Surface Pro 3 – One and a half week later

Update: Some tips in the work section about using Adobe CS6 Collection with the high DPI screen of Surface Pro 3.

I have just bought a Surface Pro 3 for more than a week to completely replace my laptop, and I would like to give some reviews on my experience so far.

TL,DR; version. Surface Pro 3 is definitely NOT a one-device-for-everything-in-life thing (at least not my life). However, it is a perfect replacement for my laptop and also provide so many other convenience from a portable form factor.

Surface Pro 3

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Random thought: What Windows 10 needs to have to create a better connected mobile platform

I have been using smartphones and tablets a lot for the recent years, including several years using Windows Phone and a year using a Windows 8.1 tablet: the Dell Venue Pro 8. I would say that Windows 8.1 works great as an OS for both consuming and occasionally producing content on the tablet; however, it is not excellent as an OS for connected consumer devices.

Below are several things that I hope Microsoft will sort out before the launch of Windows 10 next year. Those are also the features that have not been introduced or those that I have never heard any rumor about on Windows 10, so Action Center (coming for sure) or Cortana (definitely coming sooner or later) will not be included here.

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Some mid-night thought from the TechEd keynote

It is almost morning, but TechEd is so much exciting, so I cannot go to bed yet. Besides that, Visual Studio Update 2 is also installing so I cannot write codes either. So I will jot down all the excited features that I have just learned from the keynote.

Visual Studio Online API

Just one word: AWESOME! I have been waiting for this for too long.

Recently I have migrated all my project codes to Visual Studio Online from my previous Subversion provider. Moreover, with the extensive support for project management in Visual Studio Online, all my app’s backlogs and bugs are recorded here as well. The current VSO web portal has many great and advanced features; unfortunately, it lacks a responsive design for smartphones which is very important for me when most my development is for the phone and many of my tests are on the phone itself.

I always imagine about detecting a bug or thinking of a new feature when using the app and then being able to add it immediately to the backlog in a simple phone app (voice control could be cool as well, something like VSO record a bug for XXX app about …). It is now all possible with the introduction of VSO API.

Even more than that, the team has also released WebHooks as well. So not only can you poll your backlog for information, but you (and your code) can also know exactly when something has changed. Let’s say you can write some code to easily send your phone a toast when your backlog items are changed by other team members!

Azure API Management

This one is also a very nice feature that has just come to Azure. Basically this API Management is a proxy to your current API, where you can map new endpoints managed by API Management to your existing Web API endpoints. In addition, this proxy does provide you with so many useful facilities, for example, a developer console with example generation, testing support and a management console with throttling, caching, analytics, notification, security and many convenient functions for your APIs. You can also customize your developer console by changing LESS variable, adding posts, navigation items and widgets.

New & Exciting Microsoft

Microsoft has so many great products through out its history. However, with the new focus on services, Microsoft is now opening up many of its services (e.g. OneNote, OneDrive, VSO, Office 365, etc.), which is so nice for app developers and so nice for my imagination.

Let’s start some new projects right away!

Android 4.4 vs. Windows 8.1 from a developer perspective

I am a long time supporter of Microsoft and Windows. I have been using Windows, Windows Mobile and Windows Phone for many years, and I just purchase my first Android device, the 2013 Nexus 7, couple days ago. I have not migrated all my “e-life” to Android (and do not have that intention at the moment), so I will not be able to give a thorough review or perspective on Android. Moreover, I am not talking about the app gap here because I have to admit that the app is so obvious. I am also not talking about disconnection of Modern and desktop or how difficult it is to use Store app; in my humble opinion, that disconnection is hard to solve and Microsoft is going to right way to make people feel better, and I really do not feel using Store apps is harder than using Android apps at all.

But there are much more that Microsoft should (or even must) learn from Android and ironically from their previous version of Windows as well. Most of what I am comparing here is from my experience using Android and Windows 8.1 on tablets.

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