Apple iPad Reaches 3 Million In Sales, Opens Door For Business Apps

While Apple did not release specifics about the geographical breakdown in sales, or on sales to business users vs. consumers, the quick adoption of the iPad and the number of developers building apps points to a potential boom in business use of the devices.

However, Apple did say in a statement that over 11,000 new applications for the device have been created.

Because the iPad has only been available for 80 days, there is still a lot of room for business users to experiment with how to use the device.

One such experimenter is Keith Norbie, vice president of sales at Nexus Information Systems, a Minnetonka, Minn.-based solution provider and early adopter of the iPad.

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Norbie, who is looking for ways to meet customer requirements for managing data centers regardless of which client device administrators are using, recently set up his iPad as a Windows 7 virtual desktop using the Wyse PocketCloud application and VMware's View.

He then tried to run it while on an airplane at 30,000 feet using the airline's GoGo in-flight wireless network.

In a video demonstration of his setup, Norbie demonstrated Microsoft Outlook 2007 running on VMware View 4. He was in Boston at the time, with the applications all running off a server in the Minneapolis area over Wi-Fi.

He also created a three-part video which he uploaded to YouTube showing the application running during his flight.

Using virtual apps with the iPad gets people starting to ask what they need a laptop for, Norbie said.

"You just need a browser, a way to print, some apps, and a way to store data," he said. "And you need a way to deconstruct the desktop, and reconstruct it with virtualization. This will give IT the opportunity to transform and work on a different level."

The iPad is a way to help businesses get attention in ways that can be very creative, Norbie said.

"For the VAR, the key role is creating interest," he said. "You can say to customers, I know you are doing this and that, but have you thought about doing it this way?"