iPad, TouchPad, Xoom: Tablets for Better Business Productivity
With the market for tablet computing devices exploding over the past year, value added resellers (VARs) have many opportunities to tap into the market to supply their customers with these versatile and mobile computers, which offer many advantages over desktop PCs and notebooks. The devices have in general altered the landscape for resellers and business users, allowing workers to be more mobile and collaborate on the go. Many tablets offer high-definition Web conferencing features, for instance. The market is responding. Recent research from industry analyst firm IDC predicted that worldwide media tablet shipments would grow from 7.6 million units in 2010 to more than 46 million units in 2014, representing a compound annual growth rate of 57.4 percent. In comparison, IDC expects 398 million portable PCs will be shipped in 2014. While you may not be ready to rely solely on a tablet, the number of options (led by the 800-pound gorilla in the room, Apple's iPad) and configurations available might cause you to reconsider introducing them as a mobility-enhancing product for your customers-or even purchasing a tablet for yourself.
Microsoft is trying to better position itself and its channel partn...