Those lamenting the choices in the battle against Apple's iPad are now being given two options from Hewlett Packard: WebOS or Windows. The announcement late last week by HP execs said that they will create tablets for both operating systems, rumored to be called the Windows Slate and the PalmPad. But just how good a buy will these tablets be for your business? Here are five reasons to consider one.
1. Web OS
Although the Windows Slate has been nothing short of a disappointment, and is seemingly forever in development, the nimble WebOS--which HP acquired when it purchased Palm--is deemed capable and praised by critics. It may be HP's saving grace for its PalmPad, which can now compete head-to-head with Apple's iOS and Android systems.
2. Windows (Yes, Windows)
While many have crucified the HP Slate prototypes, let's face it, few offices use something other than Windows. For better or worse, Windows is most companies' OS of choice, and it's easier to have all machines, even tablets, running the same platform. Although the HP Slate looks clunkier than the iPad, it's also a full-bodied PC with USB ports, front and rear cameras, Adobe Flash capability, and memory card slots galore. It's definitely not just a gadget; it's meant for work. Isn't that what your employees are being paid for?
3. The HP Reputation
Apple's favorable reputation, at least lately, is based on its mobile devices, not desktops, but HP makes all kinds of reliable office hardware, from computers to printers to scanners. Many business owners may find that kind of reputation and customer service comforting when looking to purchase a tablet computer. Plus, an HP tablet will be able to use the WebOS, which could run on peripherals as well mobile devices--something new and nimble for its hardware. How cool would it be to be able to use a printer from your mobile phone?
4. The HP Business Relationship
Buying from HP could be beneficial to business owners because the computer hardware company would likely give purchasing deals and discounts, and streamline purchase orders. Using the same company would mean IT managers would only need to contact one vendor and use only one help desk (especially if your company already contracts out IT services to HP-owned EDS.) HP has spent the last two decades wooing corporate clients and business owners with reliable and hardworking machines, and it knows how to treat its business clients well.
5. Increased Competition
While the HP offerings are new, they're worth reviewing and considering as one of the only alternatives to the iPad niche. Although most are happy with iPad functionality, the new WebOS platform will likely create a product that will meet most business needs. The only problem is that it needs to be successful to make way for any real competition with Apple. While no business should take on an inferior product to create an open market, business owners need to partake and explore other options to ensure a better marketplace.
While HP still lacks the thousands of applications available from Apple, it's likely the company will start creating an application market by its PalmPad launch in January, possibly with more of an emphasis on business clients. Although Apple's iPad has an amazing amount of buzz and cachet with consumers, HP's tablets may prove more functional for business users.
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