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Apple iPad Backed As Business Tool By Forrester

Forrester Research believes Apple’s iPad will be a tempting business tool for mobile professionals, who make up 28 percent of the enterprise workforce

A leading analyst company believes that Apple’s iPad will catch on among mobile professionals, as they travel from company headquarters to remote offices, or from one business meeting to the next.

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Despite demonstrations from Apple CEO Steve Jobs that portrayed the iPad as a media consumption device, eWEEK tech analyst Cameron Sturdevant noted that the increased consumerisation of IT guarantees the iPad will end up in the enterprise, adding:

“Employees will want to integrate their work email and calendar information with those applications on the iPad. And since there are thousands of business-oriented App Store applications already available for the iPhone and iTouch, including connectors to Salesforce.com, it’s only a question of ‘when’ not ‘if’ the iPad will wend its way into your organisation.”

Meanwhile Forrester Research analyst Ted Schadler said that the tablet will catch on as an employee-provisioned third device among mobile professionals, who comprise 28 percent of the enterprise workforce.

Corporate employees will buy iPads, which will range from $499 (£314) to $829 (£521) in March (Wi-Fi only) and April (with 3G), and then use them on the road as they travel from company headquarters to remote offices, or from one business meeting to the next.

The big screen with multitouch capabilities will make it an efficient device for accessing web services. Moreover, Schadler said some workers will take their iPads in lieu of their work-sanctioned laptops because the tablet will suit their productivity needs for email, calendar, contacts and web conferencing.

Apple is offering its iWork word processing, presentation and spreadsheet applications for $9.99 (£6.28) each on the iPad. Ideally, this suite will give executives what they need to present on the road, Schadler said.

He added that Microsoft, the reigning king of enterprise productivity software, would do well to write software for the iPad in its own Office formats or risk losing market share to Apple’s iWork suite.

Apple Insider’s Prince McLean said the iPad now supports VGA output for driving a projector directly, setting up the device as a fine keynote presentation tool in conjunction with the iWork apps.

Users can mark up slides and point with a virtual laser pointer as the presentation continues, McLean wrote.

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