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Why PCs Trump iPads For User Innovation 523

Posted by samzenpus
from the using-the-old-tools dept.
snydeq writes "InfoWorld's Bob Lewis argues that while the iPad may be opening IT's eyes to a new way to encourage end-users to innovate new solutions for their organizations, that work will better be undertaken on the PC. 'When the subject is PCs, the answer is to lock 'em down and run everything in the data center. When the subject is iPads, the answer is that there's an app for that,' Lewis writes. 'Before you decide the iPad is your platform, though, consider the factors that favor the PC. First, it's a sunk cost. Second, it's more capable. And third, your end-users are already familiar with it. Which brings us to what's particularly sad about the end-user innovation situation: Until the iPad resurrected the subject, most IT organizations have actively discouraged it. It goes beyond locking down the devices so that end-users can't install software they might find helpful in their day-to-day work or might increase efficiency in their departments.'"
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Why PCs Trump iPads For User Innovation

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  • by hairyfeet (841228) <{bassbeast1968} {at} {}> on Thursday August 18, 2011 @12:17AM (#37126078) Journal

    Nah what he's saying is the reason they are pushing iPads is because they don't lock them down and if they would give the users a teeny tiny bit of freedom on the PC instead of being total BOFH about everything you'd see more work getting done.

    Sadly I have to agree. While AD and GPOs are nice I've seen too many BOFH get addicted to GPOs and end up locking the machines down to almost the point of unusability. The reason you don't see innovation at corps on the PC is because the IT guys first lock the living shit out of it THEN put some really shitty AV that sucks resources like Norton. What you have is a machine that is painful to use that just screams drudgery.

    But don't worry two or three really nasty apps will come out for the iShiny and then the IT guys will find a way to lock the living shit out of them too. There can be a healthy middle between giving everyone admin and making them so locked out they can't do squat without IT standing there but sadly from what I've seen all you get is the two extremes.

  • by Missing.Matter (1845576) on Thursday August 18, 2011 @12:32AM (#37126138)

    when you can easily work on screen as it is, with a stylus, or with any USB or bluetooth keyboard why would the iPad not be a good solution for day to day note taking?

    As a heavy Tablet PC user (you know, the tablets we had before tablets were cool) I thoroughly disagree with this, at least for an academic scenario. I take all my notes on my Latitude XT. Now THAT is a great note taking computer. Write with the stylus in one note, flip the screen around and type just as easily. It has robust and full featured note taking applications like OneNote, which is pretty much the killer app for tablets.

    I tried to use my iPad to do the same, but it's really just awful. Without an active digitizer, any stylus you buy is as accurate as writing with your thumb. So you end up writing super large, which isn't really isn't great for the intricate diagrams I like to draw. The apps are pretty anemic as well. Apps like UPAD are nice, but they don't have all the features of something like OneNote. Then there's the issue of multitasking, which is something the iPad really doesn't do even with the iOS4. I'm talking voice recording, cutting images from textbooks, pasting in notes, browsing the internet. It can do these things... but it's just way too slow compared to how I work on my tablet PC. And trying to do these things on the iPad 1 is just painfully slow and unstable sometimes.

    In all it's an okay device, but I can't use it for what I wanted to. I usually just end up reading books and browsing web pages with it. Content consumption

  • by thatskinnyguy (1129515) on Thursday August 18, 2011 @01:37AM (#37126428)
    Your argument boils down to one thing: iPads are for consuming content and not producing it.
  • by hairyfeet (841228) <{bassbeast1968} {at} {}> on Thursday August 18, 2011 @05:49AM (#37127416) Journal

    O Lord another Linux nutter. listen Sparky your brilliant idea WILL NOT WORK for several reasons. 1.-Every corp has mission critical apps and guess what? they don't run on Linux and would cost incredible amounts of money to have built in house. A hell of a lot more than using Windows. 2.-The bottom of the line corporate drone PCs? Well guess what again? they do NOT come with Linux drivers AT ALL. You want those? then it is workstations which again crazy money not worth the effort. 3.-Until Linus gets his big fat head out of his ass (yeah good luck with that) and allows an ABI like EVERYBODY ELSE HAS good fucking luck getting drivers worth a piss for anything other than the workstation gear, which again big money you just fucked the company. 4.- Linux admins worth a fuck? NOT cheap. Windows MCSEs? you can pick good ones up on the corner besides the Mexican day laborers. Again more money not worth the shit.

    Despite your dreams of the "mythical office" where the ONLY things they run are a browser? hate to break the news to ya pal but they don't exist. There is always SOMETHING, some mission critical program, some piece of hardware that Linux will NEVER have a driver for, something. As Munich and a thousand other places that had the same brilliant idea found out there is ALWAYS something, and that something bites you right in the ass.

    The ONLY way your idea works is if you start a business from scratch around that idea and you got some serious VC to burn through getting off the ground because you are talking about having to start out with a workforce with ZERO experience in ANYTHING you are using. Every single office worker out there? they know how to run Windows and MS Office. hell most places even teach those in HS. Otherwise you are only replacing MSFT desktops for MSFT thin clients and frankly with the price of PCs you again end up losing money on the deal. I've looked into it for customers and frankly it is cheaper to just give a low end Brazos or Atom based box for the "non heavy" employees and a standard AMD quad for those doing the heavy lifting.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 18, 2011 @06:38AM (#37127622)

    Most of the IT people I know, have to know at least something about the job someone is doing, in order to recommend, support, show and otherwise train people how IT can enhance their job performance and productivity with technology. We may not be intimate with the details of their job, but we know way more about what they do, than they know about we do.

    Beyond the good points you have already made, IT knows how the entire organization works. We work with everyone in the organization, from the C level executives down to the personal assistants and everyone in between. We know what systems people use and we know why people use those systems. When people need new functionality, we understand the business needs that drive the requirements. In most organizations, the head of IT is probably one of the most clued in people in the organization by the simple virtue of needing to be in order to do their job. (Jokes about IT being the last to know aside)

    Sadly this highlights the problem. 'We know...' is untrue of every person, every division, every project in every organisation. The truth is more like 'we assume we know better and that the other group are idiots'. Approaching a problem with the view that 'we know...' will fuck everything up.

    The simple truth we are mostly too arrogant or self deluded to accept is that we really have no idea what the end user and those people who work 'the line' want/need/go through every day. Not unless we go out and ask them, spend time shadowing them or do basic behavioural research and choice/preference modelling; at best we know our own experiences with the same situation, but subjectivity is just as dangerous as arrogance.

    That we see 'dialog boxes' which only give a user one choice is a perfect example that at least some in the IT industry don't 'know' very much about usability at all. The volume of time spent 'expediting' special situations that the ERP cannot handle in most organisations is another signal. Not to mention password expiry or rules that prompt people to move from mediocre but securely stored passwords to strong passwords that are written on post it notes so that the average person can remember what it is currently set to.

    No, a group with the Hubris that 'they know...' is two things, wrong (excepting broken clock syndrome) and bloody dangerous.

    Just my $0.02

  • by macs4all (973270) on Thursday August 18, 2011 @08:04AM (#37127962)

    More likely against Android tablets.

    iPads are for content consumers, not creators.

    Really? So who are things like iMovie, GarageBand, Pages, Keynote, Sketchbook Pro, Create Apps Without Programming, iCreate, Creative Book Builder, Touch App Creator, Adobe Ideas, Learn To Draw, Video Editor, Auryn Ink, Scratch Card, QR Code Generator, Story Buddy, App Craft HD, DoInk, Caster, Sketchpad Pro HD, Heavy Metal Music Creator, Crayola, Build-a-Story, AutoCAD WS, Dollhouse Creator, RPG Cartographer, PHYZIOS Sculptor Pro, Forms Central, App Designer HD, Christmas Card Maker, Fractal Maker, Robot Maker HD, Make It So, Create Interactive Documents, Tab Builder, CADTouch, Visual Poetry, Doodle Pad HD, Hand Painting HD, Tapp Beat, Arte Plus, Realizer, Creative Me, Visualxscript Universal, StereoStudio, UDesigner, igiHTML Editor, et FRICKIN' CETERA, the list goes on and on and on and...

    Sorry, but from the very young to the not-so-young, from the serious to the downright silly, there are literally TENS OF THOUSANDS of iOS apps (and I was just looking at the somewhat smaller set of iPad (vs. iPhone) apps) specifically designed for content CREATION.

    So, quit perpetuating a completely specious myth, willya?

  • Re:Summary (Score:4, Informative)

    by Windwraith (932426) on Thursday August 18, 2011 @08:58AM (#37128396)

    The problem is that your fingers obstruct your vision, so touching is not that useful to me. The day one table can handle pen input the same way as my wacom tablet does, we'll talk. The moment I can drag and drop small numbers in an editor or spreadsheet without losing visibility because of my fingers, or needing a massive cell space for each number, we'll talk.
    The moment I can play a "touch" game without the freaking finger getting in the way, we'll definitely talk.
    Alternatively, when our fingers are totally transparent we'll talk.

Work is the crab grass in the lawn of life. -- Schulz