Sunday, March 25, 2007

Craig Pringle: Ship Convertible Tablets in Slate Mode

Tablet PC MVP Craig Pringle has seen people using tablets purely as laptops. So have I. He's also seen people with tablets who never even knew they could even be used in any other way. To help correct this problem, he suggests that OEMS start shipping the devices in slate mode, with cleverly-placed overlays which give the new user info about switching from one mode to another. At first, I thought, "Why the heck not," and then I thought of a reason why.

In my IT shop, the devices generally come to us for re-imaging before they go to the user. We open the boxes, and we don't glance at or keep the documentation. Although I'm the only one who uses a tablet full time, we all know at least something about what tablets can do (Interestingly enough, we have maybe ordered one convertible that I know about; the other 30 or so tablets are slates). How many more businesses have IT organizations that work the same way?

I still like Craig's suggestion. Even in my organization, we have a large segment of users who are responsible for their own computer purchases and who have their machines delivered to them. Many of them wait for us to come and open the boxes, but there are those who can't resist the temptation. Surely some of them would benefit from seeing the tablet in its proper position and from seeing the documentation laid out as Craig recommends. For those tablet buyers who are making personal purchases, the IT department intermediary wouldn't be an issue.

So, any recommendations for getting desktop support technicians everywhere to deliver the machines in tablet mode?