Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Cisco's Business Like Approach to Tablet Computers

On Tuesday Cisco unveiled plans for a new tablet computer designed for business users. The device known as the Cisco Cius (rhymes with Priuss) is mean to be a more business-like alternative to the Apple iPad.

The Cius offers many of the same features as the iPad such as email, instant messaging and wireless Internet capability. It also will provide users with the ability to produce, edit and share content locally or on the Internet.

Not only that but unlike the iPad the Cius is equipped with a camera, in fact, two of them. And it's a pound and a half lighter than the iPad.

Like the "Streak" tablet computer that was unveiled by Dell last month, the Cius is powered by Google's Android.

Tablet computers, it would seem, are fast becoming to computer companies what hybrids are to car companies. They may not be the product to build your business on but not having one on the market is something a company does at its own risk.

And while it would be tempting to compare the Cius with the Priuss because of the satisfyingly lyrical rhyme, that comparison doesn't seem entirely accurate.

The iPad must undoubtedly be regarded as the Priuss of the notebook computer world. They are after all, both widely popular, slightly quirky in design and oh-so-user-friendly. Their television and print ad campaigns would also seem to be completely interchangeable.

The Cius isn't slated to be put on the market until early next year. So while it may be too early to tell what market share it will occupy, at first glance it sounds more like the Honda Insight than the Priuss. Practical, functional, business-like and most likely forever to be in the shadow of its more popular competitor.

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