Along with other additional work, I have recently been asked by Microsoft to review a new Microsoft Surface Book, a direct competitor to the Apple Macbook Pro range. As I like to think of myself as a rather tech savvy photographer, I have always been captivated and shall we say 'occupied' by the creative marriage of cameras and computers. Yet like so many, after avoiding Windows 8 like the plague, a tentative return to anything Windows has been an apprehensive one.
I will decree, Windows 8 was the death of PC innovation in my office. I watched from the wings as the hybrid clunky OS confused users and friends into a semi-rage. It lost Microsoft a lot of first world creatives alike. In the tablet boom, it's as though it struggled somewhat introspectively with a obligated gender crisis, so is Windows 10 and a new all Microsoft hardware verified and built machine capable of winning us back?
Being open minded, I have never biased any one computer system over the other. I need to know all systems intimately if I am to teach. I am still happily using a stripped down Windows 7 alongside Mac OSX for all my working applications, some which are PC / Mac specific. My home built PC and NEC 2690 wide gamut monitor has been a photo processing cornerstone, with my Macbook Pro comfortably handling the mobile office, email and photo processing on the move. Both are systems I rely upon, both rarely cause any issues. Naturally both operating systems have their quirks, but you learn to sidestep them rather than tackling it all head on. Perhaps nostagically, I even run a virtual Windows 7 and XP environment inside my Macbook Pro, so I have never disconnected from Windows shall we say.
This new Surface Book is my first interaction with an all Microsoft built machine and so far things are looking really good. Retrospectively, the concept of bolting separately manufactured and untested components together, then expecting flawless software performance, has always raised a technical eyebrow. Apple, despite their inflated cost, saw this as fundamental and has dominated the creative market for so many years, with reliability and virus free dependency remaining their market cornerstone. At last, hardware tested / software unison from Microsoft - so let us see what unfolds.
I am writing an extensive review next week, examining the computer for professional imaging and photographic purposes, in partnership with Adobe. For now, things are looking good - I feel very confident in this powerful and portable machine - I researched, wrote and structured this whole article on it. More to follow, but I leave you with these OS statistics to help you gain an understanding of the market, especially from the Apple perspective.