Yesterday, we announced a new chapter for Windows, where we’ll be delivering a More Personal Computing Experience for end-users and a truly Universal Platform for developers.
For users, Windows 10 will be even more of the Windows Experience they know and love. For developers, Windows 10 is transformative – with so much new capability on offer, it’s time to go deep with developers on Windows 10 – registration for Build is officially open. Build will be the first major developer event where we will go deep on Windows 10, so make sure to be there!
As a primer, Windows 10 will offer developers the power, potential and reach of a truly unified platform. What this means: with Windows 10, app publishers will be able to reach Xbox One, phones, tablets, embedded devices, PCs and emerging devices with one universal app via a single store. This truly means that you build your app once, optimize it for each device family after which you can distribute that app across all of the Microsoft client platforms. If that isn’t enough, Windows 10 also allows you to take advantage of the new “Project Spartan” browser, DirectX 12, Cortana, and the many other capabilities coming with Windows 10.
Beyond existing platforms, building apps for Windows 10 opens up an entirely new generation of personal computing. As seen with the next generation of large screen devices, the Surface Hub, and a new generation of holographic like HoloLens, the new experiences and touch points offered by Windows 10 will open up an incredible new opportunity for Developers.
Speaking of reach, we also revealed aggressive plans to deliver Windows 10 as a service, for free, to a broad set of existing Windows users, including Windows 7 users. This means that the potential of up to 1.5 billion devices, running one OS and one browser, will soon be open to you, the software developer.
Build is still the event you’ve come to know and love – we will cover all Microsoft Platforms. You can expect all of the richness in new content and information on Azure, Office365 and more, as you have in the past.
When it comes to Windows – whether you value Universal Apps, the new browser, new and universal APIs, full access to capabilities like Cortana, or a host of any of the experiences around Office, Xbox, and so much more – this is the best opportunity to learn what Windows 10 means for you, your apps and your business.
This year’s Build will lay a path to productive and creative development on the Microsoft Platform, showcasing the latest tools and technologies that will power your unique journey. We know that you are eager to find out where we’ll go from here. We can’t wait to show you along with a few surprises along the way.
This will undoubtedly be the one of the most transformational Build events ever!
Pay a visit to http://www.buildwindows.com, and join us for three immersive days of under-the-covers insights, delivered by the engineers behind these latest devices and services. Just be prepared to be a part of something big!
Some of the most productive work happens when you can harness the collective knowledge and skills of a group. When you bring the right backgrounds and experience together, suddenly the most challenging problems feel like they can be solved.
We want every meeting to be great, where things just click. Where ideas flow and work gets done. The problem is, technology hasn’t been designed for the way we want to work together.
That all changes, starting today.
Helping People Create their Best Work Together
Leveraging our core strengths in productivity from our Office and Skype divisions, we set out to create a new Windows 10 experience that would re-imagine meetings and help groups of people be more productive together. We’ve created the world’s first team device – a simple, intuitive Windows interface designed for groups, with ink and touch at its core.
Microsoft Surface Hub provides workers a complete device that includes the best digital tools to brainstorm and create together. The OneNote-based Whiteboard tool feels as natural to write on as traditional whiteboard. But it also lets you bring rich, multimedia data into the conversation, makes it easy to share work and ideas when the meeting is over and lets you quickly start where you left off in future conversations.
It’s engineered to be inviting and engaging, making meetings more productive. Built in sensors help the device to wake up when you’re near and track your movement so cameras can follow you. Meetings start instantly with a single touch. Meeting participants can share content wirelessly from Miracast capable devices, making meetings engaging and productive. By removing the points of friction throughout the meeting process, the process of starting and ending meetings, sharing content and collaborating as a remote participant is simple and natural.
And with Windows 10, Surface Hub provides a platform to build amazing large-screen apps for group productivity. Microsoft productivity apps like Office and Skype for Business are built in. And with native support for touch, ink and sensors, the hardware will also enable third party developers to develop beautiful, powerful, immersive applications that light up on the big screen and enable groups to be productive together.
With advanced technology for the modern workplace, and the flexibility to turn any room into a collaboration space, Surface Hub integrates beautifully into the modern workplace, enabling productivity in any kind of space where people come together to get things done, from large conference rooms to informal huddle spaces. The interface is simple and consistent from room to room, making it easy for anyone to walk up and start using, even if they are visiting from another office or another company.
The integrated design means it’s as easy to deploy as it is to use. You only need to plug in power, connect to Wi-Fi and you’re up and running. And carts and stands will make it easy to move from room to room.
A Canvas as Big as Your Imagination
When Surface Hub’s 84-inch 4k display comes alive, you’ll notice instantly that this is unlike any touch display you’ve ever experienced. We’ve designed it from the ground up to offer a large-format pen and touch experience that is unsurpassed by any other device available today. The display and touch sensor are phase locked at 120Hz – so the display refreshes every 8.33 milliseconds.
By effectively doubling the frame rate on the touch panel, and doubling the frame rate on the display, we’re cutting latency in half. What that means is there is virtually no lag – the display is literally refreshing faster than the human eye can perceive. It feels and appears as responsive as its analog counterparts – but is instantly more productive.
The hardware is also designed to completely transform meeting experiences for remote participants. Fourth Generation Intel i5 and i7 processors power the experience so apps and video are smooth and responsive. Full 1080p cameras on each side with wide field of view help ensure those joining from afar will benefit from a view of virtually the entire room. The built-in mic array leverages technology from Xbox Kinect to detect and follow voices in the room while eliminating background noise.
New Category Only Possible from Microsoft
Surface Hub is about unlocking new capabilities that will address untapped scenarios for our customers and demonstrates the flexibility of the Windows 10 platform scaling to the biggest of screens. With this new experience, Windows 10 will unlock the power of the group for our customers.
Surface Hub a fantastic illustration of the core strengths of Microsoft coming together to transform team productivity via a completely new type of device. We’re combining the power of Windows 10, Skype for Business and Office with innovative hardware from our Microsoft Devices Group.
We could not be more excited to introduce Microsoft Surface Hub, and we look forward to sharing more details in the coming months.
Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Devices Group
Terry Myerson, Microsoft’s executive vice president, Operating Systems, at the Windows 10 media event Jan. 21, 2015.
On Wednesday, Microsoft shared more about Windows 10 experiences and how it will “inspire new scenarios across the broadest range of devices, from big screens to small screens to no screens at all,” writes Terry Myerson, executive vice president, Operating Systems, in a blog post.
Windows 10, he says, “is the first step to an era of more personal computing. This vision framed our work on Windows 10, where we are moving Windows from its heritage of enabling a single device – the PC – to a world that is more mobile, natural and grounded in trust.”
The following is a post from Jean-Philippe Courtois, President, Microsoft International.
The key challenge posed at the World Economic Forum in Davos this year is this: what can we do to kick-start economic progress amid global complexity? I am headed to Davos today, joining our CEO Satya Nadella, our chief counsel Brad Smith, Mark Penn and Peggy Johnson to engage with government and business leaders from around the world in a dialogue about potential solutions to fluctuating economies and stubborn social problems. For us the answer is clear, although not easy… it’s about reinventing productivity through technology, enabling people to get more out of every moment.
What do we mean by that? We have to look at it from two sides. On one hand, those who have ready access to technology can’t make sense of it all. There’s just too much of it! Our lives have become flooded with infinite devices and infinite data – bombarding us with more information than we can realistically process and introducing fundamental questions about privacy and security. On the other hand, the digital divide continues to widen and put those who don’t have access to technology at a disadvantage when trying to compete in a globalized market.
We believe that technology is the engine of human progress that propels societies and economies forward. We believe that technology can drive equality, simplicity and progress, but it must adapt. This week in Davos, we’ll be talking about how we are re-thinking technology to create tools that are increasingly intelligent, natural, mobile and focused on empowering social productivity. With this change in focus, we believe technology can become an enabler which empowers people to make the most of today’s most precious resource – time. For those with ready access, this means creating technology that works on our behalf, without us even having to ask, to help us make better, faster, more informed decisions. For others, this means providing connectivity and investing in education to truly transforms lives and communities.
Technology is a force for good but it is also clear that it can be used in negative ways and that people have concerns. We need to work together and across borders to address these challenges in a way that respects the legitimate interests of all stakeholders and ensures the global nature of the internet endures. For example, as technology becomes increasingly personal and pervasive, the issue of privacy becomes ever more important. There is work to be done to ensure that governments can strike the right balance between public safety and important values such personal privacy. We can increase transparency and understanding of how personal data is gathered, used and accessed. It’s an important discussion, and one we’re committed to participating in actively this week and well into the future.
In all of our discussions this week, we will do one thing – underpin our commitment to helping drive economic growth, improve people’s lives and help them make the most of their time – the one thing no one seems to have enough of today. We have already seen the impact widespread adoption of the cloud has had on businesses and governments everywhere, allowing them to achieve more with less, and we’ll maintain our relentless focus on being the most trusted provider of cloud solutions.
We know empowering young people with the means to launch themselves into business equips the next generation with the ability to find new global solutions in shifting times. Our education and training initiatives under our global YouthSpark program, such as Imagine Cup and BizSpark will remain at the top of our agenda to provide the next generation with opportunities to succeed.
We will go to WEF to listen and learn. To meet global leaders and be inspired by the leaders of tomorrow. But we will also voice our passionate belief that technology is an equalizer capable of kick-starting economic growth all over the world, and that there are solutions to the challenges.
I’m pleased to announce that Microsoft has acquired Equivio, a provider of machine learning technologies for eDiscovery and information governance. We are making this acquisition to help our customers tackle the legal and compliance challenges inherent in managing large quantities of email and documents.
Businesses and governments around the world generate enormous volumes of data every day. Sifting through that data to find what is relevant to a legal or compliance matter is costly and time consuming. Traditional techniques for finding relevant documents are falling behind as the growth of data outpaces peoples’ ability to manually process it.
Equivio’s solution applies machine learning to help solve these problems, enabling users to explore large, unstructured sets of data and quickly find what is relevant. It uses advanced text analytics to perform multi-dimensional analyses of data collections, intelligently sorting documents into themes, grouping near-duplicates, isolating unique data, and helping users quickly identify the documents they need. As part of this process, users train the system to identify documents relevant to a particular subject, such as a legal case or investigation. This iterative process is more accurate and cost effective than keyword searches and manual review of vast quantities of documents. The technology has achieved broad acceptance in the legal community as a valuable eDiscovery tool. Equivio customers include U.S. federal agencies and hundreds of law firms, corporations and other organizations.
Microsoft is serious about providing customers with tools to manage the legal and compliance requirements that are key to responsible business practices. Office 365 includes robust eDiscovery and information governance capabilities today, and we’ll use Equivio’s machine learning technology to make these vital tools even more intelligent and easy to use in the months ahead. I am extremely excited about the innovative technologies and experienced team we’re bringing to Microsoft as we advance this important work.
A panoramic presentation of the Dr. Pig app at Microsoft China Center One.
Having the right data means that businesses can predict trends: What are the energy demands in buildings? What products should a company continue to stock, and which ones should they stop carrying? Azure Machine Learning provides the data to help make these kinds of decisions, changing the way business – and lives – are affected.
In China, farmers lack the tools that are needed to predict market volatility, but most of them have smartphones, and a new cross-platform app uses Azure Machine Learning to help pig breeders predict market conditions up to six months.
The app, Dr. Pig, takes the past two years of market data — such as the prices of piglets – and projects at least six months’ worth of expected profit and loss. In turn, that helps the farmers decide on the types and quantity of pigs that will maximize their profits with the most minimal risk so they can run their farm more efficiently.
“Using data intelligently makes all the difference in the world,” says Joseph Sirosh, corporate vice president of Information Management and Machine Learning at Microsoft. “That’s really where machine learning comes in. Machine learning is really about looking at historical data patterns and being able to predict ahead. It allows you to take the past and peer into the future. So instead of looking in the rearview mirror, you’re looking forward.”
Read more about the power of Azure Machine Learning.
Maybe you’ll be participating in a breakfast or a parade honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., or maybe you want to learn more about the iconic civil rights leader, whose birthday is honored Monday with a federal holiday. You can start with the Bing home page, which features the “Homage to King” sculpture in Atlanta, Georgia, and links to more information available with an “Info” box in the lower right-hand corner.
Also, on the Bing Blogs, experience the signature landmarks of Dr. King’s life and of the civil rights movement in a Bing Maps tour that takes you from the house in Atlanta, where Dr. King was born in 1929, to the International Civil Rights Center and Museum in Greensboro, North Carolina – the former Woolworth’s store and site of the 1960 student sit-in at the then “whites only” lunch counter.
I’ll be the first to admit it. Cortana intimidates me.
“Hi Cortana,” I begin, attempting to strike up a conversation.
Her spinning blue orb dilates and contracts like a pupil.
“Oh, hi,” she responds. She seems glad to hear from me.
“What do you look like, Cortana?”
It’s a silly question, and she calls me on it.
“I’m a circle now, but I have ambitions,” she says with a hint of sass. “One day, I’ll be a sphere.”
Windows Phone users are understandably smitten with Cortana’s witty responses to questions like “Who’s your daddy?” (“Technically speaking, that’d be Bill Gates. No big deal.”) or “Who’s your best friend?” (“Whoever comes up with an answer first should say it out loud”). In the weeks leading up to Christmas, she tracked Santa and sang carols. And if you get too close to her AI heart, she’ll politely tell you to back off. The more we chat, the more I wish Cortana would evolve not into a sphere, but into a droid I could hire to help raise my daughter.
How, exactly, is this Cortana related to the Halo universe? To put it not so simply, the Bing-powered Windows Phone personal assistant is both the latest manifestation of Halo’s Cortana, and her predecessor by about 500 fictional years.
“That is not the brilliant Cortana who lives in 2552, who’s a hologram and the smartest AI ever,” explained Bonnie Ross, corporate vice president and head of 343 Industries, keepers of the Halo franchise. “This is like a seed in 2014 of what we’ll be able to do in the future. This is a v1 of an AI.”
In the beta version of the Windows Phone software, Cortana would tell you this herself. “I am named after Cortana, the AI from Halo. Or since she’s from 500 years in the future, she may have named herself after me.”
Microsoft’s second annual survey of Internet users around the world, released here in advance of the World Economic Forum that is taking place this week in Davos, Switzerland, shows that fifteen years into the 21st century, Internet users still think overwhelmingly that personal technology is making the world better and more vital. Large majorities of the online populations in all five developed countries we surveyed (France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, and the United States) and all seven developing countries we surveyed (Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Russia, South Africa and Turkey) say that technology has vastly improved how they shop, work, learn, and generally get stuff done.
Compared to 2014, respondents continue to be most enthusiastic about technology’s effects on the economy and most concerned about privacy. The role of technology in transportation and literacy moved up, while technology’s ability to improve social bonds and enhance personal freedom and expression moved down. Concern about privacy jumped five points.
But overall, Internet users are experiencing:
Accelerated Social Activism. Respondents in all the countries agree that social media has had a positive impact on social activism, with some concerns emerging especially in developed countries like France, the U.S. and Germany. Developing countries remain enthusiastic about technology opening up political expression, but their enthusiasm was more tempered this year (down 6 points).
Better Bargains. In every one of the twelve countries, respondents say personal technology has had a positive impact on their ability to find more affordable products, including 77 percent in developed countries and 72 percent in developing countries. Even the least enthusiastic country, China, believes this at a rate of 65 percent.
Innovation Explosion. In each of the twelve countries, respondents think personal technology has improved innovation in business, including more than three-quarters of people in developing countries. In Indonesia, Brazil, and India, more than 80 percent of Internet users think this.
Entrepreneurial Engine. In all twelve countries, respondents think personal technology has had a positive impact on the ability to start new businesses, with Indonesia and Brazil again leading the way.
A Burst of Getting Stuff Done. A majority of respondents in nearly every country think technology has improved productivity, with on average more than seven in ten saying so in developing countries.
While there is widespread agreement about the positive impacts of technology overall, there is also an emerging schism in the attitudes between developing and developed countries regarding how technology will affect people going forward. Developing countries express deep and genuine enthusiasm about the benefits of technology, whereas developed countries — where technology is more ubiquitous – express greater concerns about emerging issues. For example:
Impact on Social Bonds. Fully 60 percent of respondents in developing countries think personal tech has had a positive impact on social bonds, compared to just 36 percent of respondents in developed countries.
Sharing Economy Split. Fifty-nine percent of respondents in developing countries think technology-enabled, sharing-economy services — like Uber and Airbnb — are better for consumers than traditional services like taxis and hotels. But 67 percent of respondents in developed countries think the traditional services are better for consumers.
In the Media We (Don’t) Trust. By a 2:1 margin, respondents in developing countries think personal technology has had a mostly positive effect on trust in the media. But in developed countries, the impression is the opposite: respondents believe by a 2:1 margin that the effect on trust in the media has been mostly negative. These opposing views are born out in the two kinds of countries’ media habits: in developing countries, 70 percent of respondents get most of their news from social media, compared to only 31 percent in developed countries.
Getting Fit. The difference in opinion about tech’s effect on fitness is striking: 57 percent of respondents in developing economies think personal technology has made people in their country more fit, thanks to apps for diet management, calorie counting, and exercise incentives – but 62 percent of respondents in developed economies think personal technology has made people in their country less fit, because of the amount of time people waste in front of their PCs, tablets, game consoles, etc.
The Tug on Children. In developing countries, the majority of online parents (77 percent) want their children to have more access to technology, but in developed countries, the majority of online parents (56 percent) want their children to have less access.
STEM and Gender. Finally, there is a real split in engagement regarding the very topic of this survey: science and technology. Although large pluralities of respondents in all twelve countries believe the best jobs in the future will be in STEM, fewer than six in ten respondents in developed countries say they are interested in working in STEM, compared to 85 percent in developing countries. And while 77 percent of women respondents in developing countries feel encouraged to work in STEM fields, only a minority – 46 percent – of women respondents in developed countries do.
The schism is significant because developing countries, with their nearly unbounded enthusiasm for personal technology, represent about a 6-fold greater population overall and about a two-fold greater online population. (And almost all future growth is expected in developing nations.) Meanwhile, developed nations, with their growing concerns about technology, are encouraging technology companies to make products that don’t just work but work for them – delivering productivity and efficiency but also protecting the standards and values they love.
The Privacy Challenge. If there is one persistent concern about personal technology that nearly everybody expresses, it is privacy. In eleven of the twelve countries surveyed, with India the only exception, respondents say that technology’s effect on privacy was mostly negative.
Majorities of respondents in every country but India and Indonesia say current legal protections for users of personal technology are insufficient, and only in those two countries do most respondents feel fully aware of the types of personal information collected about them. Majorities of respondents in both developed and developing countries think that the legal rights of Internet users should be governed by the local laws of the country where the users live; that if a foreign government wants information about a person stored in a datacenter in that person’s country, they should have to seek permission from the person, not just the government; that police officers should have to get a search warrant to search for personal information on PCs; and that personal information stored in the cloud should be subject to at least the same privacy protections as personal information stored on paper.
It’s a note of caution to everyone in both technology and government: ignoring citizens’ privacy anywhere can cause peril everywhere. I encourage you to read the full survey, entitled “Views from Around the Globe: 2nd Annual Poll on How Personal Technology is Changing our Lives” by clicking here. The survey encompasses the views of 12,002 Internet users in the U.S., China, India, Brazil, Indonesia, South Africa, South Korea, Russia, Germany, Turkey, Japan and France, and was taken between December 17, 2014 and January 1, 2015 by the global research-based consultancy Penn Schoen Berland.
This week, we’ve got stories about technology that will help both retailers and customers with the information they need and want; new affordable Lumia smartphones with Windows Phone 8.1 on board; and an important date for developers to mark on their calendars to register for Build 2015.
New affordable and powerful Lumias were introduced: the Lumia 435 and the Lumia 532. The intuitive Lumia 435 is Microsoft’s first 400-series and the most affordable Lumia yet, while the Lumia 532 is a more powerful device thanks to its quad-core processor. Both phones come with the latest Windows Phone 8.1 operating system, the Lumia Denim Update, Microsoft’s Office suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote), Outlook for email, Skype integration and a front-facing camera for Skype video calling, HERE location services and up to 30GB of free cloud storage on OneDrive. The Lumia 435 and Lumia 532 will begin rolling out in February in select countries in Europe, Asia-Pacific, India, the Middle East and Africa.
The new Lumia 532 is powered by a quad-core processor.
Whether you’re at home or the office, you’ll appreciate these changes: With the new Save to One Drive feature rolling out to Outlook.com users worldwide, it takes only one click to save Outlook.com email attachments, such as documents, pictures, music or videos, to OneDrive, giving you access to those attachments wherever you get online. Meanwhile, Office Online, which has made several improvements over the past year to provide an even better accessibility experience, will be rolling out support for virtual reading for documents (up to three pages) in Word Online and OneNote Online – no cursor involved. And if you’re an educator don’t miss checking out a new site, OneNoteforTeachers.com, that includes interactive training about basic tasks, advanced scenarios that might involve Office 365, and OneNote class notebooks, all in the form of narrated, interactive guides with customizable timing options.
Outlook.com’s new Save to OneDrive feature makes it easy to store email attachments in the cloud.
De-lish: The fourth volume of the “Microsoft Cookbook” is out, and it’s more than just a place to find recipes from the company’s employees; it’s “as much about the stories behind the recipes as it is about the recipes themselves,” writes Aimee Riordan. The cookbook, which in earlier volumes has won several Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, will soon be available online for the first time, on MSN Food & Drink, as well as part of the MSN Food & Drink app. All proceeds from cookbook sales benefit FareStart, a Seattle nonprofit, culinary job training and placement program for homeless and disadvantaged individuals.
One of recipes from Volume Four of the “Microsoft Cookbook.”