Dell Intros Windows 8 Latitude Tablet With Enhanced Security

By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2013-02-25 Print this article Print

Microsoft's BitLocker Drive Encryption also is included, as is support for Computrace software, which enables IT staffs to track the tablet in case it's lost or stolen. There also is a Noble Lock slot for even more hardware security.

"Security is going to be the biggest, hottest issue on IT in health care going into 2013," Andrew Litt, chief medical officer at Dell, said during the event.

Dell officials also touted the use of Microsoft's new Windows 8 operating system, which will make it easier for the tablets to fit into a business environment, where so much work is already done on Windows. In addition, they said that with the ability to swap batteries, users will have as much as 20 hours of battery life with the new Latitude 10.

The officials touted the business case for using the Latitude 10 over Apple's iPad, pointing to a study done by Principled Technologies at Dell's request that they said shows how much easier and less expensive it is for large enterprises to deploy and manage the Dell machines over the iPad. According to the study, the Dell tablets are 17 times faster, 94 percent less expensive to deploy, 85 percent cheaper to manage and 99 percent faster with software updates.

The comparison with the iPad is important, given the Apple device's rapid embrace by executives and workers alike. When asked about the hundreds of thousands of applications available on the iPad, Litt said that when presented with a suitable alternative application from Microsoft, many users will be OK with the alternative app. Security also will be an issue in driving decisions on what apps doctors may want, he said.

"It won't be perfect, but there will be a shift," Litt said.

Jack Gold, president of analyst firm J. Gold Associates, said he understood Dell's business push, but said too much of the focus seems to be on the IT folks. Dell officials need to pay attention to those who will use the tablet, not just those who will manage and deploy it.

"In most organizations today, it's not IT making decisions [about technology], it's the line-of-business guys," Gold told eWEEK. "They may have a good tablet, they may have a good solution in Windows … but they have to appeal to end users."

They also need to do it relatively quickly, he said. Gone are the days when a company could take three years to build a market. Gold estimated that Dell has 12 to 18 months to get its tablet business humming, or risk ending up as an also-ran in the space like BlackBerry and Nokia.

Dell also has the added burden of trying to do so with Windows 8, which is essentially a whole new OS with a new user interface, meaning it will take time for users to learn how to use it, he said.


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