Moving from the Apple stack to Windows should be easy. In fact the last 36 hours have been frustrating. On top of the other problems mentioned earlier, the Surface 2 has crashed three times. The latest saw it freeze with the screen broken up as shown in the picture.
That’s tragic, because I finally managed to get some useful work out of the tablet-cum-laptop. And I was already seeing some of the promise of working exclusively in the Windows stack.
Not all of my problems, or the earlier ones, can be blamed on Microsoft. I didn’t have to install anything to get moving on my week in the Apple stack. Nor was the MacBook designed as a Windows PC. I’m not sure who is responsible for WordPress’s lack of tech screen support.
The last post?
Getting mail on the laptop proved harder than expected. The Windows 8 modern style Mail app does a great job on the Surface 2. Likewise the Windows Phone 8 Mail app works flawlessly.
Things aren’t so good on Windows 7. When I used Windows 7 – and Windows 8 – I used Gmail in the Chrome browser. Routing this to the OS X and iOS 7 apps is easy enough using IMAP.
In the end I took this approach loading my mail into Outlook 2013, which gets the job done. While many readers might think desktop mail clients are a backwards step, I couldn’t see any way to finesse this using Outlook.com which – to my knowledge – doesn’t appear to support IMAP.
It’s years since I used Outlook, the 2013 version looks so much better. I like the integrated calendar, contacts and notes. And the social media links are useful. It may sound crazy, but I’m motivated to give the OS X app a fresh look when these experiments are over. It’s more likely I’ll never use a desktop mail client again.
Microsoft Word is so much better on a full laptop than on the Surface 2. To be fair that’s 90 percent to do with the Surface 2 Touch Cover keyboard. As Mark Lawrence points out this is something else I can’t fairly blame on Microsoft.
I’m less prepared to be forgiving about the frequent Internet Explorer 11 crashes I’ve been seeing all day. They constantly interrupt my work – make cloud apps a mockery. Sometimes it’s just the warning shown in the image below, which needs to be clicked away. Other times there’s a more serious crash. On the other hand, I haven’t needed to reboot Windows itself, which is a win.