It’s a Microsoft Office world. There are plenty of alternative productivity suites and applications out there, but the most-hyped and most-required feature for most of them is compatibility with Microsoft Office. I think Microsoft is leaving money on the table and hurting the Microsoft Office brand by not offering the suite for other mobile platforms like iOS and Android, but since I’m using a Surface Pro I don’t have to worry about that right now. Day 11 of the 30 Days with Surface Pro series examines using Microsoft Office on a touch-friendly device.
Even the Surface RT has an advantage over other tablets when it comes to Microsoft Office. But, the apps on the Surface RT are developed specifically for Windows RT, and don’t include the full Office 2013 Pro suite. The beauty of a Surface Pro tablet–or any Windows 8 Pro tablet, really–is that it is a complete Windows 8 Pro computer, capable of running any of the software you might normally install on a Windows desktop or laptop PC–including Office 2013 Pro.
When using Office 2013 on a Surface Pro while sitting at my desk, there really isn’t much difference from using it on a Windows 7 desktop PC. The Office applications operate in desktop mode, which has essentially the same look and feel as Windows 7. I am using the Surface Pro with a mouse, and connected to a 23-inch external monitor. If I hid the tablet under my desk you wouldn’t be able to tell if I was using a desktop, laptop, or tablet.
Using Office 2013 when on the go is slightly different story. It still functions the same way in terms of operating in desktop mode and looking like Windows 7, but interacting with it while using a small touchscreen display is very different from using it with a mouse and monitor.
Check out Surface Pro, Day 11: Using Microsoft Office on a Surface Pro for more about how the Microsoft productivity suite works on a tablet.