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Windows stack day one: Clawing back lost productivity
Posted on 18-Nov-2013 18:52 by Bill Bennett. | Tags Filed under: News.

Surface 2
The Surface 2 crashed with the screen breaking up three times today

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 which – to my knowledge – doesn’t appear to support IMAP.

Overlooked Outlook

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.

Internet Explorer 11 seems flaky

[digitl 2013]

digitl on Google+

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