TechEd North America Thread

15 posts

TechEd and My Surface RT

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  • Patrick​Dunlap

    Bring my company's test Surface RT to TechEd.  We have all kinds of mobile test devices such as iPads and Mini's, Android tablets, etc.  One is our Surface RT.  No one at work wants it, its a bit of the step child but maybe that's what draws me to it, I love the underdog.

    So when I go to TechEd, will I be "wow'ed" by all the cool new things Microsoft has planned for RT, new apps, configuration management, etc?  Or will I walk away thinking my co-workers are right and RT is a dud?

  • MikeBergin

    I doubt you will be "wow'ed". RT is limited and that is its feature.... Unless MS shells out tons of cash to get vendors to write apps, they probably won't for RT. I don't think RT is a dud. I have the RT and though it is limited, I can do mostly everything I need on it. If there is something I can't accomplish I can RDP to my work laptop and do whatever i need. i think RT will grow with newer versions, but i don't think anything will be on MS's radar for the RT at this point.

  • Patrick​Dunlap

    RDP is a real plus and the seemless mouse integration and operation allows it to work as a laptop replacement if you have a desktop or VM to connect to.  I also am going to setup a test server with RemoteApp and see how that works out with the RT.  One thing that does concern me as far as being able to use this device in a corporate setting is vendor VPN support.  I can run the Pulse app on my iPad and get inside my corp. firewall to RDP on that device but my network team won't even touch RT because the venders themselves are not writing apps for the platform.  In my mind, that is the biggest log jam for RT in the corporate setting and really needs to be addressed by Microsoft to really push RT to the enterprise. 

  • davidsmi

    I'll be bringing my Surface RT too.  The RT does really get "* on" in the media.  Imagine if Apple came out with an iPad that had a keyboard and could run a few OSx apps - they'd all think they'd died and gone to heaven.

    Ranting aside, unless you need some 3rd party software the Surface is great for email and making notes in OneNote and Office.  I'd rather bring my Surface than my laptop and my iPad - less functionality  but weights so much less than two devices!



  • mfifer

    I'll be bringing three tablets:  iPad 4, Google Nexus 10, and Surface RT.  All 3 combined weigh less that most of my laptops (Macbook Air and Dell Latitude 6430u aside) and I'm counting on them being a lot more utilitarian than a single laptop for this type of event.  First time I'm going laptop-less Big Smile

    -=- mf

  • mattgrif

    I'll have a laptop locked in room in case of a work "emergency" but for the conference itself I'll be carrying an RT around, might buy a Pro at the Microsoft Store at Convention Center, trying to deter myself from spending the money.

  • Patrick​Dunlap

    One of our network team employees took a job at Juniper and so I sent him a IM on facebook to ask if he had any inside knowledge of a Pulse client or configurations via powershell for RT.  

    VPN more then anything might dictate my Surface vs. iPad Mini vs. Galaxy Note 10.1 choice for TechNet (both Android and iOS have Pulse apps).  Did setup TeamViewer on my desktop at work and that works OK with RT but give credit where it is do, Microsoft (via Citrix) did such a great job with RDP (a true Terminal Service) and using TV is a real downgrade in user XP.  I have RDP both on my Android and iOS tabs and coupled with Pulse, is very usable. 

  • KRemde

    I'm bringing my RT mainly for weight and battery life.  It does all I need when away from my main production machine - which is the other computer I'm bringing: Surface Pro. Smiley

    When I need real horsepower for test lab or demos, I'm using RDP to my old workhorse Lenovo laptops back at my office.  

  • Patrick​Dunlap

    Wow, just did a little usability testing with both the iPad and the Galaxy Note, both with RDP using a mouse (a hack on the iPad) and I gotta say that the Surface RT just blows these away even using the more limited TeamViewer remote app.  Even though I can VPN with both other devices, it still does not add up to all the usability that I get with the RT.  Not brown nosing MS just because its their boards, I have a lot of complains and issues with RT, but so far the pluses for a enterprise tablet still out weight the negatives.  On the consumer side, they still have a lot of work to do on the apps list.   

  • IanDavidson

    RT is good for email and browsing and not much else.

  • Patrick​Dunlap

    @IanDavidson:Ha, I would say that it really not that good for email either.  They really, really need to get Outlook on RT.  One of the things about exchange sync that I just cannot understand is Tasks?  iOS has had native Task sync for years right out of the box, works flawlessly with Microsoft Exchange.  Windows 8 App... no where to be seen.  It can't be that hard for MS to do if Apple can do it.  Are they just better developers at Apple (that's a rib MS to shame you into fixing that).

    But RT is very good at RDP connections, HDMI to a second monitor with full extended support, almost every USB device I have plugged into it has worked, full mouse support, and the Surface keyboards and kick stand is very nice compared to iPads (not including Android hybrids).

  • IanDavidson

    I use o365 webmail.

    problem solved

  • Patrick​Dunlap

    Actually I have used the webmail client as well when I needed some extra functionality.  But the webmail, as good as it is, is not optimized for touch and even it lacks all the options that the full Outlook client has.  Plus, going back to the task [rant], you do not have a live tile for tasks or the ability to add notifications.  You cannot easily snap it to the screen for screen sharing with another app.

    But my biggest issue is that, this is Microsoft, I am using Exchange, tasks are everywhere as a function of Office, iOS it works flawlessly and a default app, and yet no where to be seen as a Metro App.  I mean this just seems like very basic requirements here that are totally missed.

  • jdscher

    This depends on the version of Exchange your environment is running.  OWA in 2013 looks great on a Windows tablet; very close to the actual Outlook Windows client.  But few large organizations have yet migrated to Exchange 2013.

    Also the recent CU1 release of Exchange 2013 added the ability to schedule Lync Online Meetings from OWA.

  • Patrick​Dunlap

    Yeah, seen a demo of 2013 OWA and it is a very nice upgrade.

    I will use the OWA version when I need to do more detailed Outlook responses to emails or events.  But I do use my RT tablet as a mobile device, looking at emails and calendar between meetings and such and thumbing through while holding the device and walking or standing.  And I do look at the live tiles for information and with 8.1 and larger tile ability, there will be even more information available to look at.  But tasks are still missing an app and there is just no reason for that.  None.  A web app is not going to replace that omission. 

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