It was probably inevitable but just as the popularity of netbooks grows, so does the opposition towards them especially by that in the enterprise IT market.
For the last couple of months, all of the major mobile operators having been offering netbooks as an incentive to sign up for what looks like very attractive mobile broadband propositions.
Now these offers have been made in the main by the consumer arms of the operators but there’s absolutely no way these devices are NOT appropriate for business use.
In fact CW.com has been hosting a site since November showing how netbooks and other mobile computing devices can make positive contributions to business productivity.
And yet recent reports in the mainstream press have cast doubt on the viability of the devices.
Speaking to the London Evening Standard at the end of January 2009, IDC analyst Bob O’Donnell said, “I think [netbook] acceptance in the enterprise is very small…We do believe about 7% of netbooks are going into small business (SMBs) . I don’t know of any companies standardising on them.” In the Standard’s article, analyst Gartner was of a similar opinion.
For SMBs there is indeed a great attraction to kill two birds, comms and IT, with one stone by signing up to an operator’s mobile broadband deal. And, let’s face it, all of the enterprise IT suppliers such as Toshiba, HP, Dell etc have very good netbooks on offer And as the recession drags on, how long will it take enterprises to take the netbook plunge? There’s a lot of good work to be done on the road with a device with a 10-inch screen.