All posts by Athima Chansanchai

Waiting until the last minute to shop for the holidays? You’re not alone, and Microsoft Store has you covered – Windows Experience Blog

For some, holiday gift giving is an exercise in ingenuity, and shoppers become even more resourceful as the countdown winds down. Microsoft Store conducted an online survey* with U.S. shoppers who self-identify as last-minute gifters. They shared why they procrastinate when it comes to purchasing gifts.
The survey revealed that the majority of last-minute gift shopping is done in two weeks or less, with 25 percent taking place in two days or less – and 37 percent feel stressed about it. If you’re one of these shoppers, Microsoft Store can help you up your gifting game this holiday season and ease the pressure thanks to free shipping and returns on every item, every day. You can also buy your gifts online and pick them up at your local Microsoft Store. Or go entirely digital, by gifting apps, games, and other content through your Windows 10 PC, Xbox One console, or online.
Microsoft Store also has you covered when it comes to selecting gifts that suit your last-minute shopping style. Additional results uncovered procrastinating behaviors that were decoded into five archetypes: the Illusionist, the Overcompensator, the Card Dealer, the Present Perfectionist, and the Shameless Staller.
Think you fall into one of these categories? Read on to find out more about each type and the Microsoft Store’s suggestions for what each type could pick up as presents while there’s still time. For more inspiration, check out Microsoft’s holiday gift guide.

Windows 10 Tip: SwiftKey – Windows Experience Blog

With the Windows 10 October 2018 Update comes SwiftKey intelligence.
Available on both Android and iOS, SwiftKey delivers more accurate autocorrections and predictions by adapting to your writing style – including the words, phrases and emoji that matter to you.
Starting with the October 2018 Update, SwiftKey now powers the typing experience on Windows when using the touch keyboard, making it faster to write in English (United States), English (United Kingdom), French (France), German (Germany), Italian (Italy), Spanish (Spain), Portuguese (Brazil) or Russian.
Check it out in action:

If you like this, check out more Windows 10 Tips.

Microsoft Store powers new experiences for all at ultra-accessible theme park in Texas – Windows Experience Blog

When Gordan Hartman opened Morgan’s Wonderland in April 2010, it was the culmination of a dream he’d had for five years after seeing his daughter, Morgan, a girl with physical and cognitive disabilities, wanting to play with other vacationing kids at a hotel swimming pool – but the children were leery of her and didn’t want to interact with her.
At that moment, he resolved to create opportunities and places where people with and without disabilities can come together not only for fun, but also for a better understanding of one another.
So he and his wife Maggie built the first ultra-accessible theme park of its kind. Completely wheelchair-accessible, the destination in San Antonio, Texas, has hosted more than 1.3 million guests from the U.S. and 69 other countries since it opened. With more than 25 attractions, including rides, Wonderlands, gardens, an 8-acre catch-and-release fishing lake and an 18,000-square-foot special-event center, it’s long been established as fun and understanding for everyone.
Now it’s going to give its visitors a new technology experience.

From day one, Morgan’s Wonderland has focused on inclusion and ultra-accessible play for people with and without disabilities, says Hartman. But technology has been a game-changer for his family.
“My daughter, Morgan, who has both physical and cognitive disabilities, but computer technology has made it possible for her to become more engaged, to become more inquisitive and to understand more of the world around her,” says Hartman.
To help the park’s visitors experience that same type of engagement, Microsoft Store is revamping the Sensory Village at Morgan’s Wonderland. The new Microsoft Experience includes an interactive gaming area, featuring Xbox One X stations and the Xbox Adaptive Controller, which connects to external buttons, switches, mounts and joysticks to give gamers with limited mobility, an easy-to-set-up and readily available way to play Xbox One games.
Additionally, Surface devices will connect to the park’s interactive map, taking guests through the favorite attractions of the Wonder Squad, Morgan’s Wonderland’s super heroes.
Finally, a Wish Machine, powered by Surface Studio, will take submissions from visitors for the chance to have their holiday wish granted by Microsoft Store through Dec. 20.*

“We chose the experiences based on our mission of inclusion,” says Kara Rowe, worldwide director of Microsoft Store Visuals & Experience. “Understanding that mission was paramount in determining what we chose, such as what we experience today in our stores that resonates the most with our customers.”
Rowe says the company created a custom-made Xbox One X gameplay station with the Xbox Adaptive Controllers laid out to be easily accessible for wheelchairs. And in turn, they’ll use the feedback they get from the park’s guests to help create and refine even more accessible experiences in the future – for Microsoft Store and the company’s product groups.
“We were thoughtful about the different use case scenarios for any guest to make sure that the experiences are truly ultra-inclusive,” says Rowe, referring to a phrase Hartman coined from the early days at the park.
The cross-company collaboration, which started with Microsoft volunteers from the Microsoft San Antonio datacenter and Microsoft Store locations, also helped provide auditory and visual cues, such as braille, that would help visitors to the Sensory Village.
“Every person has jumped at the chance to be involved, sharing personal stories as to why it matters to them,” Rowe says.

Hartman credits Microsoft with adding technological vitality to the park.
“It utilizes technology that enables people with disabilities individuals to interact and have fun together in an environment designed to stimulate the senses,” he says.
Rowe says this is the first time a Microsoft Experience has been in a theme park.
“This is about understanding how to teach and help a community learn with technology available to them in an inclusive way,” Rowe says. “Opening up in this space is really special. It is magical for us to have local employees volunteering because our company inspires us to do these activities, to activate cross channels, to come together and align to this greater mission of empowerment.”
Microsoft has committed to maintain and evaluate the space to ensure refreshed experiences.
“Sensory Village is built on technology, and Microsoft is a technological giant,” Hartman says. “We believe Microsoft’s leadership in technology can translate into tremendous benefits for the disability community.”
*The Wish Machine experience celebrates the excitement of the holiday season and the power of a wish. Wish Machine is powered by Surface Studio, where contestants record a video up to 60 seconds long of themselves making a holiday wish. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open to guests of Morgan’s Wonderland who are at least 13 years old. Enter by December 20, 2018. For Official Rules, including prize descriptions, click here.) Void where prohibited.
Updated December 7, 2018 2:24 pm

This guide can help you buy the right device for the holidays – Windows Experience Blog

There’s something for everyone with devices from Microsoft and its partners.

If you’re shopping for your friends and family this holiday season, we’d like to help you with this guide to devices for everyone in your life – especially those who prefer to work or play on the go. No matter what you choose, you’ll find thinner and lighter devices that deliver flexibility (tablets, laptops, 2-in-1s), voice assistants (Cortana, far-field mics) and enough power to run Windows Mixed Reality. Gamers and creators in your life will also appreciate powerful CPUs and 4K touch displays, and the ability to deftly maneuver between typing on a keyboard and writing, drawing or sketching with a digital pen. For those who need to stay connected – without relying on Wi-Fi – there are more choices with longer battery life. You’ll even find devices do a lot, for less than you’d think you’d have to pay.
For the one who is on the go

The Acer Swift 5 weighs in at only 2.14 pounds with a sleek magnesium-lithium cover and distinct charcoal blue color. Power through everyday tasks, watch videos or surf the web with Intel’s latest 8th Generation Core i7 processor and tackle things on your to-do list with your digital assistant Cortana. Utilize the power of Windows Hello with the integrated fingerprint reader for more secure logins on the Swift 5, available from Amazon.com starting at $899.99.

Surface Laptop 2 provides personalized style in a sleek and accessible device with all-day battery life, same stunning touch screen as the Surface Go, and four tone-on-tone colors: Burgundy, Cobalt Blue, Platinum and Matte Black. Starting at $999 at the Microsoft Store.

Surface Go, now available with LTE Advanced, offers all the comforts of a laptop with the convenience of a 10-inch tablet. Surface Go delivers a small, 1.15 pound portable 2-in-1 form factor that adapts to the way you live. Whether at work, home or on the road, Surface Go runs Office365 and offers built-in Windows Hello for a more secure sign-in. Available from the Microsoft Store starting at $399.99.

The Huawei MateBook X Pro opens new horizons with its FullView design, a 91 percent screen-to-body ratio ideal for watching movies and videos in 4K. It’s powered for creativity with the latest 8th Generation Intel Core Processors and up to 12 hours per charge* to create and play all day. Packed with great Windows features like Cortana and Windows Hello for more secure logins, you can get the MateBook X Pro on NewEgg starting at $1,199.

For the creators

The ASUS ZenBook Pro 15 gives you the power to do whatever you want to do, wherever you want to do it. Powered by Intel’s 8th Generation Core processor with a 4K UHD NanoEdge touchscreen display, it is a creative’s delight. Use the innovative ScreenPad as a second display to use apps, play music, look at your calendar and more. Get it from Best Buy starting at $1,749.99.

The Samsung Galaxy Book2 keeps you productive without the dependency of Wi-Fi, thanks to its LTE connectivity. With Instant On, it starts up quickly so you can work and stream your favorite content while on the go. With its multi-workday battery life, S Pen and keyboard that come included in the box, you can get more work done from just about anywhere. Available on Samsung.com starting at $999.99.

For someone who needs to be hands-free

Surface Pro 6 offers all-day battery for up to 13.5 hour of work, fun or both. With best in class keyboard and trackpad and 67 percent faster than its predecessor, Surface Pro 6 offers the versatility you need to create and be productive from anywhere. The 12.3-inch PixelSense Display and multi-screen docking presents content beautifully and Surface Pro 6 now includes an 8.0 MP auto-focus camera and far field microphones, so you can ask Cortana questions from the next room. Now with new color options like matte black, check it out at the Microsoft Store starting at $899.99.

Lenovo’s Yoga Book C930 rewrites the rules of mobile productivity and creativity as the world’s thinnest and lightest dual-display laptop including a display built with E Ink. The versatile E Ink screen serves as a keyboard, notepad and eReader. It’s ultraportable at just 9.9mm at its thinnest when closed, and has up to 10-hour battery life and a Precision Pen for easy sketching and inking on either screen. Starting at $949.99, it is available on BestBuy.com and Lenovo.com.

For someone who enjoys flexibility

Get versatility and mobility with the ASUS ZenBook Flip 13. Its 13-inch display has ultra-narrow bezels on all four sides, giving a 90 percent screen-to-body ratio that allows a much more compact chassis design. With its 360°-flippable ErgoLift hinge, the latest Intel Core processors, active-stylus support, ZenBook Flip 13 is versatile, powerful and portable. Get it from Best Buy (model Q326FA) starting at $1,099.99.

The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 is elegant at every angle, with a 360-degree hinge that allows you to work in four flexible positions: tablet, tent, laptop and stand modes with up to 8th Gen processors. Turn thoughts into actions with Windows Ink that allows you to capture notes, make edits and create content with the Dell Active Pen. Enjoy password-free sign-ins with Windows Hello using one touch or your face for recognition. Available from Dell.com starting at $999.99.

Enjoy a bold, new design with the HP Spectre Folio, crafted from leather and able to adapt to three different positions – laptop, tablet or tilted forward. With up to 18 hours of battery life and more than 4,000 levels of sensitivity with stylus support, you can create and play all day. Starting at $1,299.99, you can grab one on HP.com.

For the gamer who seeks superior performance

Optimized for performance, the Alienware m15 provides quality and maximum mobility with its sleek design features a narrow side bezel to maximize screen space to view explosive action first. The new Alienware mSeries keyboard even features 1.4mm of key travel, anti-ghosting keys and four Alien-FX enabled zones to light up the room during any gameplay, while also supporting in game lighting reactions for over 150 game titles. Powered by 8th Generation Intel processors and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 and 1070 Max-Q graphics, this gaming rig is capable of VR and beyond. Available starting at $1,379.99 at Dell.com.

The Razer Blade 15 is powered by Intel’s 8th generation Core i7 6 core processor and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 10 Series graphics with Max-Q design for amazing gaming performance. Precision milled from solid aluminum, it has one of the smallest footprints of any 15.6-inch gaming laptop and is as thin as 0.66-inch making it lightweight and ultra-portable. It also features a Full HD display and dual storage in the Base Model versions, or users can step up to 144Hz refresh rates and a thinner design featuring a vapor chamber cooling system in the Advanced Model. Available from Razer.com starting at $1,599, and includes a digital copy of “Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 ” until the end of the year.

Experience true 4K gaming with Xbox One X, the world’s most powerful console and smallest Xbox ever built With Xbox One X, features like a built-in 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player, 4K streaming with High Dynamic Range and Dolby Vision, premium audio with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X support and services unique to the Xbox platform like Xbox Game Pass, Xbox Live and Xbox One Backward Compatibility are at your fingertips, making Xbox One the best place to play. Get $50 off yours for a limited time, starting at $449 at Microsoft Store.

For the person who is always-connected

Lean, light and crafted from premium aluminum, the Lenovo Yoga C630 WOS (Windows on Snapdragon) 2-in-1 convertible offers smartphone-like integrated LTE Advanced Pro connectivity and up to 25 hours of local video playback thanks to the power-efficient architecture of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 Mobile Compute Platform. Get creative with the optional Lenovo Pen and use the laptop as your canvas or notepad, with drawing and editing capabilities with Windows Ink. The Yoga C630 WOS is available at BestBuy.com and in store for $699 or $599 with a Verizon contract.

Be on the move but stay always-connected with the HP Envy x2. With up to 22 hours of battery life and 4G LTE connectivity, you get the best PC and tablet experience no matter where life takes you. Its detachable keyboard and magnetic hinge enables seamless transition from laptop to tablet mode. Enjoy note taking, drawing and more with Windows Ink and ask Cortana to tackle your to-do list. Get it from HP.com starting at $799.99.

Devices that do a lot for a little

Enjoy all day productivity and entertainment with the slim ASUS VivoBook Flip 14. With its 14-inch ASUS Nano Edge bezel, a full HD display fits into a larger frame. It’s packed with great features like one-touch logins with Windows Hello and an optimal ASUS pen for writing, drawing and more. The durable hinge rotates 360-degrees to change to the way you want to work. Available from Amazon.com starting at $635.99.

Colors come alive with the Acer Spin 1, which has FHD IPS display and Acer Color Intelligence and a 10-point touch feature that keeps you creative with the Acer Active Stylus. Lightweight and portable, it has a 360-degree hinge that provides four modes to create at every angle. Buy it from Acer.com starting at $329.99.

*Data is obtained by HUAWEI laboratories using continuous local 1080p video playback, 150 nits brightness, auto-dimming off, system audio level at 67 percent, Windows Update off, OneDrive off, pre-installed applications removed. Actual battery life will vary depending on configuration and maximum capacity will naturally decrease with time and usage.
Editor’s note: Added footnote for Huawei’s battery life after publication.Editor’s note: Changed Huawei’s link to NewEgg after publication.
Updated December 5, 2018 1:11 pm

Windows 10 Tip: Name your tile folders – Windows Experience Blog

Did you know you can now name your tile folders, thanks to the Windows 10 October 2018 Update?
To create a tile folder in Start, just drag one tile on top of another for a second, then release. Continue dropping as many tiles into the folder as you’d like. When you expand the folder, you’ll see a new option to name it.
Check it out in action:

If you like this, check out more Windows 10 Tips.

Welcome to Mixer Season 2 – Windows Experience Blog

Our friends at Mixer have announced Mixer Season 2, the next major evolution of Microsoft’s interactive livestreaming platform. At its core, Mixer is a place where community comes first, so Season 2 covers new investments in innovation that ensure the community has a more active and engaging experience. Building upon what the team has learned since Mixer first launched, Season 2 gives viewers more fun ways to express themselves, supports creators with new monetization opportunities and strengthens streamer communities.
Head over to the Mixer blog to learn more about the team’s new investments in innovation with Season 2, and be sure to head over to Mixer to check out the Season 2 digital launch celebration.

Go to the next level of Windows Mixed Reality with the Samsung HMD Odyssey+ – Windows Experience Blog

Samsung has announced a new advanced display technology for the HMD Odyssey+, bringing true-to-life visuals to its entry in the Windows Mixed Reality space that delivers an improved life-like and immersive experience.
To push visual boundaries, the headset has dual 3.5-inch AMOLED displays and a combined resolution of 2,880 x 1,600. And on the audio end, it integrates AKG’s premium audio technology for exceptional and dynamic sound performance. You’ll feel truly in the moment with built-in 360-degree Spatial Sound support that simulates 3D sounds, delivering clear and precise acoustics from every angle. There are also built-in volume controls.
You’ll experience true, distraction-free immersive viewing with the Samsung HMD Odyssey+’s exclusive Anti-Screen Door Effect (Anti-SDE) Display innovation [1]. When fine lines separating pixels become visible in some displays, the “screen door effect” can hinder immersion and even lead to dizziness or nausea over time. This headset deploys its cutting-edge display technology to fight irritating fixed-pattern noise for an enhanced MR experience.
And for those moments when you need to get back to reality, its controller can act as a flashlight so you can see the world around you – delivering a more comfortable and convenient way to stay aware of your surroundings.
But while you’re wearing the headset, you’ll find you can enjoy it longer, thanks to its improved ergonomic design. It weighs only 1.3 pounds and has a wider eye box to help match your facial features.
And now, anyone can find that perfect fit because everything from the headband to the display position, to the Inter-Pupillary Distance (IPD) wheel, is easily adjustable. The breathable anti-fog material of the face padding ensures the inside of the eye box doesn’t mist up, so you can enjoy your MR experience in greater comfort for extended hours, while the detachable design makes the headset easy to clean.
When you’re gaming with the headset, you’ll find built-in Bluetooth and Inside-Out Position tracking features, along with an easy plug-in setup with a compatible PC – you can jump into MR from just about anywhere. It also comes with pre-paired controllers, so you can start playing right out of the box.
With precision 6 Degrees Of Freedom (6DOF) tracking, you can indulge in richer mixed reality experiences. The 6DOF controller can detect your every move and distance traveled inside your MR world, responding quickly to the slightest motion, ensuring your gameplay movements are more natural, and significantly reducing any dizziness from in-game motion.
The Samsung HMD Odyssey+ will be available in the U.S. starting Oct. 22 at the Microsoft Store and Samsung.com, and will be soon available in other regions including Korea, China, Hong Kong and Brazil.
It will also be on showcase at Unite Los Angeles at the Microsoft booth 309-310 from Oct. 23 – 25.
For more information about the Samsung HMD Odyssey+ visit: www.samsung.com.
[1] Samsung Anti-SDE AMOLED Display solves SDE by applying a grid that diffuses light coming from each pixel and replicating the picture to areas around each pixel. This makes the spaces between pixels near impossible to see. In result, your eyes perceive the diffused light as part of the visual content, with a perceived PPI of 1,233PPI, double that of the already high 616PPI of the previous generation Samsung HMD Odyssey+.

Samsung debuts the Galaxy Book2, an always on, always connected 2-in-1 PC with Snapdragon 850 – Windows Experience Blog

Samsung Galaxy Book2 with included pen and keyboard

Today’s workforce, along with the tech industry, is changing. More and more consumers are trading in traditional laptops and PCs for devices that do more – in both form factor and performance. Workers, consumers and enterprises also have an expectation of mobility, a seamless transition and integration between experiences.
If you’re often working on the go, check out a new 2-in-1 portable PC that’s on and always connected, Samsung’s new Galaxy Book2, running Windows 10 and powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 mobile compute platform.
Where LTE was once “nice to have,” more and more users are seeing the benefits of being always connected to what is important to them, both at home and at work. Fast gigabit LTE on the Samsung Galaxy Book 2 keeps you productive and connected, without having to look for a Wi-Fi connection. With Instant On, it starts up as quickly as your smartphone, so you can work, stream and download a full-length movie in HD resolution within seconds. No more “hibernating” or “sleep mode” like on traditional PCs. Multitask and get things done quickly with an ultra-fast and responsive Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 mobile compute platform.
With Windows 10, you’ll feel right at home running your favorite apps, creating spreadsheets, editing presentations and emailing files on the go. Being “Always On” requires that the Galaxy Book 2 has a powerful multi-day battery that recharges quickly, thanks to Adaptive Fast Charging. With it, you can watch up to 20+ hours of video with the immersive audio experience of Dolby Atmos and speakers tuned by AKG for true-to-life audio quality. Combine that incredible sound with a state-of-the-art Super AMOLED touch display and you’ve got a phenomenal cinematic experience wherever you go.
Power up and login instantly with the easy fingerprint scanner that opens to your touch only with Windows Hello. Galaxy Book2 ships with Windows 10 in S mode, which means you don’t have to think twice when downloading your favorite apps or visiting a website. Plus, apps available through the Microsoft Store are Microsoft-verified providing an additional level of security and protection. Windows 10 in S mode provides a streamlined, secure and battery efficient experience that is excellent for a variety of customers, particularly those who need every day browsing and apps. Users can also rest assured that the Windows app catalog gives customers the widest selection of full featured apps on Always Connected PCs.

Close-up of pen and keyboard on the Samsung Galaxy Book2

Two accessories come with the Galaxy Book2 making it easy to work and play when you’re on the move: a backlit keyboard that connects on contact and adjusts to you, so you can easily switch from touch to type and a precise, pressure-responsive S Pen. Neither needs charging.
Another bonus: Samsung Flow gives users seamless file transfers between your Galaxy Book2 and your Galaxy smartphone. Start marking up a document on your Galaxy Book2, and then edit it on your phone whenever you want. And don’t worry about missing smartphone notifications—they come straight to your Always Connected PC screen so you can immediately reply to messages and social posts from your PC without skipping a beat.
Check out a video about the device on Facebook.
The Samsung Galaxy Book2 is available Nov. 2 on Samsung.com starting at $999.
Updated October 18, 2018 9:22 am

Windows 10 Tip: Update your tasks using ink – Windows Experience Blog

To help you keep track of tasks using whatever mode is most comfortable to you, you can now update your tasks using ink, thanks to the Windows 10 October 2018 Update.
With your digital pen and a touch enabled Windows device, simply add a task to your list using ink, and then strike out when complete. By signing in with your Microsoft Account, your tasks are then conveniently synced with the To-Do app across iOS, Android and Windows and the web.
Check it out in action:

If you like this, check out more Windows 10 Tips.

Windows 10 Tip: Get mobile with Microsoft Edge – Windows Experience Blog

Microsoft Edge on iPhone, iPad and an Android tablet and phone
Want to enjoy Microsoft Edge while you’re on-the-go? You can do that, thanks to the Windows 10 April 2018 Update.
To get Microsoft Edge on your Android phone, tablet, iPhone or iPad, head over to the apps store on your device and download Microsoft Edge for free.

Then use Microsoft Edge on your phone or tablet to read EPUB books you’ve saved. Or start reading a webpage on phone or tablet, send the page to your PC and pick up reading right where you left off.
You must download Microsoft Edge on iOS and Android phones, follow setup prompts and link the mobile phone to the PC in PC settings.
If you find this helpful, check out more Windows 10 Tips.