Introducing the new Microsoft keyboard that brings Windows Hello to any Windows 10 PC

We’re excited to introduce you to the Microsoft Modern Keyboard with Fingerprint ID, a premium quality keyboard that brings the convenience and security of Windows Hello fingerprint sign-in to any PC running Windows 10, and the Microsoft Modern Mouse, a sleek simple complement to the keyboard.

Windows Hello* helps enable people to move to a password alternative that gives you a fast, convenient and exceptionally secure way to unlock your Windows devices. Studies show more than 80 percent of people use the same password across multiple web sites, managing around 20-30 different accounts. We want to make sure that everyone running Windows 10 can experience the beautiful relief that comes from letting go of your written Pa55w0Rd5! So we worked to deliver a predictable, intent-driven and simple solution for someone to quickly and securely log into their PC, or authenticate an action.

With the new Microsoft Modern Keyboard with Fingerprint ID, you can use your finger to sign into your Windows devices, and compatible apps**, with Windows Hello in less than 2 seconds – that’s 3 times faster*** than a password that you have to remember and type in.

Design and keyboard specs

On top of the convenience of effortless login, the Microsoft Modern Keyboard with Fingerprint ID gives you the flexibility of working wirelessly or through direct wired connection, as it features both a Bluetooth 4.0 and hardwire connection.

The keyboard’s sleek, low-profile design and crafted aluminum top case bring an element of sophistication to any well-thought-out desk space. With 2mm key travel, the typing experience has been carefully crafted to maximize accuracy and typing efficiency. Unlike other solutions in the market today, the new Windows Hello enterprise-grade secure fingerprint reader has been subtly and beautifully designed as a regular key.

Sold separately, you can also complete your desktop solution with the sleek, simple Microsoft Modern Mouse. As a visual complement to the keyboard, this mouse lets you set up your workspace to be both beautiful and practical.

The raised arc of the Microsoft Modern Mouse supports your palm in a natural resting position, and reduces the tension on your risk, to keep your hand relaxed as you point and click. The metal scroll wheel feels solid under your finger, and you don’t have to worry about wires thanks to Wireless Bluetooth, plus it has up to 12 months of battery life.

Keyboard specs:

Technical Specifications (Keyboard)

Connection Bluetooth® Low Energy-compatible 4.0 / 4.1 / 4.2, or wired USB.
Exterior Dimensions: 16.5 x 4.4 x 0.7 inches

Weight: 14.6 ounces

Mechanical features: hidden fingerprint sensor

Color: Silver

Operating systems Works with Bluetooth® Smart****

Windows Hello capability available on Windows 10 only

Wireless range Up to 33 feet (10 meters)
Battery type and quantity Rechargeable (included)
Battery life Up to 4 months with each full charge
Warranty One-year limited hardware warranty*****

Technical Specifications (Mouse)

Connection Bluetooth® Low Energy-compatible 4.0 / 4.1
Exterior Dimensions: 4.53 x 2.52 x 1.32 inches

Weight: 3.21 ounces (including batteries)

Mechanical features: metal scroll wheel

Color: Silver

Operating systems Works with Bluetooth® Smart*

Windows 10

Wireless range Up to 33 feet (10 meters)
Battery type and quantity 2 AAA alkaline battery (included)
Battery life Up to 12 months
Warranty One-year limited hardware warranty**

The Microsoft Modern Keyboard with Fingerprint ID and Microsoft Modern Mouse now on sale in the US, Canada and China at microsoftstore.com for $129.99 USD and $49.99 USD respectively.
_____________________________________________________________________________

*Windows Hello requires specialized hardware, including fingerprint reader, illuminated IR sensor or other biometric sensors and capable devices.
**Limited to compatible apps.
***Based on average time comparison between typing a password respectively detecting a face or fingerprint to authentication success
****Device must support Bluetooth 4.0 or higher. Many Apple and Windows 7 computers use older versions.
*****In the U.S.; warranty terms vary by market.

Windows 10 Creators Update fully available for all Windows 10 customers

For the past several months, I’ve shared insights on our roll out approach for Windows 10 Creators Update (version 1703). We’re now moving from a targeted offering to full availability for all compatible devices running Windows 10 globally via Windows Update. Similarly, our commercial customers should feel confident to deploy this release broadly across their organizations.

How to get the Windows 10 Creators Update

Predictable semi-annual release aligned with Office

In response to feedback for a more predictable feature update model, we are moving to a new twice-yearly release cadence called the Semi-Annual Channel that replaces the Current Branch (CB) and Current Branch for Business (CBB). As we announced in April, Windows has aligned with Office 365 ProPlus to simplify IT deployment cycles, targeting releases in March and September. Both feature releases will be serviced for 18 months from the date of release. The Creators Update marks the first of our Semi-Annual Channel releases.

Empowering organizations to decide when and how to deploy

The new Semi-Annual Channel update cadence and life cycle model provides commercial customers with greater predictability and simplicity to take advantage of the latest capabilities and integrated security, as quickly as is practical for their organization. This predictable release cycle enables enterprises to plan combined servicing of Windows and Office and create deployment plans tailored to their needs.

Starting with the Windows Insider Program for Business, IT Pro early adopters can evaluate pre-release builds early and provide feedback across the ecosystem – to us and their IHV/ISV partners – so we can, together as an ecosystem, build reliable, highly productive and secure products and experiences for our customers. When the Semi-Annual Channel feature update is released, organizations can begin targeted deployments to a select group of machines to validate their apps, devices, and infrastructure, prior to beginning a broad deployment at a time that is right for them. For details on Semi-Annual Channel servicing, see our article on TechNet.

You’re most secure on the latest version of Windows 10  

We are excited to make the Creators Update fully available to all our customers. We also encourage commercial organizations to begin broadly deploying Windows 10, version 1703, if you haven’t already done so. You can verify your system is up to date on the Windows Security page. We will continue to ensure all eligible devices can now move forward to the Creators Update, if you are having trouble updating your device, see this helpful article. Staying up to date on both the latest feature and quality updates assures you of being on the most secure version of Windows 10 ever (version 1703).

This Week on Windows: Shark Week, Imagine Cup, Help Me Choose and more

We hope you enjoyed today’s episode of This Week on Windows! Head over here to catch up on the news out of Imagine Cup, check out our Windows 10 Tip on getting started with Windows Help Me Choose, dive into Shark Week – or, keep reading for what’s new in the Windows Store.

In case you missed it:

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Here’s what’s new in the Windows Store this week:

Halo Wars 2: Serina & Spearbreaker Bundle

Halo Wars 2: Serina & Spearbreaker Bundle

The latest update to Halo Wars 2 features two exciting new story missions in Operation: Spearbreaker, and a beloved, digitally deceased but downloadably undeterred new Leader – the UNSC Spirit of Fire’s former AI Serina. Both Serina and the Operation: Spearbreaker story missions are available now for Windows 10 as part of the Halo Wars 2 Season Pass, as individual purchases at $5.99 USD each, or a special 2-pack version that includes both pieces of content for $9.99 USD.

Fable Fortune (Game Preview) – Buy for $11.99, through July 31

Fable Fortune (Game Preview)

Play as one of six unique Heroes in a collectible card game that combines the iconic world and characters of Albion with fast-paced and thrilling tactical gameplay. In Fable Fortune (Game Preview) ($14.99 Regular Price, $11.99 Sale Price through July 31) your destiny is on the cards! Starting today, Fable Fortune is 20% off through July 31, 2017.

Sci-Fi Sale in Books*

Sci-Fi Sale in Books

Summer is when we escape the rhythms of the rest of the year – and many of us dive into a great book to do that. The Science Fiction Sale in Books makes this easy and fun, with the ten top sci-fi titles on sale for just $2.99 through July 31.

Netflix – Ozark

Netflix - Ozark

Netflix (Free, with IAP options) brings a stellar cast – and a compelling plot – together in its new original series Ozark. Watch as financial adviser Jason Bateman drags his family from Chicago to the Missouri’s Ozark mountains, where he must launder $500 million in five years to appease a drug boss. Laura Linney co-stars as his wife in this compelling, not-to-be-missed new drama.

Have a great weekend!

*US only

Announcing the 2017 Imagine Cup Champions

Today, we are excited to announce Team X.GLU of the Czech Republic are the official 2017 Imagine Cup champions. X.GLU’s project combines hardware and Microsoft Azure cloud to help diabetics better cope with the disease’s symptoms. As the victors, X.GLU wins a mentoring session with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, $100,000 in cash, a $125,000 Azure Grant and a trip to the 2018 Build developer conference.

In tackling diabetes, X.GLU seeks to improve the quality of life for the 422 million people worldwide impacted by the disease, a significant percentage of whom are children. In many cases, younger patients are burdened with having to check their blood-sugar eight to 10 times per day. Though critical to their continued good health, many children tire of the process around routinely checking their blood-sugar levels, and, as a result, don’t keep up with this crucial aspect of living with the disease. X.GLU’s concept gamifies the process, awarding children “strawberry” icons for correctly guessing their blood-sugar range during tests.

“I loved X. GLU’s project because my mother has diabetes and I know she gets tired of checking her blood sugar each day, too,” said Imagine Cup guest judge Meghan Camarena (Strawburry17). “Even though this was designed with children in mind, I think the concept is one that anyone living with diabetes could appreciate, and it could truly help save lives.”

— Imagine Cup guest judge Meghan Camarena

Today’s students are the makers and doers that will change the world as we know it. Each year, Imagine Cup has proven that technology is merely a tool to unlock students’ innate creativity and ingenuity.

“In a time like this, where every walk of life in every society and every economy is being fundamentally changed and shaped by digital technology, developers like you are going to change the world,” Said Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella. “You’re going to bend that curve of progress.”

— Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella

For more details on the two-day competition, head on over to the Official Microsoft Blog.

Node-ChakraCore Update: N-API, Node.js on iOS and more

Today, we are happy to announce a new preview release of ChakraCore, based on Node.js 8, available for you to try on Windows, macOS, and Linux.

We started our Node-ChakraCore journey with a focus on extending the reach of Node.js to a new platform, Windows 10 IoT Core. From the beginning, it’s been clear that in addition to growing the reach of Node.js ecosystem, there’s a need to address real problems facing developers and the Node.js ecosystem though innovation, openness and community collaboration.

As we continue our journey to bring fresh new ideas and enable the community to imagine new scenarios, we want to take a moment to reflect on some key milestones we’ve achieved in the last year.

Full cross-platform support

While ChakraCore was born on Windows, we’ve always aspired to make it cross-platform. At NodeSummit 2016, we announced experimental support for the Node-ChakraCore interpreter and runtime on Linux and macOS.

In the year since that announcement, we’ve brought support for full JIT compilation and concurrent and partial GC on x64 to both macOS and Ubuntu Linux 14.04 and higher. This has been a massive undertaking that brings Node-ChakraCore features to parity across all major desktop operating systems. We are actively working on cross-platform internationalization to complete this support.

Support for Node.js API (N-API)

This year, our team was part of the community effort to design and develop the next-generation Node.js API (N-API) in Node.js 8 which is fully supported in ChakraCore. N-API is a stable Node API layer for native modules, which provides ABI compatibility guarantees across different Node versions & flavors. This allows N-API-enabled native modules to just work across different versions and flavors of Node.js, without recompilations.

According to some estimates, 30% of the module ecosystem gets impacted every time there is a new Node.js release, due to lack of ABI stability.  This causes friction in Node.js upgrades in production deployments and adds cost to native module maintainers in having to maintain several supported versions for their module.

Node.js on iOS

We are always delighted to see the community build and extend Node-ChakraCore in novel and interesting ways. Janea Systems recently announced their experimental port of Node.js to run on iOS, powered by Node-ChakraCore. This takes Node.js to iOS for the first time, expanding the reach of the Node.js ecosystem to an entire new category of devices.

Node.js on iOS would not be possible without Node-ChakraCore. Because of the JITing restrictions on iOS, stock Node.js cannot run. However, Node-ChakraCore can be built to use the interpreter only, with the JIT completely turned off.

This is particularly useful for scenarios like offline-first mobile apps designed with the expectation of unreliability connectivity or limited bandwidth. These apps primarily rely on local cache on the device, and use store and forward techniques to opportunistically use data connectivity when available. These kinds of apps are common in scenarios like large factory floors, remote oil rigs, disaster zones, and more.

Time-Travel Debugging

This year also brought the debut of Time-Travel debugging with Node-ChakraCore on all the supported platforms, as originally demoed using VSCode at NodeSummit 2016. This innovation directly helps with the biggest pain-point developers have with Node.js – debugging! With this release, Time-Travel Debugging has improved in stability and functionality since its introduction, and is also available with Node-ChakraCore on Linux and macOS.

 And much more …

These are just the start – our team has also made major investments in infrastructure automation, which have resulted in faster turnaround of Node-ChakraCore updates following the Node.js 8. Both stable Node-ChakraCore builds and nightlies are now available from the Node.js foundation build system.

We recently started measuring module compatibility using CITGM modules, and have improved compatibility with a wide variety of modules. Popular node modules like, node-sass, express and body-parser are considering using Node-ChakraCore in their CI system to ensure ongoing compatibility.  Node-ChakraCore also has improved 15% in ACMEAir performance on Linux in the last 2 months, and we’ve identified areas to make further improvements in the near future.

With our initial priority of full cross-platform support behind us, we are moving our focus to new priorities, including performance and module compatibility. These are our primary focus for the immediate future, and we look forward to sharing progress with the community as it happens!

Get involved

As with any open source project, community participation is the key to the health of Node-ChakraCore. We could not have come this far in our journey without the help of everyone who is active on our github repo, and in the broader Node community, for their reviews and guidance.  We are humbled by your enthusiasm and wish to thank you for everything you do. We will be counting on your continued support as we make progress in our journey together.

For those who are looking to get involved outside of directly contributing code, there are several ways to get involved and advance the Node-ChakraCore project. If you are a …

  1. Node.js Developer – Try testing Node-ChakraCore in your project, and use Time-Travel debugging with VSCode and let us know how it goes.
  2. Node.js module maintainer – Try testing your module with Node-ChakraCore. Use these instructions to add Node-ChakraCore in your own CI to ensure ongoing compatibility. If you run into issues, please let us know at our repo or our gitter channel.
  3. Native module maintainer – Consider porting your module to N-API. This will help insulate your module from breakage due to new Node releases and will also work with Node-ChakraCore.

As always, we are eager to hear your feedback, so please keep them coming. Find us on twitter @ChakraCore, our gitter channel or you can open an issue on our github repo to start a conversation.

Arunesh Chandra, Senior Program Manager, Chakra

Tracking your fitness goals just got easier with the Fitbit skill for Cortana

Earlier in May, we announced the public preview of the Cortana Skills Kit, which allows developers to easily create intelligent, personalized experiences for users of Cortana in the US*. Today, we’re pleased to share that the latest skill on Cortana is available, from our partners at Fitbit. With the new Fitbit skill for Cortana, you can easily monitor your health and fitness goals – just by asking Cortana. Users can access the Fitbit skill across devices and platforms, starting with Windows 10, Android and iOS and soon on the Harman Kardon Invoke speaker.

Fitbit is the leading global wearables brand with more than 50M registered users across the world. Fitbit’s health and fitness trackers and software are compatible across Windows 10, Android and iOS platforms, and offers the widest range of easy-to-use, smart and motivational tools that keep users engaged to meet their goals.

With the new Fitbit skill for Cortana, it’s now easier than ever for Fitbit users to monitor their health and fitness goals, sleep, stats and progress. Once you have connected your Fitbit account to Cortana, simply ask Cortana to get the information you need to stay inspired without having to pull up the Fitbit app or website. And because Cortana works across your Windows 10, Android and iOS devices, you can easily do so on the device closest to you.

You can say, “Hey Cortana, Ask Fitbit how am I doing today,” along with several other supported health and fitness prompts to learn about your daily progress. Cortana will not only read out your progress – like active minutes you’ve logged, how you slept last night, or the number of calories you’ve burned for any day within the previous week – but may also show you a short summary with all the handy information. If you’re tracking how you’re performing against your friends, you can say, “Hey Cortana, show me my leaderboard,” and Cortana will provide you with the extra motivation to keep you going. Cortana will also offer words of encouragement to inspire you to meet your goals, with responses that are tailored to the specific time of day. For example, if you inquire about your active minutes in the morning, you might be encouraged with “Today’s the day. Let’s do this.” Or, if you ask about your steps in the evening: “You are so there. I’d high five you if I could.”

Cortana understands natural language and makes it very easy to update Fitbit about your beverage and food intake without having to manually log the information.  You can say, “Hey Cortana, Tell Fitbit to log I had an omelet for breakfast,” or “Hey Cortana, Ask Fitbit to log I drank 12 ounces of water,” and Cortana will update your Fitbit account accordingly. Cortana provides you with the convenience of being able to log these activities through voice, helping you maintain a fuller view of your calorie intake – along with the impact on your overall health and fitness stats.

Cortana provides both voice and visual responses to users

There are many ways Cortana can help you engage with Fitbit. Here are a few you can try:

  • “Hey Cortana, ask Fitbit how much water I’ve had today”
  • “Hey Cortana, ask Fitbit how many calories do I have left to eat”
  • “Hey Cortana, ask Fitbit how many steps do I have left”
  • “Hey Cortana, ask Fitbit how many workouts I need to do this week”

To find out more, get started with the new Fitbit skill. Simply say “Hey Cortana, Open Fitbit,” and Cortana will ask you to connect your accounts by signing-in with your Fitbit username and password. You can then ask Cortana about your Fitbit activity. Happy stepping!

To learn more and discover the currently available skills, visit: microsoft.com/en-us/windows/cortana/cortana-skills/

*Available in US only. Other markets will be added over time.