Now here’s an article to strike fear into Microsoft. Stuart Sumner reports on iPad trials at the BBC and in the Army. The BBC’s CIO John Linwood says:
We’re seeding the organisation [with the devices]. We put some iPads into production and some into management and other roles to see if people would be able to give up their desktops.
He goes on to say that the iPad may enable paperless meetings.
What makes an iPad better than a laptop or netbook for a meeting? I find it curious, incidentally, that the report refers to replacing desktops rather than laptops.
Well, one reason I have always liked tablets is that they are more interactive and don’t put a barrier (the screen) between you and others. A stylus is actually nice for meetings – good for quick diagrams as well as handwriting. Apple’s iPad lacks the stylus, but has other advantages over Windows tablets – smaller, lighter, instant-on, long battery life, and so on.
Still, the humble netbook at one third of the price will do the job too, better in some ways. You have Excel, for example. Unfortunately it lacks the elegance, usability and desirability of Apple’s device.
Any excuse to justify handing out cool devices, then? Maybe; but there’s no law that says business equipment has to be dull and unpleasant to use.