My First Six Months with a Windows Surface RT, from a Lawyer’s Perspective

I have previously written about my experience using the RT in the following posts

My First Three Months with a Windows Surface RT from a Lawyer’s Perspective | Jeffrey Chard (my last post) and

My First 10 days with the Surface RT | Jeffrey Chard

I have had my RT now for about 6 months.

General Use

I donated my iPad to my beloved wife about 2 months ago.

I primarily use the RT as a tablet. When using it as a tablet I prefer to use the Metro OneNote and IE10 Apps to the desktop programs.

I no longer have any problems with website compatibility with IE10. The Metro IE10 is extremely easy to use. The Swipe action UI is truly excellent.

There are a lot more Apps now available for Windows 8. From my first post, Dropbox has been available for some time. I wrote about it in my first above mentioned post. I prefer to use Skydrive because it is more integrated.

Zite and a decent replacement for Goodreader are still not available. Adobe Reader (Touch) is available, but it has similar functionality as the Microsoft Reader. There are other apps that allow you to annotate PDF, but nothing with the same capabilities as Goodreader.

Whilst Zite has come to Windows Phone 8, it is still not available on Windows 8 (nor is it available as a website, a fact that I I find curious). I use the following news reader apps instead.

The Fifth.
This has very recently become available in the Windows Store. I have been using it, and beta testing it for several months. Even though I may be biased, it is my favourite New Reader App. Whilst it uses upon RSS feeds, it is very easy to search for RSS feeds and to subscribe to them. The are a host RSS feeds that are built in to browse. All your subscriptions and reading history are synced to the cloud so that your history follows you between devices. The App can be downloaded here.

The Fifth app for Windows in the Windows Store

http://apps.microsoft.com/webpdp/app/e741b66c-cb4c-4e64-9ed0-5e35267a377a

Learn more about The Fifth by Ardent Technology and download it from the Windows Store

The only difference between the Trial Version (which is really the Free Version) and the Paid Version is the absence of Advertisements in the Paid Version. As the Adds are not very intrusive in the trial version, I am not sure there is much incentive to buy the Paid Version, unless you want to support the poor author. As he is my son, I would encourage you to do so J.

Appy Geek

Pulse News

From the Lawyer’s Perspective

As I mentioned in my last post, as a Lawyer I used primarily used by iPad to reduce the paper I had to carry. I could load into Goodreader, 20000 page briefs, which were fully hyperlinked. On the RT I have similar functionality, but with the added convenience of being able to access those documents from a USB Drive with no need to import.

Office RT is by far much easier to use the iPad equivalents when it is necessary to do work. Now that I have the Typecover, it is very convenient to take into the meeting room to take statements. I find it convenient to prepare witness statements and which I save to Skydrive. I eventually acquired a Typecover, and I use that when I have to do any creative work. The Typecover is much better than the Touchcover for doing work. I find that I can type more accurately on it than I was able to do on most of my earlier laptops when it is on a stable surface. I still use the Touchcover, as a cover and interestingly it is more accurate when it on my leather briefcase on my lap when I am on a train. The touchcover works better on a uneven surface.

If I need to use an desktop application I just use the Remote Desktop Application.

Why did I buy the RT instead of waiting for the Pro?

The RT has one main advantage over the Pro; battery life. It is inherent in its design. The tasks that I needed to do on the RT I was wiling to sacrifice all the benefits of the Pro to obtain longer battery life in slightly thinner package. The Surface Pro has only been available in Australia since the 30 May 2013. I have seen one in the shop and briefly paid with it. It works very well. I particularly like the stylus.

As I mentioned in my first mentioned post, the main thing missing from the RT is Outlook.

Microsoft has announced that Outlook will be available with RT 8.1 which is being released for Preview on 26 June 2013. This will be a great improvement. While I believe that I will continue to use the Metro Mail App, Outllook RT will fill the very big hole that existed when using the Desktop. The sooner Outlook RT is released the better. I am hoping that Microsoft will release it to RT8.0 for download at the same time as the 8.1Preview is released.

Back in the Office

In my last post I said

I am an advocate of the Metro UI, but in the office I am firmly a Desktop user. I am still using the Windows 7 Professional, and I did not take advantage of the reduced price to upgrade. I am a firm believer of Windows 8 and like its split personality, but there is really little point to upgrade until you have touch screens. The only advantage to upgrade (which is real) is the convenience of having access to all your metro apps on the Desktop.

I am hoping that Microsoft has a lot of success with the Surface RT. For a lawyer, the advantages of an RT over an iPad are clear. I am still looking forward to many great thinks from Microsoft this year.

Not much has changed but I expect it will very soon. I have read a lot about Windows Blue/8.1. Microsoft have done a lot to address some of the concerns that I had with Windows 8 on the Desktop. Whilst I believe that the split personality is inevitable. There a lot of changes in 8.1 that will encourage it to be used in the enterprise. One of the main advantages of 8.1 will be that, each Desktop User, will be able to use his/hers Microsoft Account and still be able to connect to the enterprise domain.

I am still looking forward to many great thinks from Microsoft this year.

JDC 10 June 2013

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5 thoughts on “My First Six Months with a Windows Surface RT, from a Lawyer’s Perspective

  1. Robert Hedrick

    I love my RT, unfortunately I am a public defender with an old xp, etc. system in place, but we are updating and I should be able to connect soon. Can’t wait for the Outlook app! I paid full price and am proud to stand with MS on this, along with my Windows phone and my wife’s new W8 laptop (surprise, not hard for her, or my 10 year old grandson to figure out at all). ThanKs for the articles.

    Reply
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  3. Hydrargyrum

    Since you wrote this post, have you found any good replacements for iOS’s GoodReader/PDF Expert?

    Reply
    1. Jeffrey Chard Post author

      Thank you for your comment. I no longer miss Goodreader. Microsoft’s own Reader App comes a close second in functionality. It has adequate annotation. You can view two documents side by side, and can have multiple documents open at the same time. It can read documents on a USB. You do not need to import documents, they can be read directly from Dropbox or OneDrive [OneDrive is so good I no longer use
      Dropbox]

      Reply

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