Microsoft Surface – The Ultimate Business Computer

Since the iPad was launched by Apple in 2010, tablet computing has really taken off both for consumers and business users. There is one major problem with the iPad and competing tablets for business users however. They simply don’t do enough. It’s hard to argue that anything comes close to the iPad for content consumption right now but what about content creation?

Whilst there are some very good productivity apps for the iPad they simply don’t do the job. Even with the impending release of Office for iPad early next year, the iPad still lacks what it needs to make these productivity tasks as simple as they always have been. So as a business user what are you supposed to do when you need to build that expense report in Excel? Or prepare a presentation for potential investors? You reach for your trusty laptop of course.

Email is a massive part of the workflow of many business people. Don’t get me wrong, tablets and smartphones do a great job when you just want to send a quick reply but don’t offer nearly the depth of functionality that desktop email clients provide. Setting up meeting and organising mail workflows is another instance where the average business person is going to have to turn to their laptop or desktop computer.

Has Microsoft Finally Cracked it?

Microsoft have for a long time been at the forefront for business computing. They build not only the worlds most used operating system but also the most used productivity suite and business email application. They have been a little behind the trend over the last few years though. They were very late to the game with their smartphone platform and have only recently released a truly tablet optimised Windows experience. It seems though that they may have shown up just in time.

The Microsoft Surface is at it’s core a tablet computer but it has some distinct advantages over competing products for business users. Have you ever wished you could roll your desktop, laptop and tablet experiences into one device? The Surface might be the closest to this we have seen yet.

On the Commute

Do you spend a large part of the morning on the train or bus travelling to work? You can pull out the Surface and read the latest news, check the stock markets or get a head start on emails for the day. This is never a great experience on a small phone screen and it’s very rarely convenient to pull out a laptop on public transport. Regardless, a touchscreen tablet experience is by far the best for this purpose.

In the Office

So you’ve got your coffee, sat down at your desk and are ready to get on with the work day. Lets be honest, you’re not going to get any serious work done on a tablet and your laptop probably doesn’t provide enough screen real estate for real productivity. With the surface you can simply hook it up to an external monitor, mouse and keyboard and get down to business.

In the Meeting Room

If you have a meeting to go to simply pick up the Surface and take it with you. If you are leading the meeting, hook up your Surface to the projector and touch the screen to progress through your presentation slides. How many times have you been irritated by someone bashing away at a keyboard during a meeting? If you need to take notes or meeting minutes simply hook up the Surface Touch Cover and type away quietly and accurately.

On the Sofa

If you are unlucky enough to have to take your work home with you at least you can relax on the sofa with your Surface. Reply to any important emails as they come in or make final touches to a presentation for a meeting the next day. If you are finished working for the day enjoy a movie on the widescreen display, play a game, browse the internet or read an eBook.

This is Not an Advert

It occurs to me writing this that I seem to be greatly endorsing the Microsoft Surface. Let’s be clear, I will not be buying a Surface, it is far from a complete product. Even so it is a massive step in the right direction. The ability to seamlessly switch between a number of use cases with one device is very compelling, especially for the business user who relies on Microsoft Office and integrated services.

Once the app ecosystem is expanded from the currently very limited offerings and the product has been iterated a couple of times, if Microsoft play their cards right they could definitely be onto the next big thing in business computing; a universal, integrated device.

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Guest article written by: Joe Jones is an avid technology blogger who writes on behalf of Need More Time. Need More Time offer a professional telephone answering service to help businesses manage their incoming phone calls on a day to day basis.


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Guest article written by: Joe Jones is an avid technology blogger who writes on behalf of Need More Time. Need More Time offer a professional telephone answering service to help businesses manage their incoming phone calls on a day to day basis.


2 thoughts on “Microsoft Surface – The Ultimate Business Computer”

  1. How could you call this “The ultimate business computer” without even using it? I mean how do you know for a fact that its better than iPad or Nexus?


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