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Portable So I bought a Microsoft Surface RT...

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Nexxo, 5 Jan 2013.

  1. barny2767

    barny2767 What's a Dremel?

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    I havent found anything broken with my Lumia 920 all apps that I have installed work skydrive works the only thing i dont like is the new thing you use to put music on it with zune was simple to use and the new thing has very basic functions.

    I dont know if I have been lucky with my phone and got a good one or I just dont use it as much as some people do to find the problems but I do use it alot and never had a droped call, texts always send, internet when off wifi is fast unless im only getting 2g witch isnt very often and I think I have had only 1 app close on me once. So all in all for 3 months I have been happy with it and with the polycarb body I can see it lasting 2 years easy and in better condition than my HD7.

    I did think about an Iphone when I got my 920 and im so glad I didnt because I HATE the new Itunes I cant put any new music on my or my girlfriends ipods and from what I have read I need to factory restore them so to put anything on my girlfriends she has to lose all the music she has got from friends and other places. Apple SUCK.
     
  2. javaman

    javaman May irritate Eyes

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    Just to throw the idea out but What about Blackberry? BB10 sounds fairly interesting and tbh I really miss the keyboard and messaging on BB (never fully adjusted to touchscreen typing after a year and android 2.3 is grinding me atm). My brother got a playbook for christmas which should be getting a much needed update to 10 as well. Great tablet, just lacking too many key apps.
     
  3. GeorgeStorm

    GeorgeStorm Aggressive PC Builder

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    Can't you still use Zune if you download it manually?
     
  4. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Meanwhile, a jailbreak has been released for the Surface RT which, by running a simple .bat file allows you to run desktop applications. The principle was nicely demonstrated by running an older version of OSX in a desktop window. Neat. Here are some desktop applications that have been ported to Windows RT.

    Another hacker has found a registry tweak which allows you to up the sensitivity of the touch screen (which is pretty good anyway, but some people felt wasn't quite up to iPad levels).

    Seems the homebrew hacker community really likes this thing --as I predicted.
     
    Last edited: 12 Jan 2013
  5. rollo

    rollo Modder

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    They might nexxo depends if Microsoft does though. They have forced updates on the 360 before to stop pirate games working. Nothing stopping them doing it on the Surface RT.
     
  6. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Since these hacks are careful to preserve anti-piracy and -malware measures implemented in the desktop, and the desktop software are all legal open source utilities, I don't think Microsoft is going to be too bothered.
     
  7. Jehla

    Jehla Minimodder

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    Didn't Microsoft support this kind of thing on wp7?
     
  8. AbeArceo

    AbeArceo What's a Dremel?

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    Sorry for the late reply - the household got hit with the flu, so I've been out of commission!

    To view videos from www.escapistmagazine.com try to add the following to iecompatdata.xml:

    • <domain>escapistmagazine.com</domain>
    • <domain>themis-media.com</domain>
    • <domain>cdn.themis-media.com</domain>
    • <domain>cdn2.themis-media.com</domain>

    It's possible that only one of the themis-media.com domains is needed, but I wasn't taking any chances :)

    Great tip for setting Google as the default search provider in IE. I completely forgot to do that. Works great now!

    Agreed - the Surface RT needs to get in the hands of more people, and once they use it, they will be impressed. I use this everywhere I go so I show it off even if I don't really mean to, but that's a good thing. I've had more people ask me about the Surface than my iPad when I used to bring the iPad with me everywhere.

    I think everyone was so used to seeing an iPad and their reaction was "oh, is that an iPad?". Now the reaction is "Oh wow, is that the Surface? Show me what it can do".

    The two biggest features people seem to like are the keyboard and the live tiles.

    I know this was directed to Nexxo, but thought I would answer since I'm using a mixed environment as well (Galaxy Nexus phone, Acer Iconia tablet, iPad 2, Win 7 and Win 8 machines)

    Living off of the cloud, I relied heavily on Evernote and Google Drive. While both are still in use, I'm trying hard to switch over to OneNote and SkyDrive. I have never used OneNote until the Surface and I'm amazed at how well it works. I copied all of my documents and notes from Evernote and Google docs over to OneNote and Skydrive and I really like that setup.

    Not many people know that Skydrive actually offers web apps of the Office programs, so you can create Word/Excel/OneNote/etc files on the cloud, just like Google Docs.

    Since this is all new to me as well, I'm not 100% sure which cloud system I will end with, but I'm forcing myself to use Skydrive and OneNote and wean off of Evernote and Google Drive.

    Phone wise I have no intentions on switching anytime soon, like Nexxo said, being able to tether without jailbreaking or paying any extra fee's is amazing.

    I really really like being able to use Remote Desktop on my surface to get to any of my Windows computers as well as joining the Homegroup network to access/transfer files.
     
  9. supermonkey

    supermonkey Deal with it

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    This has been a great review, Nexxo (and others). Although I'm happy with my Nexus 7 (it works great for my needs), I'm going to take another look at the Surface. My wife has been considering getting a tablet, and the Surface might work well for what she needs/wants. Other reviews I've read had put me off, but I see now that it warrants a second look.
     
  10. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    It has been difficult to get some unbiased reviews. A few are balanced (if occasionally confused). Most are bleating that it's not an iPad and it's not a laptop. Well, duh. A few reviews have been openly hostile, which I must wonder about. I can understand if someone decides that they do not like it, but to quote Terry Pratchett: such hate is almost like belief.

    A similar biased attitude can be found when it is suggested that the overwhelmingly positive reviews by Best Buy customers who bought the device must be Microsoft marketing stooges. Never mind that equally good reviews are found at Staples and the UK based John Lewis stores.

    It is also obvious that they spent no time at all with it as most of what they complain about is incorrect. But those who do approach it with an open mind find, to their surprise, that they quite like it.

    I don't know why the Surface RT has elicited such strong emotions. It is not that people think it's just a crap product --we see crap products all the time and they get summarily dismissed. But this device elicits active hate and suspicion. Perhaps it is because many people are uncomfortable with the changes that Microsoft has made to Windows, which has elicited a fair bit of hate too. People don't like change; I get that. But I'm starting to think that for young people consumer electronics and computing devices are going the same way as fashion labels and football clubs: they are becoming ceremonial objects of tribal identification and ritual bonding. You can see that in the reactions generated by a hacker managing to hack a Surface RT to run OSX: other hackers and geeks think it's just a cool proof of principle. The pseudo-geeks either don't see the point or think it is an atrocity: a betrayal of either Apple or Microsoft.

    The general public does not care: they just want something that works for them. They need to play with it. When I was at John Lewis department store, people poked at it a bit but did not really understand how it was different from other tablets on show (they carry the full range, including Nook, Kindle, Nexus 7, iPad etc.). I then did an impromptu show for people: showed them the touch cover, how the OS works, the kickstand and SD slot, the USB port and how it accesses your memory stick, and showed how easy it was to set up my existing account and port across all my settings, SkyDrive file access and even home PC desktop wallpaper (I then showed them how easy it was to delete my account again). I explained about Office and showed them the handwriting recognition panel. I explained how you can hook up to any network or USB printer, and map network drives. Then they were impressed.

    What I also found is that it took a bit of thinking to explain to noobs the difference between Windows 8 and Windows RT and that is where the challenge lies. But for most people that won't matter because to them tablet software = apps.

    It's a great device, but because essentially it is more multifunctional than an iPad it takes longer to explore it and get the gist of what it does, and how it does it.

    I will write some more impressions and take some pics soon.
     
    Last edited: 13 Jan 2013
  11. theshadow2001

    theshadow2001 [DELETE] means [DELETE]

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    I sort of half read (yes I'm that thorough!) an article about successful viral videos. One of the points made was that a viral video must be consistent with the brand. So for example a red bull viral might have people doing crazy stuff (jackass-esque perhaps) since its an energy drink associated with extreme sports. If the viral and brand are not consistent, the viral is generally not successful. People could be sensing a brand inconsistency with Microsoft and rejecting it in a fashion similar to a viral which is not consistent with its brand. Tablets could be associated with words like new, young, hip, cool etc. not words I would associate with Microsoft. Yet that is where they are going with the surface. The surface key note had a couple of out of shape balding middle aged men representing the device. Again that is not consistent with the tablet image or the adjectives I mentioned previously. Obviously such things should not be a factor in influencing people but unfortunately it probably does. So thats one possible expansion on your "uncomfortable with Microsoft's changes" line of thinking.
     
  12. AbeArceo

    AbeArceo What's a Dremel?

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    Agreed - I think people need to get their hands on it and see what it can do. I think I promoted the Surface to more customers in Best Buy and Staples than the actual employees did lol.

    Two of the tests that I did in the stores was playing flash games on facebook and testing out the multitasking and I had a couple of customers walk by and look over my shoulders and I heard "Oh wow, my iPad can't do that".

    I love having email, IM+ Pro, or Next Gen Reader up on the side while I browse the web or watch a movie at the same time.

    The photo lock option is pretty cool too (I don't know if Android or Ipad have this, never looked). I can tell friends and family members how to unlock my device by using the photo lock without giving them my actual password.
     
  13. javaman

    javaman May irritate Eyes

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    I mentioned this before in another thread but where carries it? In northern Ireland no electrical store, currys, PCworld, HMV or network carrier has one. In fact I've seen no windows tablets on the market over here. Pentium 4 style antitrust in progress maybe but whatever the reason MS needs to address this. I know most store staff aren't the brightest but most have no idea what surface is never mind getting one which indicates no product training has been given so its unlikely to arrive anytime soon.
     
  14. rollo

    rollo Modder

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    The only uk store that carrys the surface is John Lewis. As far as im aware no store in ireland carrys the device.
     
  15. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Microsoft is bad at marketing, although this seems to be addressed a little recently. There are so many ways the Surface could have been a greater success.

    - Putting it in shops, on their own promotional stands: PC World, Curry, Selfridges, all over Tottenham Court Road electronics district, major department stores. Get MS trained staff to demo it, focusing on the things that it can do and the iPad can't. Get an Xbox set up and a PC, and do the Remote Desktop and SmartGlass thing. Show how the devices complement each other.

    - Sell the touch covers at cost, in all colours, in all markets over the world. Do custom art covers by famous contemporary artists at a small premium.

    - Make the unit itself just $100,--/£100,-- cheaper and swallow the loss in profit. Not too cheap, because you don't want to convey that it's cheap rubbish; nor do you want to seem desperate. But enough to embarrass Apple. And screw the sensitivities of OEMs. It's shape up or sod off time.

    - Market to students. They can have a touch cover with their University logo on it. They also can have the Study Room: a combination of app store and media store like iTunes U.

    - Market to families. They have a Family Room with games, activities and media for them.

    - Market to businesses, who have a Office Room with apps and media oriented to business.

    - Gamers have the --you guessed it-- Games Room, which is a (more mature) games store, Xbox Live, games news and reviews, TegraZone etc. Microsoft can also invite Steam, no charge, no percentage of the profits.

    - Developers get the Work Room: a dedicated space with development tools, access to technical information and resources and all the expert help required to make good apps quickly and push them out.

    That's how I'd do it.

    I think you are making a very good point that I had not considered. Microsoft needs to seriously rebrand its image. I would suggest a split into a sophisticated business brand and a hip young consumer brand, with careful thinking about keeping the two linked.
     
  16. rollo

    rollo Modder

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    Could of said same thing for Zune nexxo. Was one of the worst advertised products ever.

    Xbox 360 is most advertised always an advert for it on tv.

    To me it looks like Microsoft could not really care either way, they were hoping the Oems would do there work for them like Samsung did for google instead the Oems have dropped the platform in rather quick succession.

    Microsoft needs to do what it takes to get the likes of Samsung back on side which could include doing some actual marketing, dropping the cost of the OS, allowing a touch more freedom in hardware specs all these things would help.

    No Oems means windows rt will struggle to ever gain acceptance and lack of that will remove developers for the platform. It's took till late last year for google to fix its google play store which has resulted in some better releases in the last 3-4 months for andriod.

    Microsoft does not have 4 years to get win rt correct they have maybe 9-12months before its dismissed as another tablet sales failure and dropped.
     
  17. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    I suspect that Microsoft has a completely different, much longer game in mind than Google. Google recruited hardware manufacturers (Asus, then Samsung) to build their showcase device for them. Microsoft made its own. It wants to go the Apple way, but it still has a lot to learn; it is too big, too unwieldy. Apple could move quickly and decisively because basically it was a dictatorship under Jobs. Microsoft is a committee democracy.

    Microsoft does not worry that the Surface RT takes ages to establish itself. Windows 8 and its apps are a fait accompli, and in a year everybody will if not love it, then accept it as the de facto standard. Windows RT will ride on its coat tails. With ARM processors becoming increasingly powerful yet battery economical, Windows RT has a steady future in Microsoft's strategy. Keep in mind that Windows RT is (contrary to assumptions) a clean port of full-fat Windows. The Tegra 4 is 6 times more powerful but 65% more frugal. Intel Atom may be doing well but that is because it is exploiting new chip technology. In a year this will have trickled down to other chip manufacturers and we will see ARM processors which are twenty times as powerful as the Tegra 3, yet cool and offer a more than 2-day battery life: a compelling proposition as a mobile platform for most office and media tasks and anything else that is not a specialist task like hard-core gaming or complex CAD/CAM or rendering.

    Microsoft also keeps business in mind. Recently a company bought 14000 iPads for its managers. 40% sent them back because they did not know what to do with them. Imagine if they had been sent the Surface RT: it has a keyboard, it has Office. It looks like the same OS they have on their desktop PC. They get that. They have some idea what it might be good for.

    "The twenty-first century is when everything changes. And you've got to be ready." --Capt. Jack Harness, Torchwood
     
  18. Guinevere

    Guinevere Mega Mom

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    iOS doesn't have Ink. Blame Steve Jobs for vetoing everything to do with a stylus. He never understood that some people prefer writing handwritten notes than typing them... and some prefer sketching their pictures rather than attempting to render them using ASCII art!

    I think Apple's really missed an opportunity by not producing a 'pro' grade tablet with wacom support. An app enabled super portable cintiq would be cool. The first decent tablets that will genuinely be useful in that space will be running Windows 8.
     
  19. Guinevere

    Guinevere Mega Mom

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    But I'd wager that Apple are already making a LOT more profit from an iPad than MS make on any of their tablets.

    MS may have a good product but they are finding it very hard to make a dent in the appeal of an Apple device and they can't approach the profitability of the iPad. And when you add in that app store 30%....
     
  20. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Microsoft has a bigger profit margin on the Surface RT at the moment, than Apple has on the iPad, but you are right that it sells far fewer units. Then again, Microsoft is not looking at the Surface as a major profit maker. And although it has a similar 30% take on the app store as Apple has on its own, that goes down to 20% after the first $25.000,--.
     
    Last edited: 13 Jan 2013

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