than I have about iPads [from PCL’s IT staff],” Ranger told the WSJ’s Clint Boulton.

Technically, a lot of the PCL field work could be completed with iPads. But Ranger said he found the iPad limited because it isn’t compatible with Microsoft productivity software, or with apps for cost estimates, project management, or computer-assisted drawing.

Foremen's staff now uses the Windows 8 tablets to file inspection reports, view building blueprints and schematics, and email their work when completed; tasks that used to require filling out paper forms that later had to be reentered into desktop computers and emailed.

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  • fardon
    1 year 8 months ago

    I just created an article about Windows 8 here Windows 8 contained at Acer are very nice and user friendly

  • BillA1
    2 years 2 weeks ago

    I smell a propaganda stunt here. I am employed on a major construction project and I use the new iPad and iPhone for my inspection and audit reporting and find that it networks quite nicely with every necessary productivity software.

    I work for a 65,000 plus employee construction firm in the Middle East BTW.

  • ingmgr
    2 years 1 month ago

    It'll be great to continue the conversation. i've sent you an email with my contact info and hope we can touch base.

  • David Needle
    2 years 1 month ago
    Thanks for the comments, always good to hear from someone else with direct knowledge of the topic. The compatibility and ability to run other Windows software seemed to be tipping point for PCL as they did admit the iPad can provide everything they need just as well except for that. If you want to continue the conversation and let us know what you're up to with tablets, feel free to email me directly at david at tabtimes dot com. We're always looking for good case studies. --David
  • ingmgr
    2 years 1 month ago

    Ok, I call BS. We're been rolling out tablets over the last 18 months in similar work environments to PCL. I'd love to get the details of how PCL is using the Windows tablets and then coming up with this article saying it's better suited than other options. Either they never used other tablets or they just refuse to consider alternatives to windows and are hell bent on using no matter what. Believe me, we evaluated all tablets options and knowing what I know about current windows tablets, windows 8 included, there is no way this tablet is better in a field environment. Maybe in a year or two this will change, but for sure this is not the case today.

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