From the Surface…on the Surface

Hello world….I am probably the chosen few who gets to blog on a Sunday afternoon from Stanford on the Surface! Yes, it is a piece of work and by far Microsoft’s greatest piece of innovation. Kudos to you guys in Redmond. Panos definitely was not just flaunting in vain. I did not think anyone could have longer lines than the iGuys! But turns out that Microsoft is giving them a run for their money.


Tablet, PC or both

Having the PC and tablet in one is definitely one of the biggest differentiators and a selling point against other brands of tablets at the same price point.   Who will this appeal to the most? I think to the college kids who would refrain from buying laptops perhaps and would use this as a convertible for their classroom and outside needs. Typing on the ‘lap’ is not very ‘laptopy’ but I think there is a’getting used to’ factor here and I think I am already getting a hang of it now.

The Windows8 browsing

Windows8 start menu might not be very intuitive but again it is seamless once you get a hang of it. And, the search functionality is quite refined with ‘outside the app’ search. As an example, let’s say I wanted to know more about how to make bloody mary and I look it up on Wiki. Then, I could use the ‘charms’, (that’s what they call their scrolling to other apps functionality) to figure where I could get the best bloody mary on Yelp or share the recipe with my friends on Facebook or anywhere else or use the downward charm to pin the recipe on my desktop.

More on charms — there is left and right scrolling to switch between the apps and up and down scrolling to do more within the same app. And if you were reading your favorite news and wanted to read related news, just use the upward charm to read all related news, or news from other media houses. All this is completely customizable BTW. Might sound like Greek and Latin, but you gotta play with it to figure what I am talking about. WindowsRT does not allow new apps on the desktop yet but that will not be the case with Windows Pro — releasing soon.

Another use case to demonstrate the beauty of this piece, I could actually video record the entire meeting an type my notes to the side…all at the same time.

Surface….the tablet

The 10.6 inch effect definitely makes it look like a bigger and brighter tablet and makes side by side surfing a more pleasant experience. The camera with a wide angle lense removes the sloppy maneuvers that need to be done to get the right picture or video.   I did not miss the retina display feature all that much, the resolution and colors seemed as good. And, the USB is compatible with more than 400 million devices. So you don’t need to install a driver, if you wanted to print something in the airport in Shanghai. 4G and 3G options don’t exist. But again, I don’t care much about that on a tablet. And I think that’s what these guys were thinking too. And not to forget, Flash is fully supported for white listed websites.

So all in all, I would say, Microsoft has disrupted both the tablet and PC market by making the tablets more productive and making the PC seamlessly mobile.

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