As part of our ongoing commitment to help our enterprise customers with their deployment and maintenance of Windows 10 and Office 365 ProPlus, today I join my colleague Jared Spataro in sharing news about servicing and support changes. You can read more about the details on our TechNet blog.
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.
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From Missouri to Haiti
Radiology is often crucial in identifying and diagnosing injuries or diseases efficiently and accurately. Medical imaging techniques, such as x-ray, ultrasound and computed tomography (CT), have advanced alongside technology. Dr. Jennifer Nicholas has a long history of working to improve diagnostic imaging capacity and radiology training around the world, having traveled to Nicaragua, Kenya and Haiti to improve training for radiology residents and, ultimately, the outcomes for patients.
In September of 2016, she joined Washington University School of Medicine as an assistant professor and pediatric radiologist who practices at Saint Louis Children’s Hospital. As part of Washington University’s Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, Jennifer is helping to develop a global outreach program, part of which involves providing radiology training in Haiti to residents at Hôpital de l’Universite d’Etat d’Haiti (HUEH), the state hospital in Port-au-Prince. One of the first stops on that journey, however, was at a mall in Missouri to explore device and technology solutions that would enable her to deploy a tablet-based curriculum, which utilized tools like PowerPoint for presentations and OneNote to serve as a dynamic professional toolbox.
A Particular Request
Upon meeting her in the Saint Louis Galleria, Jo Otey, business sales specialist at Microsoft Store, showed Jennifer how Surface Pro 4 and Office 365 would provide her with a way to seamlessly facilitate the tablet-based radiology curriculum in Haiti.
Jennifer’s goal was to create a flipped classroom environment in Haiti. Educators use a flipped classroom to break free from the traditional paradigm of educational lectures in a classroom. In this case, Jennifer’s flipped classroom needed to extend across geographic, cultural, and linguistic boundaries so the residents could complete their assigned reading, interpret cases, and create preliminary reports in advance of their virtual conference with Jennifer where the cases were reviewed, and the lectures given.
In September, Jo traveled to Haiti with Jennifer at her request to lay the groundwork for the flipped classroom at HUEH and help train the radiology residents on the technology. While the idea of flipped learning is not new, Jennifer’s program would take the concept to a new level. Radiology residents would be required to read course materials pre-loaded on the Surface Pro 4, interpret cases, and create preliminary reports in advance of a virtual conference and lecture where the case studies are reviewed.
The Flipped Classroom
Once Jennifer and Jo opened the possibilities of Business essentials to implement the curriculum, she discovered how transitioning to Microsoft 365 Business gave her the ability to manage devices remotely and securely and deploy new apps to the residents. Jennifer also had the ability to restrict usage of the devices until the residents completed the curriculum for the course. In addition to Microsoft 365 Business, Jo and Jennifer discovered solutions major challenges such as file sharing for the curriculum, facilitation, and communication limitations (language barriers and productivity tools). SharePoint allows her a means of monitoring the curriculum, usage, and progress of the radiology residents.
Since September, the residents have been preparing for the formal launch of the curriculum and Jennifer has noticed a major shift in the computer literacy of the radiology residents, due in part to the decision to use Surface Pro 4 with Windows and Office. The residents have been quick to take advantage of features like Skype for Business to interact with their colleagues within and outside of the Haiti. Microsoft Translator has helped bridge the language gap. Program participants can translate English coursework and reading into their native French to better understand the information, then translate to English to communicate curriculum-based questions to faculty. With OneNote, the residents create a virtual residency toolbox, and Jennifer will be able to use Forms to facilitate quizzes and surveys. Jennifer can then easily deploy apps and curriculum either in Haiti or the United States via a simple Microsoft 365 Business dashboard.
“The current infrastructure of the radiology department at HUEH is traditional x-ray film and paper printouts of relevant ultrasound images with hand-written reports,” says Jennifer. “During their careers, this group of radiologists will lead the transition to digital imaging in Haiti. In addition to the radiology content the residents are learning through this curriculum, the computer skills they are strengthening with the use of the Surface Pro 4 and Windows will be invaluable as they negotiate new technology in the future.”
Currently, the radiology residency in Haiti includes 13 residents across the three-year program, but the curriculum also includes eight recent graduates of the program who are newly-minted practicing radiologists in Haiti. More than 20 Surface Pro4 were distributed to the radiologists-in-training. The resident doctors are responding positively to the program and are excited about the technology.
Unfortunately, the unexpected arrival of Hurricane Irma as the new devices were being implemented forced Jennifer and team to have to evacuate two days early. Still, the program is under way and Jennifer looks forward to the expansion of future global health programs in other parts of the world where there are radiology residents who are eager to learn, but their access to the latest educational resources is limited.
“I look forward to evaluating the curriculum in 2018,” says Jennifer. “I will be tracking how the residents are using the devices and the educational resources loaded on them. I will also evaluate how the residents’ levels of confidence in interpreting radiology studies have improved. During my last trip to Haiti, I was approached by doctors from other specialties who have heard about the curriculum and are interested in how they might be able to implement similar programs with their residents.”
Visit your local Microsoft Store to meet with a business sales specialist, explore device and technology solutions, and discover free resources like Office Hours that will help you to achieve more.
Starting today, you can get your hands on the most powerful Surface ever, Surface Book 2. We built this Surface for people who need the performance and graphics processing power to work, create, and game from anywhere. Now anyone who needs desktop-class power, from designers, developers, and engineers to scientists, artists, and gamers can have the freedom and flexibility of a laptop and tablet. Whether you choose the 13-inch or the 15-inch (US only), here are 5 reasons to love the new Surface Book 2.
It’s really powerful – Surface Book 2 is the most powerful Surface ever. It has four times the processing power and more than five times the graphics performance of the original Surface Book. It has up to twice the total processing of similarly spec’d MacBook Pros1. With quad-core 8th Gen Intel Core processors, up to 16GB of RAM and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 and 1060 discrete GPUs, Surface Book 2 has the power you’ll need for whatever you do.
It has amazing battery life – Surface Book 2 goes where you go and keeps up with up to 17 hours of battery life2 (or up to 5 hours on the detached tablet). That’s up to 70% longer than a MacBook Pro 13-inch or 15-inch. With the power slider in Windows 10 (click on the battery icon) you can optimize either for peak performance or longer battery life. And, if you don’t have your Surface power cord, you now have the option to charge via USB-C using a compatible charger.
It plays hard –With an optional NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 with 6GB GDDR5 graphics memory, you’re going to love gaming on Surface Book 2. Our team has been playing Gears of War 4 and Forza Motorsport 7 – both graphically intense games – at 1080p and 60 FPS and they look amazing on the PixelSense display. The 15-inch model even includes Xbox Wireless built-in so you can pair Xbox One Accessories and play wherever you want. Surface Book 2 is also ready for Windows Mixed Reality. Connect a compatible Windows Mixed Reality headset and controllers to experience the most immersive gaming and VR experiences with 100+ degrees view field and 90hz refresh rate.
It’s a creator’s dream – Whether you’re a game developer, digital artist, designer, 3D-modeller, AI developer, photographer, or video guru, Surface Book 2 is what you need to create the amazing. You’ll have all the power you’ll need to run full versions of the software you depend on, a beautiful PixelSense display and awesome keyboard and trackpad. Beyond these, Surface Book 2 lets you create and edit with the optional Surface Pen3, featuring 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity and tilt and on-screen use of the Surface Dial3 The ink experience even extends to Office 3653 , where we’ve done a ton of work as a company to make sure your work really comes to life.
It’s incredibly versatile – The original Surface Book made waves with its detachable screen, and these new devices continue to offer unmatched versatility. Use Surface Book 2 as a traditional laptop or disconnect the tablet to experience the freedom of the thinnest 8th Gen Intel Core i7 PC available. Turn the screen around and re-attach it for view mode, a great way to share ideas or watch movies at 30,000 feet. Close the device with the screen exposed and your Surface Book 2 becomes a powerful, portable Studio angled just right for drawing and using Dial. Surface Book 2 also includes a full array of ports – two full-size USB 3.1, USB-C, an SD card reader, Surface Connect ports in both the base and tablet and a 3.5mm headset jack.
Surface Book 2 is available today starting at $1,499.99 USD at Microsoft Store, Microsoft.com, and Best Buy in the US, and around the world at select retailers.
I encourage you to see and try one in person. I hope you love it as much as I do.
1Microsoft Test Lab 3DMark 11 Graphics and LuxMark 3.1 CPU+GPU score comparison, Surface Book 15-inch [Intel i7-8650U with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060] vs. MacBook Pro 15-inch [Intel i7-7567U with AMD Radeon Pro 560], and Surface Book 13” [Intel i7-8650U with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050] vs. MacBook Pro 13-inch [Intel i7-7567U], October 2017.2Up to 17 hours of video playback. Testing conducted by Microsoft in October 2017 using preproduction Intel Core i5, 256GB, 8 GB RAM device. Testing consisted of full battery discharge during video playback. All settings were default except: i-Fi was associated with a network and Auto-Brightness disabled. Battery life varies significantly with setting, usage, and other factors. 3Surface Pen, Surface Dial, and Office 365 sold separately.
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).
We’re at Microsoft Ignite in Orlando, Fla., today with more than 25,000 business customers and IT leaders from around the world. We’ve shared news spanning Microsoft’s commercial businesses – Office 365, Windows 10, Enterprise Security + Mobility and much more – with a focus on how the company is empowering people and organizations to succeed in a rapidly evolving workplace and innovate for the future.
Check out more details below on how Microsoft 365 is enabling a modern workplace and empowering all workers, students, and educators with technology to be more creative, productive and secure.
Advancing intelligence, management and security to empower the Modern Workplace
All Workers Welcome with Microsoft 365
Announcing Microsoft 365 Education, a single, affordable technology solution built for education
Maximizing IT’s Impact with Microsoft 365 Powered Devices
Announcing Windows 10 S Devices for Firstline Workers
Stepping Up Protection with Intelligent Security
New Microsoft 365 Features to Accelerate GDPR Compliance
Windows resources to help support your GDPR compliance