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Surface RT is FTW

Whether you are a student, or a casual computer user, or you want to carry a light weight system with powerful and rich features while your kids are at dance class, or just you want to check emails, surf the web, Skype with your friends while you are enjoying a hot mocha at a coffee shop on a snowy day, Surface RT could be a great system to be part of you. With its unique design and stylish look, sure it will get attention of everyone at a coffee shop. If you are not looking to run legacy desktop apps (Windows 7 applications), then Surface RT makes perfect choice. insidethesurface1-620x414

Surface RT powered by Windows RT Operating System, which is subset of Windows 8 for ARM based systems is a rich featured system. Its unique User Interface, Modern UI formerly called as Metro UI, design will make the use of computer as easy as peeling bananas. The Start screen is the new user interface of Windows, instead of Start Menu, you get more vibrant and beautiful, and more live information powered by Start Screen with tiles. These tiles could be live tiles, which could provide you more information. The Start screen can be configured to have each tile connected to a person, app, or whatever is more important to you and gets latest info whenever a change happens in real-time. For example you have tile for Weather App you installed. The Tile could show the latest weather alerts in your area to flight delays at the current airport etc. as long as the associated weather app updates the live tile. Or whenever your friend posts a Facebook post or tweets, you could see that information in the tile associated to your friend. Live tiles and notifications keep the info real-time. The system provides connected standby feature, which lets you to be up-to-date with the information you are looking for. Windows RT is optimized for up to 8 hours of battery life even with this refreshing dynamic information at real-time rendering. The live tiles can be customized by the user, which could feed real-time data from social networks, email accounts, messaging systems and other services directly to start screen. The dynamic nature of the tiles keep Surface RT or any Windows 8 Tablet more ubiquitous and rich over other tablets powered by competing platforms such as iOS, Android etc.

Surface RT comes with Office Home and Student 2013 RT Preview and gets updated once the final version of it is released by Microsoft. The Office RT will have Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote optimized for touch. These apps may not have all the features of the desktop counterpart of the Office editions. As per Microsoft the missing features are, “Almost – Word 2013 RT, Excel 2013 RT, PowerPoint 2013 RT and OneNote 2013 RT in Office Home & Student 2013 RT include the vast majority of Office Home & Student 2013 features available on PCs, and nearly all the features most customers use. But because tablets have special needs for security and mobility, a few features are unavailable in Office Home & Student 2013 RT, including macros, add-ins, and other custom programs written by users or developed by third parties.”  For majority of casual users and students these may not be that important. If they are important to you then you could get Surface Pro and buy a license of full Office 2013. As per Microsoft Surface Pro would be released sometime during first quarter of 2013.

Apart from these, Xbox integration within Windows 8 platform gives more usage to the Surface RT devices. The Surface RT devices come with Xbox Live. And Microsoft already made some of the games exclusive to Windows 8 such as Hydro Thunder Hurricane, Microsoft Solitaire Collection, Microsoft Minesweeper, Microsoft Mahjong, WORDAMENT and Adera.. The Windows Store has few Games already available for download and play. Well some of the PC games you can’t just operate on Surface RT, but there are definitely a wide number of games available on or after the official launch day of Windows 8. Microsoft announced that some of the big game studios such as Microsoft Studios, Rovio, Miniclip, Gameloft, ZeptoLab, Glu Mobile, Halfbrick Studios, and others are bringing high quality Xbox games to Windows 8. This makes Surface RT as a portable gaming device in addition to a powerful Tablet like my colleague Ramon said.

XBox web site announces that the following games would be coming to Windows 8 on or after the official launch date 10/26/2012. If you are already running release preview of Windows 8, you could see some of these games in the store.

  • 4 Elements II Special Edition
  • A World of Keflings
  • Angry Birds
  • Angry Birds Space
  • Big Buck Hunter Pro
  • BlazBlue Calamity Trigger
  • Collateral Damage
  • Crash Course GO
  • Cut the Rope
  • Disney Fairies
  • Dragon’s Lair
  • Field & Stream Fishing
  • Fruit Ninja
  • Gravity Guy
  • Gunstringer: Dead Man Running
  • IloMilo
  • iStunt 2
  • Jetpack Joyride
  • Kinectimals Unleashed
  • Monster Island
  • PAC-MAN Championship DX Edition DX
  • Pinball FX 2
  • Reckless Racing Ultimate
  • Rocket Riot 3D
  • Shark Dash
  • Shuffle Party
  • Skulls of the Shogun
  • Taptiles
  • Team Crossword
  • The Harvest HD
  • Toy Soldiers Cold War
  • Zombies!!!

Windows 8 has many rich features like Search and Share Contracts. If the App uses a Search Contract, it will allow the user to search not only in the app’s content, but content from other apps, and internet as well provided the other apps should have this feature enabled. This also allows users to transfer the search query itself to other apps.

If the App provides share feature, this allows the user to share the content from this app with other apps or services provided those apps are ready for sharing agreement. Also this app could consume content from other apps if it has that feature enabled.

Windows RT lets you create presentations with included Office Home and Student 2013 RT Preview, email, watch videos, sync with apps like Mail, calendar, photos, messaging and SkyDrive, surf the web or play wide variety of video games. Searching is integrated and it is unified. You could search within the information, or internet. Majority of the apps let you share information with others easily. The system comes with in built Windows Defender, which keeps data safe and secure.

Surface RT is definitely FTW. If you are a power user looking for a secondary system that enhances your current Laptop, then I would suggest you go with Surface Pro. Microsoft has laid out a beautiful comparison between Surface RT and Surface pro here, which could help you in deciding which one suits your needs more.

Image: Courtesy Microsoft

Sources: Xbox Windows Games, Microsoft Surface, Microsoft Windows 8