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Author Topic: Microsoft Surface RT - I got one.  (Read 2697 times)

allen

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Microsoft Surface RT - I got one.
« on: January 11, 2013, 08:55:00 PM »
I've made it no secret that I have embraced the direction Microsoft has headed lately. When the Surface RT was announced, I immediately fell in love with the hardware form factor and had used Windows 8 enough to know that touch input was the way to go. Darn things are expensive though. . .

Just after the Holidays I saw an offer from billmelater for no interest on purchases of 500 bucks if paid for within a year . . . I just couldn't resist and pulled the trigger.

My biggest fear was buyer's remorse. . . but man, I love this thing. More than I'd hoped to. The touch gestures, once learned, are incredibly natural and intuitive. It's the first time I've felt this comfortable with an interface since WebOS. The hardware is very beautifully designed and it's clearly a high quality/well assembled machine.

Most of the time, I'm just in the Modern (Metro) UI. It's excellent for simple "tablet" functionality. I browse the web (these forums at this very moment), read email, mind my social networks . . . pretty much everything except programming.  It's the best tablet by far I've ever plopped down on the couch with.

Before I'd actually had my hands on this thing, I kind of wished that Microsoft had not included the ability to access the full desktop on the RT devices. It looked like it was going to be a jarring blemish on the elegant "Modern" interface. Now that I've spent time with the device, I no longer feel that way at all. I never see the desktop unless I want to--but it's great knowing it's there. I've got the full version of office at my disposal, as well as all the standard Windows default applications from calculator to power shell. I can plugin a USB hub with mouse and keyboard and it's like a laptop. I don't spend much time on the desktop--but like I said, it's nice to know it's there. Personally, I was mostly in the market for a tablet not a computer replacement. As it turned out, I'm getting a lot more productivity out of it than I planned. When I need to write something, I love grabbing this and a keyboard and finding somewhere more comfortable than my desk to get it done.

The Surface RT certainly is not for everybody but I sure do love it.

Renegade

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Re: Microsoft Surface RT - I got one.
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2013, 10:06:17 PM »
You're giving me gear-lust... must... resist... :P
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

barney

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Re: Microsoft Surface RT - I got one.
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2013, 10:29:06 PM »
You're giving me gear-lust... must... resist... :P

Hee, hee ... what are you gonna do when my Lenovo Yoga gets here and I start bragging about that  :-\ :P :P :P?

Renegade

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Re: Microsoft Surface RT - I got one.
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2013, 10:38:18 PM »
You're giving me gear-lust... must... resist... :P

Hee, hee ... what are you gonna do when my Lenovo Yoga gets here and I start bragging about that  :-\ :P :P :P?

Looks like I'll need to earn more money! Anyone feel like buying some audio software to help them learn how to play new songs? :D
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

tomos

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Re: Microsoft Surface RT - I got one.
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2013, 03:06:38 AM »
This review was extremely positive as well -
A month with my Surface RT
Tom

Deozaan

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Re: Microsoft Surface RT - I got one.
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2015, 10:42:48 PM »
Necro-thread, ARISE!!

So I've got a Surface 2. I like it a lot! Only one big problem... it runs Windows RT!

I don't know what to do with the device because everything I'm used to using on Windows is made for the x86/64 architecture, but this is an ARM device. I can't do my usual Windows things. There's no Chrome, no Firefox. And most of the mobile apps I'm used to (on Android) aren't on the Windows Store. Not even a YouTube app!

Anyone here still have and enjoy their Surface? Can anyone recommend some good apps? Anything to restore some functionality? IDEs? Instant messaging? Gmail? A browser other than IE?

This thing would be so amazing if I could just run my usual Windows programs. . .


Innuendo

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Re: Microsoft Surface RT - I got one.
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2015, 09:26:09 PM »
Deozaan, the outlook is pretty bleak for you. Windows RT is officially dead as the word has come down from the mountaintop in Redmond.

Quote
This thing would be so amazing if I could just run my usual Windows programs. . .

Why, yes it would and...yes, those things are amazing when running Windows programs. Unfortunately, you have to pay a lot more money to get one of the Surfaces with the 'pro' moniker behind its name in order to do it.

I've never used an RT device and I'm not too familiar with them, but I believe Microsoft's entire philosophy with the RT platform was that anything that an RT device could run would be offered through the Microsoft app store. I don't believe there's any way to 'side-load' apps on those things. I'd love to be told I'm wrong, but I don't believe I am.

wraith808

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Re: Microsoft Surface RT - I got one.
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2015, 10:15:32 PM »
Deozaan, the outlook is pretty bleak for you. Windows RT is officially dead as the word has come down from the mountaintop in Redmond.

Quote
This thing would be so amazing if I could just run my usual Windows programs. . .

Why, yes it would and...yes, those things are amazing when running Windows programs. Unfortunately, you have to pay a lot more money to get one of the Surfaces with the 'pro' moniker behind its name in order to do it.

Actually, you don't these days.  There are several tablet options with full windows 8.1, and as I noted in another thread, I just purchased one for $79.

The surface 3 was just released, and it also runs windows 8.1.

I've never used an RT device and I'm not too familiar with them, but I believe Microsoft's entire philosophy with the RT platform was that anything that an RT device could run would be offered through the Microsoft app store. I don't believe there's any way to 'side-load' apps on those things. I'd love to be told I'm wrong, but I don't believe I am.

You can actually put things on RT tablets without the app store- but it's not exactly straight forward.

http://www.maketeche...hout-storewindows-8/

http://blogs.msdn.co...microsoft-store.aspx

Deozaan

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Re: Microsoft Surface RT - I got one.
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2015, 10:35:51 PM »
Deozaan, the outlook is pretty bleak for you. Windows RT is officially dead as the word has come down from the mountaintop in Redmond.

Quote
This thing would be so amazing if I could just run my usual Windows programs. . .

Why, yes it would and...yes, those things are amazing when running Windows programs. Unfortunately, you have to pay a lot more money to get one of the Surfaces with the 'pro' moniker behind its name in order to do it.

I've never used an RT device and I'm not too familiar with them, but I believe Microsoft's entire philosophy with the RT platform was that anything that an RT device could run would be offered through the Microsoft app store. I don't believe there's any way to 'side-load' apps on those things. I'd love to be told I'm wrong, but I don't believe I am.

[EDIT]wraith808 posted while I was typing up my response (I took a long time and got distracted in the middle of writing this). We both essentially said the same things.[/EDIT]

I've looked more into it and it seems that all editions of the Surface 3 run full Windows, even the non-Pro version. That's pretty cool.

You can side-load programs on here. Sort of. I got the Surface so I could test my Unity game projects on it. After a bunch of mucking about trying to figure out stuff, I finally got a demo project installed on the thing. Honestly, I'm still not sure how to package it all up into an "installer" (or executable) without using Visual Studio to deploy the program onto the device.

But it's now considered installed on the device and I can launch it from the same place as the rest of the applications.

As part of the process, I did also have to download Visual Studio Debugger program for the Surface, which I did straight through Microsoft's website, using an installer. Not the Windows Store. So, yes, I'm pretty sure you can install whatever you want on the device without needing to use the Windows Store. But the hard part is finding something that has been compiled to run on Windows RT (ARM). And that has to be the biggest flaw of the device. It's hard to find programs compiled for ARM and the Windows Store seems fairly sparse to me.

I realize I'm talking in circles now, but... The hardware is really amazing! There's a lot to like about the Surface. Even Windows 8.1/Metro stuff works decently enough on the touch interface. But the ARM architecture is its ultimate downfall. So I'm glad to see they've rectified that issue with all editions of the Surface 3. I'm just a little bummed that I happen to be stuck with the lame-duck Surface 2.