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Microsoft should 'worry' about Barclays iPad order

Barclays has ordered 8,500 of the Apple tablets

The large order Barclays has placed with Apple for iPads should be a "major worry" to Microsoft, claims an industry analyst.

In one of the biggest single orders for iPads in the UK, Barclays has ordered 8,500 of the tablets to allow its branches to manage the bank's "Mortgage Brain" app.

Richard Holway, an analyst at TechMarketView, said that as the order was reportedly won by Apple in competition against other tablets, with Barclays "choosing probably the most expensive option", Redmond should be concerned.

Holway said: "I don't know if Microsoft's new Surface tablet was in contention, but this is exactly the kind of corporate application that Microsoft should be expected to win.

"So Apple passing Barclay's significant security requirements to win this contract should be a major worry for Microsoft."

Barclays confirmed it "investigated a number of different tablet options" but concluded that "iPads were the best solution".

One significant clue as to why the iPad was chosen, however, is that the Mortgage Brain app, which can quickly scan mortgage deals across the banking industry, was originally developed for the iPad.

The app is owned by six banks, including Barclays Woolwich, RBS, Virgin Money, Santander, Lloyds TSB and Nationwide.

Like most mobile devices the key to winning more market share is by getting developers on board and creating more apps for users, something BlackBerry smartphone maker RIM seemed slow to comprehend when faced with a burgeoning Apple iPhone and Google Android developer community.

Microsoft will be hoping the Surface isn't another BlackBerry Playbook tablet in the making, which was poorly received and attracted relatively few app developers when compared to rivals.

In further bad news for the Microsoft Surface tablet, WiFi connectivity issues with the device have been reported by numerous users.

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