Surface Pro – One week in

After much deliberation, 7 days ago bit the bullet and bought a Microsoft Surface Pro. I’d been toying with the idea for months as I was getting fed up of swapping between my IPad mini and a laptop all the time.

I spend a lot of my time working in Outlook and OneNote, but also use other Office applications quite extensively. I also tend to run things like Visual Studio (not that i’m any good with it) and some other windows ‘desktop’ apps.

Initial disappointment
To be brutal, my first day or so weren’t the happiest of experiences, and I found myself underwhelmed with the touch experience in outlook and OneNote especially. I also really really hated the browsing experience. I use chrome as my primary browser on my laptop and desktops, so immediately installed in on the new surface. Not a smart move. Its rubbish!!

Overall I felt a little cheated by the whole experience.

What happened next
Up to this point, I’d been trying to use it as a small touch screen PC. As I would my desktop of laptop. It took a while before it clicked… This is a tablet, treat it like one.

I installed the Mail app, the OneNote app and got them all setup and switched to using internet explorer in ‘app’ mode. What a difference that made. Immediately found myself using the surface like it was meant to be, and for the past few days have tried to use it exclusively.

I had an all day meeting on Saturday, writing documents and reviewing excel spreadsheets and other data. A task, which would normally have me reaching for my laptop, I could do on my Surface, and without much difficulty, and while moving around the various meeting rooms.

On too many occasions have I needed to reference something quickly and spent longer getting the laptop out, booting it up, logging in. Not a task that takes long, but compared to the surface feels like a lifetime. My laptop isn’t slow, and on paper should walk all over the surface, but for simple tasks like finding a document, the surface has really shown its worth.

I’m still getting used to it and there is definitely some more work to be done on the office touch experience, but I’m pretty confident that this will become my primary ‘secondary’ device. It will never replace my desktop, but I’m liking its chances for replacing the laptop.

I’m only a week in, so I’m not going to jump in a shout about the things that are wrong with it, or praise it for changing my left, but reserve the right to at some stage further down the line once I’ve got to know it a little better.

OneNote is now Free… Everywhere!!

One piece of news that I picked up on last week is that Microsoft was going to make OneNote free for all, from every device. Well, this morning, that became a reality, alongside OneNote for Mac.

OneNote had been available on iOS, Windows Phone and Android for a while now, but this is the first time its been available for Mac OSX, and about time too.

This has probably been the most underrated Microsoft Office product for some time, and like many I was sceptical about its use a couple of years ago. Now though, I can’t live without it.

OneNote Cloud API
Alongside the release of the free version, comes the news that the OneNote service now includes a new Cloud API, which will allow the development of more and more apps to work with OneNote and make this product even better.

Theres already a whole bunch of apps for OneNote, and I’m sure this list with expand greatly over the coming weeks as developers get hold of it.

Do more with OneNote today

For more information:

MS Office Blog – OneNote now on Mac, free everywhere and service powered
MS Office Blog – Introducing OneNote for Mac
WinSuperSite – Introducing OneNote for Mac