2014 might be the year that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) relives its 1980s defeat to Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) in the PC market. It was the enterprise market that won the PC industry for Microsoft and relegated Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to the niche PC builder that it is today. A new report suggests that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) might be ready to turn that story around.

Apple

The report, which comes from UBS AG (NYSE:UBS) analyst Steven Milunovich, suggests that the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iPad might finally be taking off in enterprise. As far as anybody can tell, tablets are the future of the workspace. Whoever wins that market will not only sell tablets to businesses; like the PC market, every tablet used at work makes it more likely that one will be bought for home.

Apple Enterprise improvements

The UBS report, which relies on research from Good Technologies, says that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) now has 1,000 enterprise facing applications on its app store. That’s up 42 percent from the last quarter, according to research. Financial services companies are the top users of the iPad, but the manufacturing sector is picking up.

According to the report, Financial Services companies made up 38 percent of new iPad activations during the third quarter. The manufacturing sector’s iPad activations increased by 32 percent from the second quarter in the led in to September, a good sign for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).

According to the research, 56 percent of the enterprise applications were for document editing, while file sharing represented 20 percent. 65 percent of the enterprises studied had a “Bring your Own Device” policy, while 23 percent were developing policies.

Apple’s looming Windows problem

Even though Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is doing better at Enterprise, the company is still facing an old enemy in the form of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT). That company has a tradition in enterprise and holds the keys to the Holy Grail of enterprise applications: Microsoft Office. The company says it is going to release the software on the iPad, but it has not offered a release date.

Microsoft will be the default company for enterprise tablets if Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) lets the company get away with it. If the Redmond firm does win the enterprise battle, it will represent a major victory in the tablet war. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) cannot afford to let Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:AAPL) take the enterprise sector without a fight. These numbers are good, but they do not protect it from Windows 8.