Windows 10 Creators Update and Surface Studio empower individual creativity, Surface Dial is an all-around nifty device, and every gamer can be a broadcaster – Weekend Reading, Oct. 28 edition

We’re all creators, whether it means adding a personalized emoji to a message, dreaming up a new world in “Minecraft” or reimagining a remodel of a house or office. That’s why the announcement of the next Windows 10 update, Windows 10 Creators Update, was the big news of the week, but there was plenty more. Let’s go!

Windows 10 Creators Update coming in early 2017: The free update to Windows 10 will bring 3D and mixed reality to everyone. The new Paint 3D will be an easy-to-use 3D art studio, with the new online community Remix3D.com connecting creators and creations around the world. Remix 3D also includes the ability for “Minecraft” players to share their 3D creations broadly with the Remix 3D community.

The Windows 10 Creators Update will also offer the most powerful and affordable way to experience mixed reality. HP, Lenovo, Dell, Acer and ASUS will ship the first virtual reality (VR) headsets capable of mixed reality through the Creators Update. The headsets, which will start at $299, will be equipped with built-in sensors to enable inside-out, six-degrees of freedom for simplified setup and to enable you to more easily move around your home as you experience virtual worlds, with no markers required.

New Surface Studio lets you turn your desk into a creative studio. It’s as elegant as it is inspired and inspiring. The Surface Studio, with a 28-inch PixelSense display, transforms from a workstation into a powerful digital canvas, unlocking a more natural and immersive way to create on the thinnest display ever built. With a 4.5k ultra HD screen, Surface Studio delivers 63 percent more pixels than a state-of-the-art 4k TV.

Another Surface also made headlines: The Surface Book with Performance Base. There are three models to choose from, all with sixth-generation Intel Core i7 processors, and up to 16 hours of battery life.

The all-around Surface Dial: Surface Dial is a new input device designed for the creative process, integrating with Windows 10 to work with any Surface device to deliver a faster and more intuitive way to scroll, zoom and navigate. It also enables experiences exclusive to Surface Studio, such as app-specific digital tools that let you quickly access shortcuts and move easily through your workflow. Artists, for example, can change the color or the size of their brush tips as they paint without ever moving the pen away from the screen.

All gamers can be broadcasters: With the Windows 10 Creators Update, it will be easy for anyone to become a game broadcaster or watch live gameplay using the Beam technology that is being built into Windows 10 and Xbox One. “By bringing Beam to Xbox, we’re creating more interactive gaming experiences for both the player and the viewer on Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs, allowing you to watch live game streams and give you the ability to interact in real time with broadcasters,” said Terry Myerson, executive vice president of the Windows and Devices Group.

Windows 10 Creators Update, games, broadcasting, Xbox

Updated version of Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit released: Microsoft also made news beyond the big Windows 10 and Surface announcements. The updated toolkit is a system for deep learning that is used to speed advances in areas such as speech and image recognition and search relevance. Previously known as CNTK, the toolkit was initially developed by computer scientists at Microsoft who wanted a tool to do their own research more quickly and effectively. It quickly moved beyond speech and morphed into an offering that customers, including a leading international appliance maker, and Microsoft’s flagship product groups depend on for a wide variety of deep learning tasks.

Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit, Microsoft research
Frank Seide, left, and Chris Basoglu, right, have been key to building Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit. (Photography by Scott Eklund/Red Box Pictures)

When data and IT geeks get together: PASS Summit 2016, the world’s largest technical training conference for Microsoft SQL Server and business intelligence (BI) professionals, also brought lots of announcements. Among them, Azure Analysis Services, a fully managed platform-as-a-service that enables developers and BI professionals to create BI semantic models that can power highly interactive and rich analytical experiences in BI tools such as Power BI and Excel, is in public preview. Also announced: A one-month, free trial of Azure SQL Data Warehouse is available for a limited time.

Honored for his work to fight human trafficking: On Monday at the White House, Microsoft principal researcher Chris White received the 2016 Presidential Award for Extraordinary Efforts to Combat Trafficking in Persons for his development of Memex, a suite of Internet tools to help local law enforcement agencies extract and visualize information about illicit activities, including human trafficking. White developed Memex when he was at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), before coming to Microsoft.

Microsoft research, Chris White
Chris White is a principal researcher within Microsoft’s research organization. (Photography by Scott Eklund/Red Box Pictures)

This week on the Microsoft Facebook page, we streamed the Microsoft Event in New York via Facebook Live, the first Facebook Live event on our channel, making it possible for viewers around the world to tune in for the day’s announcements. The livestream had over 6,000 viewers tuning in, generating excitement and conversation for product announcements such as the Surface Studio and Surface Dial in real-time.

Surface Dial

Not bad, for a week’s work 😉 Rest up, and we’ll see you back here next Friday for another edition of Weekend Reading.

Posted by Suzanne Choney
Microsoft News Center Staff

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