Thursday, November 08, 2012

Playing with the Surface

This may be the first time EVER that I have been one of the first folks with a new hot toy.

As I mentioned in the last post - I have to replace my personal laptop.

I tried to use my Kindle Fire as that replacement.  I love it, but I am finding it is a little TOO minimal.

I tried to use the iPad. Despite the improvements to the Apple app ecosystem and to the hardware, I still find it to be a better consumption tool than production tool. And sticking peripherals on the thing seems to defeat the purpose of the product.

So I went out on Saturday and bought myself a Surface.

Thoughts so far:

Digging the touch keyboard. Took a little while to realize that it truly behaves just like a standard laptop / PC keyboard vs a touchscreen keyboard. I got a red touch keyboard - so for whatever reason, my fingers are expecting the Shift key to work like a touchscreen (touch the shift THEN touch the key).  I found that disconnect interesting. 

The big thing with the keyboard is figuring out the appropriate amount of pressure. My weird (yet surprisingly fast) pound-on-the-keys style seems to work well with this keyboard. If I were more of a traditional touch typist, I could see how this keyboard could be problematic. The finger positioning is a bit too subtle and it might require more concentration to get the appropriate pressure on the keys.
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After the initial boot - this thing boots up fast. Changes and loads the apps fast. Connects to the internet fast. Considering how long my big fancy Win7 machine takes to boot these days - I'm a real fan of the speed. And I only got the 32 GB version.

IE 10 loads pages quickly. Remembering that the url bar is at the bottom rather than the top will take some getting used to. So will finding some of the features - such as bookmarks (or pins)

Setup was also really easy with my Hotmail account.
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Once I figured out the side swipes and the context-sensitive settings, setting this thing up was pretty easy. This might be the first time I have been able to get all of my email addresses in one place.  Same with social media.

Except for my blogs. That's still web accessed. I need to think about a better workflow for that.

Oh, and IM/Chat. I am hoping some app that allows me to incorporate my IM/Chat functions (all one of them - my work IM, powered by Google) is on the roadmap really really soon.
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The Office 2013 suite opens in the Windows Desktop (or what I'm gonna call the Old Skool Windows app). As a result, it seems like there are a couple of layers to access Word, PowerPoint, etc. The desktop, then the application.  I have a feeling that this may prove to be aggravating - especially if I try to do a copy/paste from Word into a blog.
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One Note seems to be the central Office app that will help make this infrastructure truly run. It is essentially Microsoft's version of Evernote.  I've never been much of an Evernote user - but I am going to have to get better at using note taking applications if I have even a fighting chance of fully leveraging the promise of anytime, anywhere, any device accessibility and productivity.
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One pattern the mobility guru and I are seeing with Microsoft, Apple and Google - these new environments STRONGLY encourage the use of the cloud. THEIR cloud. Unless as an enterprise we can figure out a way to make it easy (preferably easier) for a user to plant their docs and files into the secure enterprise environment, this could be very problematic.
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Thus far, I like what I've seen so far.

More to be revealed.....

1 comment:

Brightwave Ltd said...

Interesting point about the cloud. That could definitely pose issues for info security and the likes.

We too received the Surface in the office recently and it got some pretty good feedback: http://www.brightwave.co.uk/blog/microsoft-surface-tablet-in-workplace-learning - but then we love a bit of tech!

The Office suite could help remove certain barriers to workplace implementation - it could be seen as helping employees become more productive in downtime rather than the opposing view that is commonly shared now. We're already talking to UK orgs who are interested in delivering learning on this platform.