As Surface finds its place in MY eco system...
First of all, some disclaimers:
I am the CEO of Didlr ltd. and Wapple.net Ltd.
Didlr is a social drawing application available on Windows Phone, Windows 8, iOs, web, Facebook and soon Android - but the Windows versions are my babies.
At Wapple we make mobile web experiences and Microsoft is a customer. We also had a legal spat with Apple over our Wapple trademark, which we won.
I am pretty much an MS fanboy. I am a big gamer, used to design and produce games for a living, and I have 4 Xboxes in my house. I'm a Windows Phone user. I run W8 on my desktop and laptop.
OK, that's out of the way. Just wanted to be up front.
I've had a Surface since launch. I opted for the 64GB version with touch cover. I also purchased the HDMI adapter and an extra PSU.
Frankly, I wanted to love it. I really WANT to adore it. But I'm not quite there yet. That's not to say that I haven't got a lot of things I love about it - there are plenty of those. But it is just that there are things that I don't love about it.
In fairness though, I expected too much. Its the first version so of course it's not yet all that it will be.
My first impressions were OK I guess. I'd been using RTM so no huge surprises but I think in the back of my mind I'd hoped that MS had held something back and the release was going to be more than I'd seen before.
There simply aren't enough personalization options for me. I don't really like the start screen backgrounds and the color schemes are lacking. I've gone for something dark and contrasting but I'd like a greater choice of accent colors.
Office is there for sure, but under RT it's pretty slow. I need a Modern UI version. Outlook especially. But frankly, I can't say that I'll be turning to my surface to do Office related work. That's for my real laptop for the time being.
OK, I'm going to focus on the mail client for a while. Its dreadful.
No search, slow, clunky and difficult to use. I hate that the live tile shows me a mail I want to read and it then has to sync when I open the client. I want to see that mail right away, not wait 10-15 seconds.
The People hub is useless. I can't FIND what I need in it. A complete overhaul is needed.
You know what, while writing this I'm coming to realize that these are the only things I don't like. So now I'm going to switch over and write about the stuff I love.
Because there is a lot.
Surface has slotted right into my life. Its the machine I reach for now. And it's SO integrated with everything else I'm staggered.
Right now I'm watching a video on my Xbox that I opened on my Surface and played to the TV. That's cool. Really cool. OK, so it;s not like I couldn't have just started the video on the Xbox but I just feel awesome for having done it this way.
I love that all the wireless networks I have set up on my laptop synced to my Surface. It was a little disconcerting at first as I wasn't expecting it but when I realized it happened I was so happy. It's happened across the board from my home and work connections to hotspots I use. Awesome!
I hear a lot about apps that aren't on W8 yet. You know what, I don;t care. Maybe I'm mad and unique but I don't give two hoots about Facebook and don;t miss the client.
What I do know is that there are apps on the platform that I use and enjoy. I hope that people are loving my app, Didlr on both WP and W8. I'm loving Angry Birds Star Wars. I can get the information I need. I'm cool as long as apps come out on the platform from here on. I don't need legacy apps.
I think skydrive is fab. All the photos from my phone sync across. All my office documents sync, for what its worth.
I like Modern UI. Sure, its not finished yet but it will come. It will evolve. I hope that WP is the template that it adopts further.
But most of all, I love how Surface is now a portable window on my digital eco system. Everything I have in the digital realm is right there as I move around with it. All my files, docs, pics, music, games... right there.
I want Windows 8, and the Surface, to succeed. It's not right yet but it can get there.