Surface, Surface, Prepare to Surface

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More stuff about the Surface.

Web browsing works extremely well so far. I enjoy how you can swipe to move back a page. I like how the tabs work too. I’m not crazy about how long it takes to get the link option window open. You hold on a link and then eventually a little box appears. Then you remove your finger and you get option such as “Open link in new tab”. Since I do this a lot while browsing, I need it to be faster, something like a right click. Which, you can do from the pointer on the keyboard, there are two little spaces right below the pointer area that act as left & right click. Cool stuff. But using the touch screen to do it, not so cool. Speed this up a little and I’ll be much happier.

Email. Oy!

First off, as I mentioned in my initial post on using the Surface, no POP. And this, despite the fact that it puts POP up as a choice. Man, if it doesn’t support it, why suggest I might be able to use it? It’s just crazy. But, fine, no POP. I then went to set up my IMAP account. I received an error message, evidently not seen by anyone, ever (still trying to work out if I should submit this as a bug):

To use this account, you need to install a digital certificate on this PC. Contact your system administrator for more info.

For the life of me, I can’t figure out how to generate a security certificate from my domain or my host provider. I’m in contact with them on this. It’s nuts. But, I’m sitting in a hotel, hiding from Vegas, so I keep searching and trying stuff. Maybe my security is off. What if I flip this bit. Etc. I’m searching for all different stuff on the web and I finally see a suggestion for how to get around the issue. What if I add the IMAP account to my Live/Hotmail account? Sounds kinky, but I’m game. It worked. Not only did it work, but you can do this for POP accounts, and it looks like you can make it so that the account responds to email as if it was sent from the actual account, not this Live/Hotmail email address. I’ll be pursuing that option for my POP accounts later. First, I want to install Gmail.


I get the account info all typed up and it says I’ve got it wrong. Just keeps spitting out errors. WTF? I try and I try. I change my account settings (I’ve been doing this way too much today) and try again. Nope. OK, fine. I log in through IE. It works, but I do have to deal with the two-stage security process (hint, hint, Grant you idiot). So I go back and try again. Still no joy. What should I do now? What any self-respecting person does. I start whining on Twitter. A friend and co-worker, Robbie Thng, suggests I use the one-time use password that bypasses the two-stage security process… duh. Of course. I do this, and now I have email. Finally.

That was unnecessarily painful. I’m a nerd and an early adapter, so I’m ready for pain. But consumers are going to freak and Microsoft is going to be dealing with a lot of crap from this. They should really get it more together and make it all a little easier to use unless they want to be doing nothing but answering support calls.

Oh, and on the app front, just checked. No new apps for a while now. Guys, please, you’re killing us out here.


  • Peter Schott

    I appreciate the updates on your experience with the Surface. The mail app is pretty basic – not enough options to really work the way I do. I didn’t have any issues setting it up w/ Gmail, though.

    As for new apps, MS isn’t great about updating the “New Apps” section in their store. If you check each section and sort by Newest, you should see newer apps show up there more regularly. They aren’t necessarily great apps, but they are showing up.

OK, fine, but what do you think?