Apple to save Microsoft

Could the creation of a tablet that business love but dare not speak its name as a corporate device be Apple’s greatest gift to Microsoft?

I was chatting with a contact today about the company he runs that provides corporate software  that enables executives to share and access information via tablets.

Diligent’s Boardbooks software has enabled businesses to replace hundreds of pages of documents needed to prepare for company meeting.

When I wrote about the supplier in December 2012 it only supplied its software to Apple’s iPads. The iPad at the time was the only tablet that was of the right standard to support it.
But almost two years on and things have changed. Well Windows 8.1 has changed things.
Charlie Horrell, managing director Europe at Diligent, told me that since the release of Windows 8.1 devices more interest has been stirred.

Businesses are now looking at the software as an enterprise app rather than one just for board members. The compatibility with Microsoft estates makes it an attractive option, and now that Windows tablets have improved it could result in strong demand.

For example Matthew Oakeley, global head of IT at assent management firm Schroders, told me last year that he does not think iPads will never be a true corporate device because they do not integrate seamlessly with Microsoft.

“I bet a lot of people bought iPads for work but don’t use them for work,” he told Computer Weekly in a recent interview. “The real problem is that, if you run a Microsoft Windows estate, you want something that can talk to it.”

Oakeley said the lack of interoperability between Apple and Microsoft was unlikely to change.

So Apple’s creation of a tablet attractive to the enterprise could be providing the perfect platform for Microsoft to become great again.