Law Technology News published an article yesterday that is right on target regarding the Surface tablet from Microsoft.
If you’re interested in either technology or using tablets for your work, check out the article.
Here are three minor notes about some points it makes:
OneNote is a killer app. I cannot say that often enough. It is very hard to describe. It is not intuitively obvious to most people what it’s good for (me included, the first time I tried it) or what your usage patterns should be.1 As I said a few days ago, I intend to do a series of articles on OneNote for lawyers once I get a bit of time. I don’t focus much on technology these days, but here’s one area in which I can help translate between the world of lawyers and the world of applications. It’s a super-valuable project management and collaboration tool as well.
Gaze: I have been seeing “optic interfaces” develop for longer than I can say.2 The technology behind X-Box Kinect isn’t just for gaming, even if that’s what it’s being used for at present. Someday in the not too distant future, when you shake your fist at your computer, it’ll understand that it’s “made a mistake” and undo what it just did. Of course, it didn’t make the mistake, but since computers have no egos3, it won’t mind. Seriously, if you can control a virtual bowling ball or rocket strike with nods and gestures, how long will it be until you can control your word processor and email the same way? Here’s a simple example: I have two monitors; instead of having to mouse between, say, this article-writing program on one screen and email on the other, all I’d have to do is look at the other screen and that window will receive the “focus” (my input will go to that window instead). Seems like a trivial benefit; it’s not.
Windows Phone: The article says Windows phone may not catch up to Android or the iPhone. True, it may not catch up in sales or the number of apps available. Its capabilities have caught up, and surpassed at least the Android. I gave my son my Android phone (Samsung Galaxy II, top of the line last year) when I replaced it with a Windows phone (Lumia). My new phone is more stable, hasn’t locked up once (a twice-weekly occurrence with the Android), is far faster, and the battery lasts twice as long. I don’t use iPhones directly, but my wife and daughter each have one. My battery life is longer (granted, they have the iPhone 4; I don’t have a real-world comparison to the iPhone 5), my phone is a bit faster on most apps, and it runs multiple applications better. The iPhone camera does more (and does it faster). Neither crashes or locks up. No big deal, but the Windows phones are better than people realize. (Microsoft’s marketing isn’t.)