#AskDanWindows 13 - What would you change on the Surface Book?

Looks like we got caught up in Halloween this weekend as #AskDanWindows got pushed to the side in lieu of free street candy. Luckily, we dug through our tapes and managed to cobble up this 10-minute Q&A session recorded last week.

Grab your Monday morning coffee (or dinner if in another part of the world) and catch our latest episode!

  • Lumia 950 and 950xl have OLED and still they support glance...Even low end Lumias do. Why hasn't MS done the same with Lumia730? – Ocean S.
  • Do you know if Microsoft plan on making options available to turn all app tiles transparent. – Mark S.
  • If Windows 10 Mobile fails, will you switch to Android or iOS? – Laura K.
  • Odds of future voice commands from the Band 2 when paired to Android devices with Cortana – Kevin H.
  • What, if anything, would you want changed on the Surface Book based on your usage? – Tiled In
  • Do you see Microsoft releasing a Surface 4 – Dan J.
  • Have you heard any rumors when 950 and 950 XL will be released in US from Microsoft Store? – Stanislav Z.
  • If I'm a big lazy blob with a Windows phone and still want a smart wearable, is a Band 2 worth the money? – Miles J.
  • Should Microsoft be worried about Google's project to merge Chrome OS with Android? - piknikd0uille
  • Will MS ever extend the messaging/phone/video apps to Xbox One. It would be nice to use Cortana to text while I'm playing. - Woelfel

Thanks to everyone who submitted a question and as always, thanks for watching!

New email!

Don't use Twitter? Well after much feedback we are happy to announce you can forward your questions to AskDan@WindowsCentral.com to submit your requests!

Missed previous episodes? You may be surprised what I have revealed. You can find previous episodes of #AskDanWindows here on the main landing page.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • Lol. How come I saw this video in morning? o.O
  • It was on Youtube before it was posted here
  • Dat look from Daniel in the Microsoft store!
  • Where is the USB Type C connections DAN? why sandbag the flaws fanboy?
  • Because it's not really a flaw. The Surface Book is geared towards business and USB Type C just isn't the standard. No one should be forced to buy an adapter to use their existing peripherals and currently, the use case for it is mostly limited to charging stuff.
  • FYI, this amazing quality built, Surface Book mach, does NOT have ANY flaws, just cuz it does not have USB-C. People and their dumb comts. Maybe you should look at how its made with its ""Billet Magnesium "", body (I'm sure with your low intelligent, you have no clue what ""billet" is and/or how its made). In addition, why do i need USB-C , when hardly anything USB-C devices are out there(NAME EVERY prod, like printer,.......... using USB-C). Also, how much faster USB-C is compare to USB 3.0??????? Can you even tell the difference in speed when using either one????  one thing I can tell tell you,USB-C is good to have on phones and/or tablets ONLY, that needs USB cord to connect for charging, since you can use it in either direction when you plug it in. I don't see any other HUGE benefit having USB-C on a laptop PC (unless it was 50X noticably faster than USB3.0), that has a magnetic charging system on it, (like Surface Book). TheONLY reason CrApple MacCrap book JUNK has it, is cuz, they took a cheap tablet motherboard and put it in a laptop. thats why, it ONLY has 1 port, and they cramped lots of battery in it too. However, its so lame is not even funny, with crap CPU, No touchscreen, no 2-in-1, no USB 3.0 or ANY other ports, lower res screen than surface, NO Pen, NO real GPU(like powerful NVIDIA GPU used in Surface Book),............ Just pure overrated gimmicky trash, wannabe PC that has 1 port that is USB-C which i could not use, since NOTHING i own has USB-C(and i have lots of NEW and older products. So beside Charging benefit, please tell me, what other benefit USB-C offers that you MUST HAVE??????
  • Its not a flaw you know. Introducing 1 usb-c connector in a device when usb-c was not standard (and still isn't) to the exclusion of all other ports (including charging ports), on the other hand, is what I would call a flaw.
  • I like Dan's hair a lot more in this video...:D
  • You stole my mind :D 
  • price
  • I would add the obvious omissions to the Surface Book; Wireless Xbox Adapter built into it, USB-C 3.1  on the KB and on the Clipboard, and add a kickstand to the Clipboard.
  • Well done, perfect list. I really wish the tablet had more battery life too, but I know that's a space issue.
  • I would love all of those things except the kickstand, seems redundant to me, if I prioritized that I woulda bought a surface pro over this.  I like the thinness and lightness that probably partially comes from not having those mechanisms in the device, not to mention the back looks clean as is.  At any rate, as much as those things would be cool, USB C is JUUUUUUUST now becoming a thing and they probably opted to go with using what would make the device easier to use out of the gate versus forcing you to buy a bunch of new cables.  I would have loved 1 of each perhaps but that may have been a choice of not trying to confuse the average consumer.  I hope they don't add any ports on the display, one of the things that bugged me on my Surface was the cables hanging down from it.  I actually wish they'd put the headphone jack on the bottom corner for the same reason but the dock has addressed that.  (that also would have been a good place to add a USB C connector just to support it). And as someone with multiple XBOX Ones I woulda loved having the support integrated but from a practical standpoint its not "bluetooth" and I can't say that everyone that owns a SB would own an XBox, I can't even make the case that 50% may because they are completely different products sold through differing channels for different reasons.  Without knowing that the overlap would be high, it's just extra that likely would have come at the sacrifice of something else.  I do wish that the XB adapter wasn't this massive stick but one of those nice little nub type devices so it would be practical to plug into the base and leave it there.
  •   1st, please tell me, what is the HUGE, MASSIVE, OUT OF THIS WORLD,...... benefit of having a USB-C on the amazing Surface Book that has a Magmatic charging system, (beside USB-C charging benefit, since you can plug USB-C connector in at any direction to your phn or tablet)???? 2nd, What is the "HUGE" speed difference between USB-C and USB3.0, that you can see, and notice????????  (incase you didn't know, USB-C 1st Gen transfer rate is 5.0 GBPS, and USB 3.0 is at 4.8 GBPS, incase you and others though it was HUGE and MASSIVE difference between the  two, However, USB 2.0 is MUCH MUCH slower than both USB's at only 480 MBPS which is not even 1/2 a gig. Also note: USB-C 2nd generation that has the rate of 10 GBPS is not on any device to my knowledge yet, now that is a HUGE and NOTICEABLE difference from USB-C 1st gen that we have on phns and tablets right now, and USB-3.0, and something we should want in the future, since its twice as fast as 1st generation USB-C, so why not wait to get something that is worth getting in future Surface Book PRO, or 2 or 3............) 3rd, Did you know you can plug in the screen backwards on the keyboard on Surface Book and the base becomes a kick stand???????? Wouldn't that be like having a kickstand when the screen is reversed on it????? 4th, how many devices can you name that is out there, offerers USB-C like printer, router,.....(again beside phns, since they use that for its charging benefit for quick connect since it goes in both ways)?????????? Just wondering, and i want to know beside charging how it benefits my life on a laptop, when i have USB3.0 that offerers almost the same speed transfer rate right now. Again when 2nd generation USB-C came out that has 10 GBPS, i would understand and would be able to see the huge benefit in it. However, I'm sure that will be a while, by the time comps release prods with 2nd gen USB-C.
  • While I do agree to most of your points about the use of the Type-C ports but I just want to mention a couple of points, just my 2 cents:   USB Type-C has a theoretical limit of 10Gbps which is twice that of USB 3.0 (5Gbps). However, based on the real world usage I have seen, Type-C is actually almost 10 times faster at data R/W. Point is, it is really an upgrade but worth, only when we have more devices They could have probably thrown in an extra USB Type-C port with the existing ones, just for maybe bragging rights? :P I mean you could then show off to iShit fans that, hey my book has type-C and I still have a few ports left :P :D
  • Buy an SP4.  MSFT believes the SB will be used primarily as a laptop.  Using the SB as a tablet is not its primary focus. 
  • Lots of fools are predicting doom for wm10 before it is launched. I have one question to them - are you drunk or have you used wm10 preview yet?
  • I'm not one of those predicting doom like you say However, it doesn't matter if WM10 is great if people are not using it. Many great products have gone bankrupt and were shut down despite being really good. So when people are sceptical about WM10, it's because they're not sure enough people will use it, not because of its quality.  
  • ^ this
  • Its because of the bezel.
  • I have an answer as to why. Just look around you, on the street, driving, mall, shopping,............ as more and more ppl are getting dumber and dumber as time goes by, and majority of the new generation are really in to """FAD""". So when you have EVIL CrApple, with its mark of the devil logo, brainwashing people to think they have invented the universe with their 4 years OLD technology garbage toy devices, and made their prod a FAD, what do you expect.  However, once this CrApple FAD dies and some of these brainwashed iSHEEP wake up, and find out they got ripped off by that evil comp, they will come to NEW MS, that has 10000x more superior products. As for Win10 goes. there are a lot of people that refuse to change in life. So when they are comfortable with Win xp or Win7, they will NOT upgrade to Win10, and make every UNTRUE, BS excuse for them not to do it. I have been reading the most ignorant, stupid, BS comts from these people that are stuck in 80's or 90's, is not even funny. OMGosh, its insane what they say, and how they ASSume so many things that is NOT true, and all they are doing is making an ASS out of themselves. In addition, CrApple and Google and their idiot fans, are also putting wrong info in people's head, which i have seen too( you should see their BS comts). Also, you have those people that refuse to spend ANYTIME, learning a new OS that was made in 2015 with so many features, shortcuts, customization, options that they have no clue is even there. They expect to turn on their new PC, and for it to eat food and poops for them. Even Cortana on Win10 can not help these lazy ass people. Its funny they have time for anything else, but not 15 min watching a tutorial videos, to help them to see how awesome and easy it is to use Win10. So here was my 2 cents. I never seen so many morons lately than my entire life, and I'm older person. another thing, please look at all those iSHEEP that have iJUNK phns, pay close attention to them, and you will see 90% of them are not smart or are very old, which they have no idea how to even use a smart phn.    
  • What would I change on the Surface Book? 2-4GB Video RAM!!!!!!!!!!! 1GB was a very poor choice, that was ok 5 years ago!
  • Thing is there really are no Ultrabooks in the 13-inch range with dedicated GPUs to begin with making Surface Book unique. Sure, more is better, but there are other issues to consider. Not even Apple offers a dedicated GPU in their 13-inch Pro range.
  • Dedicated GPU is worthless to me if it does not have enough RAM to play the games I want.   More RAM and the abilty to play some games at 1080p would be nice.   Right now the dedicated GPU is nothing more than a excessive battery drain to me.
  • I mean, that's fine, but this is not built nor sold as a gaming machine. It's for artists, engineers, architects, photographers, business professionals, etc. We need to recognize that some devices are sold with specific purposes. Razer and Alienware are the gaming PCs you want, at least for the specs.
  • Am sure if it had the ram this dude would want a bigger screen cause he wants his gaming to be perfect. Even on the ads I don't see a gamer being used to showcase this product its really hard to please other people.
  • I would load Civ 3 has a mindless diversion on slow days.  Don't even need the GPU.  But if i had to edit a photo or draw something, then I need the GPU.
  • Do you have any clue how limiting 1GB Ram is for a dedicated GPU, especially with the resolution of the current screen?   Even for graphics professionals they will be limited. Get off your sarcastic fanboy mode and use your head.
  • I am fine and can accept that. I'm just saying that if it had more GPU RAM I'd buy one.   I dont need a dedicated gaming laptop but it would be nice to have that capability if I wanted to use it.
  • Then it's settled, you should buy something else...Right?  What's all the fuss about.
  • Lol it seems like they get screwed over by NVIDIA yet again how many times have they been stung by them. Would've been interesting to see an r9 instead just for the sake of making a device devs could look to when it comes to porting xb1/pees4 code
  • Actually NVIDIA's recent triumphs in the power consumptions for desktop grade GPUs have been pretty overwhelming. They have outright beat the competition with both their performance and power (not to mention superior cooling) so if you were to have something in a premium ultrabook I would rather have an NVIDIA than an unreliable AMD.
  • Glance is just a stupid feature, don't know why people cry about it.
    Transparent tiles are okay, but it depends on Developers... if someone feels bothered by it, they should put it on the bottom bottomness or unpin it. Windows Mobile won't fail, people should stop asking or suggesting that, that's why Microoft released universal apps and they are trying to unify the ecosystem and give continuity on Redstone. even if 10 Mobile doesn't sell in masses, Windows 10 desktop will, and eventually it will come to people preferences and not because "oh but we don't have X app" Microsoft shouldn't worry about google plans, Google are killing yet another product but calling it "merge" end... nothing else than that. it didn't work and it sucked so they got lazy about it. it's still 2 years more, and Windows 10 can get better in those coming months. Android won't replace any desktop software, just like iPad Pro won't do it either. there is people who need powerful software that only come on Desktop OS, like OSX, Windows or Linux... gosh, 20 years of linux being FREE and it still hasn't taken any important marketshare. Android is still a mobile OS with Mobile apps... and that won't change in a while. I don't think many people will change Windows for Android, if in 20 years not many changed Windows for Linux. People who have android phones, most don't know they are using it, they are just getting it with the nice "samsung" they see popular and announced around or because they bought a cheap phone and it has android, but some don't even know what they are running. so I don't see a big threat... it sucks to use Android on desktop anyway. so if some apps are not even tablet friendly after some years, I don't expect them to be desktop friendly any time soon. I hope Xbox gets emulator through universal apps, that would be amazing and no hack needed or anything like 360 or Original xbox needed. about phone and messaging, well, that would be nice too, but not important for a game console.
  • I think Glance is great
  • Coming from android glance has turned out to be the thing I love about Windows Phone most on my L640, I have it set to be always on, and at a "glance" I know stuff, missed calls, messages, watsapps etc, battery level, the time, if the phone is in Quiet hours, if an alarm is set, all with out having to even get to the lock screen, brilliant! I think it's the hidden gem of WP 8.1 and I hope it is carried over in the same way on W10M Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Unfortunately the glance on L640 is actually only "Partial glance". Full glance will put weather details up as well, but more importantly will show Day and Date with the time
  • The only problem I feel with Android as a desktop OS is a kick-starter project named Remix Mini although which is similar to Windows RT , I will get frustrated if people start to use it and like it more than Windows RT and as the render shows that it is running a very similar mobile Word app which is available for Windows desktop and if Microsoft also give such type of support to Android apps then I will be really mad at Microsoft.
    I am big supporter of Microsoft and I still want to learn to develop apps for windows and work for Microsoft but this will be too much.
  • Android as an OS doesn't make sense on the desktop.  MSFT owns the desktop.  Android almost owns the Smartphone.  Will WM10 displace Android faster in mobile than Android/Chrome displace Windows on the desktop? 
  • Glance is a terrific feature.  It's one of the best things going to a 1520 from the Icon, IMO.
  • It's awesome on AMOLED displays. All of my Lumia's are LCD's, so I turn it off.
  • You lost me after claiming Glance is stupid. You are clearly irrational and should not be listened to.
  • are you kidding me?????? i LOVE glance and use it EVERYDAY. I could not go without it. I do agree with everything you said. So true. WIn10 will get better and better. No OS can match it.
  • I really hope that you can say that you are speaking for yourself... Before I had a phone with Glance (even if partial), I didn't get the big deal. I think Glance is wonderful! Every now and then, I wake up earlier than I should and freak out about the time! Seeing something really bright can make me feel not as sleepy. I also really love that I can just wave my hand near the sensor to see if I have any texts or missed calls. So brilliant.
  • Glance is not in the SLIGHTEST a stupid feature. I cant tell you how handy it is to not have to touch your phone to check the time, weather, or see if you have missed calls or messages (especially if its on quiet mode). Saying that feature is "stupid" is...well..stupid.
  • The price duh lol
  • Aye, they picked my question. Cool.
    EDIT: //Build/ next year will be very interesting, especially with the Xbox One Store coming out and Hololens being released to developers. I also wonder if Microsoft will do another "device event" like this past October 6th for Surface Pro 5, SurfaceBook 2, Band 3, Lumia "1050", etc...and/or will they have a spring "device" event for "Surface Phone", Surface 4, and Xbox Mini? That would be interesting if they had both.
  • What would I change? I'd give me the best version FREE!
  • Episode 13 already? Damn... Gotta binge watch this series :))
  • I'd love to have a built in kickstand and a Bluetooth adapter for the keyboard....
  • "Grab your Monday morning coffee or", wen in India, your chai...
  • Chai is - when in Starbucks in the U.S.
  • Well technically couldn't Microsoft mandate that any app on the windows store support the clear background for icons? They do control the store, right? I don't really know much about the windows store, just basing my knowledge off of the Play Store and Apple's various locked down stores. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Branding is important to companies, and color can be an important part of that. Many would not be happy...
  • as i posted further below: (For UWP apps) Developers (I know because I am one) only provide a PNG with transparent background for the tile, the color for the tile is set in the app manifest. So all MS have to do is add an override to change that to transparent for all the apps. Of course, developers dont HAVE to provide a logo with transparent background (but why wouldnt they? Its easier if they want to change the tile color later down the line) and thats where it may fall over, but it would definitely work for all the apps where the developer has followed the guidelines
  • At 3:54 was that heat coming out of the top of the surface book? or a spot on the camera?
  • I've had my band 2 since Friday and just love it. Excited to see where MS goes with the technology in future iterations.
  • "I'm getting older and that's just the way it goes.". Lol Daniel!!
  • Thanks for answering my question Dan. This was a great episode and very informative as usual. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I wish MS had not used a proprietary charger for the SP4. I understand the rationale but I wish they could've avoided it. That's my biggest complaint about my SP3.
  • Other than USB C, I do not think that there is a non-proprietary laptop charger. Worse, I suspect that even once USB C becomes popular (it's already on the MacBook as the charger), I worry that you will need to keep an eye on current and wattage, which makes it far less universal. On the bright side, the newest Surface Dock takes advantage of the power port, which apparently also carries data channels. This avoids all of the annoyance of having to situate your Surface to fit the dock and, assuming they continue to use the same power adapter, it will work for future generations as well.
  • Have you heard any rumors when the Lumia 950 and 950 XL will be released in the US at Microsoft Stores?
    When I was at Device Night in DC, one of the MS sales representatives had a Lumia 950 as his daily phone. They're certainly not in the hands of reviewers yet, but I suspect that that has more to do with the OS not being RTM yet. The weird thing is that the Lumia 950 is now in the MS Store, but they have taken the 950 XL out of them. The XL definitely felt like a bad store demo (the case felt ridiculously bad), so I expect that they want to swap them out for actual devices. By the fact that they have not already swapped them points to one of three things: The store is very bad (it is; the MS Store at Tysons Corner in Virginia is very bad, but it sounds like this is a bigger problem than just my local store). They are not ready to put models out due to faulty software (there was a few glitches when I tried it out). They are not mass produced enough yet to provide demo units to the stores (if this is true, then it sounds like it would be a December launch).
  • I would like a Surface Book like keyboard for the Surface Pro 4 and this is why: - When being 'on the move' I would like to have a light package e.g. to take notes during meetings (and keep the keyboard at the office or in my car) - When I'm working on a larger piece of work (writing in Word) I would to have a better keyboard. Although the Surface Book is beautiful it does not fulfil these needs; the clipboard alone is not very easy for note taking because it has no kickstand and no keys and it cannot be placed on an edge. Hooked on the keyboard there is too much flex in the hinge to use the pen for making drawings. I do like how the screen of the SB can be placed the other way around and then there is a nice wedge for using the pen, but in my case (I'm not an artist) that's too much handling for incidental usage. Therefor for now the Surface Pro is getting my money, but I would even spend more if there was metal keyboard base available as an accessory.
  • Maybe an OEM will make a keyboard you like someday.
  • Thanks for answering my Band 2 question Dan. I just think that since Google has allowed "Hey Cortana" to work when the device is unlocked and display on, that there is some potential for the Band 2 to get those voice commands. Or maybe it will be a Band 3 feature. Either way, Band 2 is working great with my Nexus 6.
  • Do you think a Lumia 1020 successor is ever coming?
  • Should have Sim card port and should reduce by $200 only.
  • what if we install windows 8.1 pro on Surface pro 4? that would be good news for some people
  • Glad to hear some of the release date rumors cleared up.
  • waiting til the end of November to get my phone is a little annoying since i want to be able to switch carriers and take advantage of AT&T and my Directv acct. if i waited this long sonce i got my L928 i guess a couple more weeks cant hurt, and im guessing after black friday. my wife is looking else where because phones are available but shes no loyal to a brand anyway. i just want to get a new phone.
  • My 928 works fine but getting a little long in the tooth.  My biggest problem is Verizon, my carrier.  Think I will get a 640 and a plan through MetroPCS or Cricket and see if the network is good in my part of town.
  • More QA before releasing a $3,199 product.
  • Love this series! watched all the episodes. one question not related though... Daniel where  did you bought your hoodie?
  • Dan, If what you suggest could become a threat to MS, it would make sense for MS to develop a MSandroid layer in Windows that would run these android apps and games and keep it moving. Oxygen OS did it, Amazon sort of did it as well. If MS sits back and assume google ain't serious about its ambitions and we'll all be learning a new language. I don't want any part of that. Not now not never.
  • The problem for Google is that Android has several forks.  MSFT is working with another company that is "cleaning" up android to give OEMs a clean android OS without the tenticles of Google.  Forgot the name of the company.  But it seems to be doing well with OEMs.
  • Dan, I think you are wrong on the S4.  i believe it will be shipped with the next generation of the Atom line, broxton.  My S3 works fine.  i like the size for consuming info.  I could use the pin and the paint app to design a new driveway/hardscape image for my yard (taking a photo and drawing new landscap features).  My biggest issue is the poor performance when i open Bing Maps and scroll around the world.  For instance, I will read a story about a place and I bring up Bing maps tp see its location.  The S3 has a hard time holding the map in memory and allowing me to scroll smoothly.  i guess the imagine file is too big for the x7.
  • I like this guy... just saying :P Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Isn't there an app to make custom transparent tiles?
  • when you say there is no "master override" to make the tiles transparent, thats actually not true for UWP apps. Developers (I know because I am one) only provide a PNG with transparent background for the tile, the color for the tile is set in the app manifest. So all MS have to do is add an override to change that to transparent for all the apps. Of course, developers dont HAVE to provide a logo with transparent background and thats where it may fall over, but it would definitely work for all the apps where the developer has followed the guidelines