Archive for the 'Windows 8' Category

Changing Primary Microsoft Account on Windows 8.1

My wife is taking over my Lenovo X1 Carbon Touch laptop. She needs a laptop, and she really likes the X1 (which is still quite new).  I’m getting the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 10 in a few days, and the Surface Pro 3 in a couple of weeks (I sold the Surface Pro 2 to a co-worker), and how many tablet/laptops can I use in one day? (You’d be surprised, but that’s another story).

The OS on the X1 is Windows 8.1. You usually log in to that OS using your Microsoft account. I wanted to change the Microsoft account used for log in from mine to hers. This way she can access her OneDrive, her DropBox, etc. rather than mine. However, I did not want to have to reinstall all of the apps (Outlook, Adobe Acrobat, Visual Studio), as you used to have to do when changing user profiles in Windows 7 and earlier.

The process is generally described in the answer in this Microsoft Community forum thread. Basically, there are two steps:

  1. Switch the existing primary Microsoft account (mine in this case) to a local user account. The forum thread is a bit brief on how to do this, but Quick Tip: Change Microsoft live to a local account in Windows 8.1 illustrates (literally) how.
  2. After logging on under the newly-created local user account, switch that account to the new primary Microsoft account (my wife’s in this case) per the instructions in Step 2 of the forum thread. Then restart the computer, and login using the new primary Microsoft account.

Worked smoothly, and  I did not have to reinstall any apps. Of course, I have to change the email accounts in Outlook, but so far, that’s it.

Excellent Surface Pro 2 Review

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAChuong Nguyen of GottaBeMobile has posted an excellent review of the Surface Pro 2.

As Chuong details, the Surface Pro 2 improves, mostly under the hood, on the OG Surface Pro.  To me, the most significant improvement of the ones Chuong lists is the Haswell processor. I own the OG Surface Pro. Often enough, I was in meetings where there were no convenient outlets. I worried whether the 3+ hours battery life would last. Battery life with a Haswell processor should be 6+ hours. If a meeting lasts that long, I’m outta there.

Will I replace my OG Surface Pro with the Surface Pro 2? Not sure about that. I doubt I would get too much for the Surface Pro on e-Bay, and the differential between that money and the cost of a new Surface Pro 2 likely would be enough to buy another device. That new device (can you say iPad mini 2?) would seem to get me more bang for my buck than the incremental improvements between the two Surface Pro versions.

Additionally, I’m thinking of maybe 13.3” screen UltraBook. Still portable, and the larger screen would be very helpful for document review.

Decisions, decisions. More to come.

Do I upgrade my Surface RT?


Microsoft has announced the Surface RT’s successor, the Surface 2. Nokia soon will be offering another RT device, the Nokia Lumia 2520, aka Sirius.

I own a Surface RT and use it a lot because of its long battery life, especially compared to its Surface Pro brother. So will I be upgrading my Surface RT?

Continue reading ‘Do I upgrade my Surface RT?’

Fall 2013 Windows Tablet Preview

tablets-heroThis post’s title (and the pic) come from a WinSuperSite article of the same name. The article is quite thorough, so I have only brief comments.

The Haswell processor deservedly has received a lot of press. Haswell succeeds the third generation core i5 and i7 processors, which had good performance but relatively poor battery life. Haswell has the same or better performance, but much better battery life.

The Bay Trail processor has received less press. It succeeds the Clovertrail Atom processor, which had good battery life, but relatively poor performance. Bay Trail has the same or better battery life, but much better performance.

Many of the upcoming tablets featured in the WinSuperSite article are Bay Trail, particularly tablets with the thus far rare (for Windows 8.x) 8” form factor. Indeed, the article focuses on the smaller size part of the tablet spectrum (none larger than 10.8”).

Haswell vs. Bay Trail. Interesting choice, and a nice one. I expect that the smaller form factor (8-10”) will be mostly Bay Trail, larger form factor (10” up) Haswell, with 10” being a no man’s land where both processors will compete.

September 28 for next version of Surface


The Verge is invited to a Microsoft event which presumably will unveil refreshes of the Surface Pro and Surface RT. I’m still waiting for my invitation Sad smile

Surface Power Cover

While I like the portability and power of my Surface Pro, its relatively short battery life (about 3 hours) can be its Achilles Heel. Too often I’m in a meeting room without any nearby plugs. 

Good news for me. Microsoft will be shipping a “Power Cover.” This essentially is like the Type Cover keyboard I use, but contains an internal power supply which will charge the Surface while its in use.

No word yet on exactly how much the Power Cover will extend the Surface’s battery life.  Presumably the addition will be significant, otherwise what’s the point?

Of course, the internal power supply will add to weight and thickness. Comparing to the current Type Cover (apparently there will be a new version of it as well), weight will double, from .55 pounds (250 grams) to 1.1 pounds (520 grams). Thickness likewise will increase, from .21 inches (5.33 mm) to .38 inches (9.75 mm). Also no word yet on price.

While the Power Cover won’t be a free lunch, either in cost, weight or thickness, presumably it will be much cheaper than springing for a Surface 2 to obtain the additional battery life of its Haswell processor.  Speaking of the Surface 2, the Power Cover is supposed to become available shortly after the Surface 2, presumably at about year’s end.

Update: Docking station

Source: WinSuperSite

Surface 2


I enjoy my Surface Pro. Its portability means I can easily take it with me when I teach and go to meetings. I do with that its battery lasted longer than about 3 hours. The battery on my Surface RT lasts much longer, but the RT doesn’t run Windows apps I need.

Neowin reports that the next generation of the Surface – Surface 2 – will be coming with a Haswell processor. That means longer battery life. There will be other minor refinements – more RAM and a two position kickstand – but no mention of a change in display resolution.

No word yet of a release date. My guess is in time for the holidays, which would be almost one year from the Surface Pro’s release date.

Update: Sony Vaio Tap 11. Has Haswell also. Slightly larger (11”) screen. Price and release date not yet available. Worth watching.

Surface RT vs. Windows 8 Pro Slate vs. iPad 3 on Vacation

My wife and I took a brief vacation to Las Vegas to celebrate (belatedly) her birthday. I took with me (in addition to my wife) 3 computers:

  1. Samsung Series 7 Slate, a Windows 8 Pro slate with a 11.x" screen.
  2. Surface RT.
  3. iPad 3.

Why 3 devices on vacation? Surely just cruising the Internet and checking email requires only 1 device. Probably my iPad, as it is the most comfortable device to use while lounging around (which after all is supposed to be what you do on vacation).

The reason for taking a device in addition to the iPad is I still have to do some work on vacation. My work includes accessing content management system (CMS) websites to answer discussion posts from my online students. Safari on the iPad does not play well with the CMS website I need to access. By contrast, Internet Explorer on the Surface RT, and IE and Firefox on the Windows 8 Pro device, both work fine.

My work also includes MS Word with Track Changes. iOS does not have "real" MS Office, and my experience with the alternatives is they lose something in the conversion. By contrast, the 2 Windows devices each have "real" MS Office.

I really did not need to take 2 Windows devices. The Samsung Series 7 Slate can do everything the Surface RT can do, and more, given the differences between Windows 8 and Windows RT. But I wanted to try out the Surface RT, and it didn’t add much weight or bulk to my gadget bag.

My usage of the 3 devices made me realize which devices I really "needed" and which I didn’t for this road trip. It also made me think more about some other devices I may purchase soon.

Continue reading ‘Surface RT vs. Windows 8 Pro Slate vs. iPad 3 on Vacation’

Android tablets: Future after Windows 8?

I’ve been holding off purchasing a new Android tablet because of the Windows 8 RT tablets coming next month. Why an Android tablet, when I have the same form factor and battery life with a Windows OS that runs the apps I use every day on my main home and work computers?

Turns out The Verge was asking the same question. This article even prompted a mainstream Android blog to post: An uncomfortable truth: When Windows 8 comes out, Android tablets will become pointless.

Yet, while I’m congratulating myself for “great minds think alike”, I also have to believe a successful company like Google saw this issue coming a long time ago, and has an answer. Though what that answer is, I don’t know … yet anyway.

Samsung Series 7 Tablet Thoughts

imageSamsung’s Series 7 Tablet is the new boy on the block. It’s a Windows 7 slate, like the ASUS EP121 I own and reviewed. But perhaps it’s greatest claim to fame is Microsoft used it to demo Windows 8 at the Build 2011 conference.

Two of the main differences between the two slates relates to form factor. The EP121 has the larger screen size, 12.1” vs. 11.6”, and a correspondingly higher weight, 2.6 lbs. vs. 2.06 lbs. One-half a pound less weight seems a nice trade-off for one-half inch screen size.

But the other and perhaps most important difference is inside. Both have Core i5 processors. But the EP121 is first generation, the Series 7 second (Sandy Bridge). The difference is battery life, say 3 hours vs. 6 hours.

The Series 7 is supposed to be available for online ordering on October 2. Looks interesting. However, I already have the EP 121. Also, Windows 8 is around the corner (mid-2012?). Samsung has indicated the Series 7 is upgradeable to Windows 8. But I’ve heard such promises before (e.g., Xoom to LTE).

I am thinking of upgrading one of my tablets to Windows 8 Developer Preview. Perhaps I could justify a purchase of the Series 7 that way? Must resist …

Update: My friend Steve “Chippy” Paine of Ultrabook News, an expert on this device type (and on giving me justifications to buy them), offered me some additional reasons (e.g. besides better battery life and processor) to part with my $$:

Rapid start 
Wi-Di (at first I thought this was a typo for Wi-Fi)
Quick Sync Video 

There’s also Smart Connect. As this list keeps expanding, my chances of holding on to my $$ decrease.