When last we heard from The Register’s Matt Asay, he was telling us how the Android tablet wave was coming any day now—just you wait!—and how Google’s acquisition of Motorola spelled iPhone “doom”! (His words!)
Asay exhorts Microsoft to seize the day (two-plus years after Apple introduced a tablet that people actually wanted to use) and take back the enterprise night! Or something.
Apple has given us much with its pleasing-on-the-eye iPad. But what it hasn’t given us is a serious replacement for the lowly laptop or desktop. As much as magazines like MacWorld [sic] may hype it as “The New Business Machine”, the reality is that the iPad is only enterprise-ready in iFantasyLand.
Which is apparently where 92 percent of the Fortune 500 companies live.
Asay’s major complaint boils down to the fact that Pages and Numbers on iOS aren’t as full-featured as Microsoft Word and Excel. Well, not everybody needs or wants a full office suite, given that a certain amount of time has passed since 1997. It doesn’t seem to occur to Asay that there might be room for both iPads and the Surface in the enterprise. FLIP BINARY SWITCH FROM IPAD TO SURFACE. IPAD LOSE, SURFACE WIN.
While there’s plenty of good reasons to suspect that Google’s Android will prove Apple’s most serious mobile competition due to its enterprise apps and strength in emerging markets…
Wait, what? What?! So, let’s get this straight. The iPad = no good for business because it doesn’t have Word and Excel. Android, on the other hand, = good for business because blah blaggidity bloog blerg meep morp.
Correct the Macalope if he’s wrong (don’t get up, he’s not), but there are no versions of Word and Excel for Android, either.
This is not the first time the Macalope’s seen this sleight of hand. “Apple devices are no good for the enterprise because they don’t have X, but Android (which also doesn’t have X) is good for the enterprise because… well, because it’s not from Apple, that’s why.”
Circus acrobats could’t bend over backwards this far for Apple’s competitors.
Yes, enterprises may end up writing all of this software themselves, and it’s also possible that “enterprise grade” is a misnomer, and Apple is redefining the enterprise experience by taking away all the cruft from over-engineered applications.
Finally, Matt’s making some sense. And he only had to get seven-eighths of the way through the piece to do it.
There will long be a core set of enterprise users who need Excel. It’s still hands-down the best tool for number crunching and a host of ERP systems provide plugins to feed data directly into it. But to assume that a lack of Excel and Word is crippling the iPad is to ignore what’s been going on in the enterprise market for the last two years and to misunderstand why the iPad’s been a success.
Which, admittedly, kind of fits a pattern for Asay.
[Editors’ Note: In addition to being a mythical beast, the Macalope is not an employee of Macworld. As a result, the Macalope is always free to criticize any media organization. Even ours.]