Last year I wrote about 2011 being the year of the tablet for business and for true, by the end of the year I actually got a tablet and I’d even seen a Cisco Cius in the flesh as well as the forthcoming Small Business flavour of the product.   However, I have to admit, I’m not exactly bowled over by the amount of business uses for the fondle-slabs (thanks El Reg), I do believe they’re coming but I think there’s a sleeping giant who’s about to join the war in a typically American way.

Before the end of the year I was in New York on holiday for the Black Friday sales, I was hankering after the Motorola tablet, a Galaxy Tab 10.1 or an iPad 2 (if I really had to)  there was no decent deals on the first two.  However, I found myself in the Apple store during absolute carniage … however I picked up my iPad and was about to pay when all my cards declined, despite my card issuer knowing I was away – was about £100 off UK prices too.  I took this to be fate… so when I got home bought the Galaxy Tab 10.1 to find only a few months later they’re bringing out a new one with an SD card slot and Android ICS.  It’ll take me a while to get over it… but it does say a lot about these pieces of kit – they’re replaced in no time at all… not like a good old laptop or PC, their lifecycles live between phone and PC, which doesn’t say much for OS compatibility moving forward.   I am promised a ICS upgrade for my existing Galaxy tab… but I can’t do it, I have to wait for it to be released.  I’d kill to format the thing and install Windows 8 beta to be fair…

People have written Microsoft off, said they’re finished that Google and Apple have them scared and worried.  I personally don’t think they’re too phased.  Some time ago I wrote a review about the HTC Windows 7 Phone, I’ve been lucky enough to be loaned some Nokia Lumia 800’s by both O2 and Orange, which I’ve been evaluating for a client.  Again the Windows 7 Phone ‘Metro’ interface is fantastic, yet I’m still carrying around a Nokia E7 and a HTC Desire S… though I do think the E7 will be replaced for a Lumia shortly.  Why am I carrying around two… well one is a hotline to a client (not *that* type… if you went to drugs or prostitution there, says a lot about you!) and the Android phone, I just need the Apps and I’m not really an Apple person, I used to own a lot of Sony stuff and don’t want to go there again.

Over the last couple of months I’ve played with the developer preview of Windows 8, it’s going to take some getting used to, no doubt about it.  However, there’s sometimes advantages to being the last to market.  The interface is smooth, intuitive and very fast.  The move to more HTML 5 applications can only be a good thing, when a system admin or a contractor like Unleashed can manage a fleet of Windows PC’s and tablets and set policies for the entire network, this is going to bring a whole new era of computing to business.

Why did I mention HTML 5 too?  Well simply put, this will mean that more custom business related applications can be developed and quicker using simple, web-based technologies and deployed to your tablets and PC’s with very little hastle… the lines between software and infrastructure may indeed become more blurred.