There has been quite a bit of news in recent weeks about the Samsung Galaxy tablet, set for release in Europe next week, probable release in Australia in November, and confirmed release in the United States on November 1st via partnerships with AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon. If you’ve read the blog recently, you’ll know I’ve been following the development the Galaxy closely because there is quite a bit of momentum building in the industry and this is one of the big “buzz” devices as a potential iPad competitor.
The release date is well timed with the iPad’s next iteration likely at least 6 months away and RIM’s PlayBook slated for next spring. To top it off, the Galaxy has been making inroads on a number of categories in regards to its potential enterprise use. I’ve made no secret of my opinion of the iPad and its usefulness for businesses – there just are not many ways it truly stands up to daily computing, especially not as a desktop replacement.
So, in the Galaxy Tab we’re seeing talk about how effective this device could end up being. While it has a slightly smaller screen than the iPad at 7 inches, users will find a 1GHz Cortext A8 Processor, 512 MB of RAM, 16 GB of built-in storage (with a Micro SD slot for expansion) and two cameras (one of them front facing and already touting support for Fring or Qik) under the hood.
Unlike the upcoming RIM tablet which will run on a brand new operating system being developed by recent RIM acquisition QNX Software Systems, the Galaxy sports Android 2.2, providing it with the second largest App store on the market and ample opportunity for expansion. It’s especially nice because they’re shipping the Galaxy with the newest version of Android – one of the easiest to use tablet interfaces yet. The only major issue I see here is that the Android Marketplace has not been vetted for tablets yet. Most apps are built for the small resolution of smart phones. In time this will be remedied, but for early adopters, things won’t look too pretty. Real business users may find that Windows is still a far more diverse operating system in terms of the software it supports (hence the Tega V2 supporting both Windows and Android).
Of course, as I and most readers out there will agree, easy to use is only a small part of the puzzle. What does the Galaxy do for enterprise users? Already, we know that Android is a more enterprise friendly OS. It allows more freedom in how apps are developed and supports Flash technology in web pages – two very big plusses for business users.
A statement released today further supports the Galaxy as a more enterprise minded device. Citrix, known for its Receiver software, has announced a partnership with Samsung to offer their software on the Galaxy tablets and smartphones, allowing users to access their virtual desktop as well as a number of other powerful business apps such as databases, all with cloud storage so internal space isn’t eaten up (and to ensure security of the device should it be lost).
Combined with recent partnerships with Sybase, Blackboard Mobile Learn and Epocrates Rx, Samsung is trying hard to incorporate as many business tools into their new tablet platform as possible. With the device still a little ways off and public opinion very much up in the air about long term tablet viability, I’m very interested to see how Samsung’s varying approach to tablet computing will hold up.
The real point of all this is that the market seems to be coming to terms with the future of the tablet PC – a viable, mobile option for on the go computing. That means better support from major firms, more enterprise apps and a variety of connectivity options. There’s still a lot to be done but honestly, with this many new tablets on the horizon, I’m feeling very excited about the future of tablet computing.