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Dell makes pitch for $649 Windows 8 tablets at business

Can Dell sell lots of Windows 8 Pro tablets to businesses? It will have to go up against market standard-bearer Apple iPad.

Brooke Crothers Former CNET contributor
Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.
Brooke Crothers
2 min read
Dell Latitude 10.
Dell Latitude 10. Dell

After Dell reported lackluster earnings today, executives made a case for the company's Windows 8 tablets at businesses.

Dell's earnings fell sharply today, with net income in the quarter ended November 2 sinking 47 percent to $475 million compared with the $893 million reported in the same period last year. Revenue was off 11 percent.

So, what is Dell doing about it? Well, it's trying to transform itself into a supplier of IT services.

But before it can do that, it's still trying to sell lots of PCs -- and now Windows 8 tablets.

Those tablets that will compete with the market-leading Apple iPad at businesses, particularly large corporations.

Here's what Stephen Felice, president and chief commercial officer said, according to a transcript provided by Seeking Alpha.

I've been meeting with lots of customers who continue to say that they're needing to prioritize security and manageability as they try to roll out tablets in their environment. And specifically, products like the Latitude 10 that has things like security built into it with a smartcard feature and even something like a replaceable battery. These are things that are resonating well on the commercial side.

Does Windows 8 Pro and features like a replaceable battery make the Latitude 10 -- an Intel-based tablet that starts at $649 -- make it a must-buy for businesses?

Then, there was this quote from Brian Gladden, chief financial officer.

We continue to hear a lot of noise from CIOs about having to deal with the added cost of complexity of not having a standards-based product as a tablet. And so we're pretty encouraged by the reaction to the Latitude 10, and we do see this as a profitable product in the commercial space.

So, CIOs want a "standards-based" Windows-Intel tablet versus the non-standard iPad?

We'll see in the coming quarters if CIOs have indeed been holding out for Windows 8 Pro tablets -- or not.

Note that Dell is also selling the XPS 12 Convertible but that starts at $1,199.99. And there's the XPS 10 that starts at $499.99 but that runs Windows RT -- which is not compatible with older Windows software -- hardly the first choice for Fortune 500 companies.