30 Days with Surface Pro 3: Day 9
The 30 Days with Surface Pro 3 series is about the device itself—as the name implies. The operating system, however, plays a significant role in the 30-day experience. With that in mind, I’ve decided to officially shift gears so the rest of this 30 Days series will focus on Windows 10—specifically the latest Technical Preview build: 9926.
If you look back at the 30 Days with Surface Pro series I did for the original Surface Pro, you will see a number of days in the series that are a direct reflection of Windows 8. Topics like Configuring the Start screen, A closer look at the default apps, Getting to know the Charms bar and more are largely a function of the operating system as much or more so than the Surface tablet hardware.
I liked Windows 8, and I feel like Windows 8.1 was a significant improvement. Windows 8.1 addressed the lion’s share of the complaints that drove the backlash against Windows 8, and has a more “polished” feel than the original Windows 8. Continuing this series using Windows 8.1, however, would be shortsighted and would severely limit the future utility of this series because Windows 10 will be available this year.
Why does it matter? Things like configuring the Start screen—or whether or not there is a Start screen at all—are very different between Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. The apps that come installed by default, the Charms bar—or what happens when you swipe in from the right side of the display—and how you navigate and interact with apps are all very different experiences depending on which operating system you’re using.
Windows 10 is still in beta, so there will be glitchy features and things that don’t yet work as advertised. Features and capabilities might be added, removed, or changed before Windows 10 is officially launched later this year. The Windows 10 Technical Preview is mostly complete, though, so I wouldn’t expect any major, life-altering changes.
Focusing on Windows 10 will allow me to address new features and capabilities unique to the new OS that fundamentally change the user experience for any Windows PC—but especially on a Surface Pro 3. Features like Continuum and Tablet Mode that enable the operating system to change the way it works depending on whether you’re using the device as a laptop or a tablet, and the Cortana voice assistant seem almost uniquely suited to a device like the Surface Pro 3.
I understand that switching the focus to Windows 10 means that some of the information might not apply to those still using Windows 8.1. With Windows 10 expected to be officially launched—and available as a free upgrade for most users—there is more longevity and more overall value to digging in to the new features unique to Windows 10.
As I stated in the beginning of this post, the 30 Days with Surface Pro 3 series is about the Microsoft tablet, not Windows 8.1 or Windows 10. Hopefully you’ll agree with me that changing operating system versions won’t substantially change the scope of the series, and that the information I share about Windows 10 will be useful to a broader audience than Windows 8.1.
I’m curious what you think of Windows 10. Have you installed and used the Windows 10 Technical Preview yet? Is there anything in particular you really love, or really hate?
As we progress through the rest of the series using Windows 10, feel free to comment on the posts if there are questions or issues specific to Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 that you would like to me to address or clarify.
I now return you to your regularly scheduled 30 Days with Surface Pro 3 series…