Microsoft's big event has kicked off, and we're expecting some major news from the company. Keep your eyes peeled for a new Surface all-in-one PC, updates to Windows 10, and much more. We'll have all the latest right here.
Oct 27, 2016
Today’s big tech news might be the fancy-looking Surface Studio PC, but Microsoft also decided to make a major virtual reality announcement during its Windows event: a whole new line of VR headsets with built-in tracking sensors, starting at the surprisingly low price of $299.Read Article >
Manufactured by Microsoft partners like Asus, Acer, Lenovo, HP, and Dell, the headsets were shown briefly, and in little detail. But we saw just enough to raise a lot of questions about how they’ll actually work — and what they’ll mean for virtual reality.
Microsoft’s biggest product announcement at its Windows 10 event this morning was the Surface Studio, an all-in-one iMac-lookalike that breaks from tradition by folding down into a tilted canvas. It’s a gorgeous device, but its hallmark feature could also come off like a gimmick at first glance. On deeper inspection, it’s clear that Microsoft has a grander ambitions for its convertible desktop. The company wants to reorient how consumers think about the PC, from a stodgy platform for office work and games into an art station capable of striking at the heart of Apple’s creative demographic.Read Article >
Until today, Microsoft’s most effective pitch was to two distinct crowds of customers. There's the workplace professional who used Microsoft-made software and relied on the Windows ecosystem to do a majority of their job’s daily tasks. Then there's the hardcore gaming enthusiast who needed expensive, powerful components and the optimizations and developer base Windows enjoys to play top-tier titles.
Oct 26, 2016
I grew up on Microsoft Paint as a PC kid in the 1990s. So when Microsoft showed off a new version of its storied software today, updated to make it easy for anyone to create objects and scenes in 3D, I felt a stab of excitement imagining how my own kids might experiment with these new tools. Microsoft’s insistence that 3D is something new and futuristic aside — 3D graphics have been around for decades and will forever be associated in my mind with terrible '90s web art — Microsoft executives actually made a convincing case that they would be able to breathe new life into a form that never quite caught on with the masses.Read Article >
3D was highlighted as a core feature of Windows 10 Creator’s suite. Along with Microsoft Paint 3D, the company showed off a way to easily scan a real-world object with a phone so that it could become a 3D file you can manipulate with software. It linked 3D objects to its flagship piece of futurism, the Microsoft HoloLens, which makes sharing and interacting with 3D objects a lot more compelling than viewing them on a two-dimensional screen. And it tied all this in with its most beloved software franchise, Minecraft, which is by its nature about building in 3D, and truly has captivated a generation of kids and parents.
- Read Article >
Microsoft just spent a full two hours presenting the future of Windows 10 and its Surface line on stage in New York City. And it wasn't exactly padding out that time — aside from a lengthy demo of Paint (something I think no one expected in 2016), Microsoft really did have a lot to cover. You can read our roundup right here, and above, you can watch our trimmed down cut of the two-hour event, which puts it all into a much snappier eight-and-a-half minute presentation. When you're done, you can check out our hands on with the new Surface Studio right here.
- Read Article >
Microsoft wants artists and content creators to want its products. The company unveiled multiple creative-minded products at its keynote today, including a major Windows 10 upgrade called the “Creators Update” and a gorgeous PC called the Surface Studio. It has 80 custom parts in its arm alone! Most of today's announcements were about advancing into the future, but Microsoft also stayed true to its roots with an update to Paint. We have all the highlights below.
Oct 26, 2016
Microsoft just announced the latest member of its Surface family, the Surface Studio. An all-in-one machine, the Studio is targeted toward creative professionals and has features and design traits that make creating artwork with the device easier.Read Article >
But it’s also a stunningly gorgeous piece of industrial design, with an incredibly thin, vibrant 28-inch LCD panel, zero-gravity hinge that lets you move it from standard desktop position to a drawing surface with just one finger, and a base that houses everything needed to run the computer, with just a single power cable coming out of it.
Microsoft just announced an all-in-one PC called Surface Studio and alongside it a strange new accessory called the Surface Dial.Read Article >
The Surface Dial is big puck that's sort of like a modern twist on a paint palette. When the Dial is placed on the Studio's screen, a radial menu pops up all around it. Different color or brush options might pop up, for example, when a painting app is on screen — presumably, other apps can create custom menus as well. It can also be used to navigate and pan around an image.
Oct 26, 2016
Microsoft's Surface family has officially expanded to include the desktop. The company just announced the Surface Studio at today's event in New York City. It will be available "in limited quantities" this holiday for $2,999, $3,499, or $4,199, depending on hardware options. Preorders begin today, and the Studio will also be showcased in Microsoft retail stores ahead of its release. "We totally believe that Surface changes the way you produce, the way you create, the way you learn," said Panos Panay, who leads Microsoft's devices team. "The product I'm going to show you is all of that — but it's one step further. It's going to seem familiar, but it's going to feel different."Read Article >
He then unveiled the Studio, with an all-in-one form factor touted as having the "world's thinnest LCD monitor ever built" at 12.5mm. That touchscreen display is contained in a forged aluminum enclosure and measures 28 inches across. The display outputs 13.5 million pixels, according to Panay, which is 63 percent more than a 4K television. "It's got the best screen in its class," Panay said.
Oct 26, 2016
Microsoft just showed off an updated version of its Surface Book laptop that comes with 30 percent more battery life and double the graphics performance of the most powerful Surface Book currently available. Microsoft says the updated Surface Book is the most powerful version it's ever produced, featuring latest Intel i7 processor, a redesigned cooling system with an additional fan to keep those processors running at full strength, a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M GPU pushing 1.9 teraflops of graphics performance, and 16 hours of battery life.Read Article >
All of those improvements are shoved into the existing Surface Book frame, with which was announced one year ago to the day. The upgraded Surface Book is slightly heavier than its predecessor — likely due to the bigger battery — weighing in at 3.63 pounds compared to 3.48 pounds for the original version.
During Microsoft's Windows 10 event in New York City today, it looks like T-Mobile jumped the gun and posted the product page for a new Windows 10 smartphone designed for virtual reality. It's an old phone — the Alcatel Idol 4S to be specific. The device was released back in July running Android, and it was sold bundled with a low-cost VR headset similar to the Samsung Galaxy VR. It looks like Microsoft has teamed up with Alcatel to sell its own version of the Idol 4S running Windows 10 Mobile, while it seems customers still get the VR headset with the package.Read Article >
"The next great frontier of entertainment and information is here, and the Idol 4S is the world’s first Windows-powered smartphone plus VR goggle package," reads T-Mobile's website. "Pre-loaded games and videos expand your reach beyond the screen." Onstage today, Microsoft announced a suite of new VR headsets to be sold by third parties to take advantage of Windows 10's new holographic and VR capabilities. Those headsets will be sold for $299, so this is all a big push from Microsoft to get involved in low-cost VR hardware and software, just as it's pushing its own AR technology at the higher end with the HoloLens.
Microsoft is expanding its Arena platform by letting players create their own competitive gaming tournaments. First launched in preview back in October, Arena is an e-sports platform that lets players compete in organized tournaments through Xbox Live. Previously Arena tournaments were organized by Microsoft, game developers, and e-sports organizations, but today's news means that eventually players will be able to start their own custom tournaments as well. "We want to give gamers the ability to create their own tournaments and challenges," Microsoft's Jenn McCoy explained. Microsoft says that the player-created tournaments will be available in 2017.Read Article >
In addition to custom tournaments, Microsoft also showed off some robust new game streaming tools at the event. Game broadcasting will be a big part of the Windows 10 creators update, the company says, and Microsoft appears to be differentiating itself from services like Twitch through a streamlined setup and the addition of more interactive features. Players will be able to stream games from within Windows 10 with the click of a button, and thanks to new features integrated following the purchase of Beam, it will be interactive as well, as viewers can click buttons to offer suggestions for what the streamer does next in-game. Microsoft says these Beam features will be built into Windows 10 and Xbox One early next year.
Oct 26, 2016
Microsoft’s partners will ship a new line of virtual reality headsets to take advantage of Windows 10’s VR and holographic capabilities. At today’s event, Microsoft said that the headsets will start at $299 and will include inside-out tracking sensors, obviating the need for external cameras or laser systems like those on the current Oculus Rift or HTC Vive. HP, Dell, Lenovo, Asus, and Acer are all listed as partners.Read Article >
While relatively little is known about the headsets, the six-degree-of-freedom tracking system sounds similar to Oculus’ Santa Cruz prototype, which also includes inside-out tracking. They are distinct from Microsoft HoloLens, an augmented or “mixed” reality headset that projects virtual objects into the real world. While the headsets don’t need external trackers, the one we saw on stage today still looks to be wired, not totally self-contained like Santa Cruz.
At an event in New York City today, Microsoft unveiled a radically updated version of its ubiquitous Paint app for Windows 10, one that lets users build three-dimensional creations. And it turns out that the new tool will be especially useful for Minecraft players. According to Microsoft, players will not only be able to export their in-game creations to the new Paint 3D tool, but then 3D print them from the app, so you can have a real live version of your previously digital creation. There are already a few third-party options that offer similar services, of course, but given the tight integration between Minecraft and Paint 3D, this should be the most streamlined way yet.Read Article >
Oct 26, 2016
Microsoft is releasing a revamped and modernized Paint app for Windows 10 that makes creating in 3D easy. The company announced the app at its keynote today where it stressed the future of creating in 3D. Users can take photos and turn portions of the photo into 3D objects, or turn a 2D doodle into a 3D image. All the 2D pens and pencils also work on any 3D object. Stickers can be stamped onto 2D images to to make it 3D. Microsoft envisions these creations will be viewed on the HoloLens.Read Article >
Paint 3D stays true to the classic app in that it's a basic editing and creating app but with some noted 21st-century 3D pizzaz.
Oct 26, 2016
Microsoft's Panos Panay is a veritable Santa Claus. Once a year he appears with magical creations that he and his Surface team have been producing in their labs in Redmond, Washington. Later today, Microsoft's Santa Claus is expected to deliver his latest gift: a Surface PC. Panay has a history of leading a team whose focus is reinventing and redefining what our expectations of a computer should be. This will be no different.Read Article >
Microsoft's Surface team has successfully refined the Surface Pro into a tablet and laptop hybrid that is inspiring other PC makers, including Google and Apple, into creating their own versions. It might not be the perfect laptop or the perfect tablet, but it's fair to say that Microsoft has managed to reinvent the ideas of what a tablet and a laptop should be.