From the Forums: Windows Blue update's the answer, chunky Surface Pro and typing

It's time for another From the Forums where e bring you the latest discussions currently taking place over on our community forum. It's been a busy handful of days, so what have you potentially missed? 

Microsoft is set to kick off a more frequent update cycle, starting with Windows "Blue." We're expecting this upcoming update to patch not only Windows, but Windows Phone and other Microsoft products too. While the Portico update is being pushed out as we speak, what do you make of Blue? Forum member snaqvi91 asks if you believe Blue will solve many problems for Windows Phone?

"So apparently reports are that Microsoft is moving to a yearly update cycle. That sounds awesome. But only if that means there will be major changes every year to help windows phone catch up very fast and also go ahead of the other platforms. The fact that Microsoft is not addressing so many of the issues people have with windows phone may be because they're holding off for blue."

Microsoft is well aware of what it has to do to help grow Windows Phone and bring it up to speed with competing platforms. But what do you think will happen with Blue? Be sure to add your thoughts and predictions in the "Do you think Windows Phone Blue will solve all the problems?" thread.

Big and heavy Surface Pro?

The Surface Pro. Microsoft's second Windows tablet, running a full installation of its desktop operating system. Packing an Intel chip, the tablet was always going to be a beast, but how does it compare to competing products? Is it really that much heavier than the Apple iPad and Android tablets? Also, is the functionality worth the added size?

Steve Ridges decided to take his Pro into work:

"Since everyone knows that the Surface pro is unusable because it's too big and heavy, I brought mine into work with my type cover to compare to my co-workers tablets. Get what? It's thinner and lighter than one guy's iPad in some Targus case with a keyboard and it's the same as my friends Samsung Galaxy Note in his portfolio case...and while they're dinking around with Angry Birds, I'm syncing source code via SVN, and setting up VMWare. This thing rocks!"

Bro do you even lift?

That's right, folks. There's not a lot in it if you're thinking the Surface Pro is slightly on the heavy side compared to other tablets. You've also got to consider what's in the package too. A full installation of Windows 8. You can do a lot with more access to the system, apps and the ability to install executables downloaded off the Internet.

What are your thoughts on the Surface Pro? Be sure to add your $0.02 in the "It's too big and heavy" thread.

Typing on Windows Phone

How's your typing on Windows Phone, specifically Windows Phone 8? Have you noticed improvements in moving across from 7 to 8, or are you still experiencing issues entering flawless text? Forum member ncxcstud shares a quick look into how things have progressed since moving to a Lumia 920:

"So, I've had a Nokia Lumia 920 since a week after it launched here in the US. As i used it I was pretty struck how 'poor' the keyboard was compared to my trusty Focus [...] Well, I think that 'click' happened for me in the last few days as I have been able to fly through text messages, e-mails, and posts with ease and with very few spelling errors." 

So how's your typing on Windows Phone? Has it improved with recent updates, and do larger screens help you at all? Add your experience in the "How is your typing now?" thread.

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • Played with the Surface Pro this weekend at the Microsoft Store. It's weight is fine, comporable to any ultrabook out there. 
  • But some people aren't bright enough to understand that Surface Pro is an ultrabook tablet and not a toy tablet like iPad, CheapAndroidPads and Surface RT.
  • U know whats the problem Sam, people are getting so girly and bit***! i mean they complian how heavy is NokiaL920 and now the Surface Pro..Come on people its okay if there is a LITTLE weight in devices! Stop crying about it! For me normal weight for a phone or a tablet is fine, sure ill not be happy if its too heavy and sure ill be pleased if its light but if its normal i will not compian how heavy it is! Seriously ppl with this thinking should really get a life and should sign in gym  and man a little...
    For girls okay maybe they do have a point but im sure they carry things that are much heavier then devices and im sure u know what im talking about ....
    Sam, glad that you find the Surface weight is fine :) and i hope ppl who try it can share there experiences 
  • You know what's worse than girly people? Closeted homos like you calling other other people girly.
    Phones and tablets are not designed to be carried around in purses, backpacks and briefcases and used on countertops. They are supposed to be light enough to use when held in only one hand or even two fingers without risking wrist injury.
    200 grams doesn't make a big difference in a purse, but can make a huge different in comfort when held in one hand for several minutes.  
  • Absolutely love this thing. Am replacing work computer with it.
  • Typing on WP8...  I moved from Android to WP8 in November and I really miss the Swype keyboard.  I type pretty fast, but I was about 3 times faster with Swype.  That's not an exaggeration.  I understand Swype is not for everyone, but is it too much to ask to allow third party keyboards?
  • Amen!
  • I had an Android for about 2 weeks, I couldn't stand the thing, but I fell in love with Swype. The Swype one-thumbed typing is more efficient than any two-thumbed keyboard I've ever used... I truly miss it.
    And with regards to the WP7 vs WP8 keyboards: I had a Samsung Focus WP7.5... It seemed far superior than my Nokia 920. I just can't seem to get used to it. Maybe I've grown accustomed to the Focus, but after three and a half months using WP8, I'd expect to be used to it by now. I'm constantly hitting b or n instead of space, and enter instead of backspace... maybe it's just me.
    Also, Surface Pro is an Ultrabook AND a tablet. It's not that difficult to grasp, people. Obviously most people on here are aware, but the comments I see elsewhere are pretty frustrating! Stop comparing it to an iPad, it's more comparable to a MacBook Air.
    The MacBook Air doesn't come close to the Surface Pro... that's why fanbois don't want to compare the two... got it?
  • Can I plug my forum post here? :)
  • I think surface pro is a game changer.. I didn't regret my purchase one bit.. The updates will hopefully bring more opportunities for more apps...cant wait..
  • Unrelated, but noticed something strange playing with new WP8 devices at the Microsoft store: Go to the Start screen, and drag your finger up and down. Fast or slow, there's a clear lag between your finger moving, and the phone responding to the change in motion.
    Anyone else notice this? Touch response on the Start Screen is much better on my first gen HD7.
  • Don't base your judgments on store displays. The screens on those are abused, as they're always on and being used. I would know coming from experience trying out an Optimus G at an AT&T store. It's screen was very glitchy, but ik it's not like that in personal use.
  • Those were my original thoughts as well. But having played with a friend's brand new 8X since, I can confirm that there is indeed a net loss in touch response from WP7 to WP8. The screen just doesn't "stick" to your finger when scrolling up and down.
  • I have the Dell Venue Pro, HTC Radar, and Nokia 810, and don't notice the lags you mention.
  • I don't notice any lag, but a friend pointed out what I think you are talking about.
    The screen will scroll in the opposite direction about 10 px, then come back to meet your finger and follow it all the way until you release. It only happens on the initial swipe action. I've written to MS about it, but I just don't think it's easily described in an email.
    When you swipe quickly, it makes it feel as though there's a little bounce. When you swipe slowly, it just looks awful...
    Maybe that's what you're talking about? Either way, what I'm talking about can't be unseen! It's very annoying!
  • Actually haven't see that! What I'm referring to is the screen being slow to catch up with your finger. On WP7, the screen almost "sticks" to your finger. Not so in my experience with WP8 devices.
  • When is "Blue" supposed to be announced/released to consumers?
  • Guys that complain about the weight of L920 and Surface Pro should hit the gym more. Bro, do you even lift?
  • I notice that when typing on my Lumia 920 there are more B's hit when trying to hit the space than there were on my HTC Arrive (not talking KB).
  • I like the WP8 keyboard over the iOS keyboard except that you sometimes have to guess what key to hold down to find some symbol you are looking for. There isn't even a hint that there are hidden symbols unless you just happen to know they exist. Not a huge deal, but it could be more intuitive.
  • Full Bluetooth support! Please MS, let us have HID Bluetooth on WP8!!
  • The Surface Pro absolutely rocks! It's so usable and versatile. I can carry it around like a tablet and use it like a desktop PC when I need to. It's exactly what I was waiting for! Anyone who thinks it's too heavy or too bulky to carry around is just a wimp and since I'm not glued to the device all day, the 4-5 hour battery life gets me through the day to a recharge over night. :-)
  • Hey please answer:my battery on 920 sucks. 12 hours average. And every morning I Have to do a soft reset to keep it from draining at least 15% in 2 hours. Is it just me or are people having same issues? And the battery percentage will rise after the soft reset. Should I get a new Lumia 920 or is this a common software problem? I didn't have it on my old 920. I have weather and store deals running and that's it, brightness low. Live tiles off. I hope these software upgrades really fix the battery issues once and for all.
  • You might want to get it replaced, sounds like a faulty unit. I've got the 920 and its constantly connected to wifi or 4g, i play multilpe games on it during the day, listen to music, live tiles on and ive still got plenty of charge left when i get home from work where i usualy stick it on charge for a few hours then use it as my alarm clock.
  • Awesome, finally someone answered, people kept avoiding this question for months. Thanks. I'll give Nokia a call tomorrow.
  • How many hours does it last usually a day?
  • Typing on the 920 is not as enjoyable as it was on the Focus. I have had it since launch and it hasn't clicked for me yet. Vertically its easier, but if you have to enter words without the autocorrect, like on Ebay, especially sending a message, you'll see exactly how bad it is. Horizontally isn't as great as I was expecting either. The size makes it slightly too big, I have to reach too much.
    The size of the 920 is a bit big. You have to stretch to get to the back arrow. Also Bing's search box should be at the bottom, its another uncomfortable stretch.
  • Well excuse me if I just can't get excietd about this. I',m in the UK, have an unbranded 920 and I am STILL waiting for Portico so to be honest I find this article thoroughly f*****g depressing. It will probably at least 2014 before I see Blue. 
  • The only thing I'm really worried about is the longevity of the actual battery and the fact that it's not easily accesable.
  • Okay so neither the 920 or the surface pro are that heavy (and unlike the iphone, the 920 isn't destroyed after a drop) - theres an apple contigent that just wants to poo-poo anything that doesn't subscribe to the tired logic of the glowing fruit halo. 
    I do however think its important that your arm doesnt get tired holding a tablet, so the current surface pro might be borderline on that one. Personally, I'm biding my time, exciting as version 1 is - with haswell version (fanless?) its going to blow everything away.