Category Archives: Windows Blog

Windows Blog

Beautiful new devices from HP are coming your way this holiday season

Today, HP showed off new additions to its 2-in-1 portfolio by expanding the already robust ENVY and Pavilion lines. These new devices offer so much from great value to premium design and beauty. The good news for you is that these consumer PCs will be arriving just in time to be gifted to your favorite friends and family members this holiday season.

There are two new HP ENVY x2s, one has a 13.3-inch touchscreen and the other has a 15.6-inch touchscreen. The ENVY x2 offers the best of both worlds because you can go from notebook to tablet in seconds. The beautiful Bluetooth keyboard has a really cool fabric backing and has the option to be attached to the device or not, enabling you to work the way that is most comfortable. Music lovers can rejoice because this device has BeatsAudio to bring your music to life.

  HP ENVY X2--Front HP ENVY X2--Back

The HP Pavilion x2 is a 10-inch detachable 2-in-1 that comes at a very affordable price. It is powered by the latest Intel Atom processor, which explains why it has over 11 hours of battery life. This solid and portable device can easily be packed in a backpack or bag to tag along to the soccer field, dance class, or school with ease. You can really take advantage of the new Windows with games and other fun apps from the Windows Store.

HP Pavilion X2-Front  HP Pavilion X2-Back

If the 13.3-inch ENVY x2 is what you are after, you can snag one in the US on October 29th for $1049.99, while the 15.6-inch iteration is expected to be available on November 5th for $949.99. And last, but definitely not least, the Pavilion x2 will start hitting shelves on October 29th for $329.99.




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Catan Anytime sprouts out of preview!

Today, Catan Anytime comes out of preview to deliver a new and free online version based on the beloved board game The Settlers of Catan. Catan Anytime is the entirely new web version that is modern, easy to play, designed for touch – and available on any device.

Our development journey with the creators of Catan, Mayfair Games, and Bontom Games, has been incredible. We hope Catan fans around the world enjoy our collaboration for years to come.

Catan Anytime on devices

Thank you to all the registered users who signed up for beta and gave us valuable feedback. This feedback helped us prioritize what new functionality to develop for Catan Anytime. We understand that balanced gameplay is key to any Catan experience – whatever the platform. So to present the best online experience we welcome feedback as we progressively evolve the game and enrich the player community.

So what’s new?

The web game is a modified version of The Settlers of Catan board game. We included the achievements like Longest Road, but some of the more advanced features are yet to come. For beginners, now Catan Anytime comes with a full set of tutorials accessible at any time. And to keep the game moving faster, we reduced 4:1 bank trading to be 3:1.

Visit to get started and invite your friends through Facebook or email, and you’ll be all set to start building and settling!

Divya Kumar

Product Marketing Manager, Internet Explorer

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Lumia 830, Lumia 735, and Lumia 730 smartphones unveiled

The Microsoft Devices Group has unveiled 3 new Lumia smartphones today at IFA 2014 in Germany: the Lumia 830, Lumia 735, and Lumia 730.


The Lumia 830 is a new 5-inch affordable flagship smartphone designed to bring high-end innovations such as optical image stabilization and PureView imaging to more people. The Lumia 830 has a slim design made out of light aluminum and polycarbonate and has integrated wireless charging. It has 10-megapixel PureView camera with ZEISS optics and a really thin optical image stabilization system. The Lumia 830 will be available this month and priced around EUR 330 before taxes and subsidies*. To get more details on the Lumia 830, click here to read the Conversations blog post.


The Lumia 735 and Lumia 730 are new 4.7-inch smartphones built for Skype and selfies. They have a slim, pocketable design with a front-facing, wide-angle 5-megapixel camera perfect for Skype video calls – or selfies. These smartphones also come with a free three month Skype Worldwide subscription so that you can call your friends from all over the world. The Lumia 735 and Lumia 730 will also be available this month. The Lumia 730 with 3G Dual SIM will be priced around EUR 199 before taxes and subsidies*, and the Lumia 735 with LTE/4G and wireless charging support will be priced around EUR 219 before taxes and subsidies*. For more on the Lumia 735 and Lumia 730 – click here to read the Conversations blog post.

All three of these new Lumia smartphones come with Microsoft Office, Skype and OneDrive with 15GB of free storage.

The Microsoft Devices Group is also announcing today the Lumia Denim update for all Lumia smartphones. Lumia Denim includes the Windows Phone 8.1 Update as well as exclusive experiences for Lumia smartphones including Lumia Camera with speed improvements, 4k-quality HD video recording at 24 frames per second with Moment Capture, auto HDR and Dynamic Flash, and the latest generation imaging algorithms for capturing the best quality images even in low-light conditions. Lumia Denim will roll out initially for the Lumia 930, Lumia Icon, and Lumia 1520 smartphones. You can read more about Lumia Denim by clicking here.

New accessories for Lumia smartphones were also announced today.

*Pricing and availability varies per market.

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Lenovo announces more devices for home and work

Lenovo had another busy day at IFA in Berlin today. They just announced a refresh to their ever popular ThinkPad Helix, responded to customer request for a thinner and lighter dual mode PC by showing off the Edge 15, and they announced two new devices—the HORIZON 2S/2Ea new set of table PCs, and the ThinkCentre Tiny-in-One 23, a brand new modular all-in-one desktop.

Let’s start first with the HORIZON 2s and 2e—a pair of table PCs that are ideal for the whole family. From homework, to games, to movies, and beyond, this is a device the entire family can enjoy. The HORIZON 2s (“s” stands for slim) is 10 pounds lighter (and way easier to carry) than the original HORIZON 2. While the HORIZON 2e is a more budget friendly option boasting a 4th generation Intel Core processor and Windows 8.1.


The Edge 15 is Lenovo’s answer to customer requests for an even thinner and lighter dual mode laptop. This PC has a 15.6-inch Full HD touchscreen making it ideal for taking notes in class, surfing the web, and watching movies at home or on the go. The new Windows really brings the Edge 15 to life. You can personalize your Start screen, multitask with ease, and you can ensure that your files are always with you with OneDrive. If you are looking for a way to keep all your homework, or life organized, check out OneNote.

Edge 15

Now, let’s transition to the latest devices for work. Lenovo has made some awesome improvements in its already popular ThinkPad Helix. This detachable 2-in-1 is even thinner, lighter and has a better battery life than the previous model. Powered by Windows 8.1 Pro, you get business grade security, the ability to join a domain, and more.


And, last but not least is the ThinkCentre Tiny-in-One 23. This nifty all-in-one desktop was designed in response to customers requesting more flexibility to mix and match Lenovo monitors and Tiny PCs. Lenovo’s ThinkCentre Tiny PC, sold separately, attaches directly to the back of the 23-inch monitor. This allows for easy hardware refreshes and repairs


All of these new devices will start to become available in October. The HORIZON 2s and 2e will be priced at $949 and $749 respectively. The ThinkPad Helix will start at $999, while the Edge 15 will start at $899, and finally, the ThinkCentre Tiny-in-one 23 will start at a very compelling $279. If you want to learn more, make sure to check out Lenovo’s press release. 

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Panasonic announces the rugged 5-inch Toughpad FZ-E1 at IFA 2014

At IFA this week, Panasonic has introduced a rugged 5-inch handheld tablet powered by Windows Embedded 8.1 called the Toughpad FZ-E1. Panasonic has tested this device for resistance to impact, shock, vibration, altitude and extreme humidity. It can resist drops of up to 3m to concrete, is submersible in up to 1.5 meter of water for up to 30 minutes, and operate in temperatures ranging from -20°C to 60°C thanks to a built-in heater – meeting IP68 certification requirements. Yeah, it’s pretty rugged!


The Toughpad FZ-E1 comes powered by a Qualcomm quad core processor and has a sunlight-readable, anti-reflective HD (1280×720) 10-point capacitive display. It has a special rain-sensing feature that allows for single touch use even in pouring rain (sounds like it’ll work great here in typical Seattle weather!). In terms of wireless networking, the Toughpad FZ-E1 comes with 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi along with NFC, standalone GPS, and Bluetooth 4.0 with optional voice and data on 4G LTE/3G/GPRS. On its side, it has an integrated a Micro USB port. It has a rear 8 megapixel camera with bright LED flash, a front 1.3 megapixel camera, and comes with available configuration options for an integrated 1D/2D barcode reader and a gadget expansion area that allows enterprises to customize for the needs of their workforces. And finally – the Toughpad FZ-E1 gets up to 14 hours of battery life and comes with a quick-charging feature that can charge the battery to 50% in just an hour.

The Toughpad FZ-E1 with WiFi-only connectivity is available now starting at $1,899 (U.S.), followed by voice and data (4G LTE/3G/GPRS) enabled version in October 2014 at $1,999 (U.S.). In Europe, the Toughpad FZ-E1 will be available in November starting at Euro 1,228 or GBP 908.

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Cortana now predicts outcomes of NFL match-ups

Earlier this summer, we enabled the ability for Cortana to predict the outcomes of soccer matches from Brazil through the magic of Bing. Cortana ended up predicting a near perfect bracket in the knockout rounds. Now, Bing is shifting gears for their prediction technology to American football – just in time for the start of the 2014 football season tomorrow. Bing will now predict the results of NFL match-ups. And we’re enabling this prediction behavior in Cortana. All you need to do is ask Cortana “Who will win Team A or Team B?” and she will provide an answer. If your device is running Windows Phone 8.1 – give it a shot!


Want to know more about how the predictions are made? Click here to read this blog post from Walter Sun from the Bing Predicts Team.

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Toshiba announces new devices at IFA 2014

Toshiba has announced a few new devices today at IFA including a new 7-inch tablet, two new convertible PCs, and a new PC for business customers.

Encore Mini:


The Encore Mini is a new 7-inch tablet that comes with Windows 8.1 with Bing and free 1-year subscription of Microsoft Office 365 Personal. It comes powered by an Intel Atom Z3735G processor and 1GB of RAM with up to 7 hours of battery life. The storage capacity of the Encore Mini can be expanded with a microSD card with up to 128GB of additional storage and you get 1TB of OneDrive online storage with the Office 365 subscription that comes with the device. The Encore Mini also comes with a 2 megapixel rear facing webcam and 0.3 megapixel front facing webcam – great for video calls with friends and family with Skype. Its design is ergonomic and optimized for portrait mode. Its small size makes it a great device for use at home reading on the couch or out and about reviewing documents and doing some work.

The Encore Mini is now available for $119.99 (U.S.) at major retailers including online and direct from Toshiba on It available in Germany, France, and the UK later this year.

Satellite Radius 11 and Satellite CL10-B:


The Satellite Radius 11 is Toshiba’s first 11.6” convertible. It comes with Windows 8.1 and has a special ‘gear type’ 360 degree hinge that gives the device five different modes for a variety of ways to consume content: laptop mode, tablet mode, audience mode, presentation mode, and tabletop mode. When the keyboard is folded back 180 degrees, the keyboard will become disabled to prevent the keys from being hit while being held. It has 500GB of storage for all your documents, photos, and videos.


The Satellite CL10-B is a compact laptop. It also supports touch and comes with Windows 8.1 with Bing and Microsoft Office 365 Personal. It has 32GB eMMC storage but with the Office 365 subscription that comes with the device, you also get 1TB of OneDrive online storage.

Both devices are designed with mobility in mind so they are super light and sleek looking. Both have 11.6-inch HD (1366 x768) displays with 10-point multitouch. They both come powered by an Intel Celeron processor with the option of an Intel Pentium processor on the Satellite Radius 11. The Satellite Radius 11 comes with 4GB of RAM, while the Satellite CL10-B comes with 2GB of RAM. Both have a USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 port as well as a full size HDMI out port. They also have a SD/SDHC media slot too. And they have stereo speakers enhanced by DTS Sound.

The Satellite Radius 11 and Satellite CL10-B will be available in Europe later this year.

Satellite Pro R50-B:


The Satellite Pro R50-B is designed for small and medium sized businesses. It has a non-reflective 15.6 HD (1366×768) display and comes powered with up to a 4th generation Intel Core i5 processor with up to 8GB of RAM. It’s a thin laptop measuring only 24mm and weighs only 2.3kg. It has features specifically for useful for business customers like Trusted Platform Module (TPM) and offers further data protection with a 3D sensor for the hard drive which locks the hard drive in case of sudden movement, drops or shocks and has plenty of storage with the choice of a 1TB hard drive or 500GB high-performance hard drive. It also has 3 USB ports – 2 of which are USB 3.0 – and a SD memory card slot. For businesses looking at new laptops – definitely add the Satellite Pro R50-B to the list!

The Satellite Pro R50-B is available now in Europe.

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Acer shows off new flexible devices at IFA 2014

Today, Acer announced a myriad of new convertible PCs from IFA 2014 in Berlin. These devices will empower you to work or surf the way that is most comfortable to you. The expanded Acer Aspire Switch family now includes a refresh to the 10.1-inch series, and a brand new 11.6-inch model. Acer also announced the Aspire R 13 and R 14 Series, which have multiple modes of use.

Let’s first start with the Aspire Switch 11 Series. This nifty 2-in-1 device has a detachable hinge and can be used as a tablet or notebook and everything in between. With Corning Gorilla Glass 3, you have excellent protection from scratches. The Chiclet keyboard is easy to use, and ideal for typing out emails or working on homework.

The Aspire Switch 11 comes in two flavors. The Aspire Switch SW5-171 was created with power users in mind. It has a full HD 1080p display, Intel Core i5 processor, 4 GB of memory and up to 128 GB of storage. If you don’t need the extra power and storage, then the Aspire Switch SW5-111 might be the model for you. It is powered by an Intel Atom processor, has 2 GB of memory and up to 64 GB of storage (if you need more, just use OneDrive) and has 2 USB ports for extra connectivity.

As_SW5-171_27        Aspire Switch 11_front_detach_Win

The Aspire Switch 10 Series now has a new addition to the family, the SW5-012. It has a screen ideal for movies and is constructed out of Corning Gorilla Glass 3, just like the Switch 11. You can manage your finances with the app, watch Netflix, plan your next trip with TripAdvisor and so much more with apps from the Windows Store. It has an impressive battery life of 7 hours (for Full HD screens) meaning that you can safely fly from Seattle to Miami without having to recharge.

Aspire Switch 10_two views

Now let’s transition to the Acer Aspire R series. The Aspire R 13 measures less than an inch thin and can be used in a total of six different ways—Notebook, Ezel, Stand, Pad, Tent and Display. It is available with a 13.3-inch WQHD or Full HD touchscreen that is immersive and intuitive. There is also an optional Acer Active Pen that can be used for taking notes (be sure to try OneNote), drawing and more.

Aspire R13_left facing_Ezel_Win Aspire R13_tablet_Win

The Aspire R 14 features a 360 degree dual-torque hinge that enables four modes of use—notebook, display, tent and pad. It has a 14-inch display and offers several different configurations, so that you can get the device that best meets your needs.

Aspire R14_four modes

To find out more about pricing and availability in your market, please visit Acer’s website.


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ASUS announces the EeeBook X205 at IFA 2014

Today at IFA 2014, ASUS has announced the EeeBook X205 – an affordable 11.6-inch laptop with Windows 8.1 with Bing priced at just $199 (U.S.). The EeeBook X205 comes powered by an Intel Atom quad-core processor and features InstantGo (previously known at Connected Standby) giving it an almost-instant resume from sleep mode with up 8 hours of battery life. It’ll run Microsoft Office smoothly as well as other desktop apps and apps from the Windows Store.

Asus X205TA Wht Angle11

The EeeBook X205 has a compact and ergonomic design for people constantly on-the-go – like students for example. It weighs less than 1kg and has a full-size, one-piece seamless chiclet keyboard with 1.6mm of key travel for comfortable typing. It also has a 36% larger touchpad compared to the ones found on the 14-inch ASUS laptop models. And the touchpad uses Smart Gesture technology that supports touch gestures in Windows 8.1.

The EeeBook X205 will come in four colors – black, white, gold, and red – and available in the U.S. and Europe starting in November. .

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Lenovo launches new gaming PCs

Today, Lenovo announced two new devices for all you gamers out there. The Y70 Touch is Lenovo’s first 17-inch touch laptop, while the ERAZER X315 is the latest addition to their desktop gaming lineup.

The Y70 Touch boast loads of power thanks to the Intel Core i7 processor and NVIDIA graphics. These powerful components enable games and movies to come to life. And, like I mentioned before, this a 17-inch touchscreen that is Full HD too. With the Y70 Touch, you also get 5 hours of battery life, which is very impressive considering the screen size and components that it has to power.


The ERAZER X315 is a more affordable gaming PC and can have up to 2TB of storage. The new chassis has front LED lighting and a body intended to mirror a knight’s armor.


The Y70 Touch will be available beginning in September with models starting at $1,299, and ERAZER X315 will be available in November starting at $599. If you would like more information about these two new gaming rigs from Lenovo, please check out Lenovo’s press release.

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