Why Develop Applications for Windows 8.1?

31 May 2014

Recently, I was asked to write a Windows 8.1 application for a client. Although I have been a Microsoft-based technologist for all of my career, I had to ask myself why the client would chose this platform. Windows has less than 5% of the tablet market and there is not much of a developer community around it. Also, the devices are running a full-blown OS. This means the battery life is more comparable to a laptop than other tablet platforms. All of this being said, there are legitimate reasons to choose Windows. This is especially true in an enterprise environment.

For my client, going with a Windows table over Android or IOS was the only possible decision. Because they are in an industrial setting, there are certain safety certifications that are required for their tablets. Since the only tablet that meets this criteria is the Panasonic FZ-G1 and it is running Windows, it was an easy decision to go with Windows. However, there are other reasons to choose Windows in an enterprise setting.

These include:

  • Integration with existing Active Directory servers
  • Consistency in deploying enterprise level updates
  • The ability of users to utilize the same applications across platforms
  • Familiar user experience

While I still have reservations about purchasing one for myself and doubts about Windows tablets ever catching up to the competition, this project has has opened my eyes about an important niche where this platform may be the right choice. Windows still has its place, and should not be dismissed without considering all of the criteria of a given project.