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.