Learning Microsoft Surface and Windows RT

I got a cheap deal on a Windows Surface (unfortunately without the rather pricey Type keyboard cover that costs nearly as much as what I paid for the tablet) as a present for someone and have been trying to configure it for them. Not having used a Surface before, or any tablet really, here are some things I came across.

  • Typing passwords is really annoying on the virtual keyboard, especially if they include capital letters or numbers. You can turn passwords off, or change to an image based password or a pin. This is under Charms/Settings/Change PC Settings/Accounts/Sign-in options
  • Skype for Windows RT forces you to merge a Skype login with a Microsoft email account. This means you then have to go update other devices using your Skype login to the merged Microsoft account. It also means if you or someone else want to log into a different Skype, it must have a Microsoft email account and then you are required to switch Windows RT users to use it! More Microsoft forcing you to do things.
  • You can't log out of Skype on Windows RT, but you can force the app to close. I believe this is done by dragging downwards from the top and the app windows will become movable and you drag and drop it on the bottom edge.
  • If you have a Surface running full Windows 8 (not Windows RT), you can use the Desktop version of Skype and log in and out as you please.
  • Microsoft Outlook 2013 now comes for free on Windows RT versions of the Surface (I believe not so for the more expensive full desktop capable versions). Even though it has a touch enabled option, Outlook 2013 on Windows RT runs in a cut down desktop area and doesn't seem designed with touch in mind. For example, to multi-select emails, you need to use the Shift key on the virtual keyboard and the arrow keys. I don't think there is any way to multi-select emails unless they are continuous, ie you cannot select email 1 and 4, you can only select 1 to 4.