Tag Archives: Surface Dial

Windows 10 Tip: How to use Surface Dial with Paint 3D

Whether you’re an artist, student or mobile professional, Surface Dial optimizes your digital workflow by bringing your most-used shortcuts and tools to your screen with simple presses and turns of the Dial. You can also use Dial to do things like play music or skip tracks in Groove Music, scroll through web pages in Microsoft Edge, scroll through documents in Microsoft Word off-screen, and so much more.

Today, we’re going to show you a couple ways you can get started using your Surface Dial with the Paint 3D app in Windows 10.* If you have the new Surface Pro or the Surface Studio, you can use the Dial with Paint 3D directly on your screen.**

Set-up

Make sure you have the Surface Dial connected via Bluetooth to your device. You should be able to press and hold the dial to see a context menu pop-up. Open the Paint 3D app to get started and make sure you are in the Paint 3D app when you are using the Surface Dial to access the features below. The dial will have haptic feedback as you use different features in Paint 3D.

Change the color easily using the color wheel

Change the color easily using the color wheel

It’s super simple to change brush colors. On the Surface Studio, press down on the Surface Dial to select the color palette and the color wheel will pop-up. Turn the Dial and the dot will move to show you what color you have selected. Press down to select the color.

On a Surface Pro device, press down on the Surface Dial to select the color palette. Turn the dial and the color selection in your tool bar will move to the right and left. Press down to select the color.

Be playful as you adjust colors & brushes

There’s no need to stop painting just to change the color or brush thickness. Create seamless tapered strokes by turning the Surface Dial to adjust color, brush thickness, and opacity while drawing.

Click on the art tools button, and select a brush.

Click on the art tools button, and select a brush. To change colors dynamically, press down on the dial and select color palette. Use your pen to draw and turn the dial simultaneously to instantly change from one color to the next. To change the thickness, press down on the dial and choose thickness on the context menu. Press down to select.  Turn the dial to the left to taper the line smaller and to the right to make the line thicker.

Rotate objects while painting

Click on the art tools button and choose a brush and color.

The Surface Dial makes it easy to rotate as you paint. Using your digital pen, use the 3D tools to draw a 3D object or pull a model from the Remix 3D community. Click on the art tools button and choose a brush and color. Start painting on your 3D model and keep your pen stationary while turning the dial to rotate the object underneath.

Hit undo

Press and hold for the context menu, and scroll to the last button, undo.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with easy access to the undo button on the Surface Dial. Press and hold for the context menu, and scroll to the last button, undo. Press down on the dial to select and turn the dial to roll-back any changes you’ve made.

Stamping and stickers

Click on the Stickers Tool and select a pre-made sticker, or upload your own.

Click on the Stickers Tool and select a pre-made sticker, or upload your own. Choose where to position the sticker 3D model and simply press down on the Dial to stamp the sticker onto the 3D object. It’s super fun and easy.

If you don’t have a Surface Dial yet, you can order one here from the Microsoft Store. Head over here for five things you need to know about Surface Dial, or check out tips on getting started using Paint 3D.

In case you missed it, here’s last week’s Windows 10 Tip:

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Have a great week!

*Surface Dial is compatible with any Bluetooth-enabled, Windows 10-enabled PC, laptop, and tablet running on Windows 10 Anniversary Update. 
** Surface Dial is on-screen compatible with Surface Studio and Surface Pro only. 

See What’s New with Windows Ink in the Windows 10 Creators Update

Windows Ink is about transforming the way we think about computers, from a tool that is great at getting things done, to one that harnesses your personality and your emotions into the things you create. It’s about bringing back the human aspects that a mouse and keyboard (and even touch) cannot express fully, it’s about making personal computers more personal, and an extension of yourself, not just a tool. We want you to feel empowered to create from the moment you pick up the pen, and have the confidence that Windows understands you, knows what you want to do – by understanding your handwriting, your words and your expression. This is the journey we’re on.

With the Creators Update, Windows Ink is now better than ever! When used with the Surface Dial, it allows you to discover new ways to work and interact with Windows. With Windows Ink, we continue to make it possible for you to do more than with pen and paper. Applications like Photos and Maps have added incredible inking functionality in the last year, and continue to evolve and expand. With Paint 3D in the Creators Update, Windows Ink can now create 3D objects! As we evolve what Ink means to users, we’re also introducing new Smart Ink capabilities to Windows Ink. These capabilities allows developers to understand the ink that is being laid down by the user, using AI to help create, connect and complete user actions on ink. We’ve also improved and added features to the building blocks for Windows Ink, introducing new stencils and adding tilt support to create a richer drawing experience.

Devices that support the Pen on Windows have also doubled in the last year, and is on track to double again in the next year! We’re seeing high demand not just for devices, but also for applications that support ink. To make it easier to find compatible pens, Wacom has partnered with us to develop the Bamboo Ink Pen. This pen will be in market in summer and supports almost all Windows PCs that are pen-capable. It features the Microsoft Pen Protocol (MPP), which is based on Surface Pen technology. In addition, we are also excited that the Surface Dial is now available in more countries, like Australia, Canada and New Zealand, giving more people an opportunity to try this incredible new input device. In addition, new hardware from our OEM partners, like the Dell Canvas 27, are shipping soon and takes advantage of the same RadialController APIs that are used for the dial. As a developer building for the Surface Dial today, it means that you are ready for all the new hardware that our OEM partners will bring to the ecosystem.

The progress we’ve made with Windows Ink would not have been possible without the feedback and passion you developers bring to us. With over a thousand inking applications in the store and growing everyday, with well over half of the top 10 paid store apps being ink apps, there is incredible enthusiasm and interest in this space. This is an incredible opportunity that you have embraced with us, and it inspires us to do more in each Windows release.

What’s new with Windows Ink platform?

Ink is the ultimate way humans can express themselves, it opens up new opportunities for application developers to differentiate, and helps make their applications stand out. From the latest fads like adult coloring books to simple games like tic-tac-toe, to applications that help you organize your life, there is just so much opportunity to build the next big thing in the inking space. We also know that people who use Windows Ink are more satisfied with their experience, what they look for, and buy more inking applications. From the platform perspective, we have 2 ways that we help developers:

  • Make it as easy and quick for a developer to add inking into their application by providing controls that can be dropped in quickly into any application and get Windows Ink support.
  • Provide the most flexible platform building blocks for developers to innovate upon. This gives you the flexibility to choose where to start developing for Windows Ink.

Introducing Smart Ink

Let’s start with a new building block that developers have access to in the Creators Update. Introducing Ink Analysis, this is the first of our family of Smart Ink capabilities that we are bringing to the platform. Smart Ink brings AI technology to not just understand what you write, but also helps connect the dots to what you may want to do. With Ink Analysis, it starts simple, with recognizing shapes and making that square you drew more perfect, but it can also do much more, like understanding you wrote words in squares and making it into an org chart using understanding about your organization. Our goal is to understand user intent and empower developers to turn it into rich digital constructs, as well as to leverage understanding from all parts of the system. Ink Analysis allows any developer to understand the ink they capture, whether it is handwriting, shapes, phone numbers, stock symbols, lists, document structure and more.  This is the same technology we debuted in Sticky Notes in the Window 10 Anniversary Update, and now it’s available for you to use! We can’t wait to see what you can do with this technology.

Here is an example of how to use Ink Analysis to recognize shapes.  For this snippet, we’ll use DirectInk to handle rendering the ink strokes.  Start by initializing an InkAnalyzer and connecting it with InkPresenter:


private void Initialize()
{
    inkAnalyzer = new InkAnalyzer();
    inkCanvas.InkPresenter.StrokesCollected += InkPresenter_StrokesCollected;
    inkCanvas.InkPresenter.StrokesErased += InkPresenter_StrokesErased;
}

// Whenever the user draws a new stroke, you copy the stroke into Ink Analyzer’s stroke collection
private void InkPresenter_StrokesCollected(InkPresenter sender, InkStrokesCollectedEventArgs args)
{
    inkAnalyzer.AddDataForStrokes(args.Strokes);
}

// When a stroke is erased in InkCanvas, remove the same stroke from Ink Analyzer's collection.
private void InkPresenter_StrokesErased(InkPresenter sender, InkStrokesErasedEventArgs args)
{
    foreach (var stroke in args.Strokes)
    {
        inkAnalyzer.RemoveDataForStroke(stroke.Id);
    }
}

Next you want to feed strokes to the analyzer. Commonly this is done via explicit user action (e.g. the user clicks a button) or after the user has been idle for a while.


inkAnalyzer.AnalyzeAsync();

The result is a tree representation of the whole document with different kinds of nodes, such as paragraph, line, list, word, and drawing. If for instance you want to find all the shapes in the ink, you can with the code below:


IReadOnlyList&amp;lt;IInkAnalysisNode&amp;gt; drawings = inkAnalyzer.AnalysisRoot.FindNodes(InkAnalysisNodeKind.InkDrawing);
foreach (IInkAnalysisNode drawing in drawings)
{
    var shape = (InkAnalysisInkDrawing)drawing;
    switch (shape.DrawingKind)
    {
        case InkAnalysisDrawingKind.Circle:
            // The user drew a circle. You can replace it with a perfect circle that goes through shape.Points.
            break;
        case InkAnalysisDrawingKind.Rectangle:
            // The user drew a rectangle. 
            // You can find the full list of supported shapes here.
            break;
    }
} 

If you want to learn more about Ink Analysis, you can watch the BUILD 2017 recorded video Enable Natural Pen Interaction by Using Ink Analysis to Better Understand Users’ Ink, download the Ink Analysis sample on GitHub or check out the Ink Analysis API Reference.

An improved Ink Toolbar

In the Anniversary Update we created a customizable set of inking tools, Ink Toolbar and Ink Canvas, that any developer can add to their own application with only two lines of markup.


&amp;lt;InkCanvas x:Name=“myInkCanvas”/&amp;gt;
&amp;lt;InkToolbar TargetInkCanvas=“{x:Bind myInkCanvas}”/&amp;gt;

Many of Microsoft’s first party applications have incorporated the inking tools to create engaging user experiences. For example, Photos added a calligraphy pen and the ability to draw on any photo in the gallery. Maps added a feature that lets you measure the distance of a route drawn on the map. Edge browser added inking on webpages. It has never been easier to add Windows Ink to your applications.

In the Creators Update, we continue our commitment to improving these controls! If you already use them in your applications, these improvements will benefit you with no additional work!

In response to users, the Creators Update introduces a new stencil, the protractor. This new stencil makes it easy for you to draw circles and arcs of any size. When drawing an arc, the protractor displays a readout that tells you the precise angle of the arc. You can also resize the stencil with just a pinch/zoom gesture with your fingers.

We’ve also made the ruler stencil better! Like the protractor, it now provides an angle readout that shows the ruler’s angle with the horizontal line. The ruler also snaps to 0, 45 and 90 degrees for easy access to the most common angles being used by our users.

You asked for an improve stroke preview in the Ink Toolbar, and in the Creators Update, we have it! We’re also make changes in the Ink Toolbar to work better with High Contrast themes, by automatically showing only colors that meet visibility requirements for the current user profile.

New Exciting Inking Capabilities


Today we announced the new Surface Pro and the new Surface Pen. Together they enable the next generation of inking capabilities that truly make writing digitally as natural as pen on paper. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Low latency Ink that virtually eliminates lag when you write
  • Tilt support to capture an additional dimension in digital inking
  • Ink that captures the entire spectrum of your expression with 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity
  • Effortless inking with half the activation force required to being inking

Our customers have asked us for these capabilities, and they are finally here! From a developer perspective, if you already use the Windows Ink platform, all these capabilities show up in your application automatically! There are no changes required, and you are ready for the new Surface Pro, with the new Surface Pen.

Low latency Inking is a unique addition to Windows Ink. It is the result of a close partnership between hardware and software. The Pixelsense Accelerator chip in the new Surface Pro, is the first device to run Windows Ink acceleration code natively on hardware. This is how we achieve a new milestone in inking, virtually eliminating lag between the pen tip and the ink that flows out of it, creating the most natural writing experience with Windows Ink.

Tilt is another great addition to the Inking experience. The great news is, in addition to the new Surface Pro/Pen supporting this new capability, Wacom Pens that feature tilt will also “just work”! Tilt allows Windows Ink to model natural pencil sketching that response to the tilt of the pen. This support is now built into the pencil brush on the Ink Toolbar. In the above diagrams, we demonstrate how the pencil brush can be used to shade lines (on the left) and to draw arcs of varying thickness depending on the degree of tilt (on the right).

As mentioned above, tilt integration happens automatically if you use the Ink Toolbar. However, if you are not using the Windows Ink platform to render ink, and want to build your own brush that responds to tilt, you still can! There are two properties, TiltX and TiltY (respective angle of tilt against each axis of the screen plane) which are included with pointer input messages. You can access the tilt values from the PointerPointProperties included with Pointer input events, or the POINTER_PEN_INFO struct from WM_POINTER input.

These improvements automatically show up on any application that uses the Windows Ink controls, and you can be confident that we’ll continue to evolve and improve them in each release of Windows.

What’s new with Surface Dial and RadialController?

The Surface Dial introduces a new input paradigm to computing. It was designed alongside the Windows Ink experience, allowing it to truly shine when used together with a Pen. We’ve seen many experiences built to harness the new capabilities the Surface Dial brings, and are also seeing new hardware emerging, and adopting the RadialController standard. In response to your feedback, we’ve added more capabilities to the RadialController experience in the Creators Update.

First off, are some new button events for RadialControllers. These new events, Pressed and Released, combined with existing events for rotation and screen contact, will allow you to track complex interactions such as press-and-rotate or press-and-move. The example below illustrates a simple way to capture a press-and-rotate action.


_radialController.ButtonPressed += OnButtonPressed;
_radialController.ButtonReleased += OnButtonReleased;

private void OnRotationChanged(RadialController sender,
                               RadialControllerRotationChangedEventArgs args)
{
    if (args.IsButtonPressed)
    {
        /* When button is pressed, you can do modal interactions, fine-grained changes */
    }
    else
    {
        /* Otherwise, do the normal rotation behavior */
    }
}
private void SendHaptics(SimpleHapticsController hapticController)
{
    var feedbacks = hapticController.SupportedFeedback;
    foreach (SimpleHapticsControllerFeedback feedback in feedbacks)
    {
        if (feedback.Waveform ==
                    KnownSimpleHapticsControllerWaveforms.Click)
        {
            hapticController.SendHapticFeedback(feedback);
            return;
        }
    }
}

You also now have access to the Haptics engine in the Surface Dial hardware. Using SimpleHapticsController—a new object that uses the HID Simple Haptics specification—you have the power to directly send feedback to the user. You can use this to customize the feel of your menu, adding a new dimension to the experience. This object is available in the arguments of all radial controller input events.

In cases where you may want to suppress the radial menu to prevent it from blocking UI, we now have new properties ActiveControllerWhenMenuIsSuppressed and IsMenuSuppressed to let you configure when the menu is available or suppressed. When a menu is suppressed, it will not appear on press-and-hold interactions for the foreground app. Your app can listen to a new event during menu suppression to give the user an indication the menu is blocked, or build an alternate experience. Here is a code sample for this functionality:


RadialControllerConfiguration config = RadialControllerConfiguration.GetForCurrentView();
config.ActiveControllerWhenMenuIsSuppressed = myController;
config.IsMenuSuppressed = true;
  
myController.ButtonHolding += MyController_ButtonHolding;

User input running on a UI thread can sometimes lead to performance bottlenecks. With the Creator’s Update, radial controller interactions can now be handled on an off-UI thread using RadialControllerIndependentInputSource. Below is an example on how to get additional performance using this method.


RadialController controller;
Windows.UI.Input.Core.RadialControllerIndependentInputSource independentInput;
CoreApplicationView view;
            
view = CoreApplication.GetCurrentView();

var workItemHandler = new WorkItemHandler((IAsyncAction) =&amp;gt;
{
    independentInput = Windows.UI.Input.Core.RadialControllerIndependentInputSource.CreateForView(view);

    controller = independentInput.Controller;

    controller.RotationResolutionInDegrees = 5;

    controller.RotationChanged += Controller_RotationChanged;
    controller.ScreenContactStarted += Controller_ScreenContactStarted;
    controller.ScreenContactContinued += Controller_ScreenContactContinued;
    controller.ScreenContactEnded += Controller_ScreenContactEnded;
    controller.ControlLost += Controller_ControlLost;
    controller.ButtonClicked += Controller_ButtonClicked;
    controller.ButtonPressed += Controller_ButtonPressed;
    controller.ButtonReleased += Controller_ButtonReleased;
    controller.ButtonHolding += Controller_ButtonHolding;
    controller.ControlAcquired += Controller_ControlAcquired;

    // Begin processing input messages as they're delivered.      
    independentInput.Dispatcher.ProcessEvents(CoreProcessEventsOption.ProcessUntilQuit);
});
action = ThreadPool.RunAsync(workItemHandler, WorkItemPriority.High, WorkItemOptions.TimeSliced);

In addition to all the API additions above, you can now customize and easily add new menu items on the Radial Menu. Under “Wheel Settings” in the settings app, you can add application specific menu items that trigger keyboard combinations. Imagine customizing the controller to send your favorite shortcuts in Visual Studio, Photoshop or even when browsing the web!

The Surface Dial continues to excite users and developers alike, with these new enhancements, both developers and users have more control and flexibility in their experience. We invite you to join the numerous applications that have already delivered a great Surface Dial experience, like CorelDRAW, Autodesk’s SketchBook, Silicon Bender’s Sketchable and Algoriddim’s djay Pro. We can’t wait to see what you can do with this unique new form of input on Windows.

Join us in making Windows Ink better!

With Windows Ink and the Surface Dial additions in the Creators Update, we believe we’re just scratching the surface of what Windows Ink can do in people’s lives. Our commitment is to invest in areas that can help you innovate and remove all the barriers to our users using, loving and needing Windows Ink. This involves a spectrum of efforts, from the hardware we build by ourselves and with our partners, to the next SDK additions we make to power you app. As we continue this journey, we invite you to lend us your voice, your ideas and your feedback. Help us help you make the next great application and help us help you change the world. Tweet your ideas using #WindowsInk, email us at WindowsInk@Microsoft.com or tweet us at @WindowsInk. We would love to hear from all of you.

Thank you!

Windows Developer Awards: Honoring Windows Devs at Microsoft Build 2017

As we ramp up for Build, the Windows Dev team would like to thank you, the developer community, for all the amazing work you have done over the past 12 months. Because of your efforts and feedback, we’ve managed to add countless new features to the Universal Windows Platform and the Windows Store in an ongoing effort to constantly improve. And thanks to your input on the Windows Developer Platform Backlog, you have helped us to prioritize new UWP features.

In recognition of all you have done, this year’s Build conference in Seattle will feature the first-ever Windows Developers Awards given to community developers who have built exciting UWP apps in the last year and published them in the Windows Store. The awards are being given out in four main categories:

  • App Creator of the Year – This award recognizes an app leveraging the latest Windows 10 capabilities. Some developers are pioneers, the first to explore and integrate the latest features in Windows 10 releases. This award honors those who made use of features like Ink, Dial, Cortana, and other features in creative ways.
  • Game Creator of the Year – This award recognizes a game by a first-time publisher in Windows Store. Windows is the best gaming platform–and it’s easy to see why. From Xbox to PCs to mixed reality, developers are creating the next generation of gaming experiences. This award recognizes developers who went above and beyond to publish innovative, engaging and magical games to the Windows Store over the last year.
  • Reality Mixer of the Year – This award recognizes the app demonstrating a unique mixed reality experience. Windows Mixed Reality lets developers create experiences that transcend the traditional view of reality. This award celebrates those who choose to mix their own view of the world by blending digital and real-world content in creative ways.
  • Core Maker of the Year – This award recognizes a maker project powered by Windows. Some devs talk about the cool stuff they could build–others just do it. This award applauds those who go beyond the traditional software interface to integrate Windows in drones, PIs, gardens, and robots to get stuff done.

In addition to these, a Ninja Cat of the Year award will be given as special recognition. Selected by the Windows team at Microsoft, this award celebrates the developer or experience that we believe most reflects what Windows is all about, empowering people of action to do great things.

Here’s what we want from you: we need the developer community to help us by voting for the winners of these four awards on the awards site so take a look and tell us who you think has created the most compelling apps. Once you’ve voted, check back anytime to see how your favorites are doing. Voting will end on 4/27, so get your Ninja votes in quickly.

Announcing new creativity apps with unique capabilities for Surface Dial

Today, Surface is thrilled to announce that partner applications like CorelDRAW, Autodesk’s SketchBook, Silicon Bender’s Sketchable, and Algoriddim’s djay Pro are adding unique capabilities to their software that enable Surface Dial offering customers a new spin on creativity. In addition to the great apps available today for Surface Dial, Adobe has produced a technology demonstration of Surface Dial working within their popular Adobe Premiere Pro CC software.

Algoriddim running on Surface with Surface Dial.

Fully leveraging Surface Studio with its beautiful PixelSense display, Algoriddim’s djay Pro also includes unique location-aware Surface Dial integration.

Empowering the creator in all of us is the purpose behind our products and initiatives at Microsoft, and supports our mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Last week we announced all of the goodness coming in the Windows 10 Creators Update that will begin to roll out to customers worldwide tomorrow, including 3D in Windows 10, new improvements to the Microsoft Edge browser, game broadcasting and more.

Since announcing Surface Studio and Surface Dial last October alongside the Windows 10 Creators Update, the response from the creative community has been electric. Applications like SketchBook, Sketchable, Mental Canvas, StaffPad, BlueBeam, Siemens NX, DrawBoard, and Spotify reimagine the creative process and show what’s possible with Surface Dial. There are limitless possibilities, and today we’re excited to announce new applications available for Surface Dial.

Let’s hear from the partners themselves about the experiences they’ve designed on Surface Dial:

Algoriddim djay Pro

Algoriddim’s award-winning DJ application has been downloaded by over 30 million users. Starting today, djay Pro is available in the Windows Store. Fully leveraging Surface Studio with its beautiful PixelSense display, djay Pro also includes unique location-aware Surface Dial integration. With Surface Dial, users can browse their music library, scratch, scrub, loop, and precisely adjust knobs and filters on screen and for each deck individually, providing a truly innovative interaction paradigm to DJs.

CorelDRAW

We’re excited to share a sneak peek of our new CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 2017 which will be launching tomorrow. Our new CorelDRAW release takes advantage of Surface Dial together with a powerful new tool called LiveSketch to offer designers a natural and hands-on creative experience. Powered by a neural-network, LiveSketch interprets and understands the artist’s hand-drawn strokes in an entirely new way. It’s designed for Pen-input first and works even better with Surface Dial by enabling you to use your non-dominant hand as you bring your ideas to life on screen. With Surface and CorelDRAW 2017, you get a creative experience as natural as drawing on paper. Technology, in effect, disappears. Find out more about CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 2017 and its support for Surface.

Our work with Surface continues and the CorelDRAW team is already developing the second generation of Surface Dial support which will add even more options in off-screen mode and a dramatically enhanced on-screen experience. This summer, we will release an update to CorelDRAW 2017 that will let you do even more with Surface Dial, including giving you direct access to your most used tools and settings in a fully customizable way. Here’s an early look at the next phase.*  

Corel DRAW app showing on screen toolbox for Surface Dial.

AutoDesk Sketchbook

AutoDesk Sketchbook runnong on Surface Studio with Surface Dial.

Autodesk SketchBook is made for artists and designers who want their work to feel natural in a digital environment, and Surface Dial provides them with additional choices and control over their creative workspace. Digital artists who like the tactile feedback and two-hand feel of Surface Dial can use it to control three of the most important aspects of SketchBook: canvas, brush, and color. Surface Dial in SketchBook helps you easily rotate and resize the canvas, provides precise control over zoom in and out, puts fine-tuning of brush size and opacity at your fingertips, and gives you a quick and easy way to control hue, saturation, and luminance in your color palette. To learn more about Sketchbook and Surface Dial, check out this Sketchbook blog post

Sketchable

Sketchable, a brilliant sketching app available in the Windows Store, was originally highlighted during the Surface Studio launch last October. Due to the excitement they’ve seen from customers, they’ve updated Surface Dial capabilities to take advantage of some new Dial functionalities.

Sketchable app running on Surface with Surface Dial.

Sketchable leverages the new Dial APIs to present a cohesive experience, as well as streamline navigation via press & turn. This allows creatives to access their desired setting quicker, without taking the focus off their work. You can check out the updated app here.

Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Las Vegas skyline with "Come see Adobe @NAB 2017" text over layed.

Since announcing Surface Studio and Surface Dial last fall, people have been curious about how Surface Dial could work with Adobe’s suite of products. We have an update to share. In a Technology Demonstration of Premiere Pro CC, Adobe uses the Surface Dial for accelerated shuttling through clips and sequences with precision frame selection and immediate stop and start of playback, as well as incremental speed increase, decrease and reverse up to 32X playback. The Surface Dial is a great extension of your post-production workflow, and we look forward to providing additional updates in the future. To learn more, check out Adobe’s booth at NAB 2017.

You’ll likely be familiar with some of these tools and applications, but we think you’ll love how they work differently on Surface. This is just the beginning, we look forward to sharing additional exciting updates in the future. Check out microsoftstore.com to learn more about Surface products and purchase your own.

*4/10/17: Updated for accuracy. 

Windows 10 Creators Update and Creators Update SDK are Released

This is a big day! Today we opened access to download the Windows 10 Creators Update and, along with it, the Creators Update SDK. And today is a great day for all Windows developers to get the SDK and start building amazing apps that take advantage of new platform capabilities to deliver experiences that you and your users will love.

We are working hard to innovate in Windows and to bring the power of those innovations to Windows developers and users. We released Windows 10 Anniversary Update just eight months ago, and we’ve already seen that over 80% of Windows 10 PCs are running Anniversary Update (version 1607) or later.

With today’s release of Windows 10 Creators Update, we expect users to once again move rapidly to the latest and best version of Windows. For developers, this is the time to get ready for the next wave.

What’s New in the Creators Update

Here are just a few of the new and powerful capabilities in the Creators Update:

  • Enhancements to the visual layer (effects, animations and transitions) and elevation of many effects to the XAML layer with improved controls that make the enhancements easy to bring to apps
  • Improvements to ink, including ink analysis and improved recognition, and an ink toolbar with new effects (tilt pencil) and tools (protractor for drawing curves and circles)
  • More powerful and flexible APIs for the Surface Dial
  • Significant Bluetooth improvements with Bluetooth LE GATT Server, peripheral mode for easier discovery of Windows Devices, and support for loosely coupled Bluetooth devices (those low energy devices that do not have to be explicitly paired)
  • Better user engagement via notifications that can now be grouped by app, bind to data and contain in-line controls such as progress bars
  • Improvements to the Desktop Bridge to make it easier than ever to bring Win32 apps to Windows 10 and the Windows Store
  • The ability to have seamless cross-device experiences with Project Rome and the recently released Android SDK for Project Rome
  • More targeted and effective user acquisition via Facebook app install ads with the Windows SDK for Facebook
  • Background execution enhancements that enable tasks to do more with increased memory and time
  • Enhanced security for apps with the ability to integrate Windows Hello
  • Richer app analytics via an updated Dev Portal that enables management of multiple apps and enhanced reporting
  • Faster app downloads and updates with the ability to componentize app packages and do streaming installs
  • Increased efficiency and flexibility with the new ability in Visual Studio 2017 to run two different SDK versions side by side on the same machine
  • Significant improvements to the Windows Console and the Windows Subsystem for Linux enabling many of the most used Linux frameworks, tools and services
  • New and natural ways for users to connect and engage with apps using the Cortana Skills Kit
  • The ability for game developers to reach new audiences by publishing UWP games on the Xbox via the Xbox Live Creators Program
  • Amazing 3D experiences on HoloLens and new mixed reality headsets via the Windows Mixed Reality Platform

You can find a more complete list here along with the latest developer documentation.

We’ll be taking a close look at all of these (and a lot more) at Microsoft Build 2017, including some of the things we’ve got planned for the future.

I hope to see you there!

Get Started Now

To get started, please check out Clint Rutkas’ post for the details on how to get the latest version of Visual Studio and the SDK. And take a look at Daniel Jacobson’s blog post to see some of the improvements for UWP developers in Visual Studio 2017.

— Kevin

Windows 10 Creators Update coming April 11, Surface expands to more markets

Creativity has led the inspiration of our world’s greatest inventors, architects, educators, entrepreneurs, developers, and students, delivering advancements that move our world forward. Today, people value creativity more than ever, placing us on the cusp of a new wave of exploration, advancement, and impact.

We designed Windows 10 to empower the creator in all of us. To us, that means that everyone has the power to dream big, whether that involves starting a company, developing a lesson plan, inventing a product, developing or broadcasting games, or imagining a whole new world in Minecraft or mixed reality. And we want Windows to be the place you love to create and play, with the tools to help you make your mark on the world.

Windows 10 Creators Update coming April 11

Today, I’m excited to share our latest update to Windows 10, the Creators Update, will begin to roll out on April 11. The Creators Update is designed to spark and unleash creativity, bringing 3D and mixed reality to everyone and enabling every gamer to be a broadcaster. Beyond creativity, it brings new features to Microsoft Edge, additional security capabilities and privacy tools, and so much more.

Whether you’re already a Windows 10 customer or looking for a new Windows 10 device from Surface or our partners, here are just a few of the new features coming in the Windows 10 Creators Update.

3D for Everyone and enabling mixed reality

3D goldfish inside a fish bowl as created in the new Paint 3D app in Windows 10 as part of the Windows 10 Creators Update

With the new Paint 3D app in the Creators Update, it’s simple to create 3D objects from scratch, easily changing colors, stamping textures, or turning a 2D picture into a 3D work of art.

The 3D industry is estimated to grow by over 62% by 2020, and we want to empower everyone to experience, create and share in 3D with the Creators Update.

Most of us have been limited to a two-dimensional canvas with existing tools, yet we live in a multi-dimensional world. With 3D, we can communicate ideas and express ourselves better, and learn faster because it’s much more representative of the world we live in. The 3D industry is estimated to grow by over 62% by 2020, and we want to empower everyone to experience, create and share in 3D with the Creators Update.

Windows has long been home to creation, with the original Paint seeing over 100 million monthly users as one of the most popular creation tools. With the new Paint 3D app in the Creators Update, it’s simple to create 3D objects from scratch, easily changing colors, stamping textures, or turning a 2D picture into a 3D work of art. Remix3D.com offers pre-made 3D art in a growing online library for your use or you can share your own creation with this creative community.

From 3D to mixed reality, the Windows 10 Creators Update enables immersive experiences that blur the lines between the physical and virtual worlds. Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, and Lenovo will ship the world’s first Windows Mixed Reality-enabled headsets with the Creators Update, starting at just $299 USD later this year. These headsets will contain built-in sensors to enable inside-out, six-degrees of freedom, allowing for easy setup and free movement without the need for external markers or sensors in the wall. These devices will light up with new, immersive Windows Mixed Reality apps and experiences, which developers are creating on the recently available Windows Mixed Reality dev kits.

Watch, participate, chat and interact in real-time with Beam

Built-in game broadcasting on Windows 10. Now you can effortlessly stream your gameplay using the Game Bar—just hit Windows + G, click Broadcast, and start streaming on Beam—all without the need for additional log-ins.

Built-in game broadcasting on Windows 10. Now you can effortlessly stream your gameplay using the Game Bar—just hit Windows + G, click Broadcast, and start streaming on Beam—all without the need for additional log-ins.

We’re committed to making Xbox the best place to create and play games across Windows 10 and Xbox One. As part of that, we are unifying players across Xbox console and PC with Xbox Live and through programs like Xbox Play Anywhere, which enables you to buy a game once and play it on both your Xbox One and Windows 10 PC.

With the Creators Update, we are delivering more ways to play, interact, share and enjoy across Windows 10 and Xbox One. With Beam, we’re inviting Creators on Windows 10 PC and Xbox One to stream gameplay and interact with community in real-time using Beam’s ultra low-latency – no extra hardware or software required. With Beam, you don’t just watch your favorite game streams, you can chat, interact and participate with streamers and community in entirely new ways.

With Windows 10 Game Mode our goal is to offer the best and most consistent gaming experience on your Windows 10 PC by dedicating more system resources to your PC games. Once you’ve enabled Game Mode, you can apply it to any game. Learn more about the corresponding Xbox One update and new features here.

Microsoft Edge is faster and safer with better browsing and entertainment

Tab Preview in Microsoft Edge with the Windows 10 Creators Update.

Set your tabs aside for easy access; Microsoft Edge is the default reader for books in Windows Store.

Because so much time is spent online, we’ve designed Microsoft Edge to be the best browser for Windows 10. People are choosing Microsoft Edge because it is safer and faster than Chrome, with better battery life. With all the dangerous security threats online today, Microsoft Edge blocks 9% more phishing sites and 13% more malware than Chrome* – helping protect your identity and information; speed matters on the Web and according to Google’s own benchmarks, Microsoft Edge is faster than Chrome**. Finally, Microsoft Edge makes your battery last longer so you can stream up to 1.5 hours of video longer than Chrome***.

But that’s not all. With the Creators Update, we’ve added new features like advanced tab management to help you find, organize and open tabs you’ve set aside without leaving the page you’re on. You can now discover and get your favorite e-books in Windows Store and read them in Microsoft Edge across all of your Windows 10 devices. And, it is the only browser that can play Netflix movies and TV shows in 4K Ultra HD resolution ****.

From sleeping better to easily managing your children’s screen time

Sometimes it’s the little things that delight the most. And with the Windows 10 Creators Update, there are many delightful updates and features based on your feedback.

By reducing the blue light emitted by your screen, the night light feature helps you sleep better. With night light, when you’re working late your brain is more ready to power down for a good night’s sleep. Smartphone users love this feature and now, it’s coming to Windows 10 with the Creators Update.

The mini view feature lets you keep an ever-present small window on top of what you’re doing. This means you can do things like binge-watch your favorite show, carry on a Skype conversation or control your music, regardless of what else you’re working on.

With the Windows 10 Creators Update, parents familiar with screen time limits for Windows 10 will now find a similar set of controls for Xbox One. With screen time limits parents can manage how much time their children play games across the console and PC, giving you an extra hand, say, when your younger family member has played enough Forza Horizon 3 for the day. With screen time limits, parents can set a daily time allowance for each child and your Xbox One or Windows 10 PC will automatically sign them out when time is up. For Windows 10, you can even get a report telling you what your child played each week. To set up screen time limits, head over to account.microsoft.com/family, sign in with your parent account, and select “Screen time” for your child’s account.

Windows Hello can use any paired iPhone, Android or Windows Phone to detect when you step away from your PC or tablet, automatically locking it behind you for an extra measure of security and privacy. This remote lock feature works with smartphones, fitness bands or any device that’s paired to your PC or tablet.

Additional security and privacy protection

The new Windows Defender Security Center dashboard coming with the Windows 10 Creators Update gives you visibility of your device security, health and online safety.

The new Windows Defender Security Center dashboard coming with the Windows 10 Creators Update gives you visibility of your device security, health, and online safety.

Customers like MARS, Adventist Health Systems, and the Australian Department of Human Services are choosing Windows 10 because it is the most secure enterprise platform. Businesses and people at home need advanced protection because security experts are seeing increased efforts to make common malware and ransomware more prevalent and difficult to track and defend against, putting everyone at greater risk. With Windows 10, we’ve built the most robust security protection into Windows to protect you from these threats whether you are visiting a website, sending an email or storing files in the cloud.

With the Creators Update, we offer a new service to help you monitor your security, the Windows Defender Security Center. It offers a single dashboard display so you can control your security options from one place – everything from anti-virus, network and firewall protection; to assessing your device performance and health; to security controls for your apps and browser; to family safety options. And there’s more: The Device Health Advisor gives you information on the vital signs of your device, and new settings give you more control over app installation. For our business customers, the Creators Update will continue to bring new tools and capabilities that help simplify IT – making it easier to better deploy, manage and support Windows 10 devices – and to help stomp security threats.

Your privacy deeply matters to us and to you, and the Creators Update makes it easier than ever to manage your privacy with Windows 10 and other Microsoft services with a new set up experience that lets you choose the settings that are right for you. A new Microsoft privacy dashboard lets you see and manage your activity data across multiple Microsoft services.

The Creators Update will start to roll out via Windows Update on April 11. We will be rolling it out in a measured way to ensure the best possible customer experience.

Surface Book and Surface Studio coming to more markets

Surface Studio with mouse and keyboard

Surface Studio turns your desk into a creative studio. It is a new class of device that transforms from a desktop PC into a powerful digital canvas, unlocking a more natural and immersive way to create.

Since we introduced Surface Studio, Surface Dial, and Surface Book with Performance Base last fall, we’ve heard amazing feedback on how these devices are transforming the way people bring ideas to life. Surface Studio has captured people’s imagination with a completely new way to create at your desk. And Surface Book with Performance Base has delivered an unprecedented combination of performance, battery life, and portability. We’ve heard from engineers, developers, Silicon Valley startups, designers, and photographers about how Surface devices not only help them get more done but to interact with their work in new ways. To help meet the demand for Surface devices as part of the modern office setting we are investing in partnerships with companies like Steelcase to help businesses unlock the full creative potential of their employees. With Surface and Windows 10 we are helping people realize their full creative potential and we are excited to bring that experience to more people around the world today.

Surface Book with Performance base is available for pre-order today in Austria, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom and will be available for purchase on April 20th. And, Surface Studio and Surface Dial are available for pre-order today in Australia, Canada and New Zealand and will be available for purchase starting April 20th.

Windows 10 Creators Update for Surface Hub

Last but definitely not least, Surface Hub customers worldwide will receive the Windows 10 Creators Update for Surface Hub. The update delivers some of the top requested features to make Surface Hub an even more powerful collaboration device. The updates include an improved new start screen that allows you to sign on with your credentials and access your Office 365 apps and OneDrive materials as well as new manageability tools to simplify large-scale deployments. Apps like Skype for Business are being improved to help you connect better and the Whiteboard app will now easily enable real-time collaboration between Surface Hubs. Expect a more detailed update on the great Surface Hub improvements coming in Creators Update before April 11th.

Stay tuned right here on the Windows Blog for more information soon about how to get the Windows 10 Creators Update. We are so excited to deliver the Creators Update to you and for more of you around the world to experience the amazing Surface devices that bring creativity to life.

Thanks,

Yusuf

*Based on NSS Labs report.
**More information on benchmark here.
***Windows data found here.
****Exclusive DRM privilege to allow 4K stream for Microsoft Edge and Netflix app on Windows 10 on compatible Windows PCs.

Five things you need to know about Surface Dial

Surface Dial was introduced at our Microsoft Windows 10 Event last year in October. It’s a brand-new kind of peripheral that serves as a tool for the creative process. Whether you’re an artist, student or blogger like me, Surface Dial offers a wide range of utility. Surface Dial optimizes your digital workflow by bringing your most-used shortcuts and tools directly to your screen with simple presses and turns of the Dial. You can use Dial for simple things like adjusting media controls to play music or skip tracks in Groove Music, scrolling through web pages in Microsoft Edge, scrolling through documents in Microsoft Word, and so much more. Let’s jump right in and talk about the five things you need to know about Surface Dial.

Five things you need to know about Surface Dial

1. Compatibility. Surface Dial is compatible with any PC, laptop, or tablet that has the latest version of Windows 10 and supports Bluetooth LE. If you are unsure if your PC is up to date or not visit this link or go to Settings > System > About. As of this writing, Surface Studio is the only device that supports on-screen interaction with Surface Dial, a feature that triggers a larger radial menu (which expands to surround Surface Dial) and select custom app experiences. To learn more about Surface Dial and Surface Studio together visit this link.

2. Pairing Surface Dial to your device.

  • On your device, go to Settings > Devices > Bluetooth. Turn Bluetooth on.

  • On your Surface Dial, pull the bottom to open the battery compartment and ensure there are two AAA batteries inside (batteries are included inside the box when you purchase Dial). Remove the battery tab.
  • Press and hold the pairing button next to the batteries until the Bluetooth light flashes.

  • On your device, select Surface Dial from the list of Bluetooth devices, then select Pair.
  • If you are having trouble, check Settings > System > About to make sure you are running the latest version of Windows 10.

3. Pre-loaded tools and usage. Surface Dial comes pre-loaded with global controls that work across apps like Groove Music, Windows Maps, Microsoft Word and Microsoft Edge. These include media controls (volume, mute/unmute, pause/play, next/previous), scroll, zoom, undo/redo, screen brightness, and Narrator.

Surface Dial has an intuitive design that requires only three simple gestures: press & hold, click, and rotate. Simply press & hold to see a radial menu, rotate to a desired tool or shortcut that you’ve set up, and click to select that tool or shortcut. Rotate to see the shortcut come to life. (e.g., zoom in/zoom out). Some custom app experiences allow you to simply click for the shortcut (e.g., simply click after you select tilt in Windows Maps to toggle between overhead view and street view). When creating, we recommend using Surface Dial in your non-dominant hand while reserving your dominant hand for drawing, creating new vectors, making edits to animations, and so forth.

4. Customization. Once you’ve paired your Surface Dial with your device you’ll notice a new device listed called Wheel. Click it to get into Wheel Settings.


This is where you can choose your default tools and settings for your Dial as well as turn on or off the haptic feedback (a favorite feature of mine!). Additionally, you can add custom shortcuts to Surface Dial. A few of my favorite shortcuts are copy, paste, and undo, all of which are useful for writing blog posts. You can set up all this customization in Settings > Devices > Wheel.

5. Custom app experiences. There is a growing list of apps that have built custom app experiences just for Surface Dial. Those apps include Mental Canvas Player, Microsoft Photos, Bluebeam Revu, Moho 12, Sketchable, Spotify, StaffPad, and Windows Maps. You can visit Surface.com/Support to see the full list of apps that are compatible with Surface Dial and stay up-to-date on new apps coming that will work with Dial.

There are a few ways you can learn more about Surface Dial: visit your local Microsoft Store to check it out in person, visit Surface.com/Support, or, if you are an app developer and interested in building custom app features for Surface Dial users, visit this link. Surface Dial is available for purchase at the Microsoft Store and other retailers for $99 USD.

Announcing UWP Community Toolkit 1.3

The UWP Community Toolkit continues to grow at a rapid speed thanks to the ideas and contributions from the community. Over the last period, over 82 percent of the contributions came from the developer community (59 contributors). Thank you!

Today, we are happy to announce the largest update to the toolkit since the launch a few months ago!

You can get started following these steps, or preview the latest features by installing the UWP Community Toolkit Sample App from the Windows Store.

As a reminder, the toolkit can be used in any app (across PC, Xbox One, Mobile, HoloLens and Surface Hub devices) targeting Windows 10 November Update (10.0.10586) or above. The few features that rely on newer OS updates are clearly marked in the documentation and in the Sample App.

Here’s just a summary of what’s new in Version 1.3:

  1. Controls. Several new controls were added in this release, including some very popular requests from the community:
    • WrapPanel. Positions child elements in sequential position from left to right or top to bottom, breaking content to the next line.
    • TextboxMask and TextBoxRegex (attached properties). Allows setting common or custom masks (like telephone numbers) for input.
    • SurfaceDialTextboxHelper (attached property). Extends any Textbox control to be controlled directly from a Surface Dial.
    • MarkdownTextBlock. Embeds and renders in real-time markdown syntax.
    • TileControl. Enables repeatable tile content.
    • ScrollHeader. Builds upon FadeHeader and enables Quick Return, Sticky and Fade behaviors.
    • Expander. Provides an extendable container to show/hide any content by clicking the header.
    • AdvancedCollectionView: Builds upon CollectionView and easily sorts and filters collections before displaying them.
    • Loading control. Shows an animation with some content when the user should wait in some tasks of the app.
  2. Services
    • OneDrive service. Roam user files through the new OneDrive service with a simplified API model (similar to StorageFolder). The new service makes it easy to authenticate OneDrive users and more in the same consistent way you have come to expect from the toolkit services.
    • Microsoft Translator Service. Translate text in 60 languages supported by Microsoft Translator Services. The free tier supports up to 2 million requests per month.
    • We’ve added support for geographical metadata to tweets.
  3. Animations
    • Light. Add light effects to your page or controls to draw user attention.
    • Reorder grid animations (attached property). Add smooth animations when resizing a grid view.
    • ParallaxService. Allows to create a parallax effect for items contained within an element that scrolls like a ScrollViewer or ListView.
  4. Notifications
    • New toast features. Allows group toasts notifications (only available on Creator Update).
  5. Accessibility. With the support of the community, we started the journey to add accessibility capabilities to all the controls in the toolkit. You can track progress here.
  6. Sample App
    • The Sample App now has embedded documentation (using the new Markdown control).
    • The Sample App provide pointers to a few external OSS resources, for example, the newly released Windows SDK for Google Analytics.
    • It is now available for preview on Xbox One.
  7. UserVoice
    • The community can now submit and vote for new features on UserVoice.

If you are interested in contributing, please join us on Github!

Windows Developer Day – Creators Update

Back in October, Satya, Terry and Panos introduced the Windows 10 Creators Update. They showed some of the new features and announced some amazing new additions to our Surface family of devices. Since then, my team has been working to complete the platform work for the Creators Update to deliver the full power of the Universal Windows Platform to our developers around the world.

Today, I had the chance to host the Windows Developer Day for the Creators Update and to share some of the developer-focused features that are coming soon. You can get started using these today by becoming a Windows Insider and downloading our latest preview SDK, which is now feature complete.

This is an exciting day for me because I love getting to spend time and share information with our developers. We are all driven by our mutual passion to build technology, whether we work on apps for enterprise, games or anything in between.

UWP Improvements

The Universal Windows Platform (UWP) enables your Windows apps to take advantage of the full power of the PC. To show an example of this power, I was joined on stage by Vincent Hardy from Adobe Systems, who showed us Adobe XD, a full-featured and sophisticated desktop application built on UWP.  The Adobe XD app combines beauty and power to deliver a great experience across multiple devices, form factors and input modalities.

We know that many developers want to take full advantage of modern Windows capabilities delivered in UWP, while still retaining their existing technology and code investments. The Desktop Bridge for Windows enables existing desktop applications to call UWP APIs and to be distributed and updated via the Windows Store. The Desktop Bridge makes it easier than ever to share code between Win32, .NET and UWP, taking advantage of the store’s ability to deliver easy and automated upgrades to help ensure that customers are always running the latest and best versions of their apps. Today, I showed Evernote, Photoscape X Pro and KODI, just three of the more than 330 Windows apps and games published to the store in the first four months of availability.

We believe we can work faster and smarter to deliver the best platform for developers if we work with the community. To do just this, I announced that we will make all Microsoft developer documents available and open for community collaboration. In addition, we will open our bug and feature backlog to the public and take bug contributions and feature requests starting today at noon.

In that spirit of openness, I was joined on stage by Todd Anglin from Progress, makers of the powerful Telerik controls. Telerik is popular with enterprise developers, enabling them to build great business applications with a rich set of easy-to-use UI controls. Todd showed us what these great controls can do, and announced that they are now Open Source and available on GitHub and also as NuGet packages. Find out more at telerik.com/uwp.

One of the great powers of UWP is its ability to run across a wide range of Windows devices and enable a wide range of experiences. Today, I showed a few examples of this ability:

  • Developers will be able to use the Windows Holographic Platform to bring amazing 3D experiences, both apps and games, not just to HoloLens, but to the wide range of mixed-reality headsets coming soon. We showed how easy it is to make a single app look fantastic across HoloLens and occluded headsets.
  • The new Cortana Skills Kit gives developers new and natural ways to connect user to their apps and services. We built a Cortana Skill on stage today and showed how easy it is to integrate bots created using the Microsoft Bot Framework and LUIS.
  • We know that your users interact with a variety of devices throughout the day, so we are building UWP capabilities (called “Project Rome”) to help your experiences flow seamlessly across devices, and guide users to your best and richest experience. Rome provides “apps for websites”, a simple tool that directs users to your apps (with the right context) rather than simply opening the browser. Rome’s cross-device services make it easy for users to continue an activity within your app as they move from one device to another, including Android devices. To make this possible, we released today the Rome SDK for Android.

Whenever I talk to developers, I hear that it is critically important for us to enable you to build apps that are visually beautiful and engaging, and that also take advantage of the latest and coolest hardware capabilities. It is also a high priority for us. Today, I showed some of the new capabilities that are coming to the visual and XAML layers of the platform that enable you to create beautiful user experiences through the use of effects, animations and transitions. With only a small amount of code, you can bring these effects to your apps with amazing results that delight users. In the Creators Update, we have worked to deliver new capabilities in pen and ink, including a more powerful ink toolbar that’s easy for any developer to use; smart ink, which enables recognition of lists, simple shapes and even math symbols; and enhanced APIs that enable you to do more than ever with the Surface Dial. Check out the video of the presentation for a full demo that shows a lot of these features coming together to make a beautiful and engaging app.

Games on UWP

I talked a lot about apps, but we’re also building UWP to be the best platform for building amazing games that run across the PC and Xbox One. With the Creators Update, UWP makes game development faster, easier and better. Specifically, I’d like to call out three key UWP improvements that will be appreciated by gamers and devs alike:

  • Game Mode: Windows 10 can optimize system resources to deliver the best PC gaming experience possible.
  • UWP on Xbox: UWP games (along with apps) will now be available on Xbox One via the Windows Store.
  • Windows Sonic: Microsoft’s next-gen spatial audio platform provides a powerful, immersive sound experience with support for Dolby Atmos. Windows Sonic will be available on Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs, also supporting both speakers and headphones.
  • Intelligent install: Lastly, the UWP packaging format makes it easier to install the bits in the right order, letting players jump into a new game (or app) before it has fully downloaded. And updates focus on downloading only the bits that have changed, so players can jump back in even faster.

For more information on these features and many more coming this year, tune into the Xbox sessions at GDC in a few weeks.

Windows is the home for all developers

I’m a developer, and my team is a team of developers. Like you, we love our tools and services and we’re very demanding of them. We want Windows to be the very best place to develop experiences, whether for Windows, the web or cross-platform. Today, we showed some of the performance, stability and debugging improvements in Visual Studio 2017. We demonstrated improvements to the Console and Bash, as well as to the Windows Subsystem for Linux. We showed remote access to device information via the Windows Device Portal, and even pixel-level GPU debugging with the new PIX tool for Windows.

The Windows Store team walked through several new and improved services coming in the next few months. Store Services APIs provide services to help you understand how your app is performing in the wild, including analytics and telemetry, flighting, automated submissions and updates, and ad campaigns.  The team also highlighted updated services to enable better user engagement using A/B testing, targeted push notifications and more.

And, of course, I recognize that you use lots of services from providers other than Microsoft, so today it gave me great pleasure to show powerful additions to the collection of middleware that is available to Windows Developers. Today, we announced the immediate availability to two important libraries:

  • The Windows SDK for Google Analytics brings one of the most popular and powerful real-time analytics packages to Windows. The core library works with UWP, Xamarin, Windows Forms and WPF, allowing for maximum code reuse.
  • Facebook App Install Ads are now available for UWP apps. Facebook App Install Ads are displayed in the Facebook newsfeed both on the web and in the Facebook app, bringing immense reach to Windows developers, as well as rich targeting capabilities (including interests, location and demographics) and their ads manager dashboard.

Where to get the bits

Here’s a quick recap of some of the announcements we made today:

  • Windows SDK Availability: Become a Windows Insider and get the newest feature-complete flight of the Windows 10 Creators Update SDK today.
  • Documentation: For the first time, all of Microsoft’s developer documentation will be in one place (http://docs.microsoft.com/) where it will be easier to find and use. We are also opening up the docs to community contribution.
  • Developer Platform Backlog: My team and I are making our backlog public, for both features and bugs. This will be online at noon today at https://developer.microsoft.com/windows/platform.
  • Telerik Controls: The Telerik UWP control library is now open source and available on GitHub and as NuGet packages. Find out more at telerik.com/uwp.
  • Cortana Skills Kit: The Cortana Skills Kit will enter open Developer Preview later this month.
  • Rome SDK for Android: This is a new SDK that brings the cross-devices services of “Project Rome” to Android devices, allowing easy and powerful integration with Windows. Find the new SDK at https://github.com/Microsoft/project-rome.
  • UWP Community Toolkit 1.3: Today, we are releasing a big update to the toolkit that includes many contributions from our developer community.
  • Windows SDK for Google Analytics: This new SDK, available now, enables Windows developers (UMP, Xamarin, WPF and WinForms) access to one of the more popular and powerful real-time analytics suites. Get this today at https://github.com/dotnet/windows-sdk-for-google-analytics.
  • Windows SDK for Facebook: With one billion users, Facebook offers one of the most powerful tools for you to acquire new users for your app or game. Check out the new SDK here: https://developers.facebook.com/docs/app-ads/windows-sdk.

It was a great day today, and there is more to come. We look forward to seeing you at Build in a few months when we will go deeper into the Creators Update capabilities for developers, and take a look at what’s coming next. In the meantime, I’d like to invite all of you to get started developing for Windows Creators Update today. Download the SDK, update your applications with new features (or build all-new apps that deliver the best new experiences), and please keep giving us feedback.

— Kevin

ICYMI – AdDuplex, Windows Bridge for iOS, new Virtual Machine

It’s that time of the week, devs.

In case you missed our updates, here is an annotated list of the latest announcements coming from the Windows Developer team. We hope you enjoy them!

AdDuplex Monetization and Marketing

AdDuplex helps apps utilize app ad space before the app has reached a level of popularity that makes monetization efforts worthwhile. From there, AdDuplex can help devs continue managing, marketing and monetizing their apps.

Customize the Surface Dial

In this post, we explain how to customize the Surface Dial Experience for bridged UWP apps using Objective-C projections. It’s neat.

Virtual Machines Update

We’re releasing the December 2016 edition of our evaluation and licensed Windows developer virtual machines (VM) on Windows Dev Center. The VMs come in Hyper-V, Parallels, VirtualBox and VMWare flavors.  The evaluation version will expire on 04/08/17.

Other than that, have a great new year celebration! We’ll see you in 2017.

Download Visual Studio to get started.

The Windows team would love to hear your feedback.  Please keep the feedback coming using our Windows Developer UserVoice site. If you have a direct bug, please use the Windows Feedback tool built directly into Windows 10.