Nov 09 2012

Using the Surface

I’m attempting to push this thing. I want it to be a production device, not just a consumption device. Frankly, until there are a lot more apps (which don’t crash & burn), this isn’t all that attractive a consumption device.

Typing with the touch keyboard has gotten radically better as I’ve worked with it. So much so, it’s starting to mess with the way I type on a real keyboard, jut a little. I find a little pause, every so often, after typing quite a few words, resting my fingers, just for a moment, on the home keys (bless my typing class in high school), getting my index fingers reoriented to the little indents that mark F and J. I actually just used that last sentence as an example. Each comma represents a rest. I am noticing what looks like might be wear onΒ  couple of keys. Somewhat concerning.

With typing improved, I’m finding I can blog and tweet from the Surface. That’s already making it productive because the battery life is flipping awesome. I need to test RDP to see what I can do with servers from here. With the patch Word is working for me. Email through the Hotmail setup does work. We’re well on our way, but not yet there.

Almost two weeks in and the number and quality of apps just isn’t improving. That’s somewhat dispiriting.



  • By Peter Schott, November 9, 2012 @ 5:39 pm

    I ended up picking one up because I can see the potential. I have a Google account for my main e-mail and had to go through the site (with all of the hacks) to enable multiple calendars and set the mail app to work with Google to actually delete mail instead of archiving it. πŸ˜›

    My typing was pretty good on the Touch cover from the start so no issues there. My main use so far has been reading but that’s mostly because I have a lot of books. I plan to write up reviews on the Surface as well, then post through Word. We’ll see how that goes. I also intend to set up RemoteApps at home to run those apps that aren’t ARM-friendly remotely. I’ve read some success stories there.

    I’m also a bit disappointed at the quality of apps, but not really surprised. Good apps take time but almost anyone can throw together an app that’s mostly useless or just an interface to a web site.

    Biggest challenge so far – keeping my kid from sneaking off with it to play Jetpack Joyride. πŸ™‚

  • By Grant Fritchey, November 9, 2012 @ 7:16 pm

    Nice hint on the RemoteApps. I’ll try setting that up after I get home.

    It’s not a surprise that there are few apps, but I think MS made a mistake by not doing a little more to ensure there were apps there, ready to go.

  • By Peter Schott, November 9, 2012 @ 7:21 pm

    Well, I was reading through some suggestions and someone mentioned it in a forum and I realized that would make this quite a useful device for my wife if she could do her common tasks on a tablet as needed when in the home. XDA has a thread on it:

    I would tend to agree that there could have been more apps at launch, but considering MS wasn’t even ready enough with Office until launch, I can’t say I’m too surprised. At least we got Angry Birds Star Wars on launch day, which proves that the apps can be developed and released at the same time as other tablets.

    I know the apps will come, just a matter of when. I still appreciate that I can use a full copy of Word and OneNote on the device. Those are definitely my main apps on the go for producing/saving content.

  • By Adrian Aucoin Jr, November 10, 2012 @ 1:31 pm

    I’m really intrigued, but not real interested till I see some non-rt ones proliferating around. I think that’s when the device will really get rolling.

  • By Grant Fritchey, November 10, 2012 @ 5:09 pm

    I suspect that the RT will never be a laptop replacement. I’m sure the others will be for some people.

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