Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Microsoft Surface Tablet

Boy, lots of articles going on right now about Microsoft's plan to release a 10 inch Surface tablet this year and for somebody in the Microsoft universe this could be a good situation.

Imagine now that you work on a powerful computer for something (heavily in Excel, development work, graphics, etc.).  You don't want a tiny screen to squint at all day long! You want ta full-sized keyboard and one or two (or more) large monitors, or at least a laptop with enough power to crunch all the numbers and render all the frames quickly.  But how portable will such a rig be?

No matter how hard you try to avoid it, at some point you need to leave the house.  It could be to take your kid to practice, or some other activity where you're not expected to watch actively (if it is, then put down the device and be involved with their lives!), or to show the prospective client where you are at, or to make a presentation.  Whatever the reason, chances are you don't want to lug that 22" laptop with a 20 minute battery life you use to develop everything on, even if you have a swell-looking bag. That's where a tablet like this would come in.

There are Android tablets and iPads available, but they run pared-down mobile apps.  That is even if there are mobile apps for whatever you are working on.  Plus the fun of moving things around between devices (OneDrive for Android? Google drive on your primary? Dropbox?)

The advantage Microsoft should use in marketing is the ability to have full-blown apps on the device, and the seamless inclusion of OneDrive.  OneDrive allows for not storing all of the actual files on the device, which will save a lot of space on the tablet, yet is almost seamless between devices and storing files in the exact same spot (OneDrive/Documents) so no hunting for the file on an Android device.

Assuming there either is a keyboard accessory or can use existing bluetooth keyboards, like Android and iPad tablets use, then the other benefit is hopefully good pen support.  My Android tablet, it feels like I am using a pen the size of a crayon, and it's roller-ball is dirty and doesn't work all of the time.  If the pen support is as good as is on the other surface devices then that is a plus.

In the education market, the pen is something that schools going with Chromebooks will not have.  Schools look at Chromebooks because they are cheap devices and easily replaced. This means the touch-enabled Chromebooks are likely not in the running (for now).

So, this could be a handy device; more portable than my current systems (other than the Android tablet) with full apps available.

Make me wonder, Microsoft was offering Office mobile apps the ability to edit files with systems (on? or) under 10" screens.  If this comes with the mobile versions of MS Office apps that can edit documents and files, that would be another great selling point.