Another significant win for Apple’s popular tablet brand: British multinational banking and financial services company Barclays has confirmed it’s purchased 8,500 iPads “to assist our branch colleagues to interact with customers, improving the customer experience”.

The announcement couldn’t have come at a worse time for Microsoft, whose Surface tablet hit store shelves on October 26 but so far has generated only “modest sales”, per CEO Steve Ballmer

Barclays is planning to preload unspecified iPad models with a custom-program aptly named Mortgage Brain which helps mortgage brokers scan the entire market for available options. A spokesperson for the London, United Kingdom-headquartered bank confirmed the news to The Register on Friday.

We investigated a number of different tablet options and in this instance, we concluded that iPads were the best solution for their specific needs. We are now starting to use these across Barclays branches in the UK.

The article also cites Insight UK, a British vendor of IT solutions, noting that large UK enterprises are beginning to show “significant interest in the take up of Apple iPads”.

The iPad and big business go together like hand and glove.

A recent study of developers polled by the mobile platform company Appcelerator and market research firm IDC revealed that developers view iOS as having a significant lead over Android in enterprise.

The study noted that “Android appears to be evolving more towards a consumer play, which in turn provides a key competitive opening for Microsoft in the enterprise mobile app space”.

But for all Microsoft’s efforts to exploit its natural workplace advantage, it’s failed so far to yield tangible results. A multitude of factors are working against the Redmond firm, starting with lukewarm reception of Windows 8 in business as corporations employ the waiting tactics, mostly avoiding deployment of the new operating system over its explicit touch paradigm which doesn’t lend itself well to business needs.

Windows 8 growing pains led to the departure of Steven Sinoffsky, who headed the Windows division and previously oversaw Windows 7 development. Moreover, Microsoft’s Windows Server and Exchange offerings have been under relentless attacks from Google Apps for years now.

Google’s hosted suite is especially popular with small and medium-size business owners and the search firm just launched the new new Google Apps Groups Migration API to help businesses move their shared mailboxes to Google Apps.

The iPad growth has also put a break on the PC replacement cycle and the fact that Apple’s MacBook is the best-selling consumer notebook brand in the United States, coupled with modest Surface sales, doesn’t help either.

Microsoft is promising to fix the Surface laginess and other issues with future firmware updates and said it is listening to customer complaints concerning Windows 8. Microsoft’s consumer and entertainment division, however, is looking to give Apple and others a good run for their money.

A multitude of gadget releases is expected in 2013, including an inexpensive Xbox TV set-top box and a seven-inch tablet focused on gaming. The company is also thought to be mulling an Xbox branded smartphone of its own.

The Windows maker recently released Xbox Music service and updated the Smartglass iOS app with interesting wireless media streaming capabilities.

What’s your opinion?

Can Microsoft over time establish the Surface brand as a viable business tool?

  • Mohammad Ridwan

    Microsoft needs to something far more better and more compelling than Surface… Good to see apple winning almost everywhere…

    • really? Apple empire will go down sooner or later thats how things go over time…and trust me laptops will get to be history sooner or later 2 and surface and any other window tablets will be the solution. IOS is still very limited to what windows 8 can do plus windows is used on more millions of homes than IOS-based devices meaning a bigger market with a higher percentage of usability. I myself have an ipad but i find it very limited and useless compared to my desktop. Unless,apple store gets some serious and compelling applications it wont stay at top forever.

      IF apple manages to bring macinstosh on a tablet device then we have a winner.

      • Mohammad Ridwan

        Unless Sir Jony Ive and Craig Federighi re-hauls iOS in coming updates

      • There is no rehaul when the OS is so limited. Can you develop Java, Flash, HTML5, open files efficiently, change the directory of in-app files without iTunes or asking the dev for open-in feature, play real games, connect gamepad/joystick or mouse? No (actually only with jailbreak but still not developping Java/Flash/C/Python etc.). Don’t get me wrong I use my iPad daily but it can’t replace my computer because it is so limited. So the only thing that will make an iPad a real computer is Mac. I was actually wishing that hackers will find a way to port windows RT on the iPad.

      • VIP

        “I was actually wishing that havkers will find a way to port windows RT on the iPad.”


      • Why not? Imagine the full OS experience, you could even get a USB port by using the USB accessory. And just type on Google, “port windows 8” and you will see that the fifth option is to iPad. There was even an app that let you control remotely windows 8 by its touch gestures from the iPad. Windows 8 is a full OS and you can do nothing for that. After all I expect that in 2-3 years Apple will have Mac on the iPad, but keep iOS on the iPad mini, iPod Touch and iPhone. And for the transition the “Mac iPad” will be only one device so that people that don’t want a full OS can keep on using iOS on their iPad…

      • VIP

        “…plus windows is used on more millions of homes than IOS-based devices meaning a bigger market with a higher percentage of usability.”

        Why? Because of affordable price? Or because you can have it for free? Even companies in the most of countries use cracky Windows. Nobody is crazy enough to buy Windows.

        “…and trust me laptops will get to be history sooner or later…”


        “…IOS is still very limited…”

        50% true. They are working iOS to become OS X like.

        And on the end, is there ANY operating system (with Windows like features) that you can buy somewhere? No. Windows is the only one.

      • “Nobody is crazy enough to buy Windows.” LoL, except me I guess. I bought an iMac, kept it for 2 months, felt extremely limited, and then sold it. Used that money to build a PC that destroys any Mac out there…including Mac Pro. Oops.

  • Windows 8? No thanks…
    Mobile touch interface designed for touch on a mouse computer.
    Laginess on tablets.