With Microsoft’s announcement of Windows 8, and the unveiling of the Surface Tablet, it finally appears there will be a tablet form factor that will run Revit in the field. According to the press release there will be two versions, one based on the ARM chip and another based on the Intel i5 chip running Windows 8 Pro. The iPad, as much it is great for so many tasks, simply does not have the horsepower to run Revit in the field, and delivering the type of user experience one would want with heavyweight programs is a real limitation in the ‘cloud.’ I understand Autodesk is now counting solely on Citrix to provide its remote platform but even if you are driving Revit remotely would you want to rely on whatever internet connection you have? That’s just not a funnel I would want to count on in the field.
At first glance you might say so what, not a big deal. However, if I can have a device that toggles between my heavyweight AEC programs, and delivers content the way my my iPad does then I might have an iPad to sell you; because frankly I am sick of devices, I live between the Mac and Windows camp, I’m tired of it. I used to be an Apple fanatic, even being the only kid in business school with a Mac, the disastrous PowerPC model, but what was not to like about Apple. Now, how did we get to the point where Microsoft is the little guy, relatively speaking. Now if they could get their content management into a spot that works the way you want. Imagine the central Revit model up on the sky drive, you check it out in the field, do your work, update it, booyah.
I think single purpose, highly specific apps are great to digest data, not for the creation of it so I am real interested in the melding of tablet like functionality with horsepower. I’m rooting for the little guy, I’m rooting for Microsoft.
BTW anyone else bother to notice the blending and vertical integration of software/hardware. Apple, obviously. Google buys Motorola. Microsoft with multiple attempts, Zune, XBox, etc. and now Surface. And more germane to AEC Trimble buys Tekla and SketchUp. Seems to be the biz strategy du jour, watch for more.