What Can’t the Microsoft Surface 2 Handle? - dummies

What Can’t the Microsoft Surface 2 Handle?

By Andy Rathbone

Because the Microsoft Surface 2 runs Windows 8.1 RT instead of Windows 8.1, it brings some unique compromises. Those compromises will be deal breakers for some people. Other people will say, “Who needs that, anyway?”

Here they are, in no particular order:

  • No desktop programs: Surface 2 can run only apps downloaded from the Windows Store. You can’t install desktop programs like you can on a desktop PC.

  • No Windows Media Center: Unlike Windows 8 computers, Surface 2 won’t let you install Windows Media Center for viewing DVDs and watching or recording TV shows.

  • No Windows Media Player: The Surface 2 desktop doesn’t include Windows Media Player. To watch movies and listen to music, you must use the built-in Music and Video apps or download replacement music and video apps from the Windows Store.

  • Can’t start a homegroup: When connected to a network, the Surface 2 can join homegroups and access files from other networked computers. However, those computers can’t access your files. To share your files, you can upload them to OneDrive, copy them to a portable flash drive (or hard drive), or send them through e-mail.

  • No driver support: Windows RT relies on its own set of built-in drivers — special software that lets it communicate with plugged-in accessories. Because you can’t install drivers, the Surface 2 won’t work with some USB gadgets such as TV tuners, barcode readers, GPS units, and other devices that require you to install a program.

  • No GPS: Lacking a GPS chip, the Surface 2 relies on Wi-Fi to estimate your location. That narrows down your location to within a few hundred feet. (Surface 2 with a built-in 4G LTE cellular data plan also lacks a GPS.)

  • No NFC (Near Field Communication): Too new of a technology to disappoint many, NFC lets two devices exchange bursts of information when they bump into each other, a feature much-welcomed by business-card swappers