Alright, when Zack and I launched this thing last year, he and I went through a lot of personal changes immediately after. So, if you want to know where we’ve been, that’s it. We’re back. For good. My personal goal is to write in this space about Microsoft once a week. I also invite you to do the same. Zack and I want your thoughts and opinions on all things Microsoft…and how what Microsoft does affects their competition.
This week, I’d like to talk about three things, two of which are devices. Let’s get started.
Yeah, I still have one, and I haven’t upgraded from the original. I love the thing. I use it almost exclusively as a consumption device and very little as a content creation device. If you don’t know, I’m the Executive Editor (how, I don’t know) of the College Football Roundtable (@CFBRoundtable). The site is a monster. We receive a good number of unique visitors per month, with about 35 very dedicated writers. I use my Surface RT on an almost daily basis to read the content those writers create and to check out what our competition is doing.
Believe it or not, a device like the Surface RT is perfect for this type of work. I can quickly navigate to our webpage, open OneNote (modern), copy text or take screenshot and make notes and send those off to our writers, or to another one of the editors as notes or tasks.
Yes, I could do each of these tasks with a regular machine – namely my ThinkPad T520 – but it’s nice to be able to do these things while riding around in a car or sitting on the … couch. The screen size of the RT isn’t great, but I knew what it was when I bought it. Still, the most compelling feature of the device is the integration with all of Microsoft’s services.
I still use Office 365 Midsize Business for e-mail and document management, and Office Professional Plus is included. Obviously those features come in handy on the RT even though Office is included on the device.
I know the Surface RT 2, or whatever it’s called, has an excellent screen, and the processor is significantly faster, but I also know the original RT works, and I’ll probably use it until Microsoft discontinues support or I buy a Surface Pro device.
Today, Microsoft unveiled Windows 10. I’m excited. And it isn’t because I hate Windows 8, I actually love Windows 8. I know I’m one of the few [millions] that actually like the software. I’ve used Windows 8 since the Developer Preview, which was probably like a million years ago. I’m not the typical user, but I’ve seen enough people make the transition from Windows XP and 7 to Windows 8 to understand the angst and pain that many have felt.
I’m also very appreciative of what Microsoft did with the various updates to one of its least popular versions of Windows. That said, I don’t get the naming here. They skipped Windows 9 – for some reason vaguely explained – to go to Windows 10. I’ll be honest, the first thing I thought of when I heard Windows 10 was OS X. I’m not an Apple guy, outside the iPhone that I carry, but I’d rather they just call it “Windows” over adopting the “name” of their chief competitor in the space.Note: it isn’t an adoption, but it certainly feels like one.
That said, the features they showed off were impressive. I included the first look video for you to watch. It’s worth spending 40 minutes watching to figuring it all out.
On 10/1 a public preview will be released, and I’ll be downloading and installing, but not using as my production operating system. I tried that with the Developer Preview and that did not go that well.
I have a few questions around virtual desktops, multiple instances of applications, and why we’re now calling Modern Universal, but I’ll address those in the coming days.
Where’s my Surface Pro
The truth is, I’m not sure I want one. On one hand, I love the device. There’s an original Surface Pro floating around that I have access to, but I don’t have a docking station for it. My thoughts are that if I don’t have a docking station for it, that I can’t seriously consider using it as a replacement for my ThinkPad. I don’t *need* the Surface to drive two monitors, but it would help. Therefore, if I ever take the Pro on an extended test drive, I’ll try it with one monitor instead of the two, and sometimes three, that I use now.
My most important applications right now are, and in no particular order:
- Microsoft Office – including Outlook
- Adobe Creative Cloud
- Visual Studio – mostly so I can update it, since I never open it.
- IE, Chrome, Firefox – for testing how sites look in different browsers and such.
That’s really about it. I do podcasting, and need to record my audio locally and need some decently heavy processing power to render all that stuff, so I need the Surface to be able to handle that.
Can it? I’m sure it can, because the i7 that’s in my T520 is several years older and has no significant issues with it.
I’d miss multiple USB ports, a GREAT Lenovo keyboard, SD card slot for my camera, and the vastly underrated feature of a built-in gigabit Ethernet port.
My friend Dan (@CommonmanDZ), whom I do the Fancy Tech Cast with, says he won’t consider a Surface Pro device until it comes with LTE. That isn’t much of an important feature to me because I use a MiFi whenever I travel with my laptop or Surface RT.
Another reason I don’t have a Pro is because my Thinkpad still works, and is still a tank. I just replaced the keyboard – under warranty – and the computer has an mSATA primary disk and a large secondary drive.
For whatever reason, I feel like I still need to keep hordes of data locally. I think once I get out of that habit, the transition to a tablet type machine over a five pound monster will be much more palatable.
Oh, and my back will appreciate it to…
So, what do you think of Windows 10, my lack of Surface Pro love, and most importantly do you still have a Surface RT?
Leave a comment below or find me on Twitter at @damiEnbowman.