Time for my third post I reckon, and my first of 2013.
I've had a few technology changes since my last blog post, namely I now have a new Ultrabook running Windows 8, A Windows 8 Surface RT with touch keyboard, a Windows 8 Phone and, as of 9th Feb, a Windows 8 Surface Pro 128GB with type keyboard
Where do I start? - well, I'll start with the Ultrabook that I got just after Christmas. I'm not going to name the make and model but suffice to say it has a 256GB SSD, 10 point touch screen, 2 USB ports, one of which is USB3, TPM chip, fingerprint reader, a dongle for wired network, a dongle for external monitor and, most importantly, backlit keys :-)
Overall, the Ultrabook hardware is impressive and my laptop bag is now considerably lighter than it was. I don't miss the DVD drive and I don't mind the dongles for network and video
I installed our corporate build of Windows 8, took around 40 mins and installed flawlessy, I also went to the manufacturers website to install the latest drivers. I never cease to be amazed with Microsoft IT either, configuring direct access was awesomely simple, as was installing the virtual smartcard cert that it requires. Office 2013 is pretty slick, although I've got to admit, I've been using it for a while, Skydrive Pro (requires SharePoint 2013 on the back end) is also extremely useful. I've also linked my corporate account to my personal Microsoft account - this is encouraged in Microsoft and well worth it
A couple of things caught me out, when I got back home, I was expecting to have to re-setup the password to my home wireless, I didn't, it just worked. the music app, just worked - it picked up my Microsoft account and Xbox music subscription. Xbox smartglass is awesome. The Netflix app is cool (yes I subscribe to that too) the way it works across all my devices.
I read the press, just as lots of others do, and I still disagree with the comments around the New User Interface being a steep learning curve, I just don't find that it is. I'd say I spend around 90% of my time on the desktop and 10% in the fluid touch interface on my ultrabook - its opposite on the RT and I haven't had the surface long enough yet to comment
One thing I have noticed, which is a bit frustrating, is that on each of my Windows 8 devices (phone excluded) it hasn't automatically picked up my installed applications and screen layouts, this may well be my user error though, its been known to happen :-)
Overall, Windows 8 on an Ultrabook with a touchscreen is a very pleasant experience for me - Granted, as an IT Architecture and Planning Advisor in Microsoft Consulting Services, the majority of my work is done in the Microsoft Office Suite, if I was an SME in a technology that required VM's a plenty, I'd need some beefier hardware but the fact that Windows 8 now has Hyper-V built in as well as support for x64 VM's at last, I'd still say Windows 8 is a great evolution from Windows 7
Further reviews will be posted on the other devices