Microsoft’s Big Tech Event Surfaces Big Surprises

Today at the Microsoft Surface event, the company unveiled a ton of tech and news on their products and services. With weeks of rumors and guesses as to what would be announced there were still plenty of surprises to be had.The new Surface book was announced in conjunction with a host of additional updates and features for Windows, Xbox, and beyond.

The bread and butter for Microsoft has always been its OS. Today’s event started out with the announcement that the next Windows 10 release, will be called “Creator’s Update.” Included in the new release will be the 3D version of Paint it had previously previewed earlier this month. Gone are the days of horribly drawn computer art, replaced with the ability to scan real world object and then bring them into a 3D environment. All of the creations can be viewed in 360 degrees using Microsoft’s Hololens AR headset. Speaking of the Hololens, Microsoft also showed off HoloTour.  The new app lets you explore and interact with places and cities around the world, although built for Hololens, it also works with other VR headsets.


In the gaming realm during the Microsoft Surface event an announcement of a new Twitch competitor for Windows 10. The service allows you to broadcast your Xbox games, complete with comments just by hitting the Windows hotkey and “G” to broadcast. Comments will appear real time and your Xbox Live friends will automatically be notified when you are streaming. In August, Microsoft acquired Beam, which looks to be the backbone of this. The Xbox One S was also mentioned when it came to audio. A free update will add Dolby Atmos playback via bitstream. It may not be a game changing update, but for audiophiles it is welcomed news.

Although Microsoft has its HoloLens AR system, VR has not been talked about much. Today that changed with the confirmation that a new line of VR headsets to bridge the gap between the Hololens computing platform and VR. HP, ASUS, Lenovo, Dell and Acer are releasing affordable VR headsets, starting at $299, to create a mixture of augmented and virtual reality experiences. These headsets will be patterned after the HoloLens which will include an internal tracking system as well as a hopefully untethered unit.

The star of the show, however, was the Surface. The game changing tablet/laptop hybrid has been lauded for its performance and versatility. The Microsoft Surface event unveiling of the Surface Book i7 will only further bolster those cheers. As the name suggests, the processor is updated to a Core i7, but you also get double the graphics performance. An additional fan with redesigned thermals allow for better and faster video without the problem of overheating. A larger battery promising up to 16 hours of battery life in laptop mode was also announced. The increased performance however does not come without a cost. The Surface Book i7 will ship in November for $2,399.

Microsoft also showed off a fancy all-in-one PC called the Surface Studio. The design is very reminiscent of Apple’s iMac product line. The Studio which has been built for creators and professionals features a 28-inch touchscreen yet comes in at less than half and inch. The display is is phenomenal, capable of pushing 13.5 million pixels, 63 percent more than a 4k display. The Studio will run Windows 10 and will work seamlessly with the upcoming Creator’s Update. The Surface Studio also included a new Surface pen for editing and marking up documents while using the Studio as well as the Surface Dial. The Surface Dial allows for unique controls of documents, videos, and dynamic features in the Office suite. While the design may bring to mind the iMac product line; a “zero-gravity hinge” proves that would be selling it short. The hinge allows you to adjust the display down to a 20 degree angle for drawing and editing. Pre-ordering is available now online at the Microsoft store for $2,999.



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