Microsoft’s Upgrading Everything – What Was Revealed at their Keynote Event?
A lineup of cool new products and software was disclosed during Microsoft’s most recent keynote event. They are divided into two main categories – the Windows 10 Creators Update and a new array of devices. Find out what you should be looking forward to from Microsoft very soon.
Windows 10 Creators Update – 3D for Everyone
Microsoft did not bother going for subtle naming conventions with this one. Just as it says, this upcoming operating system update (slotted for release in the first half of 2017) is designed to wow Windows 10 users with a creative flair. So if you are an artist or a content creator, prepare to salivate over a wide range of cool features!
Paint 3D and Windows Capture 3D Experience
It is Microsoft’s goal to make 3D more accessible to the public. In line with this, they will soon be releasing tools and accessories for their newest devices.
One of which is Paint 3D. Ever since Windows was created, the drawing tool, Paint, has always been part of the package. Soon, this application will receive an overhaul that will allow anyone to create all sorts of 3D art!
Supplementing Paint 3D is the 3D capture tool that will soon be available in all Windows 10 mobile devices. What this tool allows you to do is capture a three-dimensional image of any object, just as you would a normal picture. During the keynote demonstration, a 3D image of a sand castle was captured via the Windows phone X3. This was then easily exported to the desktop Paint 3D, ready for whatever creative use. An iOS and Android app is also planned.
Using a doodle tool, Paint 3D will also allow you to transform a 2D free-form sketch into a 3D object. You will also be able to remove or replace backgrounds and add other three-dimensional elements. These are but a few of the functionalities shown, and for sure there will be more to stimulate anyone’s creativity.
Accessible 3D Community – Remix3D.com and Sketchup
Yet another way that Microsoft is making 3D creation more accessible to everybody is through a new community, Remix3D.com. It promises to be the hub where you can “unleash your imagination and bring your ideas to life in 3D.”
Sign in to start sharing your art and, at the same time, discover other community members’ genius. It is a place where you can find inspiration aplenty, and where you can connect with other enthusiasts who can provide the support and motivation you need for your own creative journey. The best part, you can soon 3D print your work right from within the community!
Additionally, if you are a member of Sketchup or planning to become one, then rejoice, for Microsoft is partnering with them to, yes you guessed it, bring creations to life!
Microsoft Edge Browser and HoloLens Integration
The fun and wonders of Paint 3D are taken a step further with the virtual reality device, HoloLens, and the browser, Microsoft Edge. By wearing the VR headset, you can interact with your Paint 3D creations! Not only that, by viewing the browser while wearing the lens, you can also preview objects from the web right there in your home.
This will really come in handy when deciding to buy stuff for your living space, as demonstrated during the keynote. For example, you want to buy a new chair but don’t quite know which fits your current interior design. Simply browse online shops within the Microsoft Edge interface, using the HoloLens, and preview how any item would look in your living room! Like to travel? Visit countless of wondrous places in virtual reality via a hologram tour!
To this end, a new range of virtual reality accessories will be coming soon for Windows 10 users. These products will be shipped by Microsoft’s partners: HP, Dell, Asus, Acer, and Lenovo. VR headsets will start at $299, a pretty good price point considering that these accessories will be the “first and only to ship with inside-out six degrees of freedom sensors.”
Become a Game Broadcaster
The Windows 10 Creators Update will not only make artists happy, but game content creators as well. Players will soon be able to customize levels, challenges, and even tournaments to bring gaming to a whole new level! All of these can be done with the use of Xbox Live’s Arena.
The OS update will also improve Xbox’s sound quality by bringing in the Dolby Atmos audio support. Live broadcasting will also become an integral part of the Xbox app on Windows 10, ensuring that everyone can watch their friends’ activities anytime they want to. Gamers, meanwhile, can view any comments and suggestions from their viewers. This will certainly make for a more interactive gaming experience.
Although the main focus of the Creators Update is on the users’ creative side, it does touch upon another important aspect of device usage – communication. It was announced that chatting with important people in our lives will become so much easier.
Key people’s profiles can now be set on the task bar, which makes it easy to hear from or reach out to partners, children, parents, and others. What’s nice is that you can soon drag any content from the desktop to a contact’s profile bubble on the task bar, and instantly send a message using the messaging app of your choice.
Another nifty feature to look forward to is “taps,” which enables everyone to send fun stickers for quicker, on-point communication.
Upcoming Microsoft Hardware – Drool-Worthy Tech!
Surface Book i7
The keynote introduced the most powerful Surface Book yet. According to Panos Panay, head of Microsoft Devices, the device has “over 2x more graphics than the highest-end Surface Books in the market today.” Battery-wise, Panos announced that it will provide an impressive 16-hour battery life!
Microsoft also claimed that the new Surface Book is currently the best-performing laptop on the market. Pre-ordering has already started and the device will begin shipping this November. Price starts at $2,399.
Looking to upgrade your desktop computer? Microsoft’s new entry, the Surface Studio, is surely a head turner. It is an all-in-one desktop computer and touchscreen that is built for professionals. It is ultra thin too, with a fully-embodied aluminum enclosure and a total thickness of just 12.5 mm. With a 1.3 mm LCD screen, it currently stands as the thinnest desktop monitor in the market.
Panos then went on to list more amazing specifications for the Surface Studio, including:
28-inch PixelSense display, higher than a 4K resolution monitor
13.5 million pixels
3:2 aspect ratio
270 watt power supply
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M 4GB GPU GD
Core i7 quad core Intel processor
2TB Rapid Hybrid Drive
3 interlinked fans with unprecedented cooling
Built-in Xbox protocol for wireless controls
2.1 surround sound speakers
All of these and more are contained within a small and lightweight box with only a single cable coming out of the back.
The Surface Studio is also mounted on a Zero-Gravity Hinge, making the desktop computer practically weightless. You will be able to pull it up or down with ease. Panos also demonstrated that users can lean on the Surface Studio while working. The device took his weight without a problem, showing that you can do your work or art on the computer with utmost comfort. No need to worry about your palms, arms, or elbows activating the computer’s functions unintentionally because Microsoft integrated their reliable palm-rejection system.
The Surface Studio is expected to be available this December with a price tag of $2,999. Pre-orders are accepted.
Another handy gadget unveiled was the Surface Dial. It is an input accessory for Microsoft’s latest generation of Surface devices. It utilizes haptic feedback and can be used to go through various items onscreen.
During the keynote demonstration, it was shown that you can use the Surface Dial to flip though documents or images onscreen by simply swiping clockwise or counterclockwise on it. You can even attach it to the Surface Studio’s screen for more control. It will be available this November for $99.99. Anyone pre-ordering the Surface Studio can have it for free.
As a whole, Microsoft’s latest keynote event was filled with plenty of great surprises. The Creators Update is bound to open plenty of creative opportunities for budding and veteran artists alike. The world of 3D will become more accessible to the masses and Xbox gaming is bound to become even better. For those looking for superior computers, the upcoming Surface products are sure to meet or even exceed your standards. We are definitely excited for the release of the Windows 10 update and the Surface Studio!