Mobile // Mobile Devices
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11/8/2011
11:33 AM
Larry Seltzer
Larry Seltzer
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Extreme Consumerization: Nook And Fire are NSFW

It's entirely appropriate for their markets that Amazon and Barnes and Noble are making their tablets less usable in a business environment, but it doesn't change the fact that they are inappropriate for one. Will IT will still have to deal with them? They shouldn't.

The new tablets coming out from Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble make a lot of sense from their point of view. These tablets are the razors for which they hope to sell blades, in the form of books, music and video, which are their core businesses. For such a young category the tablet market is specializing very quickly.

As my colleague Thomas Claburn details in InformationWeek, the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet are built on different forked versions of Android 2.2. They won't run standard Android apps (at least until the custom ROMs come out) and they sure won't be supported by any enterprise management systems for tablets.

The Nook Tablet costs more than the Kindle but has beefier hardware.

These devices are consumer devices, pure and simple. They are a poor choice for business use. I'll seriously consider buying one for my 9 year old daughter, but a business user who wants a tablet will likely find themselves dissatisfied by a Kindle or Nook. And who wants to carry around 2 tablets?

Between the two actual devices, the Nook seems to have better hardware and the advantage of many retail outlets. The Kindle may have some software advantages, especially in their Silk browser, but both pale in comparison to the more expensive iPad and less-customized Android tablets in terms of flexibility. Both are also smaller and less powerful than more general-purpose tablets.

The Kindle Fire

My philosophy of consumerization is to resist an "anything goes" mentality; therein lies network chaos. It's both inevitable and desirable for IT to accomodate appropriate devices. These devices aren't appropriate.

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