PowerPoint on a Surface RT a touch too far?

Today I had an interesting problem, due to dumping a lot of data down onto SkyDrive my local updates are running a little behind. So when I was faced with writing up a presentation for the Post-Graduate Conference I hit a problem moving between devices. After considering my options of downloading manually and uploading the completed power point I saw an interesting experiment that I could do to test the Surface RT. I aim to answer the simple question of:

Is it possible to write a presentation on your surface?

So I started editing the presentation which I started on my laptop, then quickly realised touch doesn't work. This isn't a major objection since there is the option of a touch pad or a usb mouse. Since I had a mouse to hand decided to use that, I am sure you could use the touch-pad but I'll go the like of least resistance.

To note to make it even slightly possible to do a power point or any office task on the Surface RT you need to download all the updates from the desktop mode windows update. Without the updates it is practically unbearable to even type in Word. Since the updates were available before consumer release don't take this as a negative to the Surface RT.

There are a collection of constraints you must consider when using the surface deciding to use PowerPoint on windows rt. The big one is, have you got all your images you are going to need? If the answer to this is no, then you are doomed before you begin. With no good way really of editing images on the RT it really isn't possible to do. You of course have the basic options within PowerPoint like crop etc, but these wont go far in creating really technical drawings.

The problem of assets is somewhat relieved by SkyDrive and its wonderful integration with Office 2013, this allows you to quickly and easily pull down images or videos you need and dump them in. There are some UI niggles I have with this on how it interacts, for example when you insert an image if you quickly go back to the insert image icon it wont remember where you are in sSkydrive or even that you were using SkyDrive to start with it will bring your right back to where online do you want to get this image from.

Oddly other than the resource issue I didn't hit much more some nice things you can do with snapping to organise your thoughts with the one note app allows you to think another time and write up when you are ready as can be seen below:

Power Point Windows RT


So to answer the question, Yes it is possible but you must come prepared. I found myself having to go back to my desktop that I was sat in front of to shorten some videos and create some new images. The missing assets could of been dropped and would be a reasonable presentation, but with presentations unless you are a seasoned veteran it is unlikely you will be happy to go with a presentation that is "reasonable".

Having said all this if you are sure you have everything you need then jump on the train and you could put together and present (if you have a VGA accessory) when you get there without a problem!

I think this was a nice win for the Surface RT!

Thursday, January 24, 2013 3:21:00 PM Categories: Evaluation Microsoft Software
Stuart James