Microsoft Surface Devices Challenge Apple in Enterprise Strongholds

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ANALYSIS: With Surface sales rising, Microsoft is challenging Apple in enterprise creative domains where the Mac long held sway

While the art department will resist at first, it’s going to be hard to stick with Apple products if Microsoft delivers new products that prove to be just as good for artistic use and which are compatible with everything else.

And this is where Apple might be in trouble. For many years, Apple retained the loyalty of creative professionals who always had the coolest computers in the company. However, now it could be that the Microsoft computers are better, and that could blunt Apple’s edge in the enterprise.

When the creative staff starts using Windows computers, Apple doesn’t have much to hang on to in the enterprise.

Apple future in the enterprise

And Apple isn’t doing much to reverse the trend. The iPad Air 2 is now 2 years old without a refresh. The iPad Pro is a year old with no replacement in sight. And while there’s a newer 9.7-inch iPad Pro, that tablet is aimed at a somewhat different market than the other two. But even when all those Apple tablets are taken into account, the iPad’s fortunes aren’t looking particularly bright right now.

Microsoft Surface Studio

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Microsoft Surface Studio 1

While Apple still has the tablet market share in its favor, Microsoft’s Surface models are grabbing the mindshare these days. When the Surface Studio ships at the end of November, Microsoft can make a case that it can offer the coolest new computers to enterprise users.

microsoft-surface-dialFortunately for Apple, there’s time to get its hardware back in gear. One of the reasons for iffy sales of the iPad is that many customers have no reason to upgrade to a new one. All of the software still works, if slowly, and for people with few demands, that’s good enough. But if Apple is going to move its iPad out of the doldrums, it needs to come up with something that will make customers want to buy a new tablet.

Microsoft seems to have cracked the code on that one with its new Surface Dial, the stylus that’s always been better than the Apple Pencil for the iPad. On the horizon is a new version of Windows 10 for creative users that’s due next spring. All of this contributes to the new mindshare that Microsoft is gathering.

What’s important for Apple is that the company find a way to remain necessary to the enterprise. Without being a necessity to at least a part of the enterprise, Apple faces the risk of losing its place in the corporate world.

Originally published on eWeek

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Author: Wayne Rash
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