Why I'm Considering a Surface and Windows Phone 8

Anyone who knows me will see the title of this post and tell you I’m about to trash the Surface, Windows 8 and Windows Phone. Let me assure you that’s not the case. I am a 100% openly admitted Apple fan. I have owned every version of the iPhone, have a Mac Mini, MacBook Air and have owned a MacBook Pro previously as well. I have stated that I didn’t see any reason for me to ever buy anything other than a Mac or iPhone. Enough background. On to the Surface and Windows Phone 8.

Innovation: A new method, idea, product, etc

People who know me will also know that I love technology. I’ll even go so far as to say the new Blackberry OS and phone look pretty awesome. That I won’t ever buy, I’m not going to lie, I just think it’s neat. I’ve been using Windows 8 for months now and I have gotten used to all the changes. There are still little things that bug me, but that’s going to happen with any piece of technology. I feel like this is a really exciting time we are in right now. For the last few years I have been comfortable saying that Apple and Google were the big innovators in the market. Over the last year though, Microsoft has been kicking butt. It may not show in the market share or stock price of Nokia riding the Lumia 920 but maybe one day it will.

Integration: The intermixing of people or groups previously segregated.

I like when things all work together. The introduction of Office 365, SkyDrive, Windows 8, Surface and Windows Phone 8 all make that really easy. As a consultant I do a lot of moving around. I’m rarely in once place for very long but I always need my “stuff”. In this case, again being a SQL consultant and a bit of a geek, stuff is data. Working on Windows all day long makes all these integration improvements that much more exciting.

Design: An outline, sketch, or plan, as of the form and structure of a work of art, an edifice, or a machine to be executed or constructed.

Ok, this one probably comes from using Apple products. Product design, like it or not, makes people love or hate a product. We love to pick our favorite color shirt, or the car that we think best fits our personality. Electronics are no different. The the surface had a 3 inch bezel, was 2 inches thick and was off gray it would be much less attractive to consumers. I appreciate a beautiful design (yeah, yeah I sound like I’m quoting Johnny Ive. Oh well) and the surface is exactly that. On the phone side, I think it was Gizmodo, that described the Lumia 920 as a brick because of the weight. I personally like the weight behind the 920 better than the construction of any iPhone after the original. Having something that doesn’t feel like it is going to break in your had is nice for a change. It’s got style.

Conclusion: The end or finish of an event or process.

So there you have it. I like technology. I like innovation. I feel like the first time in a long time Microsoft has picked up their game, taken control and done a lot of really awesome things. I really hope these technologies continue to come together and that they keep innovating. Being that I do SQL work for a living these advances can only make my life better. I really enjoy having Hyper-V on my laptop since I can now run virtually any demo at any time. Maybe having a surface will allow me to be even more lightweight and flexible.

What are your thoughts? What are your thoughts on the Surface, Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Office 365, SkyDrive and the integration between it all, etc?

Bradley Schacht

Bradley Schacht is a Cloud Solution Architect on the state and local government team with Microsoft based in Jacksonville, FL. He has co-authored 3 SQL Server books including "SQL Server 2014 Professional Administration". As a former consultant and trainer, he uses his experience on many parts of the Microsoft BI and data platform to help customers deliver the best possible solutions. Bradley frequently presents at community events around the country. He is a contributor to sites such as SQLServerCentral.com and an active member of the Jacksonville SQL Server User Group (JSSUG).

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1 Response

  1. paschott says:

    I have a Surface RT and generally like it. I could wish for more apps, but also realize that it’s the new kid, unproven, not a huge fan base, etc. However, it’s a solid tablet and does quite a bit that is useful. The Surface Pro would likely be a better fit as a DB guy at this point because I could install some apps that would let me connect to my office and do some work while still being able to use the tablet form for non-work activities.
    There are a couple of hacks out there to better extend storage to a microSD card. They let you move your music, videos, and even your Modern app files there if you feel constrained by the on-board storage. I’m not feeling a storage pressure at the moment, but can see how that could be a problem for some down the line.

    I generally like my WP as well, though not as pleased with MS dropping support for all 7.x devices when they announced WP8. It works well and I don’t really miss many of the popular apps except perhaps a small number of games. Instagram is kind of silly to me, but I hear that it’s coming for all of the fans out there. The auto upload of pictures to Skydrive is nice, especially the option in WP8 that will upload a full copy there when connected over a network (though not over cell data). I like the “find my phone” feature, but that could be because my wife has a habit of leaving her phone in odd places. I know that isn’t unique, but it is well implemented.
    I could wish for broader support for a removable mSD card. The Nokia/HTC look good, but I’d gladly trade off some of those looks for the ability to extend the storage a bit. Minor quibble, but storage sizes are still a bit small for my tastes.

    Skydrive is well integrated for the most part. I usually just use it for OneNote syncing across platforms, but store a fair number of files there for personal use. I am grandfathered into the 25GB storage and I’m sure that helps.

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