Hello there!

Discussion in 'New Member Introduction & Site Assistance' started by ChiefSpaceGoblin, Nov 5, 2014.

  1. ChiefSpaceGoblin

    ChiefSpaceGoblin New Member

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    New Surface Pro 3 owner here;

    Have been, and remain, a mac user for the past 11 years. Still love my MBP but started running into serious issues with Office:mac 2011 (it's awful) which has become a real problem with job applications etc. Also found the lack of desktop 'managability' a pain - either full screen each app and swipe between, or back to manually arranging windowed applications side by side a la Vista and before. No Aero Snap or similar.

    The problem was partially remedied by running Win 8 in a virtual machine with Office 2013, Office 2013 + OneDrive I love. Trouble is battery life then took a dive.

    The final straw was receiving an interview invite via email with the details in an .rtf file attachment. Annoyingly, I found out later, the contact details had been put into the footer of the document which the preview/Quick Look function failed to show me. Outlook + Word 2013 showed me everything (thankfully before the interview!).

    As well as a career supporting Microsoft enterprise products, I've kept a keen eye on the Surface line from the Surface RT & first Pro onwards. The Pros always appealed but always seemed compromised, CPU wise with the 1st gen, weight, usable display and kickstand angles with the 1st and 2nd gens.

    And so now, with all of the above, I'm doing productivity stuff on my SP3 + Office 365 and loving it! Compared to business grade Windows laptops the SP3 compares exteremely well. Wasn't remotely interested with consumer grtade laptops with low screen resolutions, bad trackpads, poor batter life and overall build quality. I'll still be keeping my mac around for media purposes (most of my usage outside of productivity), but for productivity

    The Surface Pro 3 with it's build quality, screen resolution, killer 'lapability' with the infinitely adjustable kickstand, great Type cover, aero snap on the desktop/snapo with Metro (I know..) together with the clear upgrade of Office 2013 vs Office:mac 2011 and I'm a very happy camper. Only decision left is whether top migrate to OneNote + pen from Evernote or not. Looking forward on chatting here with all of you good people!
     
  2. malberttoo

    malberttoo Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi Chief, welcome to the forum!

    The SP3 has definitely found success. I owned an SP1, but it never replaced my laptop, or became my daily driver, like my SP3 has. And I believe going forward that the next Surface Pro models will only get better.

    Good to have you aboard!
     
  3. leeshor

    leeshor Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the forum
     
  4. UltraDroid

    UltraDroid Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Welcome aboard! :)
     
  5. smalltowngirl13

    smalltowngirl13 Administrator Staff Member

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    Hello and welcome to the forum...
     
  6. ChiefSpaceGoblin

    ChiefSpaceGoblin New Member

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    Thanks for all of welcomes everyone. A few days with the SP3 and all is going swimmingly with it. Tempted to post a 'Decade+ mac users' first week with an SP3' post after the weekend.
     
  7. kundas1

    kundas1 Super Moderator Staff Member

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  8. ChiefSpaceGoblin

    ChiefSpaceGoblin New Member

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  9. kundas1

    kundas1 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    no apologies necessary, but its frowned upon to post MAC VS SP3 because it causes to much drama and fights, but if you wanna post in the thread I gave a link to and you have some dislikes then that's fine, we all understand that no 2 person will like the same thing and we all have dislikes about every device... IF you don't have any dislikes then that s great too and feel free to post that ;)
     
  10. ChiefSpaceGoblin

    ChiefSpaceGoblin New Member

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    Thought long and hard about posting this, quite how to phrase it etc. Am posting here as this is predominantly my own experience in relation to SP3 and the associated Microsoft eco-system.

    Before diving in, I've no intention of this being ground for 'Mac vs PC' type arguments. The arguments from both sides are well known, have been fought to the point of exhaustion and the vast majority are of the same preferences and beliefs afterwards as they were going in. Little to no point can be serves by airing them again and I've no intention of invoking any of them here. Ultimately I arrive at the Surface Pro 3 and how it has been a godsend for my recent situation, but there's a little history to get through first.

    Ok, that said, this is a story of Then and Now. The Now will come in a short while, but first the Then.

    Then was 2003. There was a carrot and there was a stick. At the time I made my living as a desktop support engineer for a major multinational IT services firm, specifically supporting Microsoft products on the desktop and on the server. I'd begun to grow disillusioined as a PC owner in my home life. XP was still at Service Pack 1 and was, for a want of better words, a hot mess. Maintenance intensive, all to readily exploitable and full of attackable junk. For example, Windows Messenger started up with each and every copy of XP. Part of the basic, default install. If you used Windows Messenger then great, this was nice and convenient. If you didn't however, itwas worse than useless - it was an automatically invoked, direct line into the operating system for various bits of malware and exploits.

    So, I turned the messenger service off via control panel. Great, so far so good. Except that Office 2003 at the time had a default setting to allow Outlook to interoperate with Windows Messenger. If the defaults were left on, Outlook would take 5 mins to launch to a usable state whilst it waited patiently for Windows Messenger to start. So the option was unticked. Again, so far so good. Until the next Office service pack was installed which, after a little investigation, turned the default back on and Outlook went back to patiently waiting for Messenger to fire up again. By this point I'd grown weary of having to do the day job at home, constantly having to tend to a machine that would either get infected or start to behave erratically if I didn't.

    That was the stick. The carrot, at the time, was the Mac.

    iTunes for Windows had just been released with, by comparison to the then version of Windows Media Player, as simple, sane interface. Basic play/previous/next controls given prominence along with a search box and everything else relegated to menus or preferences. Clean, elegant, sane. So I began comparing the mac UI to XP/Office 2013. One was a mess of buttons with equal prominence, the other of a relatively clean, intuitive UI. Case in point a Windows XP dialogue box for moving files around "Would you like to copy/move the files? Yes / No / Cancel." What should I select if I want to copy? What should I select if I want to move?. Compare with the samemac dialogue at the time "What would you like to do? Copy / Move / Cancel". Clear, unambiguous, obvious.

    So I switched to Mac. And was happy. Until recently.

    Last year I was made redundant from my 20 year job in IT. I had been minded to move on, so wasn't so bothered and the severance was worth my while. I found myself being thrown back into the job market. Job hunting had changed since I was last having to do it, the obvious change was how online centric it all was. Job hunting, applying and initial engagements with prospective employers was all done online.

    The first issue I'd run into was that Office mac 2011 just wasn't so hot at rendering application forms supplied in Word format. For most people MS Office Web, Google Docs, iWorks or just about any other productivity package more than suffices for the odd letter, keeping a household budget spreadsheet etc. But when interfacing with the world of business the Lingua Franca is MS Office.

    I'd been running a Windows 8 virtual machine via Parallels on my mac with Office 2010 in. For disaster resilience purposes, I'd also been saving job application forms, both originals and completed, to what was then SkyDrive (now OneDrive). Firing the VM up and down was becoming a pain, not to mention a serious drain on my laptops battery. Additionally these various documents needed to be signed before returning, often meaning printing, signing & scanning before submission.

    For better or for worse, my main job – job hunting – was being primarily done in Windows. Relative to the XP days, both Office and Windows had come on leaps and bounds. Windows was much more stable, far less readily exploitable. Office, with the advent of the Ribbon and improved right click context menus, was far friendlier and more usable than it’s earlier incarnations. And my Windows machine was on my mac, itself a big and bulky beast.

    I needed something light & portable, something reliable and would fulfil all of my job hunting needs. I’d followed the Surface line since the initial RT/Pro introduction. The form factor + Touch/Type Cover was great from the outset, but the desktop limitations of RT and the constrained battery life of the first Pro didn’t quite cut the proverbial mustard for me. 2 and Pro 2 was batter, especially with the 2 stage kick stand. But again, not quite there.

    Surface Pro 3 ticked ALL the boxes. Seriously light, big enough screen, full fat Windows. So I took a deep breath and bought my first dedicated Windows machine since 2002.

    Pinching to zoom in web pages and Office documents has been so much more intuitive and easy than going into various menus, selecting zoom and trying 200% zoom, no too much, 150% zoom, too little and eventually settling somewhere in between. Pinch to zoom has been the way we all read on phones and tablets and to finally have it in the serious productivity sphere has been great.

    As a pre-existing OneDrive user, Office 365 has been well worth it for me. Having OneDrive as the default save location in Office 2013 has been great. Pick a folder and save, no multi-step alternate save process as per Office 2010 & Office mac 2011. In fact this completely saved my bacon. For each of my job interviews I’ve gone with a black ringbinder holding print outs of my job descriptions, personal specifications, CV/resume, educational certificated etc which I would read over with a coffee near the interview location. Apart from this one day for this one interview I’d picked up the wrong binder. No fear, I could pick up all of my notes etc via my phone via OneDrive and could read them all over in preparation for interview.

    I got that job :)

    As part of the acceptance process I had to sign a number of forms. Historically this would have meant printing, signing and scanning the forms before sending them back. Not with SP3 – just sign and date the forms with the stylus in Office 2013 and back they went with no silly out to paper and back again routine.

    The combination of Surface Pro 3, Office 2013 and OneDrive have proved to be reliable tools that have all worked hand in glove with one another, a combination I hadn’t found on the mac or desktop/laptop bound Windows. Barring my media which my mac still has the edge for, most of my day to day work is now on the go anywhere, work anywhere Surface Pro 3. And I couldn’t be happier with it.
     

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