Time to Celebrate Endpoint Device Diversity

Tablets? Laptops? Smartphones? They all need to be managed on the corporate network. Get to work, solution providers.

Michael Vizard

December 3, 2014

2 Min Read
Time to Celebrate Endpoint Device Diversity

Just when it looked as though the number and types of endpoint devices was settling into something manageable, now it seems we’ve got a full-on war between various device formats.

For example, at the Discover 2014 conference this week in Barcelona, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) announced a bevy of business-class notebooks, including an 11.6-inch EliteBook Revolver convertible tablet with touch display that can be configured with 12GB of memory and a solid-state drive.

What makes these notebooks interesting is the fact that Microsoft is currently touting its Surface Pro 3 tablet as a replacement for notebooks. John Groden, director of Product Development for the EliteBook 1000 series at HP, noted while clearly there are use cases for tablets, most end users don’t want to compromise on having a real keyboard vs. having to pay extra for a plastic keyboard that doesn’t provide the same tactile experience.

Convertibles are not the only device starting to impinge on traditional tablets. Dell is seeing a lot of interest in Venue tablets that can run both Windows 8 and Google Android. Perhaps the most interesting device in that lineup are 7-inch and 8-inch tablets that can fit inside a jacket pocket and are better-suited to accessing applications rather than perusing email on a phone. Neil Hand, vice president of the Dell tablet group, said he expects end users will add these devices to their arsenal of personal computing devices rather than replace larger tablets or notebooks. Priced at less than $200, smaller tablets may very well increase the average number of devices end users employ as circumstances warrant.

Naturally, these devices will have to be managed to one degree or another once they connect to a corporate network. That should create lots of new opportunities for solution providers who specialize in mobile computing, not to mention all the developers who build custom applications to run on them. In fact, when it comes to mobile computing devices, don’t be too surprised to see even more IT organizations crying “uncle” as they seek the help of managed services providers—a fact HP has already identified as a significant new opportunity.

In the meantime, with the holidays right around the corner, solution providers should sit back and enjoy the spectacle. After all, each one of those new devices represents one more potential opportunity to deliver an IT service in the coming New Year.

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About the Author(s)

Michael Vizard

Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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