|By Corey Roth||
|February 14, 2013 04:09 PM EST||
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. :)
"We work in the area of Big Data analytics and Big Data analytics is a very crowded space - you have Hadoop, ETL, warehousing, visualization and there's a lot of effort trying to get these tools to talk to each other," explained Mukund Deshpande, head of the Analytics practice at Accelerite, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jul. 1, 2016 12:30 AM EDT Reads: 700
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Andi Mann returns to 'DevOps at Cloud Expo 2016' as Conference Chair The @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo will take place on November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "DevOps is set to be one of the most profound disruptions to hit IT in decades," said Andi Mann. "It is a natural extension of cloud computing, and I have seen both firsthand and in independent research the fantastic results DevOps delivers. So I am excited t...
Jul. 1, 2016 12:00 AM EDT Reads: 593
IoT offers a value of almost $4 trillion to the manufacturing industry through platforms that can improve margins, optimize operations & drive high performance work teams. By using IoT technologies as a foundation, manufacturing customers are integrating worker safety with manufacturing systems, driving deep collaboration and utilizing analytics to exponentially increased per-unit margins. However, as Benoit Lheureux, the VP for Research at Gartner points out, “IoT project implementers often ...
Jun. 30, 2016 07:30 PM EDT Reads: 742
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to imp...
Jun. 30, 2016 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,034
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, provided an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profession...
Jun. 30, 2016 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 518
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
Jun. 30, 2016 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,286
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
Jun. 30, 2016 02:45 PM EDT Reads: 399
When people aren’t talking about VMs and containers, they’re talking about serverless architecture. Serverless is about no maintenance. It means you are not worried about low-level infrastructural and operational details. An event-driven serverless platform is a great use case for IoT. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Animesh Singh, an STSM and Lead for IBM Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, will detail how to build a distributed serverless, polyglot, microservices framework using open source tec...
Jun. 30, 2016 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 731
Connected devices and the industrial internet are growing exponentially every year with Cisco expecting 50 billion devices to be in operation by 2020. In this period of growth, location-based insights are becoming invaluable to many businesses as they adopt new connected technologies. Knowing when and where these devices connect from is critical for a number of scenarios in supply chain management, disaster management, emergency response, M2M, location marketing and more. In his session at @Th...
Jun. 30, 2016 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,370
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
Jun. 30, 2016 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,530
"delaPlex is a software development company. We do team-based outsourcing development," explained Mark Rivers, COO and Co-founder of delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jun. 30, 2016 11:45 AM EDT Reads: 643
IoT is rapidly changing the way enterprises are using data to improve business decision-making. In order to derive business value, organizations must unlock insights from the data gathered and then act on these. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, and Peter Shashkin, Head of Development Department at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how one organization leveraged IoT, cloud technology and data analysis to improve customer experiences and effi...
Jun. 30, 2016 11:30 AM EDT Reads: 662
Basho Technologies has announced the latest release of Basho Riak TS, version 1.3. Riak TS is an enterprise-grade NoSQL database optimized for Internet of Things (IoT). The open source version enables developers to download the software for free and use it in production as well as make contributions to the code and develop applications around Riak TS. Enhancements to Riak TS make it quick, easy and cost-effective to spin up an instance to test new ideas and build IoT applications. In addition to...
Jun. 30, 2016 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 756
The cloud market growth today is largely in public clouds. While there is a lot of spend in IT departments in virtualization, these aren’t yet translating into a true “cloud” experience within the enterprise. What is stopping the growth of the “private cloud” market? In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, explored the challenges in deploying, managing, and getting adoption for a private cloud within an enterprise. What are the key differences between wh...
Jun. 30, 2016 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,135
The idea of comparing data in motion (at the sensor level) to data at rest (in a Big Data server warehouse) with predictive analytics in the cloud is very appealing to the industrial IoT sector. The problem Big Data vendors have, however, is access to that data in motion at the sensor location. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Scott Allen, CMO of FreeWave, discussed how as IoT is increasingly adopted by industrial markets, there is going to be an increased demand for sensor data from the outermos...
Jun. 30, 2016 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 490
CenturyLink has announced that application server solutions from GENBAND are now available as part of CenturyLink’s Networx contracts. The General Services Administration (GSA)’s Networx program includes the largest telecommunications contract vehicles ever awarded by the federal government. CenturyLink recently secured an extension through spring 2020 of its offerings available to federal government agencies via GSA’s Networx Universal and Enterprise contracts. GENBAND’s EXPERiUS™ Application...
Jun. 30, 2016 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 505
Presidio has received the 2015 EMC Partner Services Quality Award from EMC Corporation for achieving outstanding service excellence and customer satisfaction as measured by the EMC Partner Services Quality (PSQ) program. Presidio was also honored as the 2015 EMC Americas Marketing Excellence Partner of the Year and 2015 Mid-Market East Partner of the Year. The EMC PSQ program is a project-specific survey program designed for partners with Service Partner designations to solicit customer feedbac...
Jun. 30, 2016 10:45 AM EDT Reads: 716
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. He cited examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He also highlighted how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable ...
Jun. 30, 2016 10:30 AM EDT Reads: 601
There are several IoTs: the Industrial Internet, Consumer Wearables, Wearables and Healthcare, Supply Chains, and the movement toward Smart Grids, Cities, Regions, and Nations. There are competing communications standards every step of the way, a bewildering array of sensors and devices, and an entire world of competing data analytics platforms. To some this appears to be chaos. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate a...
Jun. 30, 2016 10:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,003
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 19th Cloud Expo and 6th @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "The Internet of Things brings trillions of dollars of opportunity to developers and enterprise IT, no matter how you measure it," stated Roger Strukhoff. "More importantly, it leverages the power of devices and the Interne...
Jun. 30, 2016 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 586