Cisco announced its Cius tablet computer yesterday. More evidence that more IT majors are turning to tablet computing as the future. It’s very interesting that a company that rarely ventured into consumer hardware is taking its first steps into the business. Strangely, Cisco has said that it doesn’t want the device to be perceived as a consumer device or as a direct competitor to the popular Apple iPad. It seems to be squarely targeted at business customers and not individual consumers. Keeping business customers and its existing product/service range in mind, the tablet’s functions revolve around Cisco’s collaborative technology – services that include tele-presence and like Webex.
As with most of us, my instant reaction was how does this compare to the iPad? I didn’t have to look far to find out, this NetworkWorld article had it all. Amongst all those listed features, perhaps the one that interested me the most was the tablet running Android. The ability to install third party applications gives the Cius good potential as a learning device. Also, it’s evident focus on the business world means that applications developed for the Cius could penetrate businesses where Cisco collaboration solutions are used. It also provides application development opportunities that could integrate with Cisco’s existing product/service ecosystem.
As this wave of tablets continue, I’d bet that we are going to see a lot more of these launches, each attempting to outdo the other.
Good for consumers, good for the future of learning.