Creative uses for the Microsoft Surface tablet

I use Windows 7 on my working laptop, and have been using Windows – and living in Microsoft Office Professional – for years.

Yes, I do have an iPhone and and iPad. But if there was one weakness for the original iPad, it was that there wasn’t a really good substitute for Office. Apple’s apps – Pages, Numbers, Keynote – seem to be the best, though the only other I have looked at is QuickOffice.

So when I saw the Microsoft Surface, I wanted to try it. Built-in Office! Built-in keyboard! Cool!

Ten minutes of using the device, though, demonstrated that Microsoft had committed a huge blunder. The keyboard is awful. And Office is designed as if for a laptop or desktop’s screen resolution and a mouse pointer’s precision. It’s just a clumsy exercise all around. Too bad.

Today, I see this post: So, Microsoft compounded the design disaster with the hubris that everyone was going to love it.

What to do with all those tablets? Some suggestions:

  • Shims for wobbly coffee and restaurant tables. This is a problem that desperately needs fixing – and there are probably enough Surface tablets to do the job.
  • Cheese trays. Hey, it’s got a hard glass surface! Bonus points for an app that creates fun art as you draw the knife across it.
  • Monitor stands. I’m using a lowly pack of printer paper to set my monitor at the correct ergonomic height. About ten Surface tablets ought to do the job.
  • Clipboards. OK, it’s not quite 8 1/2 by 11, but a Surface tablet with a binder clip would make a nice board for smaller forms.

I’m sure there are many, many more. It’s too bad that Microsoft got it so wrong. Oddly, they did it by trying to follow Apple, without realizing the magnitude of the differences…


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