modern

Now that I have the Surface Pro 3, my Surface 2 has been gathering dust. So it is with sadness that I finally put it up for sale. The Surface 2 was a wonderful device that exceeded my expectations.

It got me thinking about the Surface line. It’s a great device, yet did so poorly in the perception game. What could Microsoft have done differently with a mulligan?

When the Surface RT was announced, hell had frozen over. Microsoft haters and fans actually agreed on something, that the Surface had no future because of Windows RT. What’s the point of a device that has the limitations of Windows (no tablet apps) and none of its strengths (no PC apps)?

So I got the Surface Pro. With time, however, I realized I only did three things with it: 1) browse the Internet, 2) play media and 3) work with Office. If not for Office, I wouldn’t even need the desktop. Moreover, the Pro was just too thick and heavy.

That’s how I arrived at the Surface 2. The Surface 2 fulfills those three needs well and in an amazingly portable form factor too. It was also a lot cheaper!

What if Microsoft had just branded the Surface as an Office device? Office was (is) the only reason to get a Windows RT device, so why not just go all in on that fact?

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Now that Windows 10 Technical Preview is out, opinions are flooding in about Microsoft’s oddly named OS. One of the common remarks is how modern Start Screen from Windows 8 is out the window because, you know, people hate it.

I disagree. Whether you like colorful live tiles is a subjective choice — it’s an opinion about aesthetics, like how one person could like TouchWiz but another could abhor it — but the Windows 8 Start Screen is not functionally inferior. As an app launcher, it’s actually superior to the traditional Start Menu.

But if flat, colorful boxes aren’t your thing, that’s understandable. That’s an opinion.

You may not like how TouchWiz looks, but that doesn’t make a Samsung phone objectively bad.

Windows 8 was objectively bad, but for other reasons.

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Microsoft just announced Windows 10. It’s a horrible name, and Microsoft is setting itself up to be made fun of just like they did with Surface’s “no compromises” tagline.

Here’s a joke already making the rounds: It’s Windows 10 because 7 8 9. Argh. Every time Windows 10 fails, and it will inevitably fail for something sometime, Windows 9 will be the easy barb.

Why not just go with something like Windows X? It even implies the number 10.

Name aside, Windows 10 looks promising. I’ve been sketching ideas on OneNote with my Surface Pro 3, and redesigning Windows 8 is a favorite subject. High up on my wish list is a touch mode and desktop mode; triggered when you detach or attach a keyboard to a 2-in-1 device. That’s in Windows 10 and which Microsoft calls Continuum. It looks good.

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As I wrote the smartphone recommendation story, I was struck again by the beauty of the Windows Phone 8.1 home screen.  So today’s post was meant to be dedicated to the better looking Windows Phone 8.1 home screens.

That was the idea anyway.

Until I realized the sickest designs I’ve ever seen were put together by one person: Live Art Guy.

You should know that as a kid I was a huge comic book fan.  Incredible Hulk #180 and Sandman #1 are among my most prized possessions.  Well, if you’re a comic book fan, you’re going to love what this guy did.

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