Moving to Surface Pro 4

by Volker Weber

PowerPoint Mobile

I like this machine a lot. It will change a few workflows that are currently firmly in Apple territory. One of these is presentations. For the last ten years I have been using Keynote which only runs on iOS and macOS. I have developed my own style which is very clean, mostly uses photos and very few words and now I am practicing this style on PowerPoint.

This turns out to be a bigger struggle than anticipated. Apparently I cannot add a personal template to PowerPoint Mobile and would have to live with the awful designs Microsoft provides. Or I would have to always start from an existing presentation and pull a "Save as". Which is a dangerous workflow. Duplicating a file and then renaming it before opening in PowerPoint should be safer.

I am an O365 subscriber, so technically I could be using Office 2016. I briefly installed it, opened Outlook 2016 and then ran as fast as I could. It is as bogged down with old features as Notes and still does not know how to do a proper archive in Gmail. It is stunning how little Microsoft knows what Microsoft knows. Outlook on iOS is perfect, Outlook on Android is somewhat broken, the Mail client in Windows 10 isn't too bad but does not know about aliases, the full Outlook client is hell.

Word Mobile

Word Mobile works well for me. PowerPoint Mobile would work very well if it had personal templates, which it will eventually have to add. With their new "on any client" strategy, Microsoft is hitting the right notes for me. With a terabyte of storage in OneDrive as backup, life is incredibly easy.

Comments

I have to agree with you. I have shunned Microsoft for most of the last 10+ years, and would still be cautious of using a Windows PC because of the push advertising and past "bossiness" of Microsoft insisting on controlling OS updates.

But the hardware is looking increasingly attractive, and I have just subscribed to Office 365 because of the 1TB storage offer. (What a pity they have given up, for the moment, if not permanently, on mobile phones, I still love my Lumia 950... )

John Keys, 2016-12-25 12:26

How about using Sway for presentations?

Robert Jeschonnek, 2016-12-25 13:09

John, there are some really cool Ultrabooks from Asus, HP and Lenovo. The world has caught up with the MacBook Air.

Robert, I looked at Sway: http://vowe.net/archives/015410.html And I decided that I don't really need it. It would actually be a cool tool to write stories for this website, but it needs a backend that I don't have.

Volker Weber, 2016-12-25 14:11

I don't know about the Windows 10 apps, but the iPad apps for Office are too restricted in functionality to replace a PC for me. I seem to be unable to work with references in Word documents, for example, or I can't even edit (let alone) the simplest charts in Excel.

Don't get me wrong, I still think these apps are extremely helpful. Just, they are not a replacement for all use cases relevant to me.

Ragnar Schierholz, 2016-12-25 15:47

I would regard Vowe as another canary for the fate of Macs. We can complain about Microsoft's pushiness when it comes to selling services, but Apple is catching up quickly with equally annoying practices. I wish Apple recognizes what is at stake.

Peter Daum, 2016-12-25 16:59

Peter, I think that is going to far. I try to stay open minded and not tie myself to a single ecosystem. It's all best of breed here. Surface Pro 4 is a wonderful machine, that can be my workhorse. Surface 3 was only used when travelling. Currently I try to shift everything to Surface, with varying success.

Microsoft gives me an opportunity to work on different platforms with the same files. And with convenience. With PowerPoint I get to use both Macs and Surface, as well as all phones. That is what I mean with "any platform".

Volker Weber, 2016-12-25 19:07

I completely agree as far as Apple goes, Peter.

I have been looking to see if I could migrate from macOS to Linux. It would cause me some pain at the moment, because I haven't consistently used LibreOffice (for example) so I would lose some documents and data that I have produced in Apple formats in the past. Or I would have the pain of producing PDFs or Open Document format files before a migration to at least keep them readable.

But it's definitely a migration that I am starting to consider seriously, and I am paying more attention these days to only using file formats that are usable on several different OS platforms.

John Keys, 2016-12-25 19:21

I like the openness, Microsoft is living since several years. It is born out of necessity, still I like the result. Apple hardware with Microsoft services is something I am recommending to several friends (the close family is still on Lumias).

I am looking forward to some surface hardware next year for myself so I am eagerly reading here.

Hubert Stettner, 2016-12-25 20:36

Lumias are Nokia devices, even if they bear a Microsoft logo. And Lumia devices started at the high end and then were made cheaper and cheaper to ramp up market share. The strategy did not work and the last of the Lumia devices were built after the design talent had already left. When they launched the software wasn't ready and they were squeezed in between Hololens and Surface Pro 4.

Volker Weber, 2016-12-25 22:03

Outlook für Ios is Ok but Outlook for Android is broken. Can you go into details? While testing (special) apps for the last 6 weeks I lived with a Iphone 7 in my right and a Galaxy S7 in my left pocket. I had Outlook installed on both devices and both where connected to my Office365 account. I have not seen any difference. Except that I never hat to retype my password on the Iphone but once a week on the Android phone. From my point of view the two apps are identical.

Richard Kaufmann, 2016-12-26 00:14

Try to use an alias.

Volker Weber, 2016-12-26 00:23

Do you know if the company behind Outlook for iOS (now Microsoft) is still storing the user/mailbox credentials in the Cloud? Reference: search for "Warning – Microsofts Outlook app for iOS breaks your company security" Jan 2015 - or check your mail server logs hosting your mailbox.

Ahmad Masrieh, 2016-12-26 11:46

Can we please - for once - not discuss how a client/server app works? And what OAuth is? Also, Gmail won't disclose their server logs.

Volker Weber, 2016-12-26 13:57

Office...
One thing good about Windows is that, I can operate the OS (system, window, menu, dialog, form, etc) and its applications (except Adobe xxx, 3dsMax or Unreal) without a pointing device.
Best of all, Windows has a menu key.

* I know tons of shortcut keys
* Moving pointer here and there is more time consuming than hitting keys and I'm a lazy game programmer (besides shortcut keys, I also like to hack system, applications and websites to inject my automatons / plugins)

Hiro Kuo, 2016-12-26 17:20

You are calling the menu up and then cursor through the menus? That I have not seen since DOS. Shortcuts for often used operations like copy/paste/save ... are common amongst all operating system designed for keyboard input. And for touch UIs there is no pointer to move around. You just hit everything with your finger.

Volker Weber, 2016-12-26 20:44

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