Archive for the ‘Tablet’ tag
Image Source: Microsoft
Today Microsoft announced the Surface 2 AT&T 4G LTE version that will be available for $679 USD soon. To get more information on this, please visit the Microsoft Surface blog.
Learn more about the Surface 2 here: http://www.microsoft.com/surface/en-us/products/surface-2
Microsoft has announced the delivery of Windows 8.1 to there hardware manufacturers. What does the new Windows update mean to the end user and their companies?
There are a changes which are very interesting for mobile computing, administration and security. To enable the user for being even more productive Microsoft added wireless printing functionality via Wi-Fi Direct and NFC support. Another wireless feature is Miracast which can sync the screen to a bigger display.
To ease users live the VPN-Client opens automatically if a resource needs access to the internal network. But there are also a lot of changes for BYOD (Bring your own device) and MDM (Mobile Device Management). A new feature in that area is “Work Folders” which syncs files from the network to the local device and vice versa. This functionality is natively integrated into the filesystem.
In regards to security the new “Workplace join” option helps IT departments to control the access to company resources granularly. Windows Defender has also been updated and can now detect malware via their network activity.
In Horizon View version 5.2 + View Feature Pack 1 VMware introduced the new Unity Touch feature formally known as Project AppShift. Unity Touch is a very cool integration of Windows apps and documents in the VMware Horizon View Client for iOS and Android devices. In the screenshots you can see the Unity Touch tab which gives the user direct access to their documents or installed applications on the virtual Windows desktop. This is cool as the user doesn’t need to touch on the screen, go to the start menu etc. If you go back to the screenshot, you can see a description “Favorite applications.” At this point the user can define his favorite apps so he doesn’t need to choose “All programs” first to find an application.
So it would also make sense if IT could preconfigure this favorite apps with the most common applications, like Outlook, Word or other productivity tools. In a nutshell it is only editing the Windows Registry on the virtual desktop.
If you want to learn how it works please check this document: http://www.vmware.com/pdf/horizon-view/horizon-view-52-feature-pack-document.pdf
Last week at VMworld in San Francisco VMware introduced a new Project called AppShift. This is all about transparently transforming key elements of the Windows UI key elements to get a tablet friendly UI.
A few days ago I got the chance to put my hands on a brand new Fujitsu M532 tablet which is running Android OS. A shiny device which is pretty fast and running the VMware View Client by default.
The Fujitsu M532 has the following characteristics:
- 10″ Screen 25,6cm WXGA 16:10 1280×800 Pixels
- NVIDIA Tegra 3 Quad Core Processor at 1.3 GHz
- 1 GB RAM, 32 GB eMMC, Card Reader, Dual Webcam
- HDMI, 1 x USB, WLAN, 3G, GPS & Bluetooth
- 8,5h Battery
- Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
As a Apple junkie I was positively surprised about the quality and speed of the M532. This may come from the bad experience I had with a Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 smartphone as this was way to slow. For me it seems that the the M532 is a great device for traveling as it has a weight of only 560g. With a optional docking station you can connect even 2 more USB devices to the tablet. Via the HDMI port you could connect a standard screen and use the tablet as a thin client for View.
The tablet comes in tiny box with a power adapter and a screen wipe as you can see on the two photos. When I turned the M532 on the setup was straight forward. Of course it asked me for a Google Account but this was not a requirement and I skipped it for now. On the Next photo you can see how thin the tablet is, just compared it to the USB port.
Compared to my old Sony X10 working with the new Android 4.0 was very comfortable, to be honest – I liked it.
Working with a tablet is great but what if it comes to business applications which are only running on Windows? VDI or Terminal Services is the answer but yes, for me the answer is VDI. The M532 comes with a pre installed VMware View Client for Android. The configuration was easy as with every View client. I’ve added my credentials and could connect to my hosted desktop at Terremark.
I played around with the View Client which is fully comparable to the iPad client in my eyes. The video quality was brilliant, it seems that the processor is quite powerful. Watch this quick video from VMworld about Octopus and AppBlast.
This brings me to the next topic! Octopus and AppBlast! Those two would be a great additional feature to the M532. On one hand I could securely sync all the data I want from my other devices or my home drive to the tablet and on the other hand could run all my apps in the web browser instead of using the VMware View Client. This would even be more easier for the end user.
I’ve tested the M532 also with my Horizon AppManager account and like with the iPad or iPhone the website of Horizon is customized for Android.
The M532 is a great device for business. With the WLAN and 3G connection it is possible to work almost everywhere.
I’m wondering if customers really use tablet computers in the field in masses today or if this is more a BYOD thing and every employee is deciding which device they want to go with?
A few days ago I’ve started to work with a Fujitsu Q550 tablet computer as my main device for the timeframe of a week. I wanted to know if working with a tablet as the only device will work. Well, it works good but it is different to working with a standard Laptop. The Q550 is a real mobile device and it’s fun to travel with it as it is light and very handy because it fits into almost every bag. During the last three days I could do whatever I needed to do with the Q550 but as I already mentioned – it is different. You’ve to rethink about standard tasks as you are working with a digitizer pen or the touch display instead of using keyboard and mouse. It feels a bit strange not controlling Windows with the standard input devices. Compared to IOS there is room for improvement, but Fujitsu already worked on a additional “Touch” interface. Think about it as an Windows Explorer replacement which is actually only an overlay to the Windows desktop. But it’s great as you can integrate your Outlook Inbox into the app and also other functions like a RSS reader. A very good approach but I would add an open API or something similar which could help to integrate other applications. I would love to have my Zimbra client implemented.
All applications worked well, but this is no magic because I still work with a standard Windows OS. I had some challenges with the View Client and my virtual desktop which I haven’t addressed completely yet. The onscreen keyboard isn’t forwarded into the VDI session. This means that if I use the onscreen keyboard on the local Windows installation, the input does not go into the VM. The workaround here was to start the onscreen keyboard on the virtual desktop when I connect to it. Gestures doesn’t work in the session as well but this is no issue to me. At the moment I’m thinking about getting one of these boys to have a proper monitor, mouse and keyboard for my VDI desktop. If this port replicator works I think it will be fun using the Q550 as a thin Client when sitting at the desk. If I can get one of the replicators I’ll write how it works.
In summary I’d say that working with a slate tablet is easy but you need to get used to it first. I love the fact that I can use Microsoft One Note for the first time as I want to use it. The Q550 is so light and its even like writing on a piece paper. Great! It’s brilliant to take meeting notes with the pen.
Now I’m on holidays for two weeks but I’ll still work with the tablet and blog about it… stay tuned.
That was a surprise when I watched the VMware Lab Video from Brian Madden’s BriForum 2011 in London. My colleagues already showed a quick demo of the VMware View Client for Android tablets. It has exactly the same gesture recognition like the VMware View Client for iPads.
This week I got a chance to work with the new Fujitsu Stylistic Q550 tablet PC. It has no keyboard, so only working with the onscreen keyboard, but it has a connector for a docking station. In my eyes this means that you could use it as a full Windows client in the future. Currently you can’t buy the tablet but it should come in this year. Anyway I had the chance to test it and of course I wanted to know if this is a good device for VDI. The first action after configuring the WLAN was installing the VMware View 4.6 Client for Windows. As the tablet is running a standard Windows 7 at the moment, there was no problem installing the software.
Installaling, connecting, that’s it! It work really well. On the local Windows instance there was already the onscreen keyboard but in the virtual desktop I had to open it first. But this was just cosmetic. A very cool solution! My virtual desktop is hosted at Terremark in Amsterdam and I wanted to know how the audio/video quality will be on the device. Please check the following video for results.
Two month ago I’ve written an article about some rumour saying that Cisco is working on their own tablet. This rumour became truth today: Cisco announced a new business tablet called Cius. The 7-inch screen device is powered by an Intel Atom processor running at 1.6 GHz and weighs 0,5 kg. According to Cisco the battery should run for 8 hours, which is 2h less then the iPad. As the iPhone 4, the Cius comes with two cameras. The front-facing cam records in high definition and the camera at the back does 5 megapixel. Video conferencing shouldn’t be a problem with that. It supports Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, Bluetooth and 3G. 4G should be available at a later time. I really like the micro USB port which definitely and the SD card slot. The OS is Android and with that it has access to the Android Marketplace which offers thousands of applications. The price is targeted for less then $1000. Will this be the next Boom in the tablet market? Possibly companies see this device more in the business space then the iPad which comes in my eyes as a consumer tablet. I’m looking forward to see it live once! This could be a great way to access your virtual desktop.
Tablet PC’s are not new to me – no I’m a proud IBM Thinkpad x61T user for over 3 years. When I’ve bought the tablet my objective was to write notes with the digitizer and do interactive presentations i.e. whiteboardings, directly on a blank Powerpoint presentation. People who attended my presentations were amazed about this presentation style because it was unique to them. I’ve seen Tablet PC’s really rarely in the past but I guess that will change soon. Apple lately started to roust the market when they announced the iPad, a tablet which can be used just with your fingers without any need for a digitizer. Well there is a onscreen keyboard but no digitizer, the reason for me to buy a Tablet PC years ago. It seems that vendors must have another objective as mine. Even the processing power in an iPad is not comparable to a standard PC but to be honest it doesn’t need to be because it’s designed to consume web services – no, to be clear here: applications hosted in the cloud! There are other hardware vendors who want to get a piece of the big cake! Last week, the CIO magazine published an article with the headline: Rumor: Cisco Wants to Come to the Tablet Party. A tipster hinted that Cisco is working on it’s own tablet device which is based on Google’s Android operating system. It should include a front facing camera, dual noise-cancelling microphones and VPN access. Cool ha? That sounds really interesting! What could you do with this device? Video conferencing? Having access to your virtual desktop? If this rumour comes truth I’m really looking forward to look deeper into it. It seems that Apple just started to revolutionize the tablet market, the iPad is great marketing for every tablet vendor and also for Software-as-a-Service.