Tag Archives: News

Microsoft Surface Hub has begun shipping to business customers

Our Surface team is incredibly passionate about helping people be more productive. We live and breathe this mission every day.

One thing that we believe very, very deeply is that the best work is done by teams. People who get together, challenge each other, and work together can accomplish so much more than people working individually. And yet there wasn’t a device designed for teams to use together.

So we set out to change that. We set out to build technology to unlock the power of teams much better. And we got customers, partners, our software team, and our hardware team together to build a first-of-its-kind new solution, Surface Hub.

Surface Hub

We have built Surface Hub as a group. We have been building our Surface products with Surface Hub. Even more importantly, we have seen how innovative businesses and partners have embraced this opportunity to pioneer new ways for groups to work together. They have been our inspiration.

I can tell you confidently, our Surface team works together better because we have Surface Hub. Our early Surface Hub business partners can tell you confidently that they work together better with Surface Hub. This is why we built Surface Hub. And this is why we are so proud to announce that Surface Hub has begun shipping to business customers. We are excited to see how Surface Hub will bring people together to work, create and learn in new ways.

We are not just releasing a powerful device. We are releasing a team-empowering solution that will make meetings more productive, modernize workflows, and let people engage with data much better. We designed Surface Hub from the ground up for ink and touch, and harnessed the best collaboration and security features of Windows 10, Skype for Business, Office, OneNote and Universal Windows apps. We’ve seen how businesses and disciplines like healthcare, manufacturing, automotive, consulting, defense, finance, education, and design can bring Surface Hub into workspaces to bring a new level of innovation and efficiency to their teams. They can reduce costs and improve effectiveness, compared to legacy AV and presentation technology.

In short, we’ve seen the future of group productivity as we have built this with our partners and customers. We couldn’t be more excited about the future with this new category of product. We also can’t thank our customers and partners enough for their inspiration and contributions in making this product with us.

Surface Hub in use in healthcare.

Surface Hub will help transform businesses and teams

Companies like AstraZeneca, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and SHoP Architects have seen that Surface Hub will improve how people work together and engage customers. We’ve watched the magic that happens as Surface Hub fundamentally transforms not only conference rooms and huddle-spaces, but also factory floors, lecture halls, hospitals, and executive offices and boardrooms.

For example, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia will be using a Qwaltec developed application on Surface Hub as a command-and-control center for doctors and medical staff, to manage scheduling and replace outdated whiteboards. The hospital is calling it a “game changer,” not only because it will help the hospital save time and money, but also because Surface Hub helps connect the entire care team to their patients with up-to-date information.

Read more about how other organizations are using Microsoft Surface Hub, including Barlit Beck, the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine and Case Western Reserve University, European School of Management and Technology, and SHoP Architects.

Surface Hub will save companies money

In a recent Total Economic Impact study commissioned by Microsoft, Forrester Consulting* worked with five Surface Hub early adopter customers to outline the costs, benefits and risks for implementing Surface Hub in a business environment. This resulted in benefits of more than $850,000 (3 year NPV**) based on savings in device deployment and management costs, avoided printing and device purchase costs, and improved sales.

Companies that conduct meetings in rooms and collaboration spaces with a Surface Hub installed experienced a 75% improvement in remote attendee setup and post-meeting productivity, saving about 15-20 minutes per hour-long meeting spent on setting up video or screen-sharing services and completing meeting notes. Organizations saw decreased printing costs of up to $9,000 in the first year, using Surface Hub with pen and touch-enabled screen to make changes and take group notes instead of paper copies. Companies that conducted sales meetings using Surface Hub as a platform for presentations and collaboration with clients estimate a 20% sales improvement with those clients.

Surface Hub in use in aviation.

Surface Hub fits into many businesses

We know all companies have different needs and workplaces. To customize their experience, Surface Hub customers can easily visit the Windows Store for Business and download a variety of commercial-grade Windows 10 apps to help the business like viewing 3D modeling and CAD files, analyzing videos, facilitating brainstorm and voting sessions, and more. Some examples of applications that can be used on Surface Hub include: Buzz Radar; FluidMath; Mediator by Interknowlogy; MURAL; Power BI; Sensavis The 3D Classroom; Portal Mindmap by HeadCandy; Stormboard for Surface Hub; TechSmith Loop; SharpCloud; tuServ by Black Marble; Virbeya; and XOS ThunderCloud. And, as a Windows 10 device, the Surface Hub benefits from Windows Update for Business, which provides flexibility in managing when and how updates are deployed.

If you are interested in purchasing Surface Hub for your business and for more details about Surface Hub, please visit https://www.microsoft.com/microsoft-surface-hub.

I couldn’t be more proud to announce this milestone for our team, customers, and partners. We can’t wait to see what people, teams and businesses will do with Surface Hub. This is an important moment, and just the beginning.

* All data represents values seen by a composite organization composed of five Surface Hub early adopter customers . The Total Economic Impact™ Of Microsoft Surface Hub is a February 2016 commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Microsoft.”

** Net Present Value (NPV) is a summary calculation that takes into account up-front investment costs, annual costs, and annual benefits.  A positive NPV indicates an investment that should be undertaken.

Compete with your Facebook friends using new social features on Microsoft Band

New Microsoft Band social features enable you to reach your fitness goals with healthy competition.

When it comes to Facebook and fitness, the two almost go hand in hand. Your friends motivate you, they challenge you, and you have fun inspiring each other! Microsoft Band & Health’s new Social Challenges and Leaderboards help you get motivated, have fun, share your accomplishments and even take each other on in head to head fitness challenges – all in the name of health.

Challenge your friends and achieve more together
Connecting Microsoft Band with Facebook

In the Microsoft Health mobile app, connect your Microsoft Health and Facebook accounts to see your friends who also have connected accounts. If someone has not done so, you can invite them right from the app.

With Social Challenges and Leaderboards, create challenges for steps, cardio minutes, longest run or bike ride between you and your Facebook friends who also have a Microsoft Band. Challenges can be one, three, five or seven days.

To see who deserves the bragging rights, check your friends’ daily activity on Microsoft Health’s Leaderboard to compare your standing and get motivated.

No Microsoft Band? Never fear! You can still compete with each other for steps or calories burned through the Microsoft Health app, on your iOS, Android or Windows Phone.

Microsoft Health leaderboardFriends don’t let friends skip workouts

Social Challenges and Leaderboards is more than a cool new feature – we know exercising with friends has tangible benefits to improving fitness outcomes. We hope the friendly competition will keep you motivated and decrease the chances of hitting that snooze button or missing a workout.

With this new feature, invite a group of friends to partake in the fun. When you’re particularly proud of an awesome workout or a great night’s sleep, remember that you can share your run, bike, or sleep summaries on social media. Friends can review your data in the public dashboard if you choose.

It doesn’t end with one successful challenge, though; the next one is right around the corner. Look for the new Social Challenges and Leaderboards coming your way over the course of the next week.  We can’t wait to hear about your accomplishments!

Microsoft HoloLens and Lowe’s, working to redefine your next home renovation

Today, we’re thrilled to announce that Microsoft HoloLens and home improvement company, Lowe’s are partnering in an effort to redefine how people think about home renovation – starting with the kitchen.

Hologram experience at Lowe's.

Lowe’s has a long history of helping people reinvent spaces, quite literally, from the ground up. And home improvement is an incredibly visual undertaking. It can be difficult to conceptualize a full-scale remodel using just sample squares and paint swatches. We were excited to partner with Lowe’s to help reinvent visualization and design in a whole new way, using holograms.

Using HoloLens, Lowe’s is providing customers in select pilot stores with a new way to experience home improvement. Lowe’s is using HoloLens to demonstrate a variety of design options for kitchen cabinetry, countertops, appliances and features like backsplashes, in a visually-rich and interactive way. Lowe’s customers will be able to experience a holographic representation of a completely new kitchen, adjust finishes and options instantly, and share their designs easily online.

Now people can view, in life-like realism, large items like cabinets, appliances and countertops in size and scale with incredibly high-definition options and detailed finishes. The holographic details are rich and allow users to even see the differences between shiny chrome appliances versus matte brushed aluminum options. From within the nearly empty square frame of a showroom kitchen, customers can completely change the look and feel of that space – including adjusting the size and shape of an island, and viewing virtual design options against physical counter stools. This mixed reality solution was important, so that customers can remain within the physical kitchenette and view options and adjustments to that existing physical space, alongside physical options, in the form of holograms. A miniature hologram kitchen allows for a bird’s eye perspective of the kitchen.

For Lowe’s, it brings customers a new way to experience full-scale design and appliance options while maximizing precious floor space in the store.

Lowe’s can quickly and affordably show an array of options that can be digitally refreshed with far less impact than what it would take to replace tile or cabinetry samples. In-store designers, spouses or friends can view what the customer is seeing – and changing in real time – through a hand-held Surface tablet.

Not a distant future: It all starts here and now

This implementation is a new, innovative way that Lowe’s is enhancing the customer experience. This month, Lowe’s is piloting its HoloLens-powered kitchen remodel demonstration in-store, in the greater Seattle area. From there, Lowe’s will begin piloting in-store in Raleigh, North Carolina, not far from its headquarters. Customers will be able to rethink home renovation using the power of holograms.

Whereas kitchens and showrooms are just the beginning, we imagine that a solution like this would be an ideal way to view renovation options in individual homes. In the same way that people often place tape or cardboard outlines of new furniture in their living rooms to properly assess size and scale relative to physical options – imagine a more high-quality, easily modifiable replacement to that task, powered by holograms. Imagine a view of your custom kitchen, within your existing kitchen space or reviewing options for a brand new dining room table and chairs without ever leaving home.

As a reminder, we announced last month that the Microsoft HoloLens Development Edition begins shipping on March 30th of this year. Developers can apply to purchase a device at www.hololens.com/developmentedition. Interested commercial customers can learn more about HoloLens on our website, and should connect with their Microsoft account representative for more information on volume ordering and the many ways holograms can change the way companies do business today.

Surface Pro 4 Type Cover with Fingerprint ID available for pre-order in 26 new markets

It’s been a great year for Windows, and it’s clear that people and businesses are excited about Windows 10. We’ve heard from a lot of customers that they really love the convenience and security of Windows Hello, which allows them to log into their device with just a look or a touch. Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 are equipped with Windows Hello cameras, but a lot of our Surface Pro 3 customers want to use this feature as well.

In October, we announced the Surface Pro 4 Type Cover with Fingerprint ID, which allows you to log in with your fingerprint on your Surface Pro 4 or Surface Pro 3. Today, we’re pleased to announce that the Surface Pro 4 Type Cover with Fingerprint ID is now available for pre-order through MicrosoftStore.com, Surface partner retailers and Authorized Device Resellers in 26 additional markets, including Austria, Australia, Belgium, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Korea, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand and the United Kingdom.

Surface Type Cover with Fingerprint ID

The Surface Pro 4 Type Cover with Fingerprint ID is the next generation of Type Cover, offering the same premium features as the Surface Pro 4 Type Cover, including the redesigned mechanical keyboard with optimal key spacing for fast and fluid typing, and an enlarged glass trackpad for precision control and navigation. The Fingerprint ID feature gives you with the added benefit of a fingerprint scanner for Windows Hello support.

We love the Surface Pro 4 Type Cover with Fingerprint ID for what it brings to both the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Pro 3—better typing and more security to instantly upgrade any device. Pre-order yours today!

– Surface Team

Introducing first ever experiences for the Microsoft HoloLens Development Edition

I am super excited about today’s announcement that the Microsoft HoloLens Development Edition is available for pre-order. We set out on a mission to deliver the world’s first untethered holographic computer and it is amazing to finally be at this point in time where developers will be receiving the very first versions so they can start building their own holographic experiences.

MSHoloLens_MixedRealitySpace_08516_3x2_RGB

While we have been dreaming and delivering holographic experiences since we announced last year, nothing is more exciting to me than seeing what developers dream up when the Microsoft HoloLens Development Edition starts shipping next month.

With HoloLens, we are committed to providing the development community with the best experience possible. In order to help get developers started creating experiences for HoloLens, we’ve provided a number of great resources. First of all, there is a complete set of documentation provided to developers both by the people who have created the platform and by the people who have been building holographic experiences. We want to share all of our holographic knowledge with developers so they can start bringing their holographic dreams to reality as easily as possible. We have also provided a host of tutorial videos to help people along. All of the documentation and videos can be found at dev.windows.com/holographic.

We also have provided information on how to create holographic apps as Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps. We want to make sure that each of the holographic apps you build are able to capitalize on the enormous success and fast adoption of Windows 10.

As a developer, I believe the documentation and tutorial videos will be instrumental in making holographic development as delightful as the holograms themselves. But nothing illustrates key development strategies and best practices like being able to see and experience a comprehensive portfolio of actual holographic apps. It is with this in mind that we have provided for developers a free portfolio of holographic experiences for people to enjoy.

These experiences are available to all developers at no cost in the Windows Store and represent the development knowledge and expertise our teams have acquired over years of working on this holographic platform. Each of these experiences have been delivered to highlight unique capabilities of HoloLens and to illustrate for developers how they can be used in every day applications. It is our hope that these example applications can be used as a jumping off point for how any developer can create amazing 3D content for HoloLens.

The first is HoloStudio. It’s the first program of its kind, allowing people to easily create 3D in 3D – at real-world scale. We are hopeful that this application will easily allow any developer to envision and create the holograms they need for their own applications. But HoloStudio also shows how to use the HoloLens interaction model of gaze, gesture, and voice. The interactions needed to create detailed holographic models push the platform’s ability to make interacting in 3D natural and we believe this application will show high quality examples of how to make this simple for customers. HoloStudio also allows for integration with OneDrive, and easily exports to 3D print or Sketchfab.

Our Development Edition also runs Skype enhanced to allow people to communicate using holograms! We believe Skype is an important experience to highlight for developers for two reasons. First, it shows a best in class example of how you can build a holographic application that can be enjoyed by people who don’t have a HoloLens. Skype on HoloLens allows people running Skype on any Windows device to interact in the holographic world. This application will show how holograms can be used for remote collaboration and training in a way previously impossible. This type of communication has enormous potential in both the consumer and business world. Secondly, it will allow developers to communicate with each other using the holographic medium to share development methods and seek the advice of others. With Skype, you can see the holograms the other person is seeing and you can use holograms to illustrate helpful techniques or development approaches. It is our hope that the holographic development community will be just that – a community. We are all defining the future of holograms together. Skype on the Development Edition will allow us all to stay connected and help each other build our holographic applications. I look forward to seeing you on a holographic Skype call soon.

As developers, we have experimented extensively to determine the best mix of the real world and the digital world in the space of mixed reality. An experience like Skype heavily indexes in the real world – allowing the holograms to be instrumental highlights in your space. But we also wanted to provide developers with a more immersive experience that shows the unique capabilities Microsoft HoloLens has as a platform in a digitally immersive application. It is with this in mind that we bring you HoloTour. On the Development Edition, HoloTour allows people to transport to a different location and experience it like they are really there. You see high-resolution 360-degree panoramic displays of places like Rome and Machu Picchu. HoloTour highlights two unique capabilities of HoloLens. Being untethered, HoloLens allows you to enjoy a virtual trip by actually walking around the location. While immersive, the experience still embraces mixed reality, as it allows you to physically walk around spaces and get up close to objects while remaining untethered from a PC, phone or other device. HoloTour is also a showcase for the spatial sound capabilities of this platform. When you are walking around Rome, the sounds of the city surround you – just like you were actually there. It is incredibly realistic and has to be heard to be believed.

Gaming is clearly an exciting and lucrative genre of content on any development platform. Having been a gamer my whole life, and a game developer all of my adult life, it is an area of passion for me as a developer. For the HoloLens Development Edition, we have delivered 3 unique examples of mixed reality games that demonstrate the elements of holographic gameplay that no other platform can deliver.

The first is called Fragments. This is a gaming experience I am particularly proud of. Fragments is a mixed reality crime drama that unfolds in your own environment. Gamers are able to investigate clues and solve crimes that are seemingly taking place in their own living rooms. As a holographic platform highlight, Fragments demonstrates how creators can build characters and storylines that drive a higher level of emotional engagement and attachment than you can with any other medium. Trust me, the first time one of our Fragments characters comes in to your home, sits down on your sofa, and strikes up a conversation with you it is an unforgettable experience. But this game also taught us something unexpected about mixed reality. Fragments blurs the line between the digital world and the real world more than any other experience we built. When your living room has been used as the set for a story, it generates memories for you of what digitally happened in your space like it was real. It is an experience that bridges the uncanny valley of your mind and delivers a new form of storytelling like never before.

We have also built an incredibly delightful platform game called Young Conker. Young Conker is unique because it takes traditional platform gaming mechanics and sets them loose in your real world environment as the gameplay level. This creates gameplay that can only be done in mixed reality. One of the most exciting things we discovered with Young Conker is how unique the gameplay is based on where you play. Unlike with traditional video games, where people play the same digitally created levels – Young Conker tailors each of the levels you play to your real world. This means every person gets a unique gameplay experience since each gamers real world environment is unique. It is amazing how different the play experience feels based on playing the game in your living room versus your kitchen or your bedroom. Even starting the game from a different position in a single room creates an entirely new gameplay dynamic. Young Conker brings to life a focus on fun gaming mechanics that, as a game developer, is delightful to me. Since the environments are real world ones instead of digitally created, it puts the development focus on making the gaming mechanics fun. Plus, as a developer, mixed reality games are much easier to make. You don’t need large teams creating assets. The assets already exist in the real world. You can create a world of endless and unique gameplay based on the core of what makes games fun – the gameplay!

Both Fragments and Young Conker were created in partnership with Asobo Studio. Asobo Studio is well known in the gaming community for their creativity, their ability to deliver showcase experiences around new technologies, and their ability to deliver emotionally engaging gameplay. It was important to us to co-develop part or our initial holographic experiences with a partner so we could put the Microsoft HoloLens platform to the test. Working with Asobo Studio gave us key insights around how to fine tune our work with the platform for developers including improvements around our holographic emulator, our documentation, and the need to provide the development community with critical example applications that you will now get to enjoy. Asobo Studio has been at the forefront of holographic development from the beginning and the growing pains we shared together hopefully has made the overall development experience easier for everyone. For that Asobo, we thank you!!

The third gaming experience available to all developers in the Windows Store is called RoboRaid. Previously codenamed Project X-Ray, RoboRaid started as a passion project inside our development team. The basics of RoboRaid were built during our team’s “wacky week” where we let our developers build anything with holograms they want. Within a week, a small group of developers had an enormously compelling 1st person holographic shooter up and running. RoboRaid has you defending your own home against an alien invasion. It is a highlight of how our key holographic platform features can be used in gaming. It uses your real world as the environment. Nothing adds urgency to 1st person shooter gameplay like seeing alien robots breaking through the walls of your own home. It uses spatial sound as a huge feature of the game. When you hear walls crumbling behind you it is impossible to not spin around and defend your turf. It   highlights how to use our gaze, gesture, and voice input model in a fast and frenetic gameplay experience. We learned a lot as holographic developers building and playing this game and we hope you do the same. RoboRaid was created by a team of 8 people over the course of 12 weeks. It shows how even a small development team can build a holographic showcase people will love.

Finally, starting this summer, developers will be able to experience a completely new holographic storytelling medium for the Development Edition that we call Actiongram. This experience was designed for creative coders and content creators, providing what we think is the most amazing way to tell digital stories that might otherwise be impractical or impossible. Actiongram uses mixed reality capture (MRC) to blend holographic content into real world settings, allowing anybody to create emotionally compelling and humorous videos. These are videos that previously could only be created using expensive effects packages by people with extensive 3D training. Now, anybody can create their own mixed reality videos!! We will be delivering new content for Actiongram regularly so that you can continually express yourself in this holographic medium. We are incredibly excited to see how people use this new storytelling tool to tell their own personal stories.

We are thrilled to be able to offer such a variety of experiences with the Microsoft HoloLens Development Edition. Building these experiences has been a labor of love for all of us. I speak for our entire development team when I say we could think of nobody we would want enjoying these experiences more than the developers who have bought the Microsoft HoloLens Development Edition. I could not dream of a more exciting moment in time than the first time I boot up my personal HoloLens and see one of your holographic experiences available to me in the Windows Store. As thrilled as I have been to be at the forefront of holographic computing, it is clear that as a development platform we are just scratching the surface of what the world can do with holograms. Nothing we can create here at Microsoft is as powerful or creative as the imagination of the worldwide development community. We hope you are excited about the potential of holograms. We look forward to determining the future of holographic computing with you. I truly wish you have as much fun making your own holographic experiences as we did creating the Microsoft HoloLens Development Edition for you.

If you ever have any development questions you want answered, feel free to reach out to me on twitter @KudoTsunoda. Let’s build the future together!!

Kudo Tsunoda

Announcing Microsoft HoloLens Development Edition open for pre-order, shipping March 30

Just over one year ago, we introduced Microsoft HoloLens to the world. It was exciting to see the response to our unveil of the first and only fully untethered holographic computer. We’ve spent the past year focused on connecting with developers and commercial customers to imagine our holographic future together.

Microsoft HoloLens Development Edition

And we’ve made a lot of progress. Thousands of developers have experienced HoloLens first hand and have contributed ideas to the ecosystem through programs like “Share Your Idea”. Our developer roadshows were fully booked across all eleven cities within the first 90 minutes of being made available. The enthusiasm we are seeing is exciting! We have introduced new partners like Volvo Cars, Autodesk Fusion 360 and have continued to make progress in our partnerships with Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Clinic, Trimble, and NASA. I am happy to report NASA is mission operational with the Mars OnSight project we announced jointly on January 21st of last year, using HoloLens to help explore the surface of Mars. HoloLens is also very proudly in-use by astronauts in space after NASA successfully delivered HoloLens to the International Space Station to aid in its Project Sidekick work.

I’m thrilled to announce that starting today, developer applicants will start receiving invitations to purchase the Microsoft HoloLens Development Edition – which will begin shipping on March 30th. Today represents a monumental step forward. This is the first step in our journey to consumers. A step focused on our commercial partnerships and on supporting developers, who will help pave the way to consumer availability with amazing and new holographic experiences.

The future of technology will not be confined to just two dimensions – our future interaction with technology will more closely mirrors our real world. Technology coexisting in our real, three-dimensional world, beyond screens and pixels. We believe that the future is holographic, and as a result, we will continue to empower the developers who will help bring that future to life. The investments that developers have made in our Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps will carry forward. With Windows, holograms are Universal Windows apps and all Universal Windows apps can be made to work on Windows holographic. Similarly, holographic apps in the Windows Store can be monetized in the same way that all other UWP apps are today.

HoloLens is an amazing Windows 10 device, and the APIs responsible for holographic computing are already available in Windows 10. Starting today, developers will have access to documentation, and to the developer community, that will help them create amazing experiences. Developers should go to dev.windows.com/holographic for guides and detailed tutorials. Additional development tools that include Visual Studio projects and a HoloLens emulator will be released when HoloLens devices start shipping to customers on March 30. The emulator will allow developers to test holographic apps on their PC without a physical HoloLens and comes with a HoloLens development toolset – to help developers who haven’t yet received their devices get started right away.

The Microsoft HoloLens Development Edition

HoloLens is fully untethered and self-contained. It’s the only device that enables holographic computing natively with no markers, no external cameras, no wires, no phone required, and no connection to a PC needed. And it’s a Windows 10 device – the interface is familiar, and connected by the power of a unified ecosystem of Windows devices.

The device consists of multiple environment understanding sensors and it’s powered by a custom-built Microsoft Holographic Processing Unit (HPU) and an Intel 32-bit architecture. The HPU is custom silicon that allows HoloLens to understand gestures and gaze while mapping the world all around you, all in real time.

HoloLens has see-through holographic lenses that use an advanced optical projection system to generate multi-dimensional full-color holograms with very low latency so you can see holographic objects in your world. The key to a great holographic experience is holograms that are light point rich, i.e., they have a high holographic density and are pinned, or anchored, to the world around you. To achieve this, HoloLens has been designed for optimal holographic density of 2.5K radiants. The more radiants and light points there are, the brighter and richer the holograms become.

HoloLens contains advanced sensors to capture information about what you’re doing and the environment you’re in. The built-in cameras also enable you to record mixed reality captures (MRC) — HD pictures and video of the holograms in the world around you that you can share with others even when they don’t have a HoloLens.

With HoloLens you can create and shape holograms with gestures, communicate with apps using your voice, and navigate with a glance. HoloLens understands your gestures, gaze, and voice, enabling you to interact in the most natural way possible. With spatial sound, HoloLens allows you to hear holograms from anywhere in the room, even if they are behind you.

The device also supports Bluetooth 4.1 – helping enable accessories like the clicker that ships with your HoloLens device.

Developers who purchase HoloLens will have immediate access to hundreds of UWP apps through the Windows Store – great and familiar apps like OneDrive, Maps, Remote Desktop, People, Movies & TV, Groove Music and Microsoft Office apps. The Microsoft HoloLens Development Edition also gives developers access to a showcase of holographic app experiences to help get them started. These experiences are designed to demonstrate what the device can do, and how it operates, in order to inspire developers to create incredible things. Check out Kudo Tsunoda’s blog post on experiences to learn more.

Want to start creating? If you haven’t already done so, visit www.hololens.com/developmentedition to apply now for the Microsoft HoloLens Development Edition. Devices start shipping in the US and Canada on March 30th at a price of $3,000.

I’m really excited to start this journey with you. This platform was created for you, the dreamers, the creators, the Windows developers. As we start this journey into the holographic landscape don’t ever hesitate to reach out with questions you want answered. Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter @akipman.  The next few months are going to be a journey to remember and I look forward to sharing it with you!

Alex Kipman

Microsoft HoloLens in space: Making science fiction (mixed) reality


In December, a shuttle resupply mission successfully reached the International Space Station. Among the cargo were two Microsoft HoloLens devices for use as a part of NASA’s Sidekick project. The goal of Sidekick is to enable station crews with assistance when and where they need it. According to NASA, this new capability could reduce crew training requirements and increase the efficiency at which astronauts can work in space.

We were thrilled to see some early pictures today of astronaut Scott Kelly with HoloLens at the International Space Station!

Scott Kelly using Microsoft HoloLens at the international space station.

To provide a little background on the project, Sidekick has two modes of operation. The first is “Remote Expert Mode,” which uses Skype, to allow a ground operator to see what a crew member sees, provide real-time guidance, and draw annotations into the crew member’s environment to coach him or her through a task. Until now, crew members have relied on written and voice instructions when performing complex repair tasks or experiments.

The second mode is “Procedure Mode,” which augments standalone procedures with animated holographic illustrations displayed on top of the objects with which the crew is interacting. This capability could lessen the amount of training that future crews will require and could be an invaluable resource for missions deep into our solar system, where communication delays complicate difficult operations.

In order to prepare for the mission, and what it would be like to use HoloLens at the International Space Station, NASA had a chance to experiment with it quite a bit at the Aquarius underwater research station as a part of NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations NEEMO. Below are a few pictures of Astronaut Luca Parmitano using HoloLens at the underwater facility.

And we’re happy to report that HoloLens is mission operational at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory – exploring Mars using holograms of Mars Rover images.

We couldn’t be more thrilled about the work we are doing with NASA – I can’t wait to see more from the crew at the International Space Station!

Microsoft Band gets social, updates for golf, Guided Workouts and more

We’re committed to continuously offering new Microsoft Band experiences that help you achieve your fitness goals, and this month is no exception! A handful of updates will start rolling out to Microsoft Band users today, and continue over the coming days.

A woman using Microsoft Band while biking.

And, for some fun and encouragement to get to those goals, because we know accountability is a great motivator for reaching that next level, we’ve made a few tweaks to the Microsoft Band’s sharing experience, making it even easier to earn your friends’ congratulations—or envy—when you share your best activity summaries on Facebook, Twitter and in email or text messages. After a calorie-blasting workout, epic bike ride or the best night’s sleep you can remember, share a snapshot of your summary. Your friends can click through to a public dashboard that includes even more of your impressive stats.

Golf like a pro with Tournament Mode

With spring around the corner, grab your clubs and turn on our newest functionality, Tournament Mode for Golf. An option right on your new Microsoft Band, Tournament Mode for Golf will allow you to play a round while sticking to United States Golf Association rules for competitive play. The band will still track your round of play and your health activity, but hide your step count, distance and heart rate during your round, then have a summary waiting for you in the Microsoft Health app and dashboard upon completion.

A man using Microsoft Band on a golf course.

Track your distance with Guided Workouts

Whether you’re training for a 5k or half-marathon, or just want to map your distance biked within a Guided Workout, now you can! We enhanced the Guided Workout experience for Microsoft Band with the ability to now track your distance. You’ll get a notification when you reach a distance goal during a Guided Workout that includes running, walking or biking, and the display shows your distance decrease as you move. That, and you can train indoors or out—your Microsoft Band will track your distance with the pedometer if you don’t have GPS activated.

Connect to Cortana

As many of you learned earlier this year, our US users can now connect Microsoft Health account to Cortana. Once connected, Cortana will show your activity progress from your band, including steps and calories, and provide comparisons to the day prior. Whether you’re using a Windows 10 device or Cortana on iOS or Android, you can keep up with your progress easily. Read more about how to connect your Microsoft Health account to Cortana here.

Get out there and have fun!

Whether you’re looking for new ways to reach your fitness goals, stay on top of your golf game, or remain connected with friends and have fun, the new Microsoft Band has you covered.

Share your best run, ride, exercise or even sleep, with some new and improved social sharing capabilities – and check out our new Golf and Guided Workouts enhancements.

As always, we look forward to hearing from you!

New Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter coming soon

Back in 2014, we launched a brand-new accessory that allowed people to project anything from a Miracast®-enabled tablet, laptop, or smartphone onto a big screen, wirelessly. The Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter didn’t rely on specific apps to display content – any and all screen images went right to an HDTV or monitor thanks to Miracast technology.

We heard great feedback about the device, most notably from students and mobile professionals, due to the size, ease of use for setup, and the fact there was no internet required for it to work. Road warriors have been using the device to make mobile work stations at hotel rooms without being hunched over a desk, and students found it useful for streaming movies to a TV directly from the couch. Additionally, businesses are plugging their Wireless Display Adapters into their overhead projectors; eliminating the need for those multiple cords, wires, and adapters we all scramble for in order to present in a conference room.

So today, we are announcing the next generation of Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter. It brings the best features and functionality of the first generation while reducing the latency and packing it into a new form factor. It’s still just as easy to setup and use and also allows people to mirror or extend their screen from Miracast-enabled Windows 10 phones, tablets and laptops, including the Surface lineup.

New Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter

You can pre-order the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter now in the U.S. and Canada, and it will be available on March 1, 2016, for the estimated retail price of $49.95 at Microsoft Store, Best Buy and Amazon – it will be coming to future markets soon. Please visit our Microsoft Accessories website for additional information.

Microsoft Lumia 650: sophisticated, metal design and Windows 10 under $200 USD

As one of the leaders in our devices business, I’ve had the privilege of seeing firsthand transformation and progress across our Windows and Devices group. From Windows 10 to Surface Book to HoloLens, and PC-like productivity on Lumia 950 series, it is clearly now apparent that we have a portfolio of unique and productive Windows devices.

One of the guiding principles of the devices vision is that it’s not just about the device itself, but what you’re able to get done with it. The simple fact is that the most personal device that we have to get things done is our phone. So the team and I are working tirelessly to make sure that we do our best to give you the most productive phones on the planet. At the end of 2015 we introduced the first Lumia devices running Windows 10 – Lumia 550, Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL – and we’re thrilled at the response they’ve received.

Now, here at the beginning of 2016, we’re excited to announce the new Lumia 650 – our latest smartphone running Windows 10. The Lumia 650 comes in matte black and matte white, and will become available in select European markets beginning Feb. 15, starting from a suggested retail price around $199 USD before local taxes and subsidies.

We’re extremely proud of the Lumia 650 and believe it will quickly be seen as the device that provides the perfect balance between work and personal needs.

I’ve had an opportunity to talk with our business customers as well as our Windows fans and something that consistently comes up is that this ever expanding mobile world is quickly becoming chaotic. It’s in that spirit that we designed the Lumia 650 to bring first class to business class; giving our customers the best of Microsoft productivity and security, all wrapped in a beautiful slim package. By providing a consistent experience across PC and phone through the power of Windows 10, we think professionals and Windows fans alike will love using it every day.

Lumia 650 family

Sophisticated Design

This really is a beautiful phone. We’ve paid attention to every detail, pairing the highest level of craftsmanship with maximum everyday productivity. The 5” OLED display is bright and crisp; colors really pop and blacks are deep and clear. It’s by far our most beautiful screen ever at this price point. Lumia 650 also features a highly polished, diamond cut and anodized aluminum frame, giving it an unparalleled and premium feel. Importantly, we didn’t sacrifice the removable battery and expandable storage, something we know our customers enjoy having. And with a profile of only 6.9mm and weighing just 122 grams, it’s incredibly thin and light. It’s a phone I’m proud to show off.Lumia 650 in white Lumia 650 in white

Lumia 650 in whiteLumia 650 also features a 5MP wide-angle, front-facing camera and Microsoft’s flagship imaging algorithms, providing remarkable photo and video capabilities. Leveraging our world-class optics, the advanced 8MP rear-facing camera includes options for rich capture and living images enabling you always to capture the memory as it happens.

The Best of Microsoft Productivity

If you’re like me when you work, you want to really get things done. We need to be able to seamlessly move between our work and personal needs. Building on our success of more than 200 million devices running Windows 10, the Lumia 650 puts Microsoft’s smooth, responsive and most productive OS in your pocket.

Our business customers continue to send great feedback on Windows 10 and are compelled by the mobility of the Windows experience across devices. Lumia 650 runs the latest Microsoft Office apps right out of the box, allowing you to create and edit documents on-the-go and sync them to the cloud via OneDrive. It’s also perfect for picking up on email and an important presentation during your commute. And with Cortana, your very own personal assistant, you’re always organized and prepared for the day ahead.

Lumia 650 family

The Lumia 650 fits perfectly into the enterprise with built-in support for Microsoft business applications, new third party Universal Windows Applications like Uber, and one click setup of common everyday tools like Office 365. It also allows IT to test the latest Windows 10 Mobile updates against critical line of business systems and apps, before you distribute to end users via MDM.

It’s secure by design and keeps company and personal data safer with features like device encryption and device wipe. These features allow businesses peace of mind, knowing important information in emails and files are protected from threats and empowers employees to use one device for work and play.

As we’ve sharpened our mobile strategy with a new focus in phones, the Lumia 650 is another step towards bringing Windows 10 to more than a billion devices. Our phones will continue to play a key role in this effort. We’re improving our platform with regular updates and are committed to continuing to deliver the most productive and secure Windows-based smartphones to Windows fans and business customers.

I’m really proud of our team’s work on this new device and am really looking forward to bringing the Lumia 650 to market. So far, feedback has been great and our partners in Europe are excited to begin sales this week.