Category Archives: Always Connected PCs

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CES 2018: Five trends to watch – and new Windows 10 devices that power them

It’s exciting to kick off the new year with our incredible partners at CES, the world’s gathering place for people who love consumer technology. As I walked the floor and met with our partners, it’s been amazing to see the amount of innovation in the Windows ecosystem and the trends that will unlock creativity and empower a new culture of work in 2018 and beyond.

In line with our mission to empower every person and organization to achieve more, creators, students, and gamers continue to inspire us. Over the course of this week, we showcased new devices and experiences in five key areas:
1. Beautiful devices ranging from premium to affordable to fit every lifestyle
PCs are increasingly a lifestyle statement. People want beautiful and powerful devices that fit their style. Surface Laptop is a great example. It packs performance, versatility, and over 14 hours of battery life into a sleek design. Starting at $999, Surface Laptop is available in four colors to fit your style.
Surface Laptop available in four colors
At CES this week, our partners announced incredible new devices ranging from premium to affordable. We believe affordability should not come at the cost of elegant design and access to innovation – and no ecosystem offers more choice than Windows.
Examples of new Windows 10 PCs unveiled at CES this week include:
Acer Swift 7
Acer Swift 7
At just 8.98 mm thin, the new Acer Swift 7 is designed for mobility, with an ultraportable design, all-day battery life, and a personal, trusted 4G LTE connection. The Acer Swift 7 also comes with a built-in fingerprint reader to unlock Windows Hello. The Acer Swift 7 starts at $1,699.
ASUS Zenbook 13
ASUS Zenbook 13
The ASUS Zenbook 13 UX331UAL features a feather-light 985g all-metal chassis and all-day 15 hour of battery life for $999.
Dell XPS 15
Dell XPS 15 2-in-1
The Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 offers an eye-catching next-generation InfinityEdge 4K Ultra HD display with vivid color and cinematic immersion in a slim 16mm design. It’s built with the new 8th Generation Intel Core processor combining a high-performance Intel CPU and discrete Radeon RX Vega M graphics in a single package. It’s also built with far-field microphone capabilities that let you talk to Cortana even when you’re across the room from the PC. The XPS 15 2-in-1 starts at $1,299.99.
HP Spectre x360 15″
HP Spectre x360 15″
The HP Spectre x360 15″ is a great device with a starting price of $1,369 that will offer a beautiful convertible design, 4K screen, fast performance with 8th Generation Intel Core i7 processor or quad-core 8th Generation Intel Core processors and powerful graphics that allow you to effortlessly create, edit, and stream content while delivering up to 13.5 hours of battery life.
Lenovo ThinkPad L580 series
Lenovo ThinkPad L580 series
The Lenovo ThinkPad L580 series include 8th Generation Intel Core processors and optional discrete AMD graphics in a thin and light form factor. The Lenovo ThinkPad L series ranges from $449 – $779.
Samsung Notebook 7 Spin (2018)
Samsung Notebook 7 Spin (2018)
The Samsung Notebook 7 Spin (2018) has a 360-degree rotating touch screen, is Active-Pen enabled for Windows Ink (Pen sold separately) and offers secure fingerprint login with Windows Hello. Samsung will share pricing and availability of this device in Q1.
2. A new category of Always Connected PCs with up to 20 days of standby power
In December, along with our hardware partners HP and ASUS, we showed the world the first full-featured Always Connected PCs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset running Windows 10. These Qualcomm-powered devices deliver instantly on, always-connected experiences that seamlessly switch between LTE and WiFi connections and up to 20 days of standby power. Also in December, we started shipping Surface Pro with LTE Advanced to business customers. Surface Pro with LTE Advanced provides seamless connectivity with unmatched versatility and performance.
Surface Pro with LTE Advanced for business customers
This week at CES, Lenovo announced the Miix 630, a 2-in-1 detachable that gives you the power and productivity of a laptop with the always-on, always-connected mobility of a smartphone. It offers up to 20 hours of battery life in a thin and light fan-less design and supports Windows Hello with a built-in infrared camera.
Lenovo Miix 630
HP also announced their Always Connected PC running on Intel chips: the HP ENVY x2.
HP ENVY x2
The new HP ENVY x2 is purpose-built for an always-on, always ready to work experience. The thin, light and durable device offers mobile flexibility to stay connected with an instant-on experience with optional 4G LTE and a brilliant touch display that supports Windows Ink.
3. Voice powers an increasing number of new PCs and devices
We built Windows 10 to be the most advanced platform for the most natural of input methods, including voice. From Windows Hello facial recognition to voice input with Cortana, AI is deeply incorporated into Windows 10 to make your experience more personal and more secure.
Thanks to far-field microphones arriving in more than a dozen new Windows 10 PCs, you can ask Cortana on your PC to check the score of the game, the weather, or hear the news. New devices from Dell and ASUS recently announced are great examples of what’s possible with this far-field capability and we will continue to see this number grow. We’ve seen Cortana expand to the Harmon Kardon Invoke voice-activated speaker, and we’re looking forward to more from HP, who will unveil a new device featuring Cortana, combining connectivity and voice activation in a beautiful, compact, and stylish design later this year.
Not only have we invested in deeply integrating Cortana for these advanced experiences, Windows also provides the most robust platform for our partners to offer additional voice capabilities.
This week, device makers including Acer, ASUS, HP, and Lenovo announced that Amazon Alexa will be available on some of their Windows 10 PCs in 2018 through an app. It’s great to see Amazon building an Alexa app for Windows 10 ahead of other platforms that leverage the far-field technology our hardware partners are building into their devices.
Finally, partners like Johnson Controls and Kohler have unveiled new smart home devices powered by the Windows and Azure platforms:
GLAS from Johnson Controls smart thermostat featuring Cortana
Johnson Controls announced the first in-home voice-controlled thermostat, using Cortana and powered by Windows 10 IoT and Azure IoT.
Kohler selected Azure IoT as its cloud platform to power its new line of connected products, KOHLER Konnect. KOHLER Konnect allows personalized bath and kitchen experiences that automate everyday tasks.
4. Mixed reality gains momentum
Windows Mixed Reality headsets from Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Samsung
Last year, we welcomed the launch of Windows Mixed Reality headsets from our partners Acer, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Samsung, and unveiled highly immersive VR experiences, highlighted by many of the most popular VR games and experiences, including more than 2,000 titles from the Steam®VR library.
This week at CES, ASUS announced that their Windows Mixed Reality headset will be coming to customers in North America in the first quarter of this year.
When we unveiled Microsoft HoloLens, we knew mixed reality had the potential to change the world. Today, we’re inspired by industry leaders like Ford, thyssenkrupp, and Case Western Reserve University who are reimagining the possibilities of product design, remote assistance, and healthcare with HoloLens and mixed reality. With HoloLens now available in 39 markets and more on the way, we can’t wait to see what our partners will do in the coming year.
5. Gaming PCs that deliver more immersive and social experiences
PC gaming is booming, driven by innovation in VR, the incredible popularity of multiplayer games like PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), the excitement of esports, and game streaming services like Mixer. We continue to see PC gaming innovation from partners such as Dell, HP, NVIDIA, Lenovo, msi, iBUYPOWER, and Corsair.
This week, ASUS unveiled the ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) G703, a gaming laptop with an ultra-responsive 17.3-inch IPS-level display with NVIDIA G-SYNC technology that can reach refresh rates of 144Hz. It’s Mixed Reality Ultra Badged which means it’s powerful enough to run Windows Mixed Reality experiences when combined with a compatible headset and includes support for up to eight Xbox One controllers, eliminating the need for multiple adapters.
ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) G703
Continuing to push gaming display technology boundaries, NVIDIA just announced Big Format Gaming Displays, along with supporting hardware partners Acer, ASUS, and HP. BFGDs are high-end, 65-inch, 4K, 120Hz HDR displays – complete with NVIDIA’s G-Sync technology and integrated NVIDIA SHIELD set-top streaming box – that they are calling ‘buttery-smooth’ for gaming.
With all this innovation, it’s no surprise that gaming on Windows 10 PCs has increased 500 percent in the last year, with nearly 200 million monthly active users gaming on Windows 10 devices.
This is just the beginning
We are just scratching the surface of what’s possible—and what’s to come in the Windows device ecosystem. With the relentless pursuit of new categories and new experiences on modern devices, innovation and ecosystem collaboration doesn’t stop at CES.
For us, this is just the beginning.
Terry
LinkedIn |  Twitter

CES 2018: HP announces the HP ENVY x2, HP Spectre x360 15, HP Z 3D Camera, and more

HP ENVY x2

The new HP ENVY x2 is a premium detachable powered by Intel and Windows 10 that gives you versatility, performance, and long battery in a thin, light, and durable design. It offers mobile flexibility to stay connected with an instant-on experience with optional 4G LTE, so you can enjoy entertainment on the go and stay connected in and out of the home or office without having to find a Wi-Fi hotspot.
Other features include:
The fanless CNC Machined Aluminum tablet is 7.9 mm and 1.69 lbs.
Features a brilliant 12.3-inch diagonal touch WUXGA+ display8 with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 for increased durability and scratch resistance when on the go.
The leather-like textured case in Oxford Blue integrates an adjustable stand to transform the device into laptop, reading and tablet modes.
The backlit keyboard has a 1.3 mm key travel for a smooth typing experience in any lighting condition.
The pen offers a natural drawing and writing experience with simultaneous pen and touch with Windows Ink.
Up to 16.5 hours of battery life and Windows 10, stay productive on Wi-Fi, in sync with Connected Modern Standby, and connect with an LTE-Advanced support option.
7th generation Intel Core Y-Series processors and optimized thermal design boosts performance and is equipped with up to 256 GB PCIe SSD Storage to store presentations and multi-task with up to 8GB LPDDR3 memory.
Pricing and availability: HP ENVY x2 will be available Spring 2018. Pricing and mobile carriers will be disclosed closer to product availability.
HP Spectre x360 15

The HP Spectre x360 15 is designed with impressive performance and high discrete graphics capabilities featuring 8th generation Intel Core quad-core processors with Radeon RX Vega M to handle the most intensive tasks. You can effortlessly produce, simulate, edit large 3D photo and video renders, edit 4K video, create artwork designs, develop apps, stream movies, and play games without slowing down.
Imagination is the limit with 4K UHD 15.6-inch diagonal touch display and HP Tilt Pen to set ideas in motion on the digital canvas with Windows Ink. The durable, brilliant Corning Gorilla Glass 4 display is strong and scratch-resistant for when on the go and using a touch display.
Other features include:
Responsive performance and graphics capabilities with the choice of:
8th Gen Intel Core i7 8705G processor with Radeon RX Vega M graphics offering up to 12 hours of battery life with Fast Charge Technology – 50 percent in 30 minutes
8th generation Intel Core quad-core processors with NVIDIA GeForce MX 150 graphics with up to 13.5 hours of battery life with Fast Charge Technology – 90 percent in 90 minutes.
Built from an aluminum CNC machined chassis with a new angular profile at 19.5 mm enable 2.5 times faster performance and weighs 4.72 lbs.
Speakers now sit above the keyboard for an improved audio experience in any mode while allowing the keyboard to offer numeric keypad ideal for Adobe short-cut keys.
The 4K UHDX 15.6-inch diagonal touch display and optional HP Tilt Pen set ideas in motion on the digital canvas. The durable and brilliant Corning Gorilla Glass 4 display is strong and scratch-resistant for when creating on the go and using a touch display.
Packed into this powerful PC includes an IR camera supporting Windows Hello and a fingerprint reader to log in safely and seamlessly.
Available in Dark Ash Silver with Copper Luxe accents
Pricing and availability: HP Spectre x360 15-inch starting pricing is $1,369.99 and will be available at HP.com and Best Buy on March 18.
Sprout 3D Camera by HP

The Sprout 3D Camera by HP reinvents creative workflows and sparks spontaneous collaboration. The down-facing camera simply attaches to your display to capture and digitize 3D objects, 2D documents, and live video.
Other features include:
Minimum footprint, maximum compatibility: With a unique design, it attaches to your display, minimizing desktop space for real-time capture and visualization.
3D scanning as easy as recording video: Create life-like digital images by rotating any object in your hands or positioning under the camera – SLAM tracking and scanning technology constructs the 3D model in real time.
Made for PBR and VR workflows: Scan objects with computer-graphics-friendly resolutions that maintain separate texture maps for physical-based rendering (PBR) and Virtual Reality (VR) applications.
Picture-perfect remote collaboration. Share captures or live videos of notes and sketches directly from your desktop.
OMEN Game Stream

OMEN Game Stream allows gamers to play top AAA games anytime and anywhere by leveraging the power and performance of their OMEN PC on any Windows 10 device with a high-speed internet connection.
Please visit HP.com to learn more about everything HP announced today, and head over here to read more partner news out of CES!

Always Connected PCs enable a new culture of work

Throughout the history of personal computing, a steady wave of progress has changed how we interact with technology in both our work and personal lives. Microsoft and our partners have led many of these shifts in technology like enabling the original mobile computer – the laptop, navigating with touch, signing in with your face, detaching screens from keyboards, exploring mixed reality, and storing your files in the cloud. We are again at the beginning of another major technology shift: the ability to be connected anytime, anywhere with Always Connected PCs that are instantly on, always connected with incredible battery life.
Terry Myerson, Windows and Devices Group Executive Vice President, shares his personal experience with Always Connected PCs at the Qualcomm Snapdragon Summit.
New Always Connected PCs unveiled
Last year at this time, I was with many of our hardware partners at the WinHEC event in Shenzhen, China, where we painted a new vision for connected computing with built-in LTE connectivity, devices that are instantly on and battery life that went beyond hours into days and weeks. We also set a goal for us to begin delivering on this promise within one year.
Today, at the Qualcomm Snapdragon Tech Summit, I stood with Cristiano Amon, President of Qualcomm Chips, and we delivered on the promise that we made then. Along with our hardware partners HP and ASUS, we showed the world the first full-featured Always Connected PCs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset running Windows 10 and a new, optimized version of Office 365. ASUS and HP have worked hand in hand with us to deliver on pushing the boundaries of what a PC can do, and we continue to work closely with Lenovo as they build their own Always Connected PC.
ASUS NovaGo is the world’s first Gigabit LTE laptop, with superfast download speeds allowing users to download a 2-hour movie in just 10 seconds. Powered by a Qualcomm® Snapdragon 835 Mobile PC platform with X16 LTE, the NovaGo is always on, always connected with a battery supporting 30 days of standby and 22 hours of active use.
The HP ENVY x2, an Always Connected PC, combines the best of a smartphone experience with the best of a Windows PC. Impossibly thin and incredibly durable, the HP ENVY x2 offers lightning-fast 4G LTE2 and Wi-Fi. With up to 20 hours of active use battery life, the detachable PC provides flexibility and connectivity to perform daily tasks while on the go.
Instantly on, Always Connected, and a week of battery life is liberating
One of the favorite parts of my job is trying out new products. Seeing the innovation, understanding how all the components work together, how it looks and feels, and ultimately how the customer will experience the product.
For the last few months, I have been using an Always Connected PC, running on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon platform. In the last week, I watched the movie Moana with my daughter, worked in PowerPoint, browsed the web every day, reviewed budgets in Excel, checked email while waiting to pick up my son from soccer, marked up a few PDFs with Ink, played some games on the plane – all of this without plugging in my power cord all week.
The PC is fast and responsive when I am using it and quickly goes into standby being incredibly battery efficient when I’m not using it.

This new Always Connected PC is ultrathin, beautifully designed, running Windows 10 and a new, optimized version of Office 365. But beyond the full experiences you’d expect in a PC, this new Always Connected PC has fundamentally transformed how I work, because of three significant advantages over my other PCs.
The screen is instantly on whenever I pick up the device. I never have to wait for it to wake up, it’s just on.
Being always connected wherever I am whether I am in the car, airport or coffee shop, always being connected just feels like the most natural, safe and secure way to work with teams and be creative.
Lastly, the battery life is just awesome! I am finding myself charging it once a week. When I was using a wearable that needed to charge every day, I didn’t really rely on it. Once I moved to a Fitbit that only needed charging once a week that was game changing for me. Not carrying around power cords is liberating.
Once you start using this new category of PCs that are instantly on, always connected with a week of battery life and the full Windows 10 experience, you can really feel what a big shift this will be for consumers.
Always Connected PCs enable a new culture of work with better security at a lower cost
Always Connected PCs also have three huge benefits for organizations
New culture of work: IT is always thinking about the culture of work they enable through the technology they choose: how a given device enables teams to collaborate and be productive. The Always Connected PC is a cultural shift, enabling teams to work effectively, whether they are on a corporate campus, visiting customers or on the bus commuting, freeing a real constraint on the creativity of employees today.
Better security: IT also must manage increasing security threats and is responsible for protecting an organization’s information. Security has been a huge focus for Windows 10. But there are still these public Wi-Fi hotspots out there, which every day unknowing users connect to and could put hackers in control of the data coming and going to their device, potentially enabling hackers to steal corporate data and invade user privacy. The Always Connected PC is real security progress enabling safe connectivity everywhere, bypassing untrusted networks.
Lower costs: Today IT organizations are spending millions of dollars installing, updating and maintaining Wi-Fi antennas and repeaters throughout their buildings, and upgrading those every few years to make them even faster. At the same time, mobile operators have invested billions in building fast 4G networks. The United States alone is now 98% covered by 4G. And mobile operators have now embarked on even faster 5G network build outs that will be even faster.
Just like IT is now leveraging the massive investments in cloud compute and storage in data centers like Microsoft Azure, moving networking to the cloud will lower IT costs. Today’s global mobile operators are professionally maintaining, managing and updating their networks with massive investments in speed and security. Always Connected PCs are key for IT leaders to unlock the benefits of this global networking and provide employees with a modern workplace they want at a lower cost.
With the introduction of the Always Connected PC, IT now must ask themselves: how can they leverage the public networks of Sprint, AT&T, Orange, and others – and reduce their investment in their private antennas – to give employees faster connectivity at a lower cost than they enjoy today?
For IT, the Always Connected PC enables a new culture of work, a real step forward in security and an opportunity for massive cost savings, as the local network moves to the cloud. More on this shift is detailed in Accelerating the Move to the Cloud with Always Connected Computing.
Always Connected PCs are modern Windows 10 devices with Windows Hello, touch, pen and Ink, with thin, light, elegant designs that are more secure, instantly on, always connected with a week of battery life. When I think about organizations and whether they are going to leverage the massive networks of mobile operators and adopt these new PCs – the answer is simple: It is not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when and how fast all mobile PCs become Always Connected PCs.
Terry
LinkedIn |  Twitter