Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Larry Alton, Astadia CloudGPS

Blog Feed Post

Why I chose Surface RT over Surface Pro

I take my Surface RT everywhere and I do mean everywhere.  Whether, it is lunch, the bar, the airplane, user group presentation, a client demo, if I am out and about, chances are I have my Surface RT with me.  In the past month or so (long before the Surface Pro) came out, I noticed this trend of people asking me if that was a Surface Pro.  After I sighed  I would reply “No, it’s not and nor do I want one.”  The technology just isn’t there yet for us to not have to make a trade-off right now.  Today’s post is to explain why I chose what I did. 

If you look at the Help Me Choose page, most of my reasons are clear.  Let’s break it down.

ARM Processors

While uneducated reviewers out there are complaining about the Surface RT running on an ARM processor, I am praising it.  When I first heard that Windows was going to support ARM, I knew the significance.  This is what gives you a tablet device with no fan speed or heat concerns.  It also gives you ridiculously long battery life and connected standby.  I’ve used a Samsung Series 7 slate and it was heavy and sometimes loud.  I saw the issue back then and I knew this was the answer. I’m a big fan of ARM.

Battery Life

Seriously, the battery life on Surface RT is amazing.  They quote 8 hours, but I have used it all day at client meetings exclusively and then used it a couple of hours later at the bar and still had 20% left.  I am seriously impressed.  The Surface Pro unfortunately has significantly less battery life with reports between 3.5 and 5 hours.  This may be fine if you plan on using it as a laptop and you’re keeping it plugged in but I like the fact that I never have to worry about power on my Surface RT.  I charge it every other day typically and that is fine.

Connected Standby

This is the feature that makes your Windows RT device notify you of mail and other notifications when the device is “sleeping”.  That means I hear every mail that comes in and I get that Skype call (usually) just like an iPad does.  Surface Pro cannot do this because it goes into a true sleep just like your laptop does.

Instant Resume

Who has three seconds to wait for their device to come on every time they hit the button on top of it?  You do, if you bought Surface Pro.  I can turn the screen of my Surface RT on and off rapidly.

Apps

I am amazed at how many reviewers, said “ZOMG, the Surface RT can’t run Photoshop!”.  Really?  You’re dismissing the device because of this?  How many times have you ran Photoshop on your iPad?  And why would you run that on a tablet anyways?  I get it.  The Windows Store is still growing, but you can rest assure it will catch up to Apple and it’s five thousand fart apps.  The install base of Windows PCs, Tablets, and other devices is just to huge to ignore. 

When I think of this, I refer back to my post, “There’s an app for that, but does there need to be?”  No, there is not a Facebook app for Windows 8, but do I need one?  The reason they created one for mobile devices originally was the because the browser sucked.  Well, I don’t need one because I have a fully functional web browser on the device (you can debate whether you like it or not :) ).  When you use your laptop, do you wish there was a Facebook app there?  No, of course not.

For you power users out there, you can actually run some of your favorite desktop apps over remote desktop. I don’t mean inside a full screen window session.  I mean with Remote Apps which puts applications running on a remote server running seamlessly on your desktop.  In fact, right now I am typing this entire post using Windows Live Writer running off of a Windows Azure VM on my Surface RT.  Take a look at the screenshot below and notice how there isn’t any visible RDP window or anything like that.

image

So yes, that’s Visual Studio and Windows Live Writer running on my Surface RT desktop over RDP.  Work quite well (assuming you have an Internet connection).  Special thanks to @chakkaradeep for pointing out the post on this. 

I even have a RemoteApp set up for Outlook.  Yes, I agree the included Mail app is a bit painful.  Really, my main complaint about it is that it’s slow and unresponsive.  I’m hoping that will get better in the future.  However, you have to understand why that app exists.  It all comes back to Connected Standby.  Outlook doesn’t support it, so they built this app that does.  Sure, it could support it one of these days I am guessing, but it’s all a matter of priorities.  Outlook definitely isn’t touch friendly.

Cost

The Surface RT is already a significant investment at it’s price point.  With better hardware comes more cost of course.  In reality, it’s not much more than any previous slate devices based on an i5 processor.  You just have to decide what’s in your price range.

What about Surface Pro’s better hardware?

Like anything there is a trade-off.  Yes, the higher resolution display and pen would be nice, but I could do without for now.  Admittedly, I haven’t seen that display in person yet.  I think the feature gap between the two devices will get closer as time goes on.

Can Surface RT replace your laptop?

Sometimes!  When I am traveling, it’s often all I bring with me.  If I have a SharePoint demo, I try to use SharePoint Online or I will remote into my laptop or another server so it gets the job done.  I don’t write a ton of code any more so it’s ok that I don’t have Visual Studio running locally.  With RemoteApps though, you can see that you can work around it.  Take a look at this photo that I took before traveling a few weeks ago.

WP_000453

There you will see my Surface RT connected to a glowing USB hub (SharePoint branded) with a keyboard, mouse, and headset.  It’s also attached to a second monitor driving it at full resolution as a second screen.  Here I have a remote desktop connected to my laptop.  I’m getting actual work done.  Let’s see your iPad do that.

Can Surface RT replace your iPad?

At the risk of enraging the wrath of Apple fanbois, I’ll give you my opinion.  If you want to get real work done, absolutely.  If you want it to control your Sonos system or Directv receiver, not likely.  For work though, there really is no comparison.  Think back in the past to meeting you have gone to right after someone you know first got their iPad.  They are over there diligently trying to use the iPad in some useful way at work.  Then you see that person a few weeks later at another meeting and one of two things has happened.  Either a) they didn’t bring the iPad or b) you peak on their screen and they are on Facebook or are playing Angry Birds.  iPads are pretty decent for consumer home use, but for most people they aren’t going to help you get your job done.

Let’s face it Apple hasn’t done much since Steve Jobs died.  I am hearing even the most die hard fans question their direction and capability to innovate.  Simply making things thinner and lighter isn’t good enough for people.  I think the Surface RT is superior to other devices in many ways.  Does it have it’s issues?  Sure, but this Microsoft’s market to capture.  Unfortunately, the marketing Microsoft is doing is just not effective so people just don’t know about what these devices do.  When the word gets out, maybe we’ll see something.

What do you all think?  Am I completely off base here?  Does the RT meet your needs?  Did you hold out for the Pro or did you go with something else?  Leave your feedback.

Maybe I should have been a gadget reviewer for a living.  If anyone wants to send me hardware for me to write my opinion about, I’ll take it. :)

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Corey Roth

Corey Roth, a SharePoint Server MVP, is a consultant at Hitachi Consulting specializing in SharePoint and Office 365 for clients in the energy sector. He has more than ten years of experience delivering solutions in the energy, travel, advertising and consumer electronics verticals.

Corey specializes in delivering ECM and search solutions to clients using SharePoint. Corey has always focused on rapid adoption of new Microsoft technologies including Visual Studio 2013, Office 365, and SharePoint.

He is a member of the .NET Mafia (www.dotnetmafia.com) where he blogs about the latest technology and SharePoint. He is dedicated to the community and speaks regularly at user groups and SharePoint Saturdays.

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that N3N will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. N3N’s solutions increase the effectiveness of operations and control centers, increase the value of IoT investments, and facilitate real-time operational decision making. N3N enables operations teams with a four dimensional digital “big board” that consolidates real-time live video feeds alongside IoT sensor data a...
In a recent survey, Sumo Logic surveyed 1,500 customers who employ cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). According to the survey, a quarter of the respondents have already deployed Docker containers and nearly as many (23 percent) are employing the AWS Lambda serverless computing framework. It’s clear: serverless is here to stay. The adoption does come with some needed changes, within both application development and operations. Tha...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of enterprise storage for the hybrid cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Avere delivers a more modern architectural approach to storage that doesn't require the overprovisioning of storage capacity to achieve performance, overspending on expensive storage media for inactive data or the overbui...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
SYS-CON Events announced today that mruby Forum will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. mruby is the lightweight implementation of the Ruby language. We introduce mruby and the mruby IoT framework that enhances development productivity. For more information, visit http://forum.mruby.org/.
Digital transformation is changing the face of business. The IDC predicts that enterprises will commit to a massive new scale of digital transformation, to stake out leadership positions in the "digital transformation economy." Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, Oct 31-Nov 2, will find fresh new content in a new track called Enterprise Cloud & Digital Transformation.
Most technology leaders, contemporary and from the hardware era, are reshaping their businesses to do software. They hope to capture value from emerging technologies such as IoT, SDN, and AI. Ultimately, irrespective of the vertical, it is about deriving value from independent software applications participating in an ecosystem as one comprehensive solution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kausik Sridhar, founder and CTO of Pulzze Systems, will discuss how given the magnitude of today's applicati...
SYS-CON Events announced today that NetApp has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. NetApp is the data authority for hybrid cloud. NetApp provides a full range of hybrid cloud data services that simplify management of applications and data across cloud and on-premises environments to accelerate digital transformation. Together with their partners, NetApp emp...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
Amazon is pursuing new markets and disrupting industries at an incredible pace. Almost every industry seems to be in its crosshairs. Companies and industries that once thought they were safe are now worried about being “Amazoned.”. The new watch word should be “Be afraid. Be very afraid.” In his session 21st Cloud Expo, Chris Kocher, a co-founder of Grey Heron, will address questions such as: What new areas is Amazon disrupting? How are they doing this? Where are they likely to go? What are th...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SkyScale will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SkyScale is a world-class provider of cloud-based, ultra-fast multi-GPU hardware platforms for lease to customers desiring the fastest performance available as a service anywhere in the world. SkyScale builds, configures, and manages dedicated systems strategically located in maximum-security...
Join IBM November 1 at 21st Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, and learn how IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Cognitive analysis impacts today’s systems with unparalleled ability that were previously available only to manned, back-end operations. Thanks to cloud processing, IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Imagine a robot vacuum that becomes your personal assistant th...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of hybrid cloud enablement solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Avere Systems was created by file systems experts determined to reinvent storage by changing the way enterprises thought about and bought storage resources. With decades of experience behind the company’s founders, Avere got its ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Taica will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ANSeeN are the measurement electronics maker for X-ray and Gamma-ray and Neutron measurement equipment such as spectrometers, pulse shape analyzer, and CdTe-FPD. For more information, visit http://anseen.com/.
High-velocity engineering teams are applying not only continuous delivery processes, but also lessons in experimentation from established leaders like Amazon, Netflix, and Facebook. These companies have made experimentation a foundation for their release processes, allowing them to try out major feature releases and redesigns within smaller groups before making them broadly available. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Brian Lucas, Senior Staff Engineer at Optimizely, will discuss how by using...
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Yuasa System will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Yuasa System is introducing a multi-purpose endurance testing system for flexible displays, OLED devices, flexible substrates, flat cables, and films in smartphones, wearables, automobiles, and healthcare.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CAST Software will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CAST was founded more than 25 years ago to make the invisible visible. Built around the idea that even the best analytics on the market still leave blind spots for technical teams looking to deliver better software and prevent outages, CAST provides the software intelligence that matter ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Daiya Industry will exhibit at the Japanese Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Ruby Development Inc. builds new services in short period of time and provides a continuous support of those services based on Ruby on Rails. For more information, please visit https://github.com/RubyDevInc.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.