What A Year It’s Been...
Ah, January. The holiday embellishments disappear, the short days and the winter chill sink their teeth in, and we can’t help but become a bit more introspective. January is apposite for peering into the year ahead, but it is also apt for reflecting on where we’ve been.
By Matt Purdue
This issue of Mobile Enterprise suitably fits this theme. We focus on some of the industry’s latest innovations that, before you know it, will be vying for your capital expenditures budget’s attention—if they aren’t already. Simultaneously, we take a new look at some of the venerable solutions that have been part-and-parcel of the untethered workforce for years.
In our cover story, contributing editor Lamont Wood, author of more than half a dozen business technology books, dissects the fresh crop of Tablet PCs. Wood scrutinizes the slow-but-steady evolution of the Tablet PC from niche form factor to one of the PC industry’s most exciting areas of invention and originality. But should you invest your dollars in a device just as it is finally starting to generate some excitement in the enterprise? Or should you sit this one out for a while? Wood certainly has some answers for you.
Also riffing on Microsoft, columnist Tim Bajarin pulls the down comforter (it is January, after all) off the newest mobile platforms from Redmond, Wash. Microsoft’s Windows Mobile operating system core is not only challenging convention, but making even ardent fans of Palm OS, J2ME and EPOC sit up and take notice. Bajarin points out some of the inherent advantages in Microsoft’s technology, which powers the latest generation of PDAs, smartphones and hybrids: seamless integration of PIM, e-mail, instant messaging and Web surfing on a handheld is just one benefit. But he also observes some of the shortcomings in this multi-pronged approach.
With a nod toward known quantities, contributing editor Emily Kay parses dispatch and scheduling software, an all-important but often overlooked piece of the mobile puzzle. This market is expected to double in size (to $2 billion) by 2006, and Kay checks up on both highly advanced software suites needing intense integration work, and a new family of near-turnkey solutions that require much less effort. Kay will help you decide if it’s time to add or upgrade your company’s system.
Whatever solutions are enabling your mobile strategy in 2004, be they new or tried-and-true, here’s wishing you a successful new year.