Microsoft touts 30K insurance company users of Windows 8 Pro custom tablets

Meiji Yasuda Life replaces paper printouts from XP PCs

Since its introduction of Windows 8 Pro earlier this year, Microsoft has been promoting its value to enterprise users.

On Wednesday, Microsoft announced that 30,000 Windows 8 Pro tablets are being deployed to sales personnel at Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance in Tokyo. The tablets will go into use in September.

Using the tablets, sales personnel will be able to offer videos and other content to explain the company's insurance products, Microsoft said in a statement. Windows 8 Pro was used on specialized tablets built by Fujitsu for the deployment. Sales personnel at various U.S.-based companies have used iPads in a similar fashion since late 2010, including auto dealerships, to show off new car features and to check inventory in auto showrooms.

Yasuda sales teams previously prepared insurance proposals on Windows XP-based PCs and then printed them out for customers, Microsoft said in a blog.

The company's existing XP apps are compatible with Windows 8, which reduced the process of upgrading to a tablet. Plus, there's less reliance on paper. A Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview with security, BYOD (Bring your own device) and user interface enhancements, among other features, is available, while the full enterprise edition will be released later this year.

Shipments of Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets reached 2 million in the second quarter, up from 1.8 million in the first quarter, IDC said this week. Of the 2 million, 1.8 million were Windows 8 tablets.

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Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His email address is

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