Part of the beauty of a Surface Pro–as opposed to a Surface RT–is that it still runs all traditional, legacy Windows software. But, Surface RT tablets (or other Windows RT devices) are restricted to using apps from the Windows Store. Most of the apps in the Store are designed for the Windows 8 Modern (aka “Metro”) interface–the colorful, tiled, touch-enabled default Start screen of the flagship operating system. But some, like the Microsoft Office RT apps that come pre-installed on the Surface RT, still operate in Desktop mode.
Windows 8 has a variety of well-done default apps. The Store app, Music, Messaging, Camera, and more. For this 30 Days with Surface Pro post, though, I focused on Mail, People, and Calendar.
Things are a little different in a business environment. A Microsoft account is required in order to use apps like Mail, People, and Calendar, but a Surface Pro connected to a Windows network domain blocks access to logging in with a Microsoft account by default. The IT admin has to explicitly allow users to also log in with a Microsoft account through policies.
For more about my experience using Mail, People, and Calendar, and my thoughts on these Windows 8 apps, check out Surface Pro, Day 9: A closer look at the default apps.