updated 04:05 pm EDT, Fri March 16, 2012
Dell CCO Felice shrugs off iPad
Dell's chief commercial officer Steve Felice in a sweeping interview on Friday tried to downplay the effect of the iPad, and Apple as a whole, at work. He contended to Reuters that iPads and iPhones still raised "a lot of concerns" in the corporate world, where compatibility with the rest of the office, device management, and security might still be problems. Dell would be in the "best position to meet those," he said, although Felice didn't say how his company would be different from other Windows supporters.
The executive went on to bring out familiar complaints about iPads. They didn't have the performance or the ease of typing of a hardware keyboard. "When people put their computer to the side and take their iPad with them to travel, you see a lot of compromises being made," Felice argued.
Touching on Windows 8, he reiterated the company's enthusiasm for Windows 8 and its often hinted plans at a return to Android tablets. The current plans saw tablets of any kind from Dell showing sometime in the second half of 2012. Felice was optimistic that Apple and Android tablet makers hadn't locked up the market. "We don't think that this market is closed off in any way," he said.
Windows 8's public reaction has yet to be tested and isn't necessarily a rebound for Dell or Microsoft. Aside from the new Windows having to wait until late into 2012 to enter the market, concerns exist that the work world might react badly to the major break in interface. Almost all Fortune 500 companies are either testing or actively using iPads and show both an existing desire to use iPads as well as an early foothold that might be tough to dislodge.
Dell's own history in tablets has seen most of its success limited to Latitude models that primarily appeal to a smaller portion of business users. It tried mainstream tablets with the Streak 5 and Streak 7, but both took a long time to reach the market and were outperformed by multiple competitors.