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Verge predictions


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    I cut out a lot of fluff, but there’s still a lot.

    • Event start. Microsoft develops software for the disabled. They’re working with developers to help make it easier to develop for the users. For example, Narrator can blind the screen. Keyboard navigation, high contrast, speech recognition all improved as well.

    • Terry Myerson on stage. Everyone can take advantage of technology. A billion people use Windows, and everyone has different multi-layered needs and wants. People make stuff, and they need technology that can make stuff in every facet in their life. A Bangladeshi college student and his friends used their Windows laptops to help the UN with earthquake relief. A 10 year old cancer survivor played on the Xbox to interact with friends. Pearson is using HoloLens to improve teaching with a hands-on curriculum.

    • This is talking a lot about people who use Windows 10. A lot. There was some bits about Ink and Holographic. Waiting on them to talk about the red meat that satisifies lobsters.

    • New update for Windows 10 in Spring 2017. Called “Creators Update.” TOO MUCH INNOVATION FOR ONE DAY.

    • Improvements to AR, VR, and holographic - this group is called mixed reality 3D. Improvements for 4K gaming and broadcasting. Better ways to connect to people?

    • Empowering people to become 3D creators. People use Office and other applications, but these are 2D. But we grew up and use 2D. However, the new generation is thinking in 3D… apparently by playing Minecraft? Now they raise the questions: How can Windows 10 improve 3D interaction, and how can it be useful for productivity?

    • Another video about… creativity? Our world is 3D. 3D is useful. There’s a 3D app shown on the Surface that can convert from 2D objects? Megan Saunders on stage. A lot about creativity. 3D is for everyone.

    • Another fluff video. If you make it easy to create 3D, that 3D makes it easier to improve productivity and education. The 3D app shown is a lot easier to use than other 3D programs. The selection tools make it easy to mix and convert 2D and 3D objects. You can scan 3D objects as well. People said it’s easy to use and cool. Young (12-24) people believe creativity is very important, and these young people are the future. 3D needs to be easy as taking a picture. She shows an example of 3D “scanning” (it works like Google Photospheres, in reverse) a sandcastle her daughters made. The phone shown is an HP Elite x3, but you could use any other phone.

    • Paint! 100M users every month. It carries a lot of history, and has made an artist out of many people. Simplicity as its strength in 2D. In the new Windows 10 update, Paint is a UWP application and now can interact in 3D amongst other features. Most people use Paint to crop photos, but she shows that you can use it for 3D. She automatically cuts out the people from the video. She then imports the sandcastle she scanned, and rotates it into place. She then moves the people into the sandcastle. Because they’re working on a 3D plane, she can move them into the right axis. Microsoft also has a place where you can share and download readymade 3D models. You can even import and 3D print objects made in Minecraft. SketchUp model (even from SketchUp 3D warehouse) importing is also supported. You can save 3D objects you find for later. She then places a tree from the place, then draws a sketch of a cloud and converts it into a 3D model. You can draw (and place stickers) on these 3D objects too. She then shares the scene she made in Paint to Facebook directly from Paint - and its preserved as a 3D object that can be rotated.

    • 3D will be integrated into more Microsoft applications. PowerPoint is one. Heather, a PM, is invited next. She starts to add a 3D fig tree into a slide. Like Paint, she can import any of these readymades directly from PowerPoint, and manipulate it like any other 3D object. Slide transitions will rotate and zoom these 3D objects as they change per slide. 2D content can be freely mixed with 3D.

    • Now they show how these 3D improvements can improve Holographic. Edge brought ink to the web, but now it’s going to 3D next. Taj with HoloLens on stage. He’s showing Edge on the 3D place. He brings out the 3D object Megan made and brings it out of the browser window into the AR world. For a practical example, they show a home renovation store website. Users can preview the 3D models and manipulate them in AR - this way you can see what furniture could look like in your house without having to buy it.

    • They’re jumping from HoloLens to a VR headset. He can now interact with Windows in a VR house world. He’s watching a sports game on a giant virtual wall. On the other end, he has app windows and icons (they’re 3D models) mounted on… virtual furniture. (Think Bob or 3DNA… in real life?) He now uses HoloTour to see an animated, interactive panorama in Italy. He can “enter” a place in these panoramas - looked like a cross-section? You’re not longer constrained to a 2D screen, but 3D objects and 3D overlays and “new” realities.

    • The industry talks about democratization of tech, and they think this will help. OEM partners (Dell, Lenovo, HP, Asus, Acer) will be shipping VR headsets with advanced integrated sensors and more freedom in terms of location. Prices start at 299$. Users can start doing stuff in 3D cheaply.

    • Gaming. Very small fluff video. Esports shown heavily. More people watched the League of Legends tournament than the world series. Young people like watching people play games. 50 billion views of Minecraft videos. Gaming is social now. Microsoft invokes their history in gaming, from Flight Simulator to Gears of War to Solitaire. Xbox continues to be a major force in consoles, and now Windows 10. Improvements to esports and broadcasting coming to Windows 10. Jenn from Xbox team on stage. Onto game broadcasting. People want to look at games, to see games before they buy, to get past difficult bits, and sometimes just for the joy of watching. She has fun with her friend in Texas by watching his broadcast. They have a simple way to suggest things to the broadcaster: buttons. They want to reduce the friction to set up broadcasting, from setting up the stream to getting people to watch. The Beam software for broadcasting will be built into the next update. She then opens Forza and starts a broadcast: she hits Windows+G to bring up the game bar (equivalent to the Steam Overlay) and hits broadcast. A chat window is now open on the side. Low latency chat. Broadcasting will send an announcement to your friends and clubs. Clubs are a “clan”/group system. You can start custom tournaments with friends and clubs, and it’ll keep track of statistics for you. The game shown as an example is Killer Instinct. She picks the time, game mode, tournament policy, and who its open to. PC and Xbox are supported.

    • Xbox One S for 299$ with 4K HDR has been a top seller in the US and other markets. For higher graphics setting, you can play it on PC. Cross-buy for Xbox and Windows 10 games - you buy one, get it for the other platform as well as cross-platform saves for free. 4K streams and Blu-Ray playback. Bitstream audio pass-through on Xbox.

    • People and collaboration is a common thread. People are stuck in just one app for engaging with others though? Allison on stage. People are at the centre of Windows? What started with just email has snowballed into a cluster of tools from Skype to SharePoint to Slack or whatever. However, we only primarily contact with a few core people. The new update for Windows 10 will make it easier to contact these core few people. Sharing for example is a complex process - switching apps and such. Instead, now you can just drag and drop things you want to share onto the person on the taskbar. Another example, she draws ink on a video, hits the share button, and the core people are listed on the top above applications. It’s also easy to miss notifications from core people when it’s mixed in with the chaff. Windows can unify messaging (Mail, Skype, SMS relay, Xbox Live, Skype for Business/Lync) and then prioritize it from the important people. The medium of communication for these people can be changed easily. The core people can use “shoulder taps” to communicate emotionally “non-intrusively” such as 3D models and emojis above the taskbar.

    • Fluff video about all that was shown before in the update. Many features are shown quickly in the slideshow, shown beforehand and some not. (I think I saw some window management features, for one.) Early builds of the new update will be released for Windows Insiders soon.

    • Windows 10 supports a wide range of devices, and now a new category of device is coming. Panos Panay (known for being pumped) on stage! Fluff video. There’s a bunch of kids, and a robot? Back to Panay. Surfaces bring inspiration to people. He really likes that video - shown in the video was the Surface engineering lab. He talks about inspiration and people using Surfaces as more versatile laptop replacements. He now gets into a friend’s anecdote about basketball… and a Surface is involved as a paper and pen replacement. He mentions the conflict between tablets and laptops in purchasing experiences, and that Surface pro reconciled the conflict.

    • Remember the Surface Book? Highest user satisfaction amongst PC and Macs. It’s like a Surface Pro, but more familiar as a laptop while preserving core tablet advantages. He mentions his son sharing information with teachers on a Surface Book in real time. It’s firing up his brain and using its versatility. People want more graphics horsepower and battery life, however. 30% battery improvement, new twice as fast GPU, (faster than the current retina MacBook, 1.9 TFlops) Core i7 CPU. Called Surface Book i7. Overhaul of thermals with a second fan. More batteries inside the chassis, giving 16 hours of battery. Fastest and most battery efficient laptop for the weight. This is the highest end model in the Surface lineup, and its $2,399! Pro on the lower end refresh as well.

    • New kind of Surface. Surface Studio. 270W built-in PSU, new glass screen, high end 28" 3:2 screen with high gamut, thinnest LCD touch display on an adjustable hinge, 32 GB DDR4, i7, GTX980M, plenty of ports, stereo 2.1 speakers. Surface Dial as well. They call it beautiful. Built for pros. Forged Al enclosure for the screen with attention to detail in industrial design. The effort in making the display thin (12.5mm) extended to all parts. 13.5 (63% more than 4K) million pixels. Very high DPI (192 PPI) for “immersion” and precise print preview just by using the normal “mode.” DCI-P3 to sRGB changing on the fly. The chassis containing the more components is at the bottom and very quiet with 3 fans. The arms holding the display are reflective to help the machine blend in and “fade to the background” as a “floating sheet of pixels.” A microphone array improves audio input quality and ease of use of diction. Cortana improvements with better integration into services like Wunderlist. High quality camera for better conferencing and Hello. It pushes boundaries. More anecdotes about a composer and being a creator. Fluff video again. The dial can interact with the screen when placed and there is pen support. The hinge is “weightless,” with 80 custom parts and a counter-spring system. It can go to a drafting board position. Improvements to the pen and palm rejection. Low inking latency. Ink gestures turn “analog” gestures into their intended “digital” task. More on the dial. Windows supports it natively. Even when not placed on the screen, it can overlay on the screen. One tool the dial has is “ink replay,” letting you scrub through the inking at the timeframe it happened. It can scroll through things as well. This mode is supported by Surface Pro 3 and newer. (I believe placing it on the screen may require the Studio though.)

    • Ben on stage to talk about… comic books? His company lets you make “motion books” with depth, motion, and sound. He jumps into Word to show the script. On one side is a storyboard for art prototypes, and the other, the script itself. With the pen, he can include these storyboards right in the document itself. He then jumps into Photoshop to start working on panels. He uses the dial to assist in some minor things like zooming. He then jumps into the application his company made for adding the “motion” parts.

    • Panos back. Partners are working with Microsoft to integrate the dial into their applications. More fluff video about people seeing the Studio and Dial for the first time. Color wheels can be shown around the dial on the screen, and it can be used to rotate and zoom the viewport. A radial menu can be presented as well. Preorders for Studio and Dial are starting. $2,999 for Studio. Limited quantities available this holiday season.

    • Satya on stage. He recaps the fluffy bits. Focus on improving technology for production over consumption. AI enhanced, trusted, those buzzwords.

    • End. Fluffy video. I’m out,

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      So apparently the base model Surface Studio will be 2999$ and it only has a an i5, 965M, 8 GB, and 1 TB hard drive. (I think solid state.) The high end configuration at 4199$ has an i7, 980M, 32 GB, and a 2 TB hybrid hard drive. (Apparently also solid state, though in that case I’m not sure what’d the hybrid refer to.)

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        To be fair, the current competitor (and industry standard for this kind of thing) is $2799. And that doesn’t include the computer part of your setup, it’s just a touch display!

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          I just asked the Microsoft ‘expert’ via text chat on their site. It’s a “Pure HardDrive. No SSD”.

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            It’s a very microsoft thing to do, to write “hard drive” as one word, in camelcase

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            I think Microsoft has spotted a few perceived Apple weaknesses and has really gone for them over the past 12-18 months. First the Surface Book, then the Linux subsystem for Windows 10 and now the Surface Studio and the accompanying software. All are clearly aimed at a certain “professional” developer/designer demographic, people who would in the past have gravitated towards Apple.

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          I can’t watch the video for some reason. I just get a black screen.

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            It works in firefox, but not chrome. There is an expired cert from jquery.com