Saturday, May 11, 2013

Microsoft Surface

I admit it - I love new toys and gadgets and this certainly fits into that category. My current title is “Director of Managed Services” and as such I need to go and actually talk to customers. Now, this is a new role for me coming from a technical background to one that is customer facing and actually holds the customer’s interests at heart before those of my company. I am really enjoying this and going to customer locations to discuss issues and finding solutions is a familiar role in a new and exciting setting. 

So how does Microsoft’s Surface play into this role and why it isn’t just a toy for me? Well it’s quite simple, we are a Microsoft Partner and I felt it was best to utilize a Microsoft product to show off some of the features of the table and the Windows 8 operating system. Here are the specs:

  • Microsoft Surface Pro
  • 128GB SSD
  • 4Gb RAM
  • Intel i5 Processor @ 1.7Ghz

Honestly looking at the specs it seems that it’s more of a very small form factor computer than a tablet, which is one of the problems. It’s not really a tablet… I need to be able to show off the latest and greatest available with Microsoft’s products but having a full blown computer in tablet for is cheating a little bit.

The major features that my customers are interested in are management of remote assets, security, think sales guy at Starbucks, and in some cases slow access to remote offices. The best way to start that discussion is DirectAccess, BitLocker and BranchCache two of which require the Enterprise version of the operating system. So now I need to upgrade the tablet/computer and Windows RT is completely out of the question.

I do like the fact that now I can go into a meeting and write in OneNote with the customer right there. If I’m connected to the internet it’s automatically syncing to my SharePoint site or SkyDrive. That means that if I lost my bag I would still have all my notes and data that I collected from the customer. Additionally because all my data is encrypted with BitLocker I don’t need to worry about confidential customer or business data getting somewhere is shouldn’t.

With the exception of battery life I’m so far pretty pleased with the device. I’m sure I can stretch some more life out by tweaking the power settings but I’m not quite ready to do that yet. I’m still getting used to the differences between applications that are published for the Win8 UI and the regular Win applications, OneNote is a perfect example.

I’ll certainly keep posting as this experiment plays out – Cheers!

Thomas

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