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Valuable resource for those who own one or are about to buy,
This review is from: Surface For Dummies (Paperback)
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Microsoft's Surface is a tablet-style portable computer which is designed to run a dedicated edition of Windows 8 and whose features can be broadly compared with those of a typical Android-based tablet or Apple's iPad series although dissimilar to both in various aspects.
The purpose of this book is twofold; to introduce the machine itself and then to also explain its dedicated operating system. The book's format is slightly different than most others of the series and utilises the modern longer and narrower format which is fast becoming the publishers' choice. The machine is new and was introduced and released at around the same times as was Windows 8. The version of Windows 8 used, RT, is only available on this and a few other devices and is slightly different than the standard PC versions as it optimised for use on this style of computer. You cannot buy the RT version as a separate, retail product and it is available only as an installed system on dedicated devices.
In addition to the normal Windows applications, although several are not included in the RT version, there is also included a special RT edition of Microsoft's Office 2013 package. As with Windows RT, this is not available as a separate package and is considered part of the complete RT system.
The book is a very recent and totally new addition to the extensive, reliable and respected 'For Dummies' series of titles. This book shares its author with several others within the same series and which relate to the more extensive PC/Laptop Windows 8 editions and shares much of the same look, some of the same or very similar illustrations, and some of its main content with one or more of these other books. Even several of the Chapter titles are shared with other books within the series. However, this book is exclusively about the Surface tablets and is intended for those who may already own one or are considering the purchase of one.
As a portable device, without a separate keyboard and mouse that may be otherwise needed for data input, it relies upon its touch screen both for display and for input. It uses many of the same 'touch gestures' that are recognised on some laptops and some desktops with their own touch screens to navigate around the screen and through its two user interfaces, one of which is much the same as the 'traditional' Windows desktop and the other is the so-called 'Metro' interface with its many objects that are reminiscent of those to be seen on most smart phones and tablet devices.
Although you may be able to obtain some answers to Surface-specific questions from one or several alternate and more general Windows 8 titles, despite some intrinsic hardware differences between the Surface on the one hand and other PCs and the different versions of Windows 8 they may use, there are very few alternative titles that are specific to either the Surface or Windows RT. The book is therefore an excellent introduction to the device and its software and is strongly recommended. It has been said that this is the manual that Microsoft should have included with the Surface but did not, and that is also true of some of its companion titles and in relation to the Windows 8 laptops and desktops that were sold without one or other.
An easy and obvious choice at a hard-to-refuse price!