Why tablets should be embraced as the new laptop

Microsoft is making its Office application available on iPads.

Tablets and smartphones are becoming ever more popular for the modern businessman or woman and if you are an independent software vendor (ISV) that is not focused on this technology then you are at risk of getting left behind.

Most recently, this has been recognised by Microsoft, which is rumoured to finally be making its Office application available on iPad, which is one of the most popular tablets on the market at the moment.

The new chief executive officer of Microsoft, Satya Nadella, is set to make the announcement at an event focused specifically on Cloud and mobile on March 27th.

This plan is due to be unveiled despite previous reluctance from Microsoft to move Office to the iOS devices, due to concerns that it would be undermining its own operating system.

If Microsoft is embracing the move to tablets and smartphones over PCs then ISVs should too. Proof of this can be found simply by looking at sales figures for tablets and smartphones in comparison to PCs. Over the past couple of years, unit shipments of smartphones and tablets have been rising considerably whilst PC sales have been on the decline.

The reason for this means looking back to why the laptop took off in the first place: having a portable computer was perfect for workers on the go. However, this point became obsolete as smartphones became more powerful and tablets emerged, which were even easier to carry around.

Of course, Microsoft has recognised the emergence of smartphones and tablets as the portable device for work of choice, which is why it has since released Windows phones, working with Nokia, and Surface Pro tablets.

Additionally, the move to mobile devices requires a more flexible means of storing and accessing important work applications. Indeed, the Cloud is behind every step of the move to smartphones and tablets.

Again, Microsoft's reaction to this is right on the money with its Azure cloud offering. The giant has everything for the ISV that embraces mobile, including a space to build the applications that consumers want.