Could the Surface Stop the Flood of BYOD?

The core of the rumors were true. Microsoft unveiled a two versions of a “tablet” at their mysterious conference on the 18th. Tablet is in quotes because as Computerworld pointed out, Microsoft used the term “PC” much more frequently than tablet during their presentations. But whatever they call it, the Surface does have the possibility to make serious inroads in the enterprise market.

Afterall, Windows dominates the laptop and desktop markets in the enterprise. IT has been dealing with employees bringing their own mobile devices and struggling with the fact that the devices consumers choose just don’t merge with corporate policies very well. Assuming the Surface is what Mircrosoft says (and they haven’t said that much), not only could it take over corporate issued mobile devices, but in some cases might replace existing laptop systems.

I know if my employer gave me the choice between a 6 pound monster or a 2 pound Surface Pro, the choice would be easy. Particularly if either I traveled a lot or took work home frequently. But the question everyone is asking is: will it make me want to leave my iPad at home? Now that there is an alternative (or will be once it is released) we could see corporate policies that are less forgiving of the BYOD mentality. If the Surface models support the enterprise environment (a la Windows policy based security and maintenance) the flood of personal devices just might be stopped when corporations close the doors to that option. Employees may not have as much freedom of choice any more.

And it is possible that the Surface could delight consumers as well. Only time will tell. Physically at least the Surface has some new elements that give it a cool factor: the kickstand, and the “integrated” keyboard and cover. Whether you like Microsoft or not, you have to admit that adding a keyboard to the iPad-like flexible cover was a great idea. If it actually works well, then that feature alone could be a real draw to people who use their tablets for more than just movies, games and email. But no one knows if it is included or if it is an upgrade or accessory purchase.

So what do you think about the Surface? Is it a possible BYOD killer?