CIO planning to move 4000 PCs to Surface Pro, ditching iPad


The iPad is not the best business computer.

There is a lot of optimism around Microsoft recently, and a report from Business Insider from a Chief Information Officer from a large enterprise company that plans to buy 4000 Surface Pro tablets instead of iPads will certainly continue to add fuel to the fire.

He plans to use the tablets to replace 4,000 aging Windows PCs, devices which he initially planned to replace with iPads.

"For a large part of the executive team, we do need mobile devices and we were leaning towards the iPad," he said. "That’s that’s changed with the Surface."

He notes it takes as long to learn the iPad user interface than Windows 8, and it did not offer the same advantages.

"The big killer app for us is Office," he said. "We want to do Office natively" on the device because there’s better compatibility when running old Office documents than using an iPad app like Apps To Go, he said.  Plus, the Surface runs Adobe software like Flash.

"Windows 8 drives you batty for exactly four hours ā€¦ seriously," he said. "Get yourself a Surface and it takes you a day to get used to keyboard and it takes about four hours to learn the touch interface."

The unnamed executive is also encouraging companies to upgrade to Windows 8 sooner rather than later.

In his tests, he said apps ran "15%-20%" faster on Windows 8 over Windows 7. That’s a "noticeable" difference, he says.

"Any app that runs on Windows 7 runs better on Windows 8," he said, because Windows 8 needs less memory and boots faster. "It’s a hell of a lot more responsive."

Hopefully this enthusiasm will spread through the business community and result in a faster upgrade cycle than currently expected, with many companies only now finishing the Windows 7 upgrade.

The company most at risk is Apple, with companies seemingly gravitating strongly to their old and trusted partner.

In a survey of 175 small businesses by iYogi Insights, 29% who had no tablet were considering Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets rather than an iPad.  Of those that already had an iPad, 38%  said they are considering changing to Windows 8.

As in the example above, Windows 8 is more likely to come into a company via tablets than PCs at the minute, according to an informal survey of 700 IT execs by Fiberlink, which makes software for managing mobile devices, but this trojan horse may also encourage the move to Windows 8 on the desktop also.

The new reality is being reflected in Microsoft shares for once, with the company up 5.8% over the course of the week, while Apple is down 5.4%.


  • techieg

    That is a CIO that actually has knowledge, although initially planning to replace aging PCs with iPads was not a bright idea, to say the least.

    • mrdeezus


  • Eric Hon

    that’s great news, however, if you have aging PCs, the Surface with WinRT may not exactly resolve that problem with legacy apps. I’m not sure if he meant that’ll they’ll plan to purchase Win Pro Surface? Maybe my initial interpretation was wrong as I was thinking they were going to purchase the current Surface, but it now sounds like it will be the Surface Pro.

    • surur

      Yes, they are planning to buy Surface Pro tablets.

    • just

      It said in the first paragraph that they are planning to buy 4000 Surface Pro instead of an iPads.

      • gken

        he is talking about his own experience not the articles.

      • Gavin Tom

        he is talking about his own experience not the articles.

    • Drewidian

      You can buy Surface RT tablets and virtualize the apps you need with an existing Citrix, or Windows Terminal Services. I’ve been testing it since last Friday when I got mine and it works flawlessly. My boss is going to get a dozen and pilot it with a few users who primarily use office. If they like it and are willing to give up their laptops/Desktops, we’ll replace them. In the end it will probably be a 70/30 split between Surface RT devices and Surface Pro. We’ll deploy 15000+ devices over the next 3 years as warranties/support run out. Its going to be an interesting year for MS, Apple, and Google.

  • Ef Jay

    Repeat after me, “office on ipad is a bad idea, office on ipad is a bad idea”. Thanks for making my point, Mr CIO.

  • Alpha0ero

    Wow, who would of thought a tablet, specifically created for running Windows 8, would function as a better tablet than a tablet running IOS trying to impersonate the tablet specifically created for running Windows 8.

    Seemed so simple to me I pre-ordered my Surface and am loving it.

  • blackhawk556

    this will be of big benefit to MS but if it is true that office is coming to iPad next year, you can kiss Surface’s big advantage out the door. MS has to keep office exclusive for windows 8 tablets or they will be killing win 8 tablet sales. What do you guys think??

    • NegLewis

      Office SHOULD be put on iPads and all Android Tablets… but without Mail.

      • Bugbog

        Not on Android, though.

        Consider. Apple’s iPad is an undisputed market leader, which won’t be diminished anytime in the immediate future (overtime, especially as the Surface and other hybrids iterate, maybe).

        Android, however, does not really have a presence in the large tablet ‘play and work’ market, despite trying for 2 years. The last thing Microsoft needs to do is give it any credibility by offering Office for Android (much like the first Obama v Romney debate! :) ).

        Given the lack of USP offered with the new Nexus 10 (other than a high resolution), then I consider it only a matter of time, before Android (on large tablets) are relegated.

      • Dasher14

        NO it shouldn’t. It will, but it shouldn’t. Microsoft promised to make Office for Apple for five years in 1997, and I’m sure Apple probably found a way to renew that agreement to include their iPad. Since the Office Web Apps are a totally failure to iPads and Android Tablets, I’m sure Apple is persuading Microsoft for a change. Microsoft shouldn’t be forced to provide their product to another company….Mac’s are good for a lot of things but, Mac lovers need to understand what their missing and why….IT’S NOT AN ENTERPRISE DEVICE!
        And – the iOS is for mobile apps, not full blown production applications; so if they do create one…it’ll be dumbed down.

  • Croc Ography

    And so its starts.

  • Vincent Haakmat

    I am one of the CIOs who will also purchase Surface Pro tablets instead of iPads or Androids, simply because of the 100% compatibility with our existing Windows Domain network and (legacy) devices

  • Breakingillusions

    Nice companies need to follow this guy

  • grs_dev

    Hmm the CIO of MS doesn’t count šŸ˜›