Since I became a home owner I have had to learn to do without. My days of buying every toy I can get my hands on have been over for about three years now, but I had come up with a plan to earn my toys and still stay on top of the mortgage, the child support, and everything else it takes to manage a life that is closer to retirement than it is to high school. Well actually it is an old school way which I should have learned as a child and had ingrained in me for when I was an adult. I sock money away each week until I have enough saved for whatever toy it is I want, and to that end I have to plan accordingly that my toys actually give some value to my life. My largest such purchase from my save and spend fund was a Microsoft Surface.
Now of course I bought a second generation Surface using Windows 8.1 RT on it for two reasons. First I could afford it, and second the third generation had not come out yet. I knew that the first generation ones weren’t very good, and had heard better things about the second. I fell for all the bells and whistles that the Surface afforded me. The keyboard cover does work great and as a matter of fact I have been using it to write all of my blogs lately. The screen is vibrant and responsive, and despite the whining, Windows 8 isn’t hard to figure out. In some regards it is a much better OS for a touch screen tablet, and I commend Microsoft for finally giving up on making too many OS choices with too many compatibility issues. Aside from everything I just listed I have regretted this purchase from the word GO.
This is NOT a knee jerk trashing of the Surface. I have been doing everything I can to integrate this thing into my life for 6 months now, and all I have gotten out of it is a very nice way to use Microsoft Office without having to pack up my laptop. If you are doing an awful lot of writing then the Surface may be your best friend. If you have a lot of different e-mail accounts to process then the Surface may be for you. I could even see using the Surface as a graphics creation tablet, but let’s be real here a Samsung Android device will do most of what I have just explained pretty good too, while also being able to do all of the things that the Surface is just plain useless at. This includes what many would think is in Microsoft’s wheel house, and that would be using the internet.
Now one of the main reasons I wanted to go with the Surface was because I don’t jibe well with the whole Apple thing. I mean come on, it’s like communism, you buy our device made by us, and you use our program, made by us to get anyone else’s stuff onto it. There’s only one thing I hate worse than Apple products, and that’s the kool aid drinkers who won’t do anything without an Apple. I get it already, your iLife is perfect and you can’t wait to stand in line for a new iLife. The Surface to me represented the best version of something that at the very least anyone could make one of. There are plenty of vendors making a Windows Tablet, and many of them seem “all in” to make this whole venture work. The scary factor is that I find myself locked into “communism light” because it appears the only thing Microsoft learned from the Apple juggernaut that finally overtook them after 30 years of failing at it, was “we want to control everything” too.
What does this mean for a Surface owner? Well the first thing it means is really inferior apps. You would think because an internet company makes a killer app for your smartphone be it iOS or Android that their app for Windows 8 should at the very least be comparable. I personally have found that every single app that I have grown to love for Android is total garbage for Windows 8, and of course I can’t work around this because Windows 8 RT does not allow you to install anything that isn’t an app. I have gone through a wide swath of apps over the last 6 months and seriously when I say they are junk they are total junk. Evernote, MyFitnessPal, Facebook, Twitter, you name it. They are all so bad that it is infuriating. Now we get to the real problem that is unforgivable on the Surface. The version of Internet Explorer that comes with Surface doesn’t make using the website versions of these things any easier.
I don’t know what to tell you. If you want a typewriter than the Surface is just amazing. Heck I can even admit that maybe I have started writing more because of it, but since it doesn’t really get me anywhere then I can also say that this overpriced typewriter has dragged me backwards in my life. The jury is still out on that one, but I must tell you that a Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro would be a much better investment than a Surface. At the very least you won’t be stuck in the past and onward to a future that looks brighter.