Microsoft Preps Strategy to Fight iPad

According to amust-read post over at ZDNET by Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft has provided hardware partners with information that Redmond hopes they'll use to blunt adoption of the iPad in the enterprise. Foley's post also has a photo gallery that includes slides from a Microsoft presentation that points out the weaknesses of the iPad as a device for corporate use.

Some Windows IT Pro readers have been vocal about what features the iPad needs to make a better device for enterprise use, namely: built in video cameras for video conferencing; more control over what software is deployed to individual iPads; and improved support/integration with active directory. Other readers have embraced the iPad in their own environments, and use a variety of products and technologies to fill in the gaps. The iPad needs to evolve and mature as a product for more IT departments to consider supporting it, and future releases of the iPad may address some of those concerns.

I recently blogged about why the iPad deserves a place in the enterprise, and it's clear that Microsoft is getting pressure from partners and some customers to come up with an effective strategy and product mix that blunts adoption of the iPad. It's a fact that the iPad is being deployed by some IT departments, and the iPad's better-than-expected sales figures have probably made more than a few Microsoft executives nervous. Microsoft has dismissed the iPad in the past, but the aforementioned PowerPoint presentation shows that Microsoft is finally seeing the iPad's entrance into the enterprise as a threat to their own tablet and mobile ambitions.

What do you think? Does the aforementioned iPad battle plan show that Microsoft is finally acknowledging that the iPad is a threat? Add a comment to this blog post or drop me an email with your thoughts.

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