Preparing for My Microsoft Transition

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Microsoft-Logo

In my blog post yesterday, I basically announced that I’ll be switching to all Microsoft technology. That means giving up my Nexus 10 and my Nexus 5, and switching to a Microsoft Surface Pro 3, my Dell Venue 8 Pro, and some kind of Windows Phone. For the latter, I’m considering a refurbished Nokia Lumia 925, simply because there’s currently nothing newer available on T-Mobile.

But switching hardware isn’t the real story. Rather, it’s switching to Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone, and everything that goes along with that. It’s also deciding just how “pure” I need to be in this exercise: can I still run Google Chrome on the desktop, or do I need to commit to Internet Explorer? Do I need to switch to Outlook.com for email, or can I continue to use Gmail? And can I use Google search, or do I need to switch to Bing?

These, and many others, are the questions that I need to consider as I prepare for the transition. My Nokia 925 is on order and should arrive in about a week or so, and I’ll be picking up my Surface Pro 3 on Friday. Therefore, I have about five business days to figure out exactly what this transition entails, and to make sure it’s a seamless one. After all, I’m arguing that Microsoft offers the most productive platform overall, and if I find myself less productive than my argument becomes a bit suspect.

So, here’s a quick to-do list to accomplish the transition:

  • Chrome vs. Internet Explorer? Do I need to give up Chrome and commit to Internet Explorer? I’m thinking I might have to, since the browser is such an important aspect of the experience.
  • Switch from Google Tasks to Toodledo. Tasks is just too limited and cross-platform syncing of complex tasks is pretty much impossible. Toodledo, I’m hoping, will provide good cross-platform compatibility.
  • Google search vs. Bing? This seems similar to the Chrome vs. IE question. I’ll probably have to at least give using Bing a try, and of course that’ll be a given on my Windows Phone.
  • Outlook.com vs. Gmail? I’m not sure if this is necessary. For example, if I were committed to Yahoo! email, I’d use that no matter the platform. I’ll have to give this one some thought, because switching to a different primary email address could be quite obtrusive given the number of people and organizations that know me by my Gmail address.
  • Google Music vs. Xbox Music? I once used a Zune, and loved it, so this switch wouldn’t be that big of a deal. In fact, since Xbox Music allows 10 hours of free streaming a month, I might even save some money compared to Google All Access.
  • Hangouts vs. Windows Messenger? This is a big one, because my family uses Hangouts extensively for messaging. We also hate Windows Messenger, and I’m the only one in my family making the transition from Android to Windows Phone. Hangouts is available on Windows 8.1, of course, but I’ll have to see if there’s any solution for the Nokia 925. If not, then I’ll likely have to stick with SMS, and continue to use Hangouts everywhere else.
  • DropBox vs. OneDrive? I currently use the excellent Android app DropSync to keep local folders synced with my DropBox account. That allows me to work on a document with or without Internet access, and have it quickly synced back to DropBox once I’m online. I’ll have to investigate how OneDrive handles things, to see if it’s a legitimate alternative to DropBox, or if the Windows Phone DropBox client is sufficient for my needs.
  • Google+ vs. OneDrive? My photos automatically upload to both DropBox and Google+ on my Nexus 5, with the latter offering a number of nice enhancements. I won’t have Google+ on my Nokia 925, I’m assuming, but photos automatically upload to OneDrive. Will I miss the Google+ enhancements? We’ll see, I suppose.
  • Google Calendar vs. Windows Calendar? This one’s going to require some research, because I know very little about how Windows Calendar works, how it’s accessed, etc. And, my entire family uses Google Calendar, and so I might have a conflict here if I can’t find a way to make Windows Phone work with it. The biggest issue is receiving notifications on my phone—that’s very important, and I doubt that I’ll convince my wife to change her calendaring workflow to accommodate my switch to Microsoft.

That’s all I can think of at the moment. If there’s anything I’m missing, let me know, and I’ll update this post as I make my way through the transition.

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