Fantastic Friday Read: “Microsoft was right all along / More companies are embracing the form factor that the Surface Pro is famous for”
Microsoft was right all along
If you've been following the laptop space over the past two or so years, you've probably noticed that the detachable…
This article talks about how more and more Windows PC manufacturers are introducing tablet form factors like the Surface Pro lately and how advances in chipsets have allowed these 2-in-1 form factors to be less of a compromise between portability and power that somebody needs to get their work done. Microsoft also has done a lot of work to make Windows work better with 2-in-1’s over the years and later this fall will be releasing new versions of Outlook and OneNote that have more modern looking user interfaces that scale have better tap targets for touchscreens, which just happens to be the design trend lately with more white space around buttons to make them useable with both a mouse and somebody’s fingers. As I write this, I’ve been using an iPad Pro as my conference computer all week at JNUC, using it for notes, email, Teams chat, web applications, calls, etc…basically stuff the average information worker does on a daily basis and its been pretty great. This evening I’m actually using iPadOS 16 with Stage Manager turned on to research and write this article…and overall its pretty great despite the minor beta bugs. I normally use a 16” MacBook Pro at work, but that machine is indeed a battleship of a computer and difficult to really carry around without a large book bag. The iPad Pro being a 2-in-1 form factor with my Magic Keyboard is lightweight, fast, and has a long battery life…all hallmarks of the Surface Pro line of products for the last decade now. With more applications running on the web these days more battery efficient processors from Intel and ARM can have just enough local power to run mostly web applications for people while still being zippy. I also think the ability for somebody to take hand-written notes in OneNote, mark-up documents in Office or Adobe Acrobat, or simply hand somebody your computer for them to view or read something is a powerful feature. We’re long past the days that the average computer user cares about the yearly processor changes and the budget for a work laptop can be better used in providing these more specialized features to people. Stuff like good trackpads, keyboards, and screens are all solved problems for the most part in the premium Windows computer level. I think making touch and inking as standard input option is a good thing. If you don’t use it, then that’s fine, but I think bringing those tools to more people will help many organizations keep pushing into a more digital-first and paperless world, which is faster, more efficient, and more accessible for a great many people at the end of the day. I like this trend and I hope that it keeps up. There is a Surface Event coming up in two weeks and I’m hoping we see some ARM-based Surface Pro options, a new Surface Studio desktop, and maybe even some surprise product updates like a Surface Duo 3. I believe by creating their own devices, Microsoft has done a great job over the last 10 years of dog-fooding their own operating system features and because of that its made Windows and the Windows ecosystem better.