Category Archives: Cortana

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Hey Cortana, turn up the heat; Cortana now works with more smart home providers and IFTTT

Cortana helps make your life easier by making it easy to control your smart home devices from afar. Rush out of the house and forget to turn off the lights? No problem, just pull out your phone, open the Cortana app and say, “Hey Cortana, turn off the lights,” and she’ll take care of it for you.
Last October we announced you could use Cortana to manage your smart devices through Samsung SmartThings, Nest, Philips Hue, Wink, and Insteon. Today, we are pleased to announce that you can use Cortana to control your favorite smart home devices from ecobee, Honeywell Lyric, Honeywell Total Connect Comfort, LIFX, TP-Link Kasa, and Geeni. You can control these devices using Cortana on Windows 10, iPhone, Android, and the Harman Kardon Invoke speaker.
Want to come home to a warm house from a long day at work? Just tap Cortana on your PC and say “Hey Cortana, set the living room thermostat to 72 degrees” to control your ecobee, Honeywell Lyric, or Honeywell Total Connect Comfort thermostat. With vivid colors from your LIFX Wi-Fi connected light bulbs, you can set the mood just right for movie night.
With the slim smart plugs by TP-Link, you’ll never have to worry again about leaving the house and forgetting to turn off something like a space heater or straightening iron. Just say, “Hey Cortana, turn off the space heater.”
Geeni’s smart bulbs and power products work with Cortana, and its smart surge protector even lets you name and control each outlet separately or in groups with Cortana. For example, if you have several lamps in your living room, plug them into your Geeni surge protector and say, “Hey Cortana, turn off the living room lamps”, and Cortana will turn off all the outlets named “living room lamp”.
To set up your connected home with Cortana, open Cortana on Windows 10 or go to the Cortana app on your phone, click Notebook, then click Connected Home. From there, you can connect your favorite smart home accounts and control your devices from anywhere you use Cortana.*
Cortana now works with hundreds of services on IFTTT
We are also excited to share that starting today, Cortana works with IFTTT! IFTTT is a free platform that helps you connect your apps and services together. IFTTT works with 600 services from providers in a variety of areas. You could add items to your shopping list on Trello, post a tweet, open your Link shades, extend tumble time on your GE Dryer and log your weight on Fitbit among many other things. There’s a whole world of possibilities with Cortana on IFTTT.
Using IFTTT, you will be able to customize your experience by creating your own phrases to use with services on IFTTT. For example, you could turn your lights off by saying, “Hey Cortana, let there be light” or put money towards that next concert trip on Qapital by saying, “Hey Cortana, penny for my thoughts.” Use triggers and responses on IFTTT to make Cortana your truly personal assistant.
You can also use Applets on IFTTT with Cortana to trigger multiple actions with one phrase. So if you are watching a movie at home, you can say “Hey Cortana, movie time” and she’ll turn down your Hue lights, Harmony TV turned on, and your Nest Thermostat set to the right temperature.
Cortana is always available to help you on Windows 10, Android, iPhone, and Harman Kardon Invoke devices. Set up your Cortana Applets on the Cortana channel on IFTTT!

Hey Cortana, turn up the heat; Cortana now works with more smart home providers and IFTTT
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*Additional requirements may apply per device.

Windows 10 Tip: 7 pro tips for getting started with Microsoft Edge as your PDF viewer

With the latest feature updates, you can now do a lot more with your PDF in Microsoft Edge like, customize different views, take notes, and even have your PDF read aloud to you!
Check out all that the PDF viewer in Microsoft Edge has to offer:
Text highlighting and handwritten notes
Annotations in the browser is now extended to PDFs as well. Look for the “Add notes” button next to browser address bar to move into the annotations mode. The annotations toolbar has all the tools to highlight text or use Windows Ink to write on your documents. The toolbar also provides different colors for inking and the “Touch writing” button can be used to switch between annotating and scrolling and panning your document. And, if you’re not pleased with your annotation – the Eraser tool is there to remove things.

Pop-up menu and text notes
You can get to some of the features quickly through the pop-up menu that appears when you select any text. Once you select text, you will get an option to highlight the text quickly or add a text note. Click on the “Add a note” button and a text note will pop-up.

Easy navigation through the document
The PDF toolbar offers all the necessary tools to view PDFs. You can click/tap anywhere on the screen to invoke and dismiss the toolbar. You can enter a page number to jump to any page of the document or use “Table of contents” to jump to a desired section. “Search” can help you find all the occurrences of a text in the document and then easily jump to the locations.
Reading modes to suit your requirements
You can use “Rotate” to rotate those upside-down documents and use “Layout” to choose between different reading layouts including one-page and two-page layouts. Like to have freedom when it comes scrolling – then you’ll like the continuous and page-wise scrolling options. The “Full screen” option, in the browser menu, allows for distraction-free reading of your documents and books as well.
Pro tip: Try opening a PowerPoint presentation saved as PDF in single page layout with continuous scrolling off and go full-screen. You are now in presentation mode right from your browser.

PDF form filling
Every now and then we encounter forms to be filled which are in PDF format – and now you can fill them out within Microsoft Edge. You can even use the inking feature to sign the forms with your handwriting.
Read aloud
Now you don’t have to read those long research documents or books yourself because the browser will read them to you. Look for the “Read aloud” button in the toolbar to start reading your PDFs.
Ask Cortana*
Select any text within your PDF and click “Ask Cortana” and Cortana will give you all the necessary information of your search without even having to leave the browser tab.

So, the next time you open a PDF in Microsoft Edge, try out some of these features, and happy reading.

Windows 10 Tip: 7 pro tips for getting started with Microsoft Edge as your PDF viewer
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*Cortana available in select markets.

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

Cortana coming to more devices in 2018 through Devices SDK and new reference designs

2017 was an exciting and productive year for Cortana — from launching the Harman Kardon Invoke intelligent speaker, releasing our Skills Kit, and introducing many new features and capabilities — we continue to grow the Cortana ecosystem to help people get things done across work and life.
To kick-off 2018, we’re making it easier than ever for OEMs and developers to build for Cortana with the Cortana Devices SDK. Just last week, Johnson Controls announced the new Cortana-enabled JCI Glas thermostat, built using the Cortana Devices SDK. We’ve also partnered with industry leaders including Allwinner, Synaptics, TONLY and Qualcomm, to develop reference designs for new Cortana experiences. Sign up today to start building with the Devices SDK and bring Cortana to your very own designs or leverage one of the many reference designs from our Cortana Device Program partners. Additionally, skills created using the Cortana Skills Kit are available on devices built leveraging the SDK, allowing users to seamlessly access their favorite Cortana skills across all devices.
With the support of both existing and new partnerships, we’re continuing to bring Cortana to even more places in the office, at home and on the go. Regardless of the device or context, our goal is to put Cortana everywhere you need assistance, whether that is on your PC, phone, Xbox, mixed reality headsets, intelligent home speakers, thermostats and even more in the future. You’ll continue to see Cortana integrated on your favorite devices and services throughout the year to come.
More on the reference designs from our Device Program partners:
Allwinner
The Allwinner Tech R16 Quad Core IoT solution is now available with Cortana, enabling partners to build voice first IoT devices. The reference designs come with the software integration to equip device partners to deliver high quality Cortana devices reducing cycle time and overhead.
Synaptics
Synaptics is an industry leader in far-field voice processing for consumer IoT, smart speakers, PCs and beyond. Synaptics provides Cortana and Skype certified solutions that greatly reduce development time-to-market and provide a high-quality user experience. Learn more about Synaptics designs here.
TONLY
TONLY has collaborated closely with Microsoft to design, develop and manufacture Cortana devices that optimize Skype audio requirements.
Qualcomm
Qualcomm and Microsoft are excited to enable partners to build Mesh Networking and Smart Audio products that bring Cortana value to customers, through reference designs on the Qualcomm® Smart Audio Platform and Qualcomm® Mesh Networking Platform. Learn more about Qualcomm designs here.

Johnson Controls utilizes Microsoft technology to expand the smart thermostat category

Heating and cooling account for more than 40 percent of the energy use in a typical home and makes for the largest energy expense for most families. In the commercial building sector, the cost for energy is approximately 40 percent of their expenses.
We’re excited to share that today, Johnson Controls (JCI), the inventors of the first room thermostat, revealed details of GLAS, the first smart thermostat featuring Cortana and powered by Windows 10 IoT Core.

The simple to use, elegant thermostat features a translucent OLED touchscreen display for you to control temperature, monitor indoor and outdoor air quality, check the weather and more so you can live and work comfortably in your home or office. When connected to the internet, GLAS continuously monitors air quality and intelligently adjust settings to help create a comfortable home environment. GLAS can also adapt to your schedule and save energy, blending seamlessly with a home or building’s environment when not in use. After adopting your preferred settings and routines, the thermostat can intelligently detect when you’re home and can adjust settings accordingly to keep your space comfortable and energy efficient.

To ensure GLAS stays up to date with important feature and security updates while providing a simple and interactive experience, Johnson Controls turned to Microsoft technologies to bring GLAS to life, including its most secure, trusted and cutting-edge IoT platform, and its personal assistant, Cortana.
Cortana is integrated into the thermostat so you can use your voice to easily adjust your space, in addition to understanding indoor and outdoor temperature and learning about the current weather forecast. For example, just say, “Hey Cortana, set the temperature to 68 degrees,” and GLAS will adjust the temperature in your space accordingly. Moreover, Cortana can help you manage your calendar, inform you of traffic, answer questions, and more, so all of this information is on display in one place to help jumpstart your day before leaving the door.  You can access GLAS on mobile, tablet or web browser, with mobile apps currently available to download for iOS and Android, and a Windows 10 app expected soon in the Microsoft Store.

GLAS is the latest personal device built using the Cortana Devices SDK, much like the Harmon Kardon Invoke with Cortana. Cortana delivers intelligence and deep integration with Microsoft’s suite of knowledge and productivity tools. Coupled with JCI’s deep experience in building automation and controls, GLAS will provide a seamless and interactive experience you can control with your voice or any of your connected devices to help ensure your home is comfortable.

Windows 10 IoT simplifies the process of bringing together all the pieces and technologies needed to make a full solution. JCI chose to build GLAS on Windows 10 IoT Core and utilize Azure IoT Hub device management capabilities, which was released with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. Because GLAS is powered by Windows 10 IoT Core and Azure IoT, the smart thermostat keeps getting better by delivering the latest feature and security software updates.

Johnson Controls utilizes Microsoft technology to expand the smart thermostat category
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GLAS is available for pre-order in March 2018 at glas.johnsoncontrols.com. For more information, visit glas.johnsoncontrols.com.

Start shopping Microsoft Store’s Black Friday deals now!

You can also save on apps like Adobe Photoshop Elements 2018, PC games including Halo Wars 2, movies like Deadpool and Wonder Woman and more at Microsoft Store on your Xbox or Windows 10 device.
Keep reading for the full list of the hottest Black Friday deals from Microsoft Store and remember to check out our Cyber Monday deals starting Nov. 26 at 9 p.m. PT.
Surface

Save $329 on Surface Pro bundle
Get instant savings on Surface Pro (Intel Core i5/256GB SSD) and black Type Cover.
Save $229 on Surface Pro bundle
Bundle and save on Surface Pro (Intel Core i5/128GB SSD) and black Type Cover.
Free Harman Kardon Invoke
Buy a select Surface Laptop and get the new Harman Kardon Invoke speaker for free ($199 value) – Available through Monday, Nov. 27.
Xbox

Xbox One S only $189 + free game
Score an amazing deal on an Xbox One S 500GB console, plus get a select free game of choice and one month of Xbox Game Pass.
Save $50 on Xbox One S bundles + free game
Save $50 on Xbox One S 500GB and 1TB bundles plus get a select free game.
Windows 10 PCs
Save up to $300 off select Windows 10 PCs
Looking for a new PC? Save up to $300 this holiday when you purchase a new Windows 10 PC that lights up the recently released Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. The Fall Creators Update brings mixed reality and 3D to the masses, faster broadcasting for gaming, features to turn photos and videos into real memories, and much more.
Windows Mixed Reality

Save up to $100 on Windows Mixed Reality headsets
Grab instant savings on select Windows Mixed Reality headsets with motion controllers, starting at $299 – Available through Monday, Nov. 27.

Bundle and save up to $400
Get instant savings on select Windows Mixed Reality headsets and PC bundles.
Accessories
Up to $20 off Xbox controllers
Save instantly on select Xbox Wireless Controllers through Monday, Nov. 27.
Save $20 on Minecraft controller
Build, dig, and craft in style with the Xbox Wireless Controller – Minecraft Creeper.
Save $50 on Elite headset
Hear every pin drop with the Turtle Beach Elite 800x on-ear headset with noise-cancellation – Available through Monday, Nov. 27.
Digital
Up to 50% off games
Stock up on the hottest Xbox games this season like Halo Wars 2 and Super Lucky’s Tale.
Call of Duty for $49.99
Save $10 on Call of Duty: WWII.
Save $20 on Office 365 Home
Get Office 365 Home for $79.99 and get things done from virtually anywhere, on all your devices.
Microsoft Store
Don’t forget! Microsoft Store locations nationwide will offer the first Black Friday shoppers a chance to win an Xbox One X. Be in line before the store opens on Nov. 23, in select locations and on Nov. 24, in most locations for a chance to win.** Check your local Microsoft Store for more information.

Happy shopping!
Visit your local Microsoft Store, Microsoft.com or any of our retail partners for more details on availability and pricing.
Offers valid for a limited time, while supplies last. Not valid on prior orders or purchases; cannot be transferred or otherwise redeemed for cash or coupon code(s). May not be combinable with other offers. Refunds will take into account the discount. Price discount does not include taxes, shipping or other fees. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. Microsoft reserves the right to modify or discontinue offers at any time. Other exclusions and limits may apply. 
**No Purchase Necessary. Open only to legal residents of the 50 U.S.+ DC, Puerto Rico, or Canada (excluding Quebec) who visit a Microsoft Retail Store beginning on November 23 or 24 (check your store’s Black Friday hours for opening times). One winner will be drawn 15 minutes after opening at each store. Must be present to win. For Official Rules, see a store associate.

Announcing the top Black Friday deals from Microsoft and our partners

It’s one of my favorite times of the year and this holiday, I’m looking forward to welcoming my sons home from college, enjoying time with my daughter, and watching a lot of football.
Of course, it’s also a great time to celebrate loved ones with incredible gifts and Microsoft has some great options – from the must-have Xbox One X or amazing value of the Xbox One S, to positively reviewed Surface devices, to cutting-edge technology like Windows Mixed Reality headsets.

With Black Friday just around the corner, Microsoft Store and our partners are offering some great deals on my favorite tech, there’s something great for everyone on your list. Here’s a sneak peek into the hottest deals you can enjoy starting next weekend through Cyber Monday at Microsoft Store and Microsoft.com. You can check out more deals here.
Save up to $329 on new Surface bundles

Described as a “killer device” and “near perfection” by top reviewers, the new Surface Pro is a beautiful ultra-light, versatile and powerful device. If you have a loved one looking for uncompromising mobility and productivity so they can create, study, work or play anywhere, the Surface Pro is the ideal gift. You can take advantage of our best deal ever for the new Surface Pro – $329 off the Surface Pro i5 256GB and $229 off the Surface Pro i5 128GB. Both Surface Pro options feature all-day battery life, a stunning PixelSense display, and a lighter-than-ever-feel, both bundled with the Black Type Cover. You can also add Office 365 Home for $79.99 and save 20%.
Save $199 with the purchase of Surface Laptop and the new Harmon Kardon Invoke speaker

From November 23 – 27, you can purchase Surface Laptop (either i5 256GB or i7) with the Harman Kardon Invoke voice-activated speaker and save $199.95. Surface Laptop blends portability and performance with impeccable design, and the Harman Kardon Invoke speaker delivers premium sound, the intelligence of Cortana, Skype calling, and more – all hands-free.

Cortana works across both devices, helping you get things done so you can focus on what matters. Invoke will also be available at a discounted price of $99 from November 23 – 27.*
Get Xbox One S at its lowest price ever, starting at just $189

From November 23 – 27, gamers can get incredible deals on a variety of Xbox One consoles, games, and accessories, including Xbox One S at its lowest price ever, starting at just $189. Xbox One S offers the best value in games and entertainment, with over 1,300 games including blockbusters, popular franchises, and more than 220 Xbox One exclusives. With Xbox One S, you can play with friends on Xbox Live – the fastest, most reliable gaming network – and enjoy built-in 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and 4K video streaming.

You can also save $50 off Xbox One S 1TB and 500GB bundles, which include a console, game, and additional bonuses like Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold subscriptions. Blockbuster games like Forza Motorsport 7, Gears of War 4, Halo Wars 2, and Forza Horizon 3 are each $20 off and you can save $20 on Xbox Wireless Controllers, $15 on Stereo Headsets, and $10 on 3-month or 6-month Xbox Live Gold subscriptions.
Save up to $100 on Windows Mixed Reality headsets

With Windows Mixed Reality, you can escape to the most immersive experiences – touring top travel destinations, getting inside the most exciting games, attending the most popular events, even traveling across time and space – right in your own home, with you at the center of everything.

Available for the first time this holiday, you can save up to $100 on Windows Mixed Reality Headsets from our partners Acer, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Samsung and savings up to $249 on PC bundles from Acer, Dell, and HP. Try them out and experience mixed reality at your local Microsoft Store.
Upgrade to a new Windows 10 PC with savings of up to $300 off
Looking for a new PC? Save up to $300 this holiday when you purchase a new Windows 10 PC that lights up the recently released Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. The Fall Creators Update brings mixed reality and 3D to the masses, faster broadcasting for gaming, features to turn photos and videos into real memories, and much more.
Additional Black Friday deals from our partners include:
Save up to $150 on the Acer Aspire 1 and Aspire 3 laptops starting November 24 at Acer.com.
Save up to $100 on ASUS Transformer Book Flip 2-in-1, TP200 at ASUS.com/US.
Save on PCs from Dell, like the Alienware 17 Laptop available for $1599.99, the Dell Inspiron 14 3000 for only $129.99, or the Dell Latitude 3580 for just $579. The deals start November 15 and roll into Black Friday at Dell.com/BlackFriday and Dell.com/sbblackfriday.
Save $230 on the HP Pavilion 15 x360, or $200 on the HP 15” Notebook.
Save on great Lenovo devices like the Yoga 720 for $729.99, the Legion Y520 for $749.99, and the Yoga 910 Star Wars Glass for only $999.99. Check out these and other great deals starting on November 20 on Lenovo’s website.
Save on Samsung devices this Black Friday with Galaxy Books starting at $529.99 November 17 – 27, and All-in-One PCs November 19 – 25 at Samsung.com and other retailers.
Visit Microsoft Store for great deals

I encourage you to visit Microsoft Store for your holiday shopping. Whether you’re looking for the perfect gift at any price, picking up a purchase you made online, or just experiencing the best of Microsoft from Surface to Xbox to Windows Mixed Reality – Microsoft Store has you covered.
Check out free demonstrations of virtual reality and Windows Mixed Reality. Experience true 4K gaming on Xbox One X.
Encourage STEM with top products like Lego Boost ($149.95) or littleBits Gizmos & Gadgets Kit ($79.95), or Minecraft Super Plus Pack ($39.99).
Celebrate design with Marimekko patterned sleeves ($75) and skins ($39), or Surface Arc Mouse ($79.99).
Microsoft Stores nationwide will offer the first people in line before the doors open on November 24 a chance to win an Xbox One X.**
Get hands-on with the latest technology and join free, in-store activities in a fun, learning environment. Create holiday cards, learn how to paint, scan or play in 3D or build a Minecraft Holiday Village.
Happy shopping!
Yusuf
Visit your local Microsoft Store, Microsoft.com or any of our retail partners for more details on availability and pricing.
Offers valid for a limited time, while supplies last. Not valid on prior orders or purchases; cannot be transferred or otherwise redeemed for cash or coupon code(s). May not be combinable with other offers. Refunds will take into account the discount. Price discount does not include taxes, shipping or other fees. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. Microsoft reserves the right to modify or discontinue offers at any time. Other exclusions and limits may apply.
*Setup requires the Cortana app for Windows 10 PC or phone, Android or iPhone and signing in with a Microsoft Account (requires Android version 4.1.2 or higher, or iPhone 4 with iOS 8.0 or higher). Must accept Cortana Terms of Use. Works with select music services (paid subscriptions may be required). Works with select home automation providers. Must accept Skype terms of use. Skype credit required for calls to mobile phones and landlines. Visit microsoft.com/en-us/cortana for all product features and compatible services. Cortana experience may vary by device. Wi-fi required.
**No Purchase Necessary. Open only to legal residents of the 50 U.S.+ DC, Puerto Rico, or Canada (excluding Quebec) who visit a Microsoft Retail Store beginning on November 23 or 24 (check your store’s Black Friday hours for opening times). One winner will be drawn 15 minutes after opening at each store. Must be present to win. For Official Rules, see a store associate.

Hey Cortana, set a reminder: Harman Kardon Invoke voice-activated speaker available October 22

If you’re like me, you use Cortana to regularly add reminders, so you don’t miss anything at work or home. Which is why I’ve asked Cortana to remind me to check out the new voice-activated speaker our partners at Harman Kardon are releasing on Sunday, October 22 – the Harman Kardon Invoke with Cortana. Invoke will be available in-store and online at Microsoft Store, Best Buy, and online at HarmanKardon.com. Invoke comes in two color options, Pearl Silver (White) and Graphite (Black) and retails for $199.95 USD.
With more than 60 years of sound expertise, Harman is renowned for blending rich audio with best-in-class design. Crafted from premium materials, Invoke delivers powerful 360-degree sound from three direct-radiating woofers, three direct-radiating tweeters and two passive radiators. Invoke also features Harman’s Sonique far-field voice recognition technology with seven-microphones, ensuring that Cortana can hear you from any direction. Music services available at launch include Spotify Premium, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and we are working with Pandora to add their service in the near future.

At the heart of Invoke is Cortana, your personal digital assistant, helping you manage the competing demands of work and home so you can focus on what matters most to you. Microsoft has been on a long journey with Cortana, first on Windows 10 PC, then on Android and iOS, as well as embedding the Cortana experience in Skype on Xbox, spanning 148 million active users. We believe that your digital assistant should be available wherever you are, across your devices, and that’s why we are thrilled to bring the Cortana experience to an ambient speaker.
With Cortana on Invoke, you can voice control your music, as well as get answers to questions and connect to your Office 365 information. Invoke utilizes Microsoft’s speech recognition technology for commands and music controls, and integrates Office 365 productivity services so you can do things like, manage your schedule, check your calendar, set reminders, and more. For instance, if I have a partner meeting downtown I could ask Cortana on my Invoke where their office is, and she’d not only tell me but could send the directions to my phone in the Cortana mobile app. Or maybe I remember something I need to do when I get into work – a simple, “Hey Cortana, remind me to finish the budget report when I get to work,” will result in the reminder alerting me when I get to the office.
And it’s not just for work. I could do the same with a time-based reminder, such as, “Hey Cortana, remind me to watch the Knicks game tonight at 7pm,” and this reminder would chime on my Invoke speaker when I’m home.
With Cortana’s intelligence on Invoke, supported by the Bing knowledge graph, you can also hear the latest news and tweets, and get answers to questions; which happens a lot when I’m helping my kids with their homework – like finding out when George Washington was born.
Plus, with Skype on Invoke, you can easily stay connected with hands-free calling to your Skype and phone contacts, as well as local businesses. In addition to Skype to Skype calling, which will always be free, Invoke also features unlimited free outbound calling from the United States to mobile phones and landlines in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Guam.
You’ll also be able to control your smart home devices, including those from SmartThings, Nest, Philips Hue, Wink, and Insteon. And with the Cortana Skills Kit announced this past spring, a growing list of partners and developers are creating intelligent, personalized experiences for Cortana, including Capital One, Expedia, Fitbit, OpenTable, and others.
We’re excited to partner with Harman Kardon and bring Cortana to Invoke; adding to Cortana’s cross-device integration across Windows 10 PC, iPhone and Android, so you can stay on top of things wherever you need assistance.
This is an important step forward for Cortana, and we’ll be delivering more productivity features, such as managing your email hands-free (Office 365, Outlook.com and Gmail accounts) coming soon, as well as working with many more music, home automation, and skills partners to integrate their services with Cortana.
Make sure you ask Cortana to set a reminder for Invoke, available on October 22.
*Cortana voice activation works with select music services and home automation providers. Set up requires Cortana app for Windows 10 PC or phone (with the Windows 10 Creators Update), Android or iPhone (requires Android version 4.1.2 or higher, or iPhone 4 with iOS 8.0 or higher). 

11 Windows PCs that light up the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

The PCs we’re sharing today range in a variety of form factors and price points, so whether you’re an artist, student, or gamer, there’s a device for you. Purchasing a new Windows PC is a great way to take advantage of all the new features in the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update and Microsoft Store can help with free workshops and personalized assistance to get your PC set up. To learn more about what’s new in the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, visit this blog post.
11 Windows PCs that light up the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update
Acer Spin 5
Acer Predator 21 X
ASUS Zenbook Flip S UX370
ASUS Transformer Mini T102HA (Available at Best Buy, com or Amazon)
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 2-in-1
Dell XPS 13 2-in-1
HP Omen 15 (Available at Microsoft Store and com)
HP Spectre x360 13’’
Lenovo Yoga 920 
Lenovo Legion Y720 Tower
Samsung Galaxy Book 10’’
 

Acer Spin 5

 
Lightweight and portable, the Spin 5’s versatile, convertible form factor makes it a great platform to create and share content, while also utilizing productivity. The Spin 5 features 8th Generation Intel Core processors, up to 16GB of DDR4 memory and up to 13 hours of battery life. It also works with an optional Acer Active Stylus that offers creativity and stability through Windows Ink. (13-inch & 15-inch models starting at $799.99) Available from Acer.com

Acer Predator 21 X

The Acer Predator 21 X is packed with a 7th Generation Intel Core i7 processor, five cooling fans and dual NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 GPUs for a supreme graphics performance. This monster gaming laptop offers a curved 21-inch screen and delivers an immersive gaming experience with Tobii eye-tracking technology. Designed for the heaviest gaming needs, and equipped with native, live game streaming through Mixer in Windows 10, its processors can handle Windows multimedia entertainment and productivity needs with ease. (Starts at $8,999.99) Available from Acer.com

ASUS Zenbook Flip S UX370

ASUS ZenBook Flip S combines convenience and versatility with a 360° convertible display and a thin and lightweight body. Intel’s 7th Generation i7 allows you to sail through everyday computing tasks with ease. The FHD multitouch NanoEdge display supports an active stylus that combines a high quality visual experience with the convenience of interactivity. In addition, a fingerprint sensor allows instant, one-touch login via Windows Hello in either laptop or tablet mode. (Starts at $1,099.99) Available at Microsoft Store

ASUS Transformer Mini T102HA (Available at Best Buy, com or Amazon)

Thin, light and flexible, the ASUS Transformer Mini T102HA is packed with key Windows 10 features that help keep you productive at a value price. A built-in fingerprint reader allows for a more secure login with Windows Hello, while the included stylus with Windows Ink lets you takes notes and draw in OneNote and Sketchpad. With a detachable keyboard and stepless 170-degree kickstand, the Transformer Mini can be used as a tablet or laptop. The device is powered by Windows 10 and has an 11-hour battery. (Price starts at $384). Available at Best Buy, ASUS.com or Amazon

Dell Inspiron 15 7000 2-in-1

The new Inspiron 15 7000 2-in-1 brings powerful performance to the flexibility of a 2-in-1, all with a small footprint. A Dell Active Pen is also available for a natural feel with digital drawing, writing and note taking with Windows Ink. (13-inch models starting at $879.99 and 15-inch models starting at $849.99) Available from Dell.com

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1

 
The 13.3-inch Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 laptop offers a 360-degree hinge, making it a workhorse for productivity. Used as a laptop or a tablet, the XPS 13 2-in-1 has up to 15 hours of battery life* with FHD and Quad HD+ InfinityEdge touch display. It is compatible with Windows Hello for password-free logins, and boasts 7th Gen Intel Core processors with Dell Dynamic Power Mode, delivering short bursts of performance when you need it, all with the smallest 13-inch 2-in-1 on the planet. (13-inch model starts at $999.99) Available at Microsoft Store with a free Wacom Bamboo Ink Stylus*

HP Omen 15 (Available at Microsoft Store and com)

 
Designed to deliver an immersive gaming experience, the Omen 15 sports full HD and 4K IPS display options as well as Wide Vision HD and Intel RealSense Cameras, which enable Windows Hello. Powered by Windows 10 – complete with native, live game streaming through Mixer – and with NVIDIA GTX GeForce graphics and immersive audio, this laptop is equipped for any gaming challenge. (Starts at $879.99) Available at Microsoft Store and BestBuy.com.

HP Spectre x360 13’’

The HP Spectre x360 utilizes the best of Windows 10 with Windows Ink, Cortana** and Microsoft Edge. Whether you’re at home or on-the-go, the convertible Spectre x360 will keep you up and running with its 2.85lbs weight and up to 15 hours of battery life. The laptop optimizes Intel’s 7th Generation Core processors and the new micro-edge display bezel design that reduces the overall footprint by eliminating almost 10mm from each side of the screen. (Starts at $1,049.99) Available at HP.com

Lenovo Yoga 920 

The Yoga 920 is a lightweight, all-metal, ultra-thin device that arrives in platinum, copper or bronze color options and is available with an optional 4k display. Cortana, your personal voice-activated digital assistant, helps you get things done more easily and quickly – from up to 4 meters away, even in standby mode. The Lenovo Active Pen 2 with Windows Ink allows you to easily draw on photos and documents, add notes to a map, or highlight and markup webpages in Microsoft Edge. Windows Hello’s integrated fingerprint reader enables quick and easy biometric authentication, as well as fingerprint payments with PayPal and Visa. (Starts at $1,329) Available from Lenovo.com

Lenovo Legion Y720 Tower

Survive battlegrounds and blast through an alien invasion with the Lenovo Legion Y720 tower. Powered by Windows 10, complete with native live game streaming through Mixer, and upgradable without tools, this tower offers the complete package with fast computing, processing and graphical expertise. It is VR-capable and loaded with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 8GB graphics, giving mainstream players reliable performance. (Starts at $899.99) Available from Lenovo.com

Samsung Galaxy Book 10’’

 
The Samsung Galaxy book delivers a premium, flexible design and offers mobile professionals full PC functionality anytime, anywhere. Weighing less than 2lbs and packed with Windows 10 features, this detachable 2-in-1 is a great mix of tablet and laptop. Sporting a touchscreen that can be used with Windows Ink, you can markup, doodle or draw on website with Microsoft Edge while Cortana, your personal assistant, keeps you organized. (Starts at $629.99) Available at Microsoft Store
Now is a great time to take advantage of everything the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update has to offer with a new PC! You can also take advantage of Windows Help Me Choose, an interactive tool on Windows.com that makes it easy to find the best PC that meets your needs. To check out even more great Windows 10 PCs from our partners, and to discover what the Fall Creators Update has to offer with free demos and workshops, visit your local Microsoft Store or Microsoft.com.
*Limited-time offer
**Cortana available in select markets

IFA 2017: Acer announces gaming desktops, all-in-ones and detachables with Windows 10

These devices light up the best of the Windows 10 Creators Update, including the all-new Paint 3D app and Remix3D.com community, Windows Defender Security Center, Night light, mini view and more. They also arrive built-in with Microsoft Edge for fast and secure browsing, your digital personal assistant Cortana* and comprehensive protection with Windows Defender. With some, you can also login quickly and securely with Windows Hello using a built-in fingerprint reader or draw on your memories in the Photos app and add notes to your map route with Windows Ink.
Let’s take a closer look at these devices:
Acer expands Predator Gaming arsenal with powerful PCs and a 35-inch HDR Monitor

Powering virtual reality apps with ease and supporting over 8K UHD, the Acer Predator Orion 9000 series gaming desktops feature up to an Intel Core i9 Extreme Edition 18-core processor, up to 4-way AMD Radeon RX Vega graphics or two NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080Ti graphics in SLI. With the Windows 10 Creators Update, you can easily take advantage of unlocked frame rate, native, live game streaming with Mixer through the Game bar, DirectX 12 support, join your gaming community with Xbox Live through the Xbox app, and more.
Other features include:
Liquid cooling and Acer’s IceTunnel 2.0 keep the temperature down while the game heats up. IceTunnel 2.0 is an advanced airflow management solution that cleverly separates the system into several thermal zones, each with an individual airflow tunnel to expel heat.
Up to 4-way AMD Radeon RXVega cards to deliver near-photorealistic imagery
Up to a cutting-edge Intel Core i9 Extreme Edition 18-core processor and up to 128 GB quad-channel DDR4 memory, making computing faster and smoother than ever. Excellent connectivity includes two USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports (one Type-C and one Type-A), eight USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports (one Type-C and seven Type-A), and two USB 2.0 ports (Type-A).
Supports three M.2 slots and four PCIe x16 slots provide ample expansion for video cards.
Pricing and Availability: The Acer Predator Orion 9000 gaming desktops will be available in North America in December with prices starting at $1,999; and in EMEA in November starting at €1,999.
Acer Predator X35

This 35-inch, 21:9 monitor sports an immersive 1800 curve and a brilliant (3440 x 1440) WQHD resolution. Featuring NVIDIA G-SYNC, Acer HDR Ultra and quantum dot technologies, it also provides the best possible contrast quality with high dynamic range.
4 ms response time and high 200 Hz refresh rate combined with NVIDIA G-SYNC
Outfitted with Predator GameView, there are eight pre-set display modes to optimize visuals for different types of action.
Acer BlueLightShield technology lets you reduce blue light emissions by selecting from four different filter settings via the OSD menu.
Pricing and Availability: The Predator X35 display will be available in Q1 2018
Predator Galea 500 gaming headset

The Predator Galea 500 gaming headset puts you right inside the game, giving you the ability to hear and not just see the exact location of elements within the game. Acer TrueHarmony 3D Soundscape technology recreates the acoustic space based on the orientation of the player’s head, convincing the brain that sound is coming from a fixed direction.
Acer launches new ultraslim, convertible, and detachable devices: the Swift 5, Spin 5 and Switch 7 Black Edition
Acer also expanded its portfolio of ultraslim convertible and detachable devices powered by Windows 10 with the next generation of Swift, Spin and Switch models. The powerful additions all feature the latest 8th Generation Intel Core processors, more secure biometric technology supporting Windows Hello, and usability features that provide next-level functionality for both professional use and entertainment.
Switch 7 Black Edition

The pioneering Acer Switch 7 Black Edition is a super-stylish detachable, fanless 2-in-1 notebook for the modern professional who values mobility, performance and stylus input capabilities.
Acer’s Dual LiquidLoop technology fanless cooling system
8th Generation Intel Core i7 processor and NVIDIA GeForce MX150 graphics
Weighs less than 1.15 kg (2.5 lbs.) with the keyboard detached.
Features Acer AutoStand: a kickstand that can be auto-deployed and auto-retracted
5-inch IPS display with 2256×1504 resolution
Embedded battery-free stylus powered by Wacom EMR technology for more authentic writing and sketching experience with Windows Ink.
Supports Windows Hello with an under-glass fingerprint sensor design that allows you to login instantly with just one touch.
Pricing and Availability: The Acer Switch 7 Black Edition will be available in North America in December with prices starting at $1,699; and in EMEA in December starting at €1,999.
Swift 5 with Windows 10

The new Swift 5 with Windows 10 and 8th Generation Intel Core processors is designed for superb portability and solid performance; the elegant chassis weighs less than 1 kg, making it ideal for work on the go.
8-hour battery life and 2×2 802.11ac wireless allows you to work effectively on the go all day – even at night, thanks to the backlit keyboard.The new Swift 5 with Windows 10 and 8th Generation Intel Core processors are designed for superb portability and solid performance; the elegant chassis weighs less than 1 kg, making it ideal for work on the go.
Interactive multi-touch Full HD IPS touchscreen and narrow bezel design maximizes the viewing experience.
Premium technology provides powerful and clear audio while Skype for Business certification ensures crisp video conferencing and a great experience with Cortana.
Pricing and Availability: The Acer Swift 5 will be available in North America in December starting at $999; in EMEA in December starting at €1,099; and in China in November starting at ¥7,499.
Spin 5 with Windows 10

Lightweight and portable, the Spin 5’s versatile, convertible form factor makes it a perfect platform to create and share content.
Easy to carry around, the 13-inch model of the Spin 5 weighs in at 1.5 kg and measure in a 15.9 mm thin, while its 15-inch sibling is just over 2 kg in weight and 17.9 mm thin.
Engineered to pack a punch with 8th Generation Intel Core processors, up to 16GB of DDR4 memory, up to 13-hours of battery life, and a discrete NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 graphics option for the 15-inch model
Works with an optional Acer Active Stylus for incredible precision, offering greater control during work and increased usability through Windows Ink
Acer’s omnidirectional ExoAmp Antenna optimizes the Spin 5’s antenna position to ensure a stable wireless signal
Acer TrueHarmony, Dolby Audio Premium technology and two-front facing speakers for a crystal clear and immersive audio experience; the Spin 5 integrates four array microphones combined with far-field voice-recognition technology that allows users to access Cortana from up to four meters away. This enables them to get quick, hands-free answers, check the weather or traffic, set a reminder, get an overview of their daily schedule, and more—all just by using their voice..
Pricing and Availability: The Acer Spin 5 will be available in North America in September with both the 13-inch and 15-inch models starting at $799; and in EMEA in September with the 13-inch model starting at €899 and the 15-inch model starting at €999.
Acer pushes the boundaries of the desktop with new Aspire S24

Designed with elegance in mind, the ultra-slim Aspire S24 is all-in-one desktop has a display with a side profile of only 5.97 mm – making it Acer’s slimmest ever – a 178-degree Full HD IPS screen, and an ultra-narrow 2.7 mm bezel that provides a 90% screen-to-body ratio for more screen to see.
The wireless charging base allows you to seamlessly power their mobile device and supports wireless charging for Qi-enabled devices
The latest 8th Generation Intel Core processors with optional Intel Optane memory enables the Aspire S24 to power through everyday tasks with ease, while delivering a smooth computing experience.
Wireless connectivity powered by Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC (802.11ac 2×2 MIMO) technology provides fast and reliable network connections
1 channel subwoofer coupled with Dolby Audio Premium and Acer TrueHarmony technology the desktop for a powerful deep base audio experience
-5 to 30 degree tiltable display combined with Acer ExaColor technology for accurate colors, and BluelightShield and Flickerless technologies that may help prevent eye fatigue
Up to 256 GB SSD and 2TB HDD of storage space
Pricing and Availability: The Acer Aspire S24 will be available in North America in January 2018 starting at $999; and in EMEA in November 2017 starting at €999.
These innovative new Windows 10 devices were unveiled today at the next@acer press event held in Berlin, where the company announced a range of new devices and solutions. For more information, visit acer.com/nextatacer.
*Cortana available in select markets.