The Scottish Government plans to roll out Windows 8 tablet PCs to key civil servants in a bid to boost efficiency and improve public services.

Staff will be offered the Samsung Series 7 Slate, Dell Latitude 10 and Samsung ATIV, all running Microsoft's latest operating system.

It made the decision to go ahead with the deployment following a successful proof of concept with Trustmarque, which developed a fully-customised Windows 8 solution. Some 20 key government executives and 20 technicians took part in the pilot.

The proof of concept also included Microsoft User Experience Virtualisation, which provides roaming profiles for staff to log on to any computer on the same network and access their documents.

"The decision to move to Windows 8 was driven by a need to support greater mobility of staff following several consultations. 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," said Andy McClintock, Chief Technology Officer at the Scottish Government.

"Greater mobility provides staff with the capability to work beyond the traditional boundaries of government buildings and engage with stakeholders and the public which is incredibly important to us."

He added: "This has been 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."