Why Windows tablets will be the big winners and Nokia will bounce back hard

Channel NewsChannel StrategyIT Trends
Nokia's headquarters in Finland
1 8 No Comments

The BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) revolution in IT has given freedom to many to pick and choose what mobile device they use for work as well as play. That choice has brought about the dramatic changes in the smartphone industry. The fact that execs could get work email on their iPhone and Android surely

The BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) revolution in IT has given freedom to many to pick and choose what mobile device they use for work as well as play. That choice has brought about the dramatic changes in the smartphone industry. The fact that execs could get work email on their iPhone and Android surely played a major contribution to the near catastrophic meltdown of RIM. But that universal freedom of devices has come at the expense of security and has become one of the main topics for those who are under pressure to allow it.

As recently reported less than 10% of users even use autolock. Another Cisco survey found that BYOD is causing an enormous security headache with 75% of interviewed IT managers reportedly saying new rules to cope with BYOD need to be brought in.

Those IT folks sure do miss Microsoft Exchange and this is one of the reasons that I believe that Windows based tablets running a touch version of MS Office will be big winners. Add a seamless connected world between smartphone, tablet and PC all with Office email, PowerPoint and Excel and that’s a powerful combination.

But this isn’t all. ODM and OEM tablet makers in the Android world are enormously frustrated by Googles lack of support for them. Sure if you are Motorola or a Nexus device partner you can get early access to future builds of Android and some measure of help. But anyone else can go whistle Dixie.

That itself wouldn’t be so bad if there weren’t compatibility problems between builds and numerous bugs. These are now so contentious that where once the very idea of paying Microsoft $35-$50 for a copy of Windows 8 mobile seemed absurd the price might not be so bad for a guarantee of WHQL drivers and stable platforms – and with touch MS Office perhaps they can command better ASPs (average selling prices) than in the Android world.

If security, stability and touch MS Office turn out to be as attractive as it looks then the big winner here has to be Nokia. Ignore the recent share price plunge following Lumia’s bug and the warning on profits. For the first these things happen – iPhone 4 anyone? – and I’m not buying the second except as a means of management positioning itself to the shareholders.

No, not only is Nokia uniquely positioned to be Microsoft’s lead partner in mobile with all that means for technical support and marketing rebates, Nokia remains a trusted corporate brand. With the self-destruction of RIM the corporate world and IT departments the world over are looking for a trusted name they can bet their careers on.

Nokia may have slowed but it didn’t blow itself up. It still has the infrastructure to support major customers and a brand that can be trusted.

(Troy Waite is an industry veteran with decades of experience of the channel)