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WSJ says iPads gaining acceptance in corporations

The past few weeks have been fascinating for Apple watchers. The business press has been reporting that the brand, formerly a pariah in the buttoned-down world of corporate IT, is now being accepted with open arms. We had a story yesterday about the growth of Mac sales in the government and enterprise markets, and now the Wall Street Journal is reporting on how the iPad is finding a home in the business world.

In the WSJ Tech piece, reporter Ben Worthen notes how the iPhone was banned by companies when it first came out in 2007 for being inappropriate for the workplace. The iPad, however, has been quickly embraced by companies.

One such success story cited in the WSJ piece talks about Chicago-based law firm Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP. The company pre-ordered 10 iPads prior to the release of the device in April so that they could learn how iPads could be used with the company's internal systems. The technology department at the firm now supports more than 50 attorneys with iPads, and they plan on issuing iPads as a less-expensive alternative to laptops soon.

It's thought that the iPad's respectability in enterprise circles has many justifications: it featured support for Microsoft Exchange on day one, runs a now well-known mobile operating system with a proven track record, supports many security standards, and has remote wipe capability. Enterprise configuration tools and internal provisioning of custom apps are also on the hit list.

Other companies noted in the article are Mercedes-Benz Financial, which is equipping some dealerships with iPads loaded with a credit-application app. Bausch & Lomb Inc. has built its own iPad app for sales personnel, and deployed about 50 iPads within a couple of weeks of the release of the device. Health-care giant Kaiser Permanente has been testing iPads in its technology lab, and sees the device's form-factor as a plus. The company has tested viewing of medical images on the iPad, as well as accessing medical records.

As Business Insider's Henry Blodget noted in a followup post this morning, this trend puts Microsoft in a precarious place. A good 50% of the Fortune 100 companies are testing or deploying iPads according to Apple COO Tim Cook, and that doesn't bode well for the software giant in taking back control of the lost tablet market.

[via SAI]

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