|By Srinivasan Sundara Rajan||
|June 21, 2011 10:15 AM EDT||
Several industry predictions point to an explosion of tablets as the most favored productivity device for the enterprise and the consumer. The analysts have predicted a worldwide increase in usage for tablets.
The biggest advantages of tablets is that they are lightweight yet powerful enough for carrying out enterprise class productivity operations, and weighing much more than a smartphone in terms of enterprise productivity needs.
Tablets and Cloud
While the tablets are another dimension of improvements in client devices from the desktop era to today, their popularity is closely aligned with the growth of the Cloud Computing paradigm.
In one of my earlier articles, I stressed the fact that application software of the future will likely have a piece that runs on clients and a piece that runs in the Cloud , and tablets are part of client strategy of many enterprises.
The productivity gains achieved through the mobility of tablets can only be realized if the corresponding server applications can be connected in cloud and the tablet clients can consume the required data on the fly. Also the tablet clients can sync up their modified data with the cloud on an as-needed basis.
Windows Azure Tablet
Many new tablet devices along with their respective operating system of choice are entering the market, most notable being the HP TouchPad with advanced features built on the robust webOS operating system. We expect to see the HP TouchPad make great waves in the generic tablet market.
In this context, we expect the Microsoft Azure client-specific tablet will likely be worthy for Windows Azure Cloud consumers and to provide a value proposition accordingly.
Some of the features expected of the so-called Windows Azure tablet are:
- Full-featured Windows Azure Client APIs and environment so that Windows Azure applications can run standalone or on the Cloud
- Wizard-driven connectors for Office 365 and other Azure offerings such as SharePoint online
- Availability of Windows App Fabric components and SQK Azure Data sync, so mobile workers can perform required changes in a disconnected manner, yet sync up with the Cloud when there is connectivity
- Ability to use local storage and back them up to Windows Azure storage services based on need
- If the number of transactions is high, they can switch over to Windows Azure Server Queues so that the transactions are guaranteed to be completed.
- Ability for the client applications running on the tablet to burst to Windows Azure Cloud based on the resource usage and finally sync up the results to the client once the task is completed
- Finally free bundled subscriptions to Windows Azure Cloud for tablet owners to have a certain level of personal space and also compute and storage allocation.
As per my predictions in earlier blogs, we see that tablets are more than consumer entertainment devices; rather they will act as office productivity devices of the IT enterprise in the short term and continue till further innovations take place.
In this context, Cloud and tablets are seen as natural allies toward taking the office productivity to the new levels. With the support from major players already happening, the availability of the Windows Azure Tablet will provide further choices for the enterprises in their IT transformation initiatives toward improved office productivity.
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