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Windows 8 tablets could upset the Apple cart: Dell

Dell is cautiously rubbing its hands with anticipation over the impending launch of Windows 8 in October 2012

Dell is cautiously rubbing its hands with anticipation over the impending launch of Windows 8 in October 2012, claiming the touch orientated operating system could offer a real alternative to Apple iOS in the tablet space.

Speaking at the vendor's quarterly briefing in Sydney, Dell Asia Pacific and Japan president, Amit Midha, said Windows 8's touch capability, and integration with other Microsoft offerings, would offer enterprise customers "an alternative to iOS."

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"We have a long term strategy for Windows 8 and we think it is good news to offer a tablet that offers security and integration," he told analysts and press.

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He added that the vendor was planning to offer two Windows 8 powered tablets and OS migration services to enterprises.

Dell Australia and New Zealand managing director, Joe Kremer, confirmed that the vendor is picking up consulting work in the A/NZ enterprise space as companies decide between migrating to Windows 8 or continuing to run Windows 7 while deploying a Windows 8 extension for tablets.

He echoed Midha's sentiments about tablets and pointed to integration issues with non-Windows tablets.

"If you are using a product that needs Citrix to be loaded on top and then needs Windows to be loaded you might have questions about productivity," he said. According to Kremer, there was a "lot of opportunity" for someone to emerge in the tablet or mobility space with a product that makes people productive as opposed to designing something that might be "more of a consumer product."

"With Windows 8 coming out it has the possibility of changing things," he said. "It is designed to allow simplicity of touch interface but it also allows security and native exchange."

However, Kremer would not be drawn on if Dell was banking on Windows 8 tablet demand to offset its flat PC business.

"We'll see. I think the war is far from over," he said.

"We found PCs to be quite a competitive market in A/NZ this quarter. We are flat to slightly up in revenue share and flat to slightly down in unit share."

Apple Australia was contacted by Computerworld Australia but declined to comment.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU, or take part in the Computerworld conversation on LinkedIn: Computerworld Australia