Friday, December 14, 2012

Harvey Norman has exclusive rights to retail Microsoft Surface Windows RT table, but don't tell JB HiFi.

Today I dropped into the local Harvey Norman today to check out the Microsoft Surface Windows RT table. No tablet in sight. I asked a sales rep when they’d receive their stock but he wasn’t certain. We struck up a conversation and I checked out the ASUS Windows RT tablet. For me Windows RT is too limited but I wanted to check out how the tablet felt. The sales rep said they had exclusive retail rights to the tablet. I thought that was unusual as I’d read in the press that JB HiFi would also be selling the Windows RT tablet.

A short while later I dropped into the JB HiFi store in the same shopping centre and there was the Microsoft Surface Windows RT tablet on display. It was good to get an opportunity to use the tablet even for a short while. I didn’t really like the touch cover/keyboard. I also wanted to see if it really clicked like it does in the ads and I can say it does. The ad also shows it has a great display outside but I really suspect that has more to do with editing or angles rather than the tablet itself. Until I can test a tablet outside I really won’t know.

Windows RT to me is restricted software which means I can’t run most of my Windows applications (such as Microsoft Access) so it doesn’t suit my needs, but I did want to get a feel for what it meant to use Desktop mode and I was pleasantly surprised. I could open File Explorer and move around the folders. At last a tablet that gives you built-in access to your files and folders. This is a world apart from Android and Apple offerings and once the Windows 8 Surface Pro tablet arrives the tablet game could change significantly. Of course it all depends on what you want from your tablet. I don’t think Microsoft has got it right (can’t fathom why they did’t include GPS) but a tablet that can run most of your Windows applications (which doesn’t include Windows RT tablets) means you don’t have to scrap everything you’ve invested in and start again. That’s a game changer to me.

My main interest today in seeing the tablet was to test whether or not people would be able to install the preferred Australian English spelling in Internet Explorer 10 on the Windows Surface RT tablet and from what I can see it should be easy to do. To confirm of course I’ll have to perform a test but so far it is looking good. Microsoft’s tablets will then be the only tablets capable of providing the preferred Australian English spelling and for many that is a point of difference.

So if you’re looking to check out a Microsoft Windows RT Surface tablet you can find them at JB HiFi and you should also shortly be able to find them at Harvey Norman as well.

Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 for computer support.
Assisting residents and businesses in Doncaster, Templestowe, Eltham and the surrounding suburbs.

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