Category Archives: Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

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New feature update to Photos allows you to “Choose a Star”

Launched with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, the reimagined Photos app helps you create videos of your memories with a soundtrack, theme and cinematic transitions. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert photographer and videographer, Photos makes it easy to get started. With today’s update, you can take your filmmaking to the next level by selecting yourself or nominating someone to be the star in your automatically generated creation. Photos will then build a video around the person you choose, pulling in relevant photos and videos, zooming in on your star, and choosing an appropriate theme.
The new feature allows you to follow your child across the field in a montage of their soccer game, or highlight a friend at their birthday party reel. You can also choose yourself and start working on your award acceptance speech.
Here’s how to get started in a few easy steps:
Identify which photos and videos you want in your story

Select the “Create” button on the top toolbar. Choose “Automatic video with music” and select content. Click the “Create” button on the top toolbar again and title your video. Then select “Create video.”
Customize your video by remixing it

Once you’re happy with your content selections, sit back and watch the app do its magic. Click the “Remix it for me” button until you find a story you like.
Choose the star of the film

Once the story is just right, use the “Choose a star” feature and the video will focus around that special person.
Save and share with your friends
Download the file or upload to social media, so all your friends can watch your creation.
To access the new “Choose a Star” feature, you’ll just need to be running the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. Simply open the Photos app and start creating! To learn how to get the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, check out this blog post.

Windows 10 Tip: Annotate your books in Microsoft Edge

You can add highlights in four colors, underline, add comments or copy text. To see the menu with these options, simply highlight the preferred word or sentence with your mouse or finger. You can also select the Cortana icon from the same menu to find more information about the content you are reading without leaving the reading experience.
Get started by downloading a book to personalize from the Books section in the Microsoft Store, and head over here to learn more about what’s new in the Fall Creators Update, or how to get the update!

Windows 10 Tip: Annotate your books in Microsoft Edge
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#ifdef WINDOWS – 3D launchers and glTF toolkit

With the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, when developing experiences for Windows Mixed Reality, a 3D launcher can be defined to override the default 2D launcher and provide a richer experience launching a game or app from the mixed reality home.
Roberto Sonnino and Tom Mignone from the mixed reality team dropped by my office to give me a hands on demonstration as we discussed why developers should consider creating 3D launchers and what is possible when creating 3D tiles. We also covered why the team chose glTF as the file format and how they created the glTF toolkit to make it very easy for developers to modify and optimize glTF assets.
Check out the full video above and feel free to reach out on  Twitter or in the comments below.
Happy coding!

Windows 10 Tip: Stay in touch with My People

Did you know with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, you can talk and share faster with the people you talk to the most?
Quick access to your top people

Now you can pin the people you communicate with most to the taskbar for convenient, one-click access through apps like Mail and Skype. Tap on your pinned contact to send an email or chat using Skype without having to open the apps.
People-first sharing

Sharing is as easy as dragging a file directly onto the pinned contacts in your taskbar. Or share directly via the ‘Share’ picker by choosing from the recommended list of your top people.
See emoji from pinned contacts

Emoji from your pinned contacts can appear and animate right from the taskbar – an extra level of emotional connection and expression between you and the key people in your life.
Head over here to read more about what’s new in the Fall Creators Update, and have a great week!
*Cortana available in select markets; experience may vary by region and device. Cortana above the lock screen is hardware dependent. User must enable within Settings. Learn more at microsoft.com/en-us/cortana/get-started/pc.

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (1709) fully available

I’m happy to announce the Fall Creators Update (version 1709) is fully available for all compatible devices running Windows 10 worldwide! Full availability is the final phase of our rollout process. When a new feature update is released, we begin by targeting a select set of devices that we believe will have the best update experience based on device characteristics and testing done by us and our device partners. We then monitor feedback for issues around application and device compatibility and make adjustments along the way, if necessary.  Actively listening for and responding to issues as they emerge helps us confidently expand the release to additional devices while maintaining a quality experience.  We’re pleased to announce that the Fall Creators Update was the fastest Windows 10 release to reach 100M devices, all while achieving higher customer satisfaction ratings compared to prior updates!
Enterprise customers following this same targeted approach for the Semi-Annual Channel can also fully deploy when ready.  As an IT administrator, you decide when to broadly deploy once you have validated the apps, devices, and infrastructure in your organization work well with this release. You no longer need to wait for our signal – deployment control and choice is yours.* IT admins can leverage Windows Analytics tools that help you plan, test and deploy Windows 10 to your organization, and help accelerate Windows 10 migration. You can learn more about Windows Analytics tools and best practices for deployment and servicing the Semi-Annual Channel releases.
We’re thrilled to be offering the Fall Creators Update to all our customers, and we expect commercial customers to have the same level of confidence based on quality from their own broad deployments. As always, we will continue to evolve our releases based on your feedback.
Windows updates help keep systems current and safer 
Protecting your device and your information is critical. Recent reports about “Meltdown” and “Spectre,” a new class of critical vulnerabilities disclosed last week, underscore how rapidly the global security landscape is evolving. These threats highlight the importance of having devices running the latest Windows 10 feature update and the latest monthly quality updates.  We build the latest security technology deep into the Windows operating system to provide defense-in-depth features that prevent evolving malware and other vulnerabilities from impacting your device, and layer on monthly quality updates that help your machine keep pace with the evolving threat landscape.
For these new vulnerabilities, we’ve provided updates to customers with the latest security protections available.  Because these vulnerabilities start at the processor level, however, having the latest Windows operating system (OS) updates is not sufficient to be fully protected; you will also need to install related firmware updates from your device manufacturer. Lastly, ensuring your antivirus products are up-to-date (for example, Windows Defender is available in-box for free and updates automatically) and that you are backing up critical files to the cloud remain best practices.
The most secure device is an up-to-date device
For those with automatic updates enabled, Windows 10 will continue to provide the latest monthly security updates to help keep your information and your device protected. Windows 10 is configured for automatic updates except over metered connections (where charges may apply), in which case we’ll only download those updates required to keep Windows running smoothly. To enable automatic updates, go to Windows Update> Advanced options> Choose how updates are installed to make sure they are turned on for you.
In order to help you get the latest defense-in-depth security protections that come in the Fall Creators Update, we’ve improved the experience to allow you to update your device faster and with greater confidence. If you’re running the Anniversary Update (version 1607) or Creators Update (version 1703), we’ll send you a reminder that the feature update is ready to install. You can schedule the right time: just pick a time that works best for you or set a new reminder for tomorrow. If you’re running an even older version of Windows 10, you’ll need to install the Fall Creators Update using Update Assistant on our Software Download site.

If you choose not to update your device when notified, your system will try to identify a time outside of your device’s active hours to install the update when you’re not actively using your machine.  If you’ve already scheduled an installation date and time, the update will install automatically at your specified time.  A final reminder alerts you 15 minutes before your device is scheduled to reboot, so you can properly save and close out of what you are doing.  If you’re still not quite ready to take a break at that time, you can choose to restart later.

To ensure devices in enterprise environments are running the most current and secure version of Windows with the latest security updates, any device on Windows 10 Enterprise edition or Windows 10 Pro edition that is configured to receive updates automatically from Windows Update will be automatically offered Windows 10, version 1709 after January 18, 2018.  This does not apply to long-term servicing editions.
Start the new year more safe and secure
Bring your devices up to date with the Fall Creators Update, now available for all customers globally – consumer and commercial alike.  If you haven’t yet updated, simply click the Update Now button on the Software Download Site to manually update your device. You can also update your device or personalize your settings including your active hours, restart options and other advanced options in the Windows Update settings menu.
As always, we’re actively listening. If you have feedback, please share it with us via the Feedback Hub app.
*Refreshed media will be published to Windows Update, Windows Update for Business, WSUS, and VLSC starting the week of January 22, 2018.

Windows 10 Tip: Get started with the Mixed Reality Viewer app

As part of our mission to bring 3D and mixed reality to everyone, we launched Mixed Reality Viewer with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update in October.  With Mixed Reality Viewer, you can see 3D objects – either from the Remix3D.com community or your own creation from Paint 3D – mixed into your actual surroundings through your PC’s camera.  It’s easy and fun, and all you need to get started is a device with a camera running the latest Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.
With the Mixed Reality Viewer, you can experience the power of 3D and mixed reality, no headset required.
Mixed Reality Viewer is a perfect tool when you need to visualize space and dimension, experience something up close, or when you just want to inject some fun into your photos. Whether it’s a friend’s birthday and you want a photo of them alongside a personalized 3D birthday cake, or you’re a home decorator helping a client to visualize what a couch would look like in their living room, or a teacher demonstrating  to students the size and scale of the Mars Rover, this application will help you bring all your ideas to life! Use the app to just play and learn by overlaying 3D objects in your world or snap a photo to save it as a memory and share with friends – read on to learn how.
You have a couple ways to get started:
To get started, head to the Mixed Reality Viewer app, free with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. You’ll find a 3D character already created for you, or click the Remix 3D button to search the extensive 3D catalogue to browse for inspiration. Next, Select the Mixed reality button and your computer’s camera will turn on.  Tap the screen to indicate where you’d like to place your object.
And just like that, your 3D creation is in your real world and you’re experiencing mixed reality. From there, you can rotate the 3D object, zoom in, zoom out and capture the image in a photo.

You can also experience mixed reality from within the Paint 3D application. Simply create something in Paint 3D or pull in a creation from Remix 3D and then select Mixed reality to view it in your real world.

Mixed Reality Viewer is one of the multiple ways we’re empowering people to blend their physical and digital worlds to create, play and learn in new dimensions. We’re so inspired and excited by what we’ve seen people do with the Mixed Reality Viewer already – can’t wait to see more!  If you want to experience Mixed Reality Viewer, and you don’t have the Fall Creators Update yet, please visit this blog post to learn how to get it!

CES 2018: Samsung shows the new Notebook 7 Spin, Notebook 9 and Notebook 9 Pen powered by Windows 10 

Today at CES, Samsung announced the Samsung Notebook 7 Spin (2018) and showed the Notebook 9 and Notebook 9 Pen – new devices powered by Windows 10 that provide you with the tools you need to remain productive in today’s digital world.
 

Let’s take a look:
Samsung Notebook 7 Spin (2018)

The Notebook 7 Spin (2018) arrives with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update to offer modern features that light up touch, inking, 3D, including a 360-degree touchscreen that enables digital drawing, writing and note taking with Windows Ink; an Active Pen (sold separately) for quick and easy note-taking; as well as the power and performance for more efficient multi-tasking.
Other features include:
A 360-Degree Rotating Touchscreen – Provides the flexibility to view content as preferred, whether it be as a tablet or as a traditional PC in landscape mode
Active Pen-enabled (sold separately)– Perfect for attending meetings, conference calls or lectures, the Active Pen lets you create a sketch or jot down notes on the fly with Windows Ink
Secure Fingerprint Log-in – Through simple fingerprint scanning, you can quickly log-in with Windows Hello and keep files secure in your own Privacy Folder
Power and Performance – Powered by Windows 10 and equipped with an Intel i5 processor and 256GB SSD drive that allows for quicker startups and advanced multi-tasking capabilities
Voice Note – Advanced smart recording featuring an integrated far field microphone to capture every detail of important meetings or lectures, which can be stored and shared easily via Samsung Cloud
Battery– Larger battery capacity to keep you connected throughout the day
Studio Plus –Studio Plus allows you to produce personalized movies featuring your favorite photos and videos
Availability: The Samsung Notebook 7 Spin (2018) will be available in select countries starting in the first quarter of 2018 in the U.S.
Samsung Notebook 9 Pen

The Notebook 9 Pen brings a thoughtfully refined design to the 2-in-1 PC. Its full metal chassis with premium magnesium aluminum – lighter than aluminum – alloy called Metal12 provides durability while keeping it super light at 2.2 pounds. The 360-degree hinge allows you to convert to a tablet from a laptop with ease by rotating the keyboard behind the screen for convenience.
The Notebook 9 Pen provides ultimate convenience with a built-in, refined S Pen that gives you the freedom to doodle, write, sketch, paint and more with Windows Ink. The S Pen is battery free, built into the device and designed for immediate use. The S Pen can recognize 4,096 levels of pressure with a fine 0.7mm tip and convenient tilt detection to allow a more natural writing and drawing experience.
Samsung Notebook 9 (2018)

With three different versions offering a 13.3” to a 15” screen and enhanced graphics capabilities, the Notebook 9 (2018) weighs up to 2.84 pounds and measures 15.4mm. The bezel around the screen measures 6.2mm providing a more immersive experience. This means great portability without sacrificing screen size, as well as a stronger, more durable metal body featuring Metal12 which provides durability while keeping it super light.  The new line-up lights up some of the best of Windows 10 — including your digital personal assistant Cortana*, Windows Hello for fast and secure login, Windows Ink for drawing in the Photos app or adding notes to your map, comprehensive protection with Windows Defender and more.
Other features include:
Designed for mobility: Made from Metal12 complemented by Micro Arc Oxidation (MAO) technology, both devices are lighter than most metal laptops, yet durable with the advanced MAO treatment of oxide coating on the surface.
Built-in security: Windows Hello is built-in with Windows 10 for secure authentication through the fingerprint sensor without having to type in a password, while the Notebook 9 Pen also features an IR front-facing camera for facial recognition login through Windows Hello.
Stunning visuals: The RealView display brings a bright and accurate premium image, with lifelike colors and incredible brightness ideal for using the device both indoors and out.
High-quality performance: Both devices also feature the latest 8thgeneration Intel Core i7 processor and Samsung Dual Channel Memory for speed without reduced performance or speed.
Availability: The Samsung Notebook 9 Pen and Notebook 9 is available in select countries starting in December 2017 in Korea, and in the first quarter of 2018 in the U.S.
Please visit this site to read more about the new Notebook 7 Spin (2018) that Samsung announced today, and head over here for more of our news out of CES!
*Cortana available in select markets.

Windows 10 Tip: Browse full screen in Microsoft Edge

Simply select the Settings and more menu and click the “Full screen” arrows icon, or press “F11” on your keyboard. Full screen mode hides things like the address bar and other items from view so you can focus on your content.
To exit full screen mode, move your mouse near top of the screen or swipe down with your finger and select the “restore” icon in the top-right, or press “F11” again.
Head over here to read what’s new in the Fall Creators Update, and have a great week!

Windows 10 Tip: Travel easier with the built-in currency converter

Did you know that with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, you have a currency converter built right into the calculator on your Windows 10 PC?

It’s true – in fact, it also includes converters for things like time, power and temperature – so you can easily, quickly convert from Fahrenheit to Celsius and back again. Simply open Calculator, click on the menu button on the left, and select what you’d like to convert.
Head over here to read more about what’s new in the Fall Creators Update, and have a great week!

Application Engagement in Windows Timeline with User Activities

Great applications help users do great things — enabling a wide range of creative, productivity and entertainment scenarios. Returning to activities can be a challenge, especially when a person wants to continue those activities across multiple devices. By writing User Activities, application developers have a new tool to get users back into their application.
In this article, you’ll learn how to drive application re-engagement by writing great User Activities into the Microsoft Graph with their UWP applications. This article is also a companion to the Microsoft Connect(); session: Engaging with your customers on any platform using the Microsoft Graph, Activity Feed, and Adaptive Cards.
User Activities and Timeline
Starting in Windows Insider Preview build 17056 or higher, User Activities generated by your application appear in Timeline. By writing User Activities into the Microsoft Graph, you can express specific content within your application as a destination which is showcased in Windows, and accessible on your iOS and Android devices.

Each User Activity represents a single destination within your app: such as a TV show, document or your current campaign in a game. When you engage with that activity (by creating an Activity Session), the system creates a history record indicating the start and end time for that activity. As you re-engage with that User Activity over time, multiple History Records will be recorded for a single User Activity. Here’s how to get started:
Install Windows SDK for Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (10.0.16299) or the latest Windows Insider Preview SDK. The Windows Insider Preview SDK requires Visual Studio 2017
To try out Timeline, install the Windows Insider Preview on the target machine
Adding UserActivities to your app
UserActivities are the unit of user engagement in Windows, and they consist of three components: a deep-link, visuals and content metadata.
The Activation Deep Link is a URI that can be passed back to an application or experience in order to resume the application with specific context. Typically, these links take the form of protocol handler for a scheme (e.g. “my-app://page2?action=edit”) or an AppUriHandlers (e.g. http://constoso.com/page2?action=edit).
Visuals are a set of properties that allow users to visually identify an activity, for example: title, description, or Adaptive Card elements.
Finally, Content Metadata is metadata for the content of the of activity that can be used to group and retrieve activities under a specific context. Often, this takes the form of http://schema.org data.
In order to integrate UserActivities with your application, you need to:
Generate UserActivity objects when your user’s context changes within an application (page navigation, new game, etc.)
Populate UserActivity objects with the minimum set of required fields: ActivityId, ActivationUri, DisplayText
Add a custom scheme handler to your application so it can be re-activated by your UserActivities
UserActivities can be integrated into an application with just a few lines of code:

UserActivitySession _currentActivity;

private async Task GenerateActivityAsync()
{
//Get the default UserActivityChannel and query it for our UserActivity. If the activity doesn’t exist, one is created.
UserActivityChannel channel = UserActivityChannel.GetDefault();
UserActivity userActivity = await channel.GetOrCreateUserActivityAsync("MainPage");

//Populate required properties
userActivity.VisualElements.DisplayText = "Hello Activities";
userActivity.ActivationUri = new Uri("my-app://page2?action=edit");

//Save
await userActivity.SaveAsync(); //save the new metadata

//Dispose of any current UserActivitySession, and create a new one.
_currentActivity?.Dispose();
_currentActivity = userActivity.CreateSession();
}

The first line in the GenerateActivityAsync() method gets a user’s UserActivityChannel. This is the feed that this app’s activities will be published to. The next line queries that channel of an activity called “MainPage”
Your application should name activities in such a way that same ID is generated each time the user is in a particular location in the app. For example, if your application is page-based, use an identifier for the page, if it’s document based, use the name of the doc (or a hash of the name).
If there is an existing activity in the feed with the same ID, that activity will be return from the channel (with the UserActivity object State property set to Published). If there is no activity with that name, and new activity with State set to New.
Activities are scoped to your app, there is no need to worry about your activity ID colliding with IDs from other applications
After getting or creating the activity the next lines of code specify the other two required fields: the DisplayText and the ActivationUri.
Next, save the UserActivity metadata, by calling SaveAsync(), and finally CreateSession(). That last method returns a UserActivitySession object that we can use to manage when the user is actually engaged with the UserActivity. For example, we should call Dispose() on the UserActivitySession when the user leaves the page. In the example above, we also call Dispose() on _currentActivity right before we call CreateSession(). This is because we made _currentActivity a member field of our page, and we want to stop any existing activity before we start the new one (the ‘?’ is an inline null-check).
Since, in this case, our ActivationUri is a custom scheme, we also need to register the Protocol in the application manifest. This can be done in the Package.appmanifest XML file, or using the designer, as shown below. Double-click the Package.appmanifest file to launch the designer, select the Declarations tab and add a Protocol definition. The only property that needs to be filled out, for now, is Name. It should match the URI we specified above hello-activities.
Now we need to write some code to tell the application what to do when it’s been activated via a protocol. In this case, we’ll override the OnActivated method in App.xaml.cs to pass the URI on to our MainPage:

protected override void OnActivated(IActivatedEventArgs e)
{
LoadFrame(e);
if (e.Kind == ActivationKind.Protocol)
{
var uriArgs = e as ProtocolActivatedEventArgs;
if (uriArgs != null)
{
Frame rootFrame = Window.Current.Content as Frame;
if (uriArgs.Host == "page2”)
{
rootFrame.Navigate(typeof(SecondaryPage), uriArgs)
}
}
}
Window.Current.Activate();
}

Use Adaptive Cards to Improve the Timeline Experience
User Activities will appear in Cortana and Timeline experiences. When activities appear in Timeline, we display them using the Adaptive Card framework. If you do not provide an adaptive card for each activity, Timeline will automatically create a simple activity card based on your application name and icon, the required Title field and optional Description field. Below is an example Adaptive Card payload and the card it produces.

{
"$schema": "http://adaptivecards.io/schemas/adaptive-card.json",
"type": "AdaptiveCard",
"backgroundImage": "https://winblogs.azureedge.net/win/2017/11/eb5d872c743f8f54b957ff3f5ef3066b.jpg",
"body": [
{
"type": "Container",
"items": [
{
"type": "TextBlock",
"text": "Windows Blog",
"weight": "bolder",
"size": "large",
"wrap": true,
"maxLines": 3
},
{
"type": "TextBlock",
"text": "Training Haiti’s radiologists: St. Louis doctor takes her teaching global",
"size": "default",
"wrap": true,
"maxLines": 3
}
]
}
]
}

Adaptive Cards can be added to the UserActivity object by passing a JSON string to the AdaptiveCardBuilder and setting the UserActivity.VisualElements.Content property:

activity.VisualElements.Content =
AdaptiveCardBuilder.CreateAdaptiveCardFromJson(cardText);

Cross-platform and Service-to-service integration
If your application has a cross-platform presence (for example on Android and iOS), or maintains user state in the cloud, you can publish UserActivities via integration with Microsoft Graph.
Once your application or service is authenticated with a Microsoft Account, it is two simple REST calls to generate Activity and History objects, using the same data as described above.
Summary
In this blog post, we learned how to use the UserActivity API to make your application show up in Timeline and Cortana, but there is much more you can do:
Learn more about UserActivity API on the Windows Dev Center, or check out the sample code at https://github.com/Microsoft/project-rome
Check some more sophisticated Adaptive Cards at io
Publish UserActivities from iOS, Android or your web service via MS Graph
Learn more about Project Rome on GitHub