So You Got a Surface Tablet…

surfacertThis week at the ISTE 2013 conference, over 10,000 people will receive a free Microsoft Surface RT tablet, exposing over 9,874 people to the world of Surface RT.  I purchased a Surface RT on launch day and used it for quite a while, enjoying the device within its limitations.

If you are new to Windows 8 and Windows RT, the first thing you’ll want to do is create a Microsoft Account.  Similar to a Google Account or Apple ID, it’s the account you’ll use to save your profile and app history, email, and more.  If you already have an Xbox, you can use the same Gamer ID as your Microsoft Account.  Same as with your Skype ID.  Details are on Microsoft’s page here:

Windows 8 is clearly designed for a tablet, which explains much of the backlash Microsoft has faced over the last few months since its release.  Windows 8 runs nicely on the Surface RT tablet, as long as you know about some special features.  In the same way that Apple makes use of off-to-on-screen swipes for the Notification screen, Microsoft does this on all sides of the Windows 8 screen.  

surfacert2Windows 8 and RT does have the familiar Desktop.  Plus, Windows 8 has FULL Office 2013!  You can find out more about pinning apps and more at

Shutting down the Surface RT:  Possibly the most complained about feature of Windows 8 & RT is shutting down the device.  Much like your iPad, you simply don’t need to shut it down, but can close the screen (or flip up the Touch Cover) and it’ll go into Connected Standby. Connected Standby wakes up occationally to phone home and get updates/email/notifications, but then goes back to sleep.  Simply put, treat it the way you do with your iPad.  If you need to restart or shut down, simply swipe from the right, tap Settings, then Power, and select Shut Down.  More details at

I’ll post more soon about the popular apps you’ll want to install, but hopefully the above links will get you started!

Are you at ISTE 2013?  Did you get a Surface RT?  What are your thoughts?  Let me know in the comments!

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