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From its inception, the iPad has been touted as a media consumer’s appliance. It is largely known for its flawless image rendering, video playback and vast storage space. Nonetheless, the iPad’s purpose does not begin and end on entertainment and leisure alone. It is also purposeful for business-savvy users who would like to experience Apple’s newest addition to its roster of technologically advanced products.

Apple is not entirely detached from Microsoft-based productivity programs; as a matter of fact, the iPad has built-in support for Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 and 2007. The manufacturer understands the proliferation of Microsoft’s Business Email service and would not let their users be left behind in business if they choose to go with an iPad.

The Microsoft Exchange support will enable push email service and will be made available to the user’s calendar events and contacts’ information stored on their Microsoft profile. It is also possible to manage specific calendar details, search global address lists and inbox messages through this enhanced software feature.Security is of utmost importance on an iPad; at the owner’s preference, multiple complex passwords can be assigned to ensure that confidential information remain inaccessible to unauthorized persons. Data exchanged over-the-air or through the internet can be encrypted to ensure security. Additionally, corporate communication over-the air is highly protected by a certificate-based authentication process via exchange and VPN. Even an unfotunate event such as loss or theft of the iPad will not leave important data vulnerable because information on it can be securely deleted through a remote command.

Specialized apps such as business metrics tracker, proposal reviewer, travel organizer, and flight tracker have been developed with the iPad’s business users in mind. Much like the enterprise edition of the BlackBerry RIM, Apple also hosts the iPhone Developer Enterprise Program. The difference of the iPhone Developer Enterprise from the Blackberry RIM is that the Apple-supported initiative will enable businesses to create their own specialized apps. Their very own apps will be shared to their employees and will be deemed proprietary by the client company.

Moreover, iPad profiles can be easily configured for businesses. Companies can set up their own profiles, complete with details such as VPN, e-mail, wireless network, and password and share it with colleagues on the iPad through Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or the Internet.

Most importantly, iPad supports iWork, Apple’s office productivity suite of apps that enables the user to create and browse documents, spreadsheets and presentations. These apps have been redesigned to complement the iPad’s multi-touch system.

Keynote slides can be presented, created, and enhanced through the touchscreen device. iWork’s mobile versions of Numbers and Pages can also be managed by tapping elements on the multi-touch screen. These documents can be shared in different ways; for instance, a VGA adapter can be used to connect the iPad to a projector to allow larger displays for a roomful of audience. Microsoft documents can also be imported into the iPad. Presentations, spreadsheets and text documents can be shared on a wider scale by uploading to iWork.com where the public can view these files.

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