Category Archives: Cortana

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Hey Cortana, set a reminder: Harman Kardon Invoke voice-activated speaker available October 22

If you’re like me, you use Cortana to regularly add reminders, so you don’t miss anything at work or home. Which is why I’ve asked Cortana to remind me to check out the new voice-activated speaker our partners at Harman Kardon are releasing on Sunday, October 22 – the Harman Kardon Invoke with Cortana. Invoke will be available in-store and online at Microsoft Store, Best Buy, and online at HarmanKardon.com. Invoke comes in two color options, Pearl Silver (White) and Graphite (Black) and retails for $199.95 USD.
With more than 60 years of sound expertise, Harman is renowned for blending rich audio with best-in-class design. Crafted from premium materials, Invoke delivers powerful 360-degree sound from three direct-radiating woofers, three direct-radiating tweeters and two passive radiators. Invoke also features Harman’s Sonique far-field voice recognition technology with seven-microphones, ensuring that Cortana can hear you from any direction. Music services available at launch include Spotify Premium, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and we are working with Pandora to add their service in the near future.

At the heart of Invoke is Cortana, your personal digital assistant, helping you manage the competing demands of work and home so you can focus on what matters most to you. Microsoft has been on a long journey with Cortana, first on Windows 10 PC, then on Android and iOS, as well as embedding the Cortana experience in Skype on Xbox, spanning 148 million active users. We believe that your digital assistant should be available wherever you are, across your devices, and that’s why we are thrilled to bring the Cortana experience to an ambient speaker.
With Cortana on Invoke, you can voice control your music, as well as get answers to questions and connect to your Office 365 information. Invoke utilizes Microsoft’s speech recognition technology for commands and music controls, and integrates Office 365 productivity services so you can do things like, manage your schedule, check your calendar, set reminders, and more. For instance, if I have a partner meeting downtown I could ask Cortana on my Invoke where their office is, and she’d not only tell me but could send the directions to my phone in the Cortana mobile app. Or maybe I remember something I need to do when I get into work – a simple, “Hey Cortana, remind me to finish the budget report when I get to work,” will result in the reminder alerting me when I get to the office.
And it’s not just for work. I could do the same with a time-based reminder, such as, “Hey Cortana, remind me to watch the Knicks game tonight at 7pm,” and this reminder would chime on my Invoke speaker when I’m home.
With Cortana’s intelligence on Invoke, supported by the Bing knowledge graph, you can also hear the latest news and tweets, and get answers to questions; which happens a lot when I’m helping my kids with their homework – like finding out when George Washington was born.
Plus, with Skype on Invoke, you can easily stay connected with hands-free calling to your Skype and phone contacts, as well as local businesses. In addition to Skype to Skype calling, which will always be free, Invoke also features unlimited free outbound calling from the United States to mobile phones and landlines in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Guam.
You’ll also be able to control your smart home devices, including those from SmartThings, Nest, Philips Hue, Wink, and Insteon. And with the Cortana Skills Kit announced this past spring, a growing list of partners and developers are creating intelligent, personalized experiences for Cortana, including Capital One, Expedia, Fitbit, OpenTable, and others.
We’re excited to partner with Harman Kardon and bring Cortana to Invoke; adding to Cortana’s cross-device integration across Windows 10 PC, iPhone and Android, so you can stay on top of things wherever you need assistance.
This is an important step forward for Cortana, and we’ll be delivering more productivity features, such as managing your email hands-free (Office 365, Outlook.com and Gmail accounts) coming soon, as well as working with many more music, home automation, and skills partners to integrate their services with Cortana.
Make sure you ask Cortana to set a reminder for Invoke, available on October 22.
*Cortana voice activation works with select music services and home automation providers. Set up requires Cortana app for Windows 10 PC or phone (with the Windows 10 Creators Update), Android or iPhone (requires Android version 4.1.2 or higher, or iPhone 4 with iOS 8.0 or higher). 

11 Windows PCs that light up the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

The PCs we’re sharing today range in a variety of form factors and price points, so whether you’re an artist, student, or gamer, there’s a device for you. Purchasing a new Windows PC is a great way to take advantage of all the new features in the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update and Microsoft Store can help with free workshops and personalized assistance to get your PC set up. To learn more about what’s new in the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, visit this blog post.
11 Windows PCs that light up the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update
Acer Spin 5
Acer Predator 21 X
ASUS Zenbook Flip S UX370
ASUS Transformer Mini T102HA (Available at Best Buy, com or Amazon)
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 2-in-1
Dell XPS 13 2-in-1
HP Omen 15 (Available at Microsoft Store and com)
HP Spectre x360 13’’
Lenovo Yoga 920 
Lenovo Legion Y720 Tower
Samsung Galaxy Book 10’’
 

Acer Spin 5

 
Lightweight and portable, the Spin 5’s versatile, convertible form factor makes it a great platform to create and share content, while also utilizing productivity. The Spin 5 features 8th Generation Intel Core processors, up to 16GB of DDR4 memory and up to 13 hours of battery life. It also works with an optional Acer Active Stylus that offers creativity and stability through Windows Ink. (13-inch & 15-inch models starting at $799.99) Available from Acer.com

Acer Predator 21 X

The Acer Predator 21 X is packed with a 7th Generation Intel Core i7 processor, five cooling fans and dual NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 GPUs for a supreme graphics performance. This monster gaming laptop offers a curved 21-inch screen and delivers an immersive gaming experience with Tobii eye-tracking technology. Designed for the heaviest gaming needs, and equipped with native, live game streaming through Mixer in Windows 10, its processors can handle Windows multimedia entertainment and productivity needs with ease. (Starts at $8,999.99) Available from Acer.com

ASUS Zenbook Flip S UX370

ASUS ZenBook Flip S combines convenience and versatility with a 360° convertible display and a thin and lightweight body. Intel’s 7th Generation i7 allows you to sail through everyday computing tasks with ease. The FHD multitouch NanoEdge display supports an active stylus that combines a high quality visual experience with the convenience of interactivity. In addition, a fingerprint sensor allows instant, one-touch login via Windows Hello in either laptop or tablet mode. (Starts at $1,099.99) Available at Microsoft Store

ASUS Transformer Mini T102HA (Available at Best Buy, com or Amazon)

Thin, light and flexible, the ASUS Transformer Mini T102HA is packed with key Windows 10 features that help keep you productive at a value price. A built-in fingerprint reader allows for a more secure login with Windows Hello, while the included stylus with Windows Ink lets you takes notes and draw in OneNote and Sketchpad. With a detachable keyboard and stepless 170-degree kickstand, the Transformer Mini can be used as a tablet or laptop. The device is powered by Windows 10 and has an 11-hour battery. (Price starts at $384). Available at Best Buy, ASUS.com or Amazon

Dell Inspiron 15 7000 2-in-1

The new Inspiron 15 7000 2-in-1 brings powerful performance to the flexibility of a 2-in-1, all with a small footprint. A Dell Active Pen is also available for a natural feel with digital drawing, writing and note taking with Windows Ink. (13-inch models starting at $879.99 and 15-inch models starting at $849.99) Available from Dell.com

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1

 
The 13.3-inch Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 laptop offers a 360-degree hinge, making it a workhorse for productivity. Used as a laptop or a tablet, the XPS 13 2-in-1 has up to 15 hours of battery life* with FHD and Quad HD+ InfinityEdge touch display. It is compatible with Windows Hello for password-free logins, and boasts 7th Gen Intel Core processors with Dell Dynamic Power Mode, delivering short bursts of performance when you need it, all with the smallest 13-inch 2-in-1 on the planet. (13-inch model starts at $999.99) Available at Microsoft Store with a free Wacom Bamboo Ink Stylus*

HP Omen 15 (Available at Microsoft Store and com)

 
Designed to deliver an immersive gaming experience, the Omen 15 sports full HD and 4K IPS display options as well as Wide Vision HD and Intel RealSense Cameras, which enable Windows Hello. Powered by Windows 10 – complete with native, live game streaming through Mixer – and with NVIDIA GTX GeForce graphics and immersive audio, this laptop is equipped for any gaming challenge. (Starts at $879.99) Available at Microsoft Store and BestBuy.com.

HP Spectre x360 13’’

The HP Spectre x360 utilizes the best of Windows 10 with Windows Ink, Cortana** and Microsoft Edge. Whether you’re at home or on-the-go, the convertible Spectre x360 will keep you up and running with its 2.85lbs weight and up to 15 hours of battery life. The laptop optimizes Intel’s 7th Generation Core processors and the new micro-edge display bezel design that reduces the overall footprint by eliminating almost 10mm from each side of the screen. (Starts at $1,049.99) Available at HP.com

Lenovo Yoga 920 

The Yoga 920 is a lightweight, all-metal, ultra-thin device that arrives in platinum, copper or bronze color options and is available with an optional 4k display. Cortana, your personal voice-activated digital assistant, helps you get things done more easily and quickly – from up to 4 meters away, even in standby mode. The Lenovo Active Pen 2 with Windows Ink allows you to easily draw on photos and documents, add notes to a map, or highlight and markup webpages in Microsoft Edge. Windows Hello’s integrated fingerprint reader enables quick and easy biometric authentication, as well as fingerprint payments with PayPal and Visa. (Starts at $1,329) Available from Lenovo.com

Lenovo Legion Y720 Tower

Survive battlegrounds and blast through an alien invasion with the Lenovo Legion Y720 tower. Powered by Windows 10, complete with native live game streaming through Mixer, and upgradable without tools, this tower offers the complete package with fast computing, processing and graphical expertise. It is VR-capable and loaded with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 8GB graphics, giving mainstream players reliable performance. (Starts at $899.99) Available from Lenovo.com

Samsung Galaxy Book 10’’

 
The Samsung Galaxy book delivers a premium, flexible design and offers mobile professionals full PC functionality anytime, anywhere. Weighing less than 2lbs and packed with Windows 10 features, this detachable 2-in-1 is a great mix of tablet and laptop. Sporting a touchscreen that can be used with Windows Ink, you can markup, doodle or draw on website with Microsoft Edge while Cortana, your personal assistant, keeps you organized. (Starts at $629.99) Available at Microsoft Store
Now is a great time to take advantage of everything the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update has to offer with a new PC! You can also take advantage of Windows Help Me Choose, an interactive tool on Windows.com that makes it easy to find the best PC that meets your needs. To check out even more great Windows 10 PCs from our partners, and to discover what the Fall Creators Update has to offer with free demos and workshops, visit your local Microsoft Store or Microsoft.com.
*Limited-time offer
**Cortana available in select markets

IFA 2017: Acer announces gaming desktops, all-in-ones and detachables with Windows 10

These devices light up the best of the Windows 10 Creators Update, including the all-new Paint 3D app and Remix3D.com community, Windows Defender Security Center, Night light, mini view and more. They also arrive built-in with Microsoft Edge for fast and secure browsing, your digital personal assistant Cortana* and comprehensive protection with Windows Defender. With some, you can also login quickly and securely with Windows Hello using a built-in fingerprint reader or draw on your memories in the Photos app and add notes to your map route with Windows Ink.
Let’s take a closer look at these devices:
Acer expands Predator Gaming arsenal with powerful PCs and a 35-inch HDR Monitor

Powering virtual reality apps with ease and supporting over 8K UHD, the Acer Predator Orion 9000 series gaming desktops feature up to an Intel Core i9 Extreme Edition 18-core processor, up to 4-way AMD Radeon RX Vega graphics or two NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080Ti graphics in SLI. With the Windows 10 Creators Update, you can easily take advantage of unlocked frame rate, native, live game streaming with Mixer through the Game bar, DirectX 12 support, join your gaming community with Xbox Live through the Xbox app, and more.
Other features include:
Liquid cooling and Acer’s IceTunnel 2.0 keep the temperature down while the game heats up. IceTunnel 2.0 is an advanced airflow management solution that cleverly separates the system into several thermal zones, each with an individual airflow tunnel to expel heat.
Up to 4-way AMD Radeon RXVega cards to deliver near-photorealistic imagery
Up to a cutting-edge Intel Core i9 Extreme Edition 18-core processor and up to 128 GB quad-channel DDR4 memory, making computing faster and smoother than ever. Excellent connectivity includes two USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports (one Type-C and one Type-A), eight USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports (one Type-C and seven Type-A), and two USB 2.0 ports (Type-A).
Supports three M.2 slots and four PCIe x16 slots provide ample expansion for video cards.
Pricing and Availability: The Acer Predator Orion 9000 gaming desktops will be available in North America in December with prices starting at $1,999; and in EMEA in November starting at €1,999.
Acer Predator X35

This 35-inch, 21:9 monitor sports an immersive 1800 curve and a brilliant (3440 x 1440) WQHD resolution. Featuring NVIDIA G-SYNC, Acer HDR Ultra and quantum dot technologies, it also provides the best possible contrast quality with high dynamic range.
4 ms response time and high 200 Hz refresh rate combined with NVIDIA G-SYNC
Outfitted with Predator GameView, there are eight pre-set display modes to optimize visuals for different types of action.
Acer BlueLightShield technology lets you reduce blue light emissions by selecting from four different filter settings via the OSD menu.
Pricing and Availability: The Predator X35 display will be available in Q1 2018
Predator Galea 500 gaming headset

The Predator Galea 500 gaming headset puts you right inside the game, giving you the ability to hear and not just see the exact location of elements within the game. Acer TrueHarmony 3D Soundscape technology recreates the acoustic space based on the orientation of the player’s head, convincing the brain that sound is coming from a fixed direction.
Acer launches new ultraslim, convertible, and detachable devices: the Swift 5, Spin 5 and Switch 7 Black Edition
Acer also expanded its portfolio of ultraslim convertible and detachable devices powered by Windows 10 with the next generation of Swift, Spin and Switch models. The powerful additions all feature the latest 8th Generation Intel Core processors, more secure biometric technology supporting Windows Hello, and usability features that provide next-level functionality for both professional use and entertainment.
Switch 7 Black Edition

The pioneering Acer Switch 7 Black Edition is a super-stylish detachable, fanless 2-in-1 notebook for the modern professional who values mobility, performance and stylus input capabilities.
Acer’s Dual LiquidLoop technology fanless cooling system
8th Generation Intel Core i7 processor and NVIDIA GeForce MX150 graphics
Weighs less than 1.15 kg (2.5 lbs.) with the keyboard detached.
Features Acer AutoStand: a kickstand that can be auto-deployed and auto-retracted
5-inch IPS display with 2256×1504 resolution
Embedded battery-free stylus powered by Wacom EMR technology for more authentic writing and sketching experience with Windows Ink.
Supports Windows Hello with an under-glass fingerprint sensor design that allows you to login instantly with just one touch.
Pricing and Availability: The Acer Switch 7 Black Edition will be available in North America in December with prices starting at $1,699; and in EMEA in December starting at €1,999.
Swift 5 with Windows 10

The new Swift 5 with Windows 10 and 8th Generation Intel Core processors is designed for superb portability and solid performance; the elegant chassis weighs less than 1 kg, making it ideal for work on the go.
8-hour battery life and 2×2 802.11ac wireless allows you to work effectively on the go all day – even at night, thanks to the backlit keyboard.The new Swift 5 with Windows 10 and 8th Generation Intel Core processors are designed for superb portability and solid performance; the elegant chassis weighs less than 1 kg, making it ideal for work on the go.
Interactive multi-touch Full HD IPS touchscreen and narrow bezel design maximizes the viewing experience.
Premium technology provides powerful and clear audio while Skype for Business certification ensures crisp video conferencing and a great experience with Cortana.
Pricing and Availability: The Acer Swift 5 will be available in North America in December starting at $999; in EMEA in December starting at €1,099; and in China in November starting at ¥7,499.
Spin 5 with Windows 10

Lightweight and portable, the Spin 5’s versatile, convertible form factor makes it a perfect platform to create and share content.
Easy to carry around, the 13-inch model of the Spin 5 weighs in at 1.5 kg and measure in a 15.9 mm thin, while its 15-inch sibling is just over 2 kg in weight and 17.9 mm thin.
Engineered to pack a punch with 8th Generation Intel Core processors, up to 16GB of DDR4 memory, up to 13-hours of battery life, and a discrete NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 graphics option for the 15-inch model
Works with an optional Acer Active Stylus for incredible precision, offering greater control during work and increased usability through Windows Ink
Acer’s omnidirectional ExoAmp Antenna optimizes the Spin 5’s antenna position to ensure a stable wireless signal
Acer TrueHarmony, Dolby Audio Premium technology and two-front facing speakers for a crystal clear and immersive audio experience; the Spin 5 integrates four array microphones combined with far-field voice-recognition technology that allows users to access Cortana from up to four meters away. This enables them to get quick, hands-free answers, check the weather or traffic, set a reminder, get an overview of their daily schedule, and more—all just by using their voice..
Pricing and Availability: The Acer Spin 5 will be available in North America in September with both the 13-inch and 15-inch models starting at $799; and in EMEA in September with the 13-inch model starting at €899 and the 15-inch model starting at €999.
Acer pushes the boundaries of the desktop with new Aspire S24

Designed with elegance in mind, the ultra-slim Aspire S24 is all-in-one desktop has a display with a side profile of only 5.97 mm – making it Acer’s slimmest ever – a 178-degree Full HD IPS screen, and an ultra-narrow 2.7 mm bezel that provides a 90% screen-to-body ratio for more screen to see.
The wireless charging base allows you to seamlessly power their mobile device and supports wireless charging for Qi-enabled devices
The latest 8th Generation Intel Core processors with optional Intel Optane memory enables the Aspire S24 to power through everyday tasks with ease, while delivering a smooth computing experience.
Wireless connectivity powered by Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC (802.11ac 2×2 MIMO) technology provides fast and reliable network connections
1 channel subwoofer coupled with Dolby Audio Premium and Acer TrueHarmony technology the desktop for a powerful deep base audio experience
-5 to 30 degree tiltable display combined with Acer ExaColor technology for accurate colors, and BluelightShield and Flickerless technologies that may help prevent eye fatigue
Up to 256 GB SSD and 2TB HDD of storage space
Pricing and Availability: The Acer Aspire S24 will be available in North America in January 2018 starting at $999; and in EMEA in November 2017 starting at €999.
These innovative new Windows 10 devices were unveiled today at the next@acer press event held in Berlin, where the company announced a range of new devices and solutions. For more information, visit acer.com/nextatacer.
*Cortana available in select markets.

gamescom 2017: Lenovo announces new Legion gaming towers powered by Windows 10

Powered by Windows 10—the best version of Windows for gaming, these Lenovo Legion towers give PC gamers a level of customization, power, and selection that fits their needs. They arrive equipped to take advantage of unlocked frame rate, native, live game streaming with Mixer, through the Game bar, your gaming community with Xbox Live through the Xbox app, DirectX 12 support, and more.
With the Windows 10 Creators Update, you can also take advantage of the new Paint 3D app and Remix3D.com community and features including Nightlight and mini view. There’s also fast and secure browsing with Microsoft Edge, your digital personal assistant Cortana,* and comprehensive protection with Windows Defender. The Lenovo Legion Y25f Gaming Monitor completes the experience with a high-end 24.5-inch Full HD (FHD) display, giving you crystal-clear visuals and the latest in HDR support.
Let’s take a closer look at these new devices:
Lenovo Legion Y920 Tower: Game Mode (Hard)

The VR-ready Lenovo Legion Y920 Tower was designed for the most serious PC gamer. This fully-stacked machine runs on Windows 10 and houses up to 7th Gen Intel Core™ i7-7700K quad-core processors designed to run the most demanding games, from visceral first-person shooters (FPS) to atmospheric space simulators at optimum, uninterrupted speeds.

Powered by up to a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 8GB graphics card
Optional 32GB 2800Mhz CORSAIR VENGEANCE LPX overclockable DDR4 memory and optional integrated Asetek liquid cooling to overclock your CPU
Pricing and availability: Lenovo Legion Y920 Tower with CORSAIR VENGEANCE LPX overclockable DDR4 memory will be available on lenovo.com starting at $1,999.99 in October 20171. To learn more about pricing and availability in your region visit, lenovo.com.
Lenovo Legion Y720 Tower: Game Mode (Medium)

Loaded with Windows 10 and up to a 7th Gen Intel Core i7-7700, up to a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 8GB graphics and optional 16GB Intel Optane memory for fast computing, the Lenovo Legion Y720 Tower offers the critical package of processing and graphical prowess for playing the most demanding titles. Survive battlegrounds with ease and assurance, and blast through an alien invasion without a hiccup on the Lenovo Legion Y720 Tower.

Pricing and availability: Lenovo Legion Y720 Tower will be available on lenovo.com starting at $999.99 in October 20171. To learn more about pricing and availability in your region visit, lenovo.com.
Lenovo Legion Y520 Tower: Game Mode (Easy)

Up to a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 GPU and up to a 7th Gen Intel Core i7-7700 processor
Arrives with Lenovo Entertainment Hub, an app for access to a vast catalog of popular video game codes with VR upscaling on select FPS games 1
Upgrades easily if you want to swap parts – making the Lenovo Legion Y520 Tower a great introduction to PC gaming

Pricing and availability: Lenovo Legion Y520 Tower will be available on lenovo.com starting at $899.99 in October 20171. To learn more about pricing and availability in your region visit, lenovo.com.
Lenovo Legion Y25f Gaming Monitor: Game Mode (Bonus)

A 24.5-inch FHD display with a 144Hz refresh rate for sharp undistorted images brings out incredible details and textures in your favorite games
All-new HDR capabilities including 400 nits of brightness, and a near-frameless display
Incredibly fast 1ms extreme response time, equipping players for any high-octane firefight with little-to-no lag
Pricing and availability: To learn more about pricing and availability on the Lenovo Legion Y25f Gaming Monitor in your region visit, lenovo.com.
Whether you’re a seasoned gamer or new to PC gaming, Lenovo’s got you covered with the latest speedy and powerful Lenovo Legion family – experience every open world or battle arena you enter as the creators intended. Discover more at lenovo.com/gaming. All products are available on lenovo.com. 2
*Cortana available in select markets. 1 Lenovo Entertainment Hub requires Windows 10 Creators Update. 2 Prices may not include tax and do not include shipping or options and are subject to change without notice; additional terms and conditions apply. Reseller prices may vary. On-shelf dates may vary by geography and products may only be available in selected markets. All offers subject to availability. Lenovo reserves the right to alter product offerings, features and specifications at any time without notice.