All posts by Athima Chansanchai

Xbox One S All-Digital Edition: Reaching gamers across more devices | Windows Experience Blog

April 16, 2019 2:18 pm

As part of Microsoft’s gaming vision spanning PCs, consoles and more, a new choice has emerged: the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition.

Since the first Xbox debuted in 2001, there’s been a digital transformation across gaming, music, TV and movies. The Xbox One S All-Digital Edition was created for those who prefer to find and play their games digitally and are looking for the most affordable way to play Xbox games.
It comes bundled with three popular games – “Minecraft,” “Forza Horizon 3” and “Sea of Thieves” and is available for pre-order at $249.99.
Find out more on Xbox Wire.

Tags Gamers games Xbox Xbox One S Xbox One S All-Digital Edition

Windows 10 Tip: What’s new in Skype for Windows 10 PCs | Windows Experience Blog

If it’s been a minute since you’ve used Skype, there are several new features that have come out since the Windows 10 October 2018 Update: background blurring, OneDrive integration and live captions and subtitles. 
Background blur 
Did you ever video chat on Skype and the person you’re talking to seems to be looking at something behind you? Maybe it’s a pile of laundry, your cat photobombing the conversation or a distracting painting. Whatever it is, it’s taking the focus off you. 
These and many other examples are why Skype introduced background blur in February. 
As the Skype blog explains, “Background blur in Skype is similar to background blur in Microsoft Teams…With a simple toggle, right-click, or even through your Skype settings, your background will be instantly and subtly blurred, leaving just you as the only focal point.*” 
Check it out in action: 

OneDrive integration 
Have you ever been chatting with someone and wanted to share links to files and folders – either just for show or for collaboration?  
With the latest version of Skype, you can quickly browse, search and share files from your personal OneDrive storage into Skype chats. Instead of sending large files over Skype, you can share Office documents, PDFs or any of the more than 300 file types that OneDrive supports through links. 
When you sign in to Skype with a Microsoft Account, the OneDrive associated with that account is available to you under the Content and tools panel. 
Check it out in action and find out more in the Skype blog: 

Live captions and subtitles   
If you want to read the words that are spoken during an audio or video call, now you can with the latest version of Skype. 
You can turn live captions and subtitles on for a single call or keep them turned on for all your calls.  
Find out more on the Skype blog. 

If you like these features, check out more Windows 10 Tips. 
*Skype will do its best to make sure that your background is always blurred, but there’s no guarantee it will always be blurred. 

Acer family grows with ConceptD portfolio for creators, Spin 3 series, gaming notebooks and more | Windows Experience Blog

At its annual global press conference Thursday in New York City, Acer launched ConceptD, a new brand of high-end desktops, notebooks, gadgets and monitors optimized for creators such as graphic designers, filmmakers, engineers, architects and developers. It also revealed new and refreshed devices for consumers, gamers and on-the-go professionals. A lot of great hardware was introduced; let’s kick things off with the new ConceptD lineup.

ConceptD family of devices

The ConceptD 900 is a high-performance desktop for professionals running multiple complex and demanding applications. It has dual Intel Xeon Gold 6148 processors with up to 40 cores, 80 threads, NVIDIA Quadro RTX 6000 and 12 memory slots for a total of up to 192GB [1] of ECC memory. It’s perfect for filmmakers, animators, product designers and architects to get lost in the creative process without worrying about long render times. It’s also ideal for AI and deep learning developers who need outstanding computing and graphics power.
The ConceptD 500 has up to 9th Generation Intel Core processors and up to NVIDIA Quadro RTX 4000 GPUs [1] to make workloads and multi-media creation smoother and faster on complex projects. Its multiple CPU cores achieve high single-core speed while staying cool with low heat output and low power consumption. With up to NVIDIA Quadro RTX 4000 GPUs [1], this desktop supports four 5K displays (5120×2880 @ 60Hz) with HDR color, making visual effects, motion graphics and animation rendering a breeze. It’s also designed to grow with users to meet ever-changing workload requirements. With four DIMM slots for up to 64GB 2666 MHz DDR4 memory, it has more bandwidth and capacity for fast performance when working on complex design tasks. The onboard PCIe M.2 NVMe SSD allows for large models and complex 3D rendering in real time.

ConceptD 9

ConceptD 9, 7 and 5 creator notebooks each feature a 4K UHD IPS [2] PANTONE Validated display. Colors are as accurate as possible as the display covers 100 percent of the Adobe RGB color gamut. These creator notebooks stay quiet with Acer’s 4th generation AeroBlade 3D Fan with a noise reduction mechanism that emits less than 40 db of noise — equivalent to the sound level of a library — while maintaining high computing and graphics performance.
Creators need color accuracy beyond what most mainstream monitors can offer, and so Acer created ConceptD UHD monitors. Featuring a remarkable color accuracy of Delta E

Windows 10 Tip: Snip & Sketch | Windows Experience Blog

Did you know easy snipping is just a single step away, thanks to the Windows 10 October 2018 Update?  
Since it’s available in the Microsoft Store, Snip & Sketch (originally introduced as part of the Windows Ink Workspace under the name “Screen Sketch”) can update faster and more frequently. It’s already had four app updates with new features since it was introduced in the fall. 
Unlike Screen Sketch, the Snip & Sketch app will show up on the taskbar and in the task switcher (Alt+tab), which makes it much easier to multi-task. You can also set the window size, and it even supports multiple windows. 
To quickly snip and share a screenshot, press the Windows key + Shift + S to bring up a snipping toolbar – use it to snip a rectangle, something a bit more freeform, or full screen and it will go straight to your clipboard. If that’s all you need, you can take it from there. 
Check it out in action: 

But you may want more. Immediately after taking a snip, you’ll get an invitation to take your snip to the Snip & Sketch app where you can annotate and share. 
If the Windows key + Shift + S keyboard shortcut is too long to remember, there are three easy entry options: 

Just click the pen tail button. If you have a digital pen, go into Pen & Windows Ink Settings – you’ll find Screen Snipping is now an option for single click. This will launch you directly into our snipping experience. 

Press Print Screen. Go to the Settings app and search for “PrtScn”, which will take you to a page with a toggle switch that says “Use the Print Screen key to launch screen snipping.” Turn on this toggle to start snipping with just a single key press. 

Press the quick action button in Action Center, labelled “Screen snip.” It should be there as soon as you upgrade, but if not, you can always enable it via Notifications & Actions Settings. 

Find out more about the creation of Snip & Sketch and how to use it  over at the Windows Community. 
If you like Snip & Sketch, check out more Windows 10 Tips. 
Updated April 8, 2019 1:50 pm

Windows 10 Tip: Dark theme in File Explorer | Windows Experience Blog

Did you know you can change File Explorer to a theme that’s easier on the eyes, thanks to the Windows 10 October 2018 Update?  

As the Windows Insider blog explains, “Adding a dark theme to File Explorer has long been a top Insider request,” but it meant “breaking new ground to provide a dark theme to legacy parts of the shell.” 
The post goes on to explain the process of creating and refining the UI design, with the help of Windows Insiders’ feedback. 
“For example, Insiders told us that they’d like to see more use of grey tones — which we added to areas like the view pane. We also adjusted the address bar and ribbon colors. (The effect is that your eye is drawn more to the content in the center of the screen.) And take a close look below at the Navigation Pane. We removed the folder backplates from the folder icons and enlarged the icons to make them stand out more on high DPI displays.” 
Detailed suggestions like these helped the team move from a basic dark theme into the kind of functional design that users demand with applications like File Explorer. 
Want to try out dark theme on your PC? Go to Settings > Personalization > Colors, scroll to the bottom of the page and change the default app mode from Light to Dark. 
Check it out in action: 

If you’re using the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, File Explorer will automatically update from light to dark after you change this option. To confirm whether or not your PC is running this version, you can go to Settings > System > About, where it will say Version 1809 in the Windows Specifications section. If you see Version 1803 or a lower version number, the Windows Update Assistant can help you update to the latest version of Windows 10. 
Check out more Windows 10 Tips.

Windows 10 Tip: Grammar tools | Windows Experience Blog

Did you know you can identify parts of speech with different colors, thanks to the Windows 10 October 2018 Update?  
Microsoft Edge is the only browser with Microsoft Learning Tools built-in that help improve reading and focus.  
Now you can separate words into syllables and highlight parts of speech, such as nouns, verbs and adjectives. Along with highlighting parts of speech, you can now also change the color as well as turn on an indicator right over what you’ve highlighted, making it much easier to identify the part of speech. 
Check it out in action: 

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

Unveiled at HP Reinvent: Latest innovations in PC experiences for work and life | Windows Experience Blog

At HP Reinvent, the company’s largest global partner event, HP unveiled a variety of new offerings designed to transform experiences across work and life – including a ground-breaking security service, a cutting-edge commercial virtual reality (VR) headset, as well as new consumer and commercial PCs.
As the security landscape continues to evolve, HP aims to address endpoint challenges through a new security-focused managed service designed to enforce policies, actively monitor, proactively respond and defend against the threat of undetected attacks.
HP DaaS Proactive Security Service is designed to go beyond anti-virus solutions and provide a critical extra layer of defense. As the world’s most advanced isolation security service for files and browsing on Windows 10 PCs [1], this service extends protection and security intelligence to transform endpoints from biggest risk to best defense. It provides real-time malware protection for computing endpoints and threat analytics through HP TechPulse. The service also includes a security self-assessment tool and score; and cyber security solutions including assessment, incident response and cyber insurance services from Aon, a leading global professional services firm.
It will be available in more than 50 countries worldwide in April. The DaaS Proactive Security Service with Aon offerings will be available in the U.S. in April, with additional geographies to be added later this year*.

HP Reverb Virtual Reality Headset

Also at HP Reinvent, the company revealed the HP Reverb Virtual Reality Headset – Professional Edition. It’s ultra-light at 1.1 pounds and ultra-immersive with redesigned optics to increase the visual “sweet spot.”
It joins HP’s comprehensive VR portfolio with panels measuring 2160 x 2160 per eye, with double the resolution [2] and a 114-degree field of view.
It has integrated Bluetooth with pre-paired motion controllers right out of the box and support for Windows Mixed Reality and Steam VR. With Windows Mixed Reality’s inside-out tracking, setup is easy – just plug in the VR headset and start the experience.
“With more than 2,500 VR experiences available and counting, Windows Mixed Reality continues to serve as the home for cutting-edge innovations that are fundamentally changing the way we work and play,” says Alex Kipman, a technical fellow with Microsoft. “The HP Reverb headset is an amazing example of the type of innovation we are seeing take place as we push forward and bring the next era of computing – the era of mixed reality – to the masses.”
HP worked closely with customers and found out that VR-based training has a 75 percent retention rate compared to lectures at 10 percent and reading at 5 percent [3].
HP Reverb also features integrated headphones with spatial audio and smart assistant-compatible dual microphones for a greater immersive experience and collaboration in multi-user VR environments.
The HP Reverb Professional and Consumer Editions are expected to be available in late April for $649 and $599*, respectively.
HP has also expanded its AMD commercial portfolio, designed for modern small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

HP ProBook 445R G6

Powered by 2nd Generation AMD Ryzen mobile processors, the HP ProBook 445R G6 and HP ProBook 455R G6 help professionals stay productive in the office and on the go. The new notebooks adopt the elegant design concept found across the HP EliteBook portfolio, featuring an ultra-slim aluminum chassis with crisp lines and clean edges. The 180-degree hinge allows users to lay the devices flat, making it easier to share content and collaborate, while HP Noise Cancellation reduces background noise by up to 20dB [4], providing a robust audio and video conferencing experience. They’re expected to be available in June*.
The HP ProDesk 405 G4 Desktop Mini delivers the performance, expandability and security that SMBs need in a compact and stylish design. The PC is the company’s first 400-series desktop mini; it features a 2nd Generation AMD Ryzen PRO processor with built-in Radeon Vega graphics and can support up to three displays [5], serving a new market of customers who need a powerful system to create content coupled with the advanced security and manageability capabilities of the AMD processor.
It is expected to be available in April for a starting price of $499*.
With 84 percent of Gen Z workers preferring in-person communication and virtual tools like Skype as a way to meet face-to-face with colleagues [6], HP’s Zoom Room solutions make it easier for IT decision makers to choose a conferencing and collaboration solution that best meets the needs of their organization. These solutions provide easy, customizable and flexible meeting room options that are secure and manageable for small, medium and large organizations. They’re expected to be available starting in July*.
HP also announced HP Premier Care Solutions to enhance its premium commercial notebooks, including HP EliteBooks and HP ZBooks.
The new line-up of HP ENVY laptops and x360s features HP Command Center for powerful performance, sophisticated design with a geometric pattern for audio and thermal venting, and robust security – including a biometric fingerprint reader, a privacy camera kill switch and an optional HP Sure View privacy screen [7] to ensure screen content isn’t exposed.

HP ENVY 13 Laptop

Built with mobility in mind, the HP ENVY 13 Laptop features the latest Intel processors to power up to 19 hours of battery life [8] – nearly a 41 percent improvement versus the previous generation. It is expected to be available in April through HP.com for a starting price of $899.99. The new HP ENVY x360 13 features a powerful 2nd Generation AMD Ryzen processor and up to 14.5 hours of battery life [8] in a convertible form factor. It is expected to be available in April for a starting price of $699.99*.

HP ENVY x360 13

HP ENVY x360 15 offers versatility with either an AMD or the latest 8th Generation Intel Core processor [9], with up to 13 hours of battery life [8], a 28 percent top-bezel reduction versus the previous generation and an optional AMOLED display for stunning colors and brightness for browsing or streaming video. Versions with both Intel and AMD processors are expected to be available in April via HP.com and also available through Best Buy beginning in May. The Intel version has a starting price of $869.99, while the AMD version starts at $799.99*.

HP ENVY 17 Laptop

The HP ENVY 17 Laptop is built for performance with an 8th Generation Intel Core processor and NVIDIA GeForce MX250 graphics for productivity, creativity and entertainment. The 17-inch device offers a better screen-to-body ratio for a more immersive viewing experience, thanks to its 45 percent top bezel reduction versus the previous generation. It is expected to be available in April via HP.com for a starting price of $899.99, and also available through Best Buy beginning in May*.
[1] Based on HP’s internal analysis of isolation security services that offer SaaS and managed services that include on-board and configure, compliance enforcement and malware threat analytics. Most advanced based on hardware VM isolation-enforced protection with individual browser tabs and apps in isolation as of March 2019.
[2] HP Reverb at 2160 x 2160 per eye with 9.3M Pixel doubles the resolution of similar price point. 
[3] According to a MASiE 2017 Report (January 2017, by Bobby Carlton) in a study carried out by the National Training Laboratory.
[4] The test setup and results are based on Delta SNR (Signal to Noise Ratio) from 3QUEST(3-fold Quality Evaluation of Speech in Telecommunications) test as defined in ETSI TS 103 106 specification with testing performed in a train station background noise. Results will vary based on type and surroundings
[5] Displays sold separately. Support for up to three video outputs via two standard video connectors and an optional third video port connector, which provides the following choices: DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 2.0, VGA or USB Type-C with DisplayPort Output.
[6] Stillman, David, and Jonah Stillman. “Gen Z@Work: How the Next Generation Is Transforming the Workplace.” Harper Business, an Imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, 2017.
[7] HP Sure View integrated privacy screen functions in landscape orientation. Optional available on select FHD Sure View panels.
[8] Windows 10/MM14 battery life will vary depending on various factors including product model, configuration, loaded applications, features, use, wireless functionality and power management settings. The maximum capacity of the battery will naturally decrease with time and usage. See www.bapco.com for additional details.
[9] Multi-core is designed to improve performance of certain software products. Not all customers or software applications will necessarily benefit from use of this technology. Performance and clock frequency will vary depending on application workload and your hardware and software configurations. Intel’s numbering, branding and/or naming is not a measurement of higher performance.
*PRICING and AVAILABILITY: Not available in all countries, pricing from HP.com, subject to change without notice. See Best Buy for pricing details.

Windows 10 Tip: Improve focus as you read web articles | Windows Experience Blog

Did you know you can help improve focus while reading web articles by highlighting sets of one, three or five lines, thanks to the Windows 10 October 2018 Update?  
Microsoft Edge is the only browser with Microsoft Learning Tools built-in that help improve reading and focus.  
While you’re in Reading view on Microsoft Edge, you can turn on Line focus in Reading preferences and choose how many lines to see. The lines will move with you as you scroll down the page, making it easier to focus your eye and your attention. 
Check it out in action: 

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

Windows 10 Tip: Increase text spacing and choose themes and colors using the learning tools built into Microsoft Edge | Windows Experience Blog

March 11, 2019 9:00 am

Did you know there are now more ways to improve your reading and focus, thanks to the Windows 10 October 2018 Update? 
Microsoft Edge is the only browser with Microsoft Learning Tools built-in that help improve reading and focus. You’ll notice more customization options in reading view, such as increasing text spacing, or choosing from a wide array of background colors and themes that work best for you. 
Check it out in action: 

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

Tags learning tools Microsoft Edge text spacing Themes Windows 10 Tips

Windows 10 Tip: Look up definitions for words in web pages, books and PDFs | Windows Experience Blog

Did you know you can look up definitions while you’re reading web pages, books and PDFs, thanks to the Windows 10 October 2018 Update?
Microsoft Edge is the only browser with Microsoft Learning Tools built-in that help improve reading and focus.
While you’re in Reading view on Microsoft Edge, you can look up definitions for key words, even when you are offline. Simply select a single word to see the definition appear above your selection.
Check it out in action:

You can also choose to have a word read aloud so you can hear the correct pronunciation or expand more details from the definition. You can also toggle to choose whether definitions appear and which types of content they work in under the “General” tab of the Microsoft Edge settings menu.
If you like this, check out more Windows 10 Tips.