Improvement Insights Blog
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.