The Wall Street Journal reports that many CIOs are planning to push out Microsoft Surface tablets within their companies as a means to get the BYOD movement under control.
This would be a huge mistake.
The days of an IT-mandated OS monopoly are over, and none too soon for most employees. IT executives who think they will regain that lost ground with Windows tablets are ignoring a market that has already passed judgement on Redmond. Windows 8 tablets have been largely ignored by those who were free to choose in favor of IOS and Android, and as a result Microsoft’s market share is miniscule. Adoption of the Surface RT was so poor, in fact, that the company was forced to slash pricing earlier in the year just to move existing inventory.
They are also ignoring the bad reception Windows 8 has gotten in the PC and laptop world. The most recent release from Microsoft compares only to Vista in terms of lack of adoption. In other words, guys, almost nobody wants it. But lest anyone think I’m picking on Microsoft, let me be clear that this isn’t about any one manufacturer. It’s about choice, and the possibility of that choice being taken away.
According to recent studies, CIOs are on thin ice already; not only with users, but with the C-suite as well. They cannot afford the backlash that an ill-advised Windows tablet rollout would surely cause. BYOD is here to stay because it gave freedom to employees who for years were forced to use whatever IT deemed appropriate (most often a moderately equipped laptop with the previous generation of Microsoft’s OS). Those people will not take kindly to an attempt to restrict that freedom, and IT would be the ones to suffer the brunt of their wrath.
We desperately need some good PR for IT, not a revolt.