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Law firm’s CTO gives Surface Pro the security edge over iPad

by David Needle

July 19 2013

It would be a gross understatement to say this hasn't been a great week for Microsoft. The software giant revealed that it's taking a $900 million write down because of unsold inventory of its Windows RT tablet and reported quarterly earnings and sales well short of analyst's expectations.

Still, when your earnings "miss" for Q4 is still $4.97 billion on revenue of $19.9 billion, well, a lot of companies would like to have Microsoft's problems.

And while Surface RT has failed to catch on, Microsoft's Surface Pro (a 'true' Windows 8 device that, unlike Windows RT, runs all all the older Windows software) is winning fans in the enterprise.

The latest endorsement comes from Marcus Bluestein (CTO) and Nina Lukina (Business Analyst) at the law firm of Kraft & Kennedy.

Writing in Law Technology News, the duo wrote a detailed analysis of why they think Surface Pro trumps iPad on the security side.

The article says in part:

"The Surface Pro's similarity to a desktop computer allows it to claim more control over proliferating data, the most significant feature for attorneys. Its foremost strength is that it can be secured by organizations' IT departments much in the same way that, for example, as laptops.

"The Surface Pro is subject to Group Policy (which controls configurations and settings), just like computers and laptops that connect to your firm's network, keeping Windows assets secure and requiring the same complex login requirements.

"While we know these are not invincible, and can be broken into by very determined individuals, those features do take some responsibility for safety out of hands of the user. The Surface Pro can't be rooted or jailbroken like an Android or iPad tablet. To be fair, the iPad allows for device-level encryption, password protection, and its apps are vetted carefully through the Apple Store."

Less fun, better for work? 

The authors make clear the Surface Pro is far from a perfect tablet and doesn't have the iPad's consumer appeal:

"Heavier than the iPad, with square corners, and fewer apps for download, it is not the most intuitive device for watching a movie in bed or reading a book on the subway.

But since those aren’t the reasons most lawyers (presumably) buy a tablet, the authors note that what the Surface Pro "lacks in suavity" it makes up for "in sheer utility for legal professionals."

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