The Scottish Government is set to equip civil servants with Windows 8 tablets in an effort to improve their ability to work on the move.
An initial pilot for key staff offered a choice of tablets from a selection comprising the Samsung Series 7 Slate, the Dell Latitude 10 and the Samsung ATIV – but not, surprisingly, the Microsoft Surface.
The aim of the scheme is to improve information access for staff while also enabling "collaboration on the move".
"The decision to move to Windows 8 was driven by a need to support greater mobility of staff following several consultations," said Andy McClintock, chief technology officer at the Scottish Government.
"Our long-term ambition is to transform the way Scottish Government employees and our shared service customers can collaborate, access and use information applications with mobile access, both online and offline, from virtually anywhere in the UK," he continued.
McClintock added that the Windows 8 tablets will enable Scottish Government staff to better engage with the public.
"Greater mobility provides staff with the capability to work beyond the traditional boundaries of government buildings and engage with stakeholders and the public.
"This has been a multi-year journey where we have incorporated technology, investment, and efficiency, within the context of financial constraints and evolving government strategies including a consolidation of our buildings estate," McClintock added.
Chris Forrest, director of Microsoft Scotland, said the rollout of Windows 8 tablets will enable government staff to get more engaged with the public.
"The Scottish Government has recognised the importance of being able to empower staff to work flexibly and in the community," he said.
By improving information access to employees while on the move, the Scottish Government can get closer to citizens, wherever they are, and deliver stronger, more effective public services."