Microsoft Surface, Office 2013 and QI Macros
The new Microsoft Surface tablet running Windows RT and Office 2013 (pre) arrived on Friday. I’ve been driving an iPad for about a year, but found the iPad apps, even Numbers, underpowered for the kinds of business things I need to do.
While we’ll have to wait awhile for a fully functional Windows 8/Office 2013 tablet, the new tablet with Office 2013 will do most of what I need. It won’t run VBA so I can’t use the QI Macros or other addins, but it will work with all of the QI Macros templates, so I can do all of my charts, graphs and documents easily (see XmR Template below). There are a few glitches in Office 2013′s charting, but I expect those will be fixed in the official release next year.
The new Windows 8 interface takes a little getting used to, but if you’ve used an iPad, it doesn’t take much effort to convert. And there’s a Windows 7 style interface only one tap away.
The Surface tablet also has a USB port, so I don’t have to put things into Dropbox to get them onto the tablet. I also use the mouse a lot, so a small USB mouse makes my life easy. But I do find myself using both the screen, touchpad and mouse.
There are two types of keyboards: touch and type. I chose the Type because it feels more like a keyboard to me.
Microsoft has historically been a slow follower of Apple. In 1995, the standard joke was that Windows 95 was Macintosh 84. I suspect similar jokes to arrive: Surface 2012 is iPad 2007.
But never underestimate the billions of people who know how to use Office. Retraining them takes time and money. Buying them a tablet that comes with Office solves a lot of problems and shortens the learning curve.
The jury is still out, but I can tell you that I already prefer the Surface over the iPad for my needs. When a full Windows 8/Office 2013 tablet comes out, I’ll get one of those. For people who work in a coach airline seat, it will be alot more convenient. I think it may kill the laptop market. Only time will tell.