But Windows 8 should be a winner, company tells CBR
Dell held off pushing tablets running the Android operating system at its enterprise customers because its usability was not up to scratch, the company has told CBR.
Dell's Android tablet range includes the Streak 5 and 7 devices but they have not sold in vast quantities. Both devices were discontinued in 2011. Dell has in fact has been strangely quiet on the enterprise front in the face of some very loud, if not entirely successful, moves from its competitors.
The enterprise market for tablets has exploded recently, as people such as Roambi's Ali Shirnia have told CBR recently, but that is mainly thanks to the iPad. Competitors, such as HP's TouchPad and RIM's PlayBook have failed to make any significant impact, certainly when compared to the runaway success of Apple's iPad.
Speaking to CBR, Tony Parkinson, VP, CSMB, Global Enterprise Services & Solutions, revealed that Dell had been disappointed with what Android offered to the tablet market and that it was much more confident about what Windows 8 will bring.
"The Android experience has not been what we hoped for as a provider. From a customer point of view, on a smartphone it's fine but on the tablet on the whole the Android experience isn't quite there in terms of usability, customers have told us. So we've held off on the Android tablet part of the business. I think Windows 8 with the touch capabilities and the access to the installation base will be exciting," Parkinson told us.
We can expect to hear more from Dell in this space during 2012, Parkinson added.
Ed English, Dell's marketing director, commercial enterprise, also reiterated the Dell is committed to its PC business, saying that an HP-style spin-off (later abandoned) was out of the question. He did say however, that the company does not want to compete in the very low-end, low-margin hardware space.
"That's where we're fundamentally different [compared to HP]. We never wavered or thought about moving our PC industry. Our PC industry is incredibly important to us; our commercial desktop business grew 7% year on year in a shrinking market and we're driving more margin out of our desktop business. We have no doubt as to the importance of the client business to us," English told CBR.
"The $250 price point? We're not interested in chasing that," he added. "Let someone else do that. Our focus is not market share for market share, it is profitable growth."
"We've seen some of the competitors in that space have tough times financially. It's not sustainable. But we haven't forgotten about the client, we understand the linkage and Windows 8 is very exciting; it's a huge forced refresh," added Parkinson.