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We chat to Microsoft's UK MD about his favourite gadgets

In The Hot Seat: Michel van der Bel

Microsoft’s UK MD gave PCR a quick look into the devices and apps he uses to run the tech giant’s UK arm.

What gadgets do you use from day to day?
I currently use an engineering version of the Surface Pro 3. It’s got an i5 processor, and is thin and light in a really compelling way. It’s essential to have the right hardware for media consumption – reading, Netflix etc. – while also being able to use it as a working device.

Which apps do you use?
I spent most of my day in three apps: Outlook, Yammer and OneNote. All the people at Microsoft more or less use all three of these. It’s great to be able to keep your files updated through the cloud and easily share information.

Do you use any accessories?
I use the snap-on Surface keyboard and a stylus. The stylus is just awesome – it’s almost a fountain pen-like experience. I can just start taking notes whenever I need – no more scribbling on bits of paper.

How do you personalise the devices for your work style?
I spend 60 per cent of my time on the road. My tablet is BitLocker enabled, so if I lose it all the data is completely safe.

I also have a Nokia 1520 as my home device, which I also use to run Microsoft UK on the road – it’s a big device, but I don’t need glasses to use it, which is good. The bigger screen makes it easy to read and view PowerPoint and Excel sheets, and I can also use all the apps I mentioned before, but on the road. I also use the Lync client on mobile, which is great.

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