Does security make things more complex for the users? Probably. It’s harder to open my doors when the gates are drawn and locked. But that’s the tradeoff for security you don’t need to tinker with or even think about much. Locks just work, and so do devices that are secure by design. Is it necessary? Absolutely. We’ve reached a point on the BYOD adoption curve at which all of our data is everywhere. Even if we completely lock down the enterprise, there’s no guarantee all of its data stays within strictly patrolled bounds, nor any reason to believe that all the devices coming in daily from employee’s homes haven’t been exploited and weaponised.Hands on After sitting through two hours of presentations, Microsoft has let journalists loose on the new kit it has announced, and the results are surprisingly good – at least from a hardware perspective.Microsoft's engineers positively salivated about the attention to detail the Studio design has (see our earlier story), from its 20-to-100 degree viewing angle down to a custom-fitted (and patent pending) power supply cord that sort-of locks when put in. The touchscreen has beautiful resolution, but the key to the system is the hardware that gives it grunt.
The system runs a quad-core Intel i5 or i7 processor with Nvidia's GeForce GTX 965M/980M chipset running 2/4GB of RAM. In the base box are four USB 3.0 slots, a mini DisplayPort slot, and a full-size SD card reader.Inside, the Studio has three fans – a high speed system, one quieter low-speed, low-noise fan, and a dedicated cooling fan for the power supply. The control software was designed to make sure that – where possible – the quiet fan is used to expel air away from the user's face.The amount of computing power in the control unit is pretty good. As too is the screen, with omni-directional microphones and a studio quality HD camera built in.The results are a very smooth onscreen experience, with virtually no lag on the unit we tried out when using the Surface pen or a mouse and keyboard – all connected in this case via Bluetooth LE. But the Surface Studio also has the Dial, which is something designers will most likely fetishize.The Dial is a hockey-puck design with a customizable interface. It will work on the desktop with any Windows 10 PC running the new Creators Update, but onscreen use is reserved for the Studio. You can set up commands for rotating or pressing it down, but only on the Studio can you use it on the touchscreen itself to play with images produced.The 59mm x 30mm device can be placed on screen and used to scroll through color palettes, rewind and forward through the last set of image revisions, or set up custom options. It's powered by twin AAA batteries that Microsoft says are good for a year of use.
- Battery for Toshiba Satellite L650
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As a creative device, the Dial looks like the kind of thing Apple should have come up with, and Satya Nadella couldn't resist putting the boot into Cook & Co with a comment that Microsoft was all about creators. Anyone who spent the last 20 years working in publishing knows designers love their Macs. It's a key market for the Cupertino crowd that Microsoft is looking to attack.Panos Panay, Microsoft Surface boss, claimed the new and improved Surface Book is the fastest laptop on the market. Several gaming laptop firms might disagree, but its specs are impressive.The 13.5-inch display remains the same but the Intel processor has been given an upgrade. That, and a beefed-up graphics system from Nvidia GTX 965m GPU, takes a bit more cooling. As a result, the hinge has had a redesign to make sure there's enough airflow and that it doesn't bother users.People like ultimate laptop and we wanted to keep that title, so we had a push in the graphics side, Brian Hall, VP of Microsoft Surface told The Reg. We're very focused on enterprise, engineers and gamers.While the Surface has its critics, particularly among some early adopters, it's still an awesomely powered machine that will suit heavy CPU users. Gamers have been less keen, but the increased graphics performance might tempt more to the fold.
For years, Microsoft Paint has hung around the Windows operating system like a slow cousin compared to GIMP or Photoshop – useful occasionally but just dead weight most of the time.With the Windows 10 upgrade the application has been rewritten from the ground up, said Struan Robertson, the British principal creative director at Microsoft. The rewrite has worked – for the first time, Paint 3D feels like something coded this century.The new Paint 3D will come with a host of 3D models and the ability to craft your own emojis, which makes other manufacturers' claims for new and different options for the annoying characters somewhat moot.The software still felt a tad clunky, but it works, and with a tender hand can produce 3D models that will be popping up on screens all over the place. That said, it'll need a lot more than a few happy faces to prove itself to serious designers. Microsoft today revealed the Surface Studio, a 28 drawing-board-like PC you can stick a hockey-puck-looking dial on to control software. The touchscreen super-fondleslab was announced alongside an updated Surface Book.Redmond also unveiled the next major update to its latest operating system: Windows 10 Creators Update.
First, the software. Speaking at a press event in New York on Wednesday, Terry Myerson, head of Microsoft’s Windows and Devices division, said he was “humbled” that 400 million people had chosen Windows 10 (no mention of those who didn’t), and said that in return the Creators Update would be available for free to everyone using the operating system.Myerson said that there were too many new features to go into, so he was just going to focus on three: augmented reality, the best 4K gaming, and giving everyone faster ways to connect and share.3D was a key buzzword for the event. Microsoft GM Megan Saunders demonstrated a phone app that works on any mobile (she used an HP Elite x3 using Windows Phone) to scan a sandcastle and build a 3D model of it.She then added the model to Paint, along with shots of her two daughters, and created a 3D diorama that can be printed out on a 3D printer or shared on social media. 3D modellers SketchUp are including a bunch of default objects in the OS update to add into pictures.
- Battery for Sony VGP-BPS8
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Saunders promised that over the next year, 3D will be built into many Microsoft apps. For example, there was a demonstration of how this will work in PowerPoint. It looked good (but wouldn’t really add much to a boring presentation).The same objects can be brought into augmented and virtual reality, and Microsoft said that next year we’ll see headsets for both from HP, Dell, Lenovo, Asus, and Acer. These aren’t going to be too expensive either, with Myerson saying prices would start from $299 for the lowest-cost kit.More people are now watching gaming than playing it, Myerson said – more watched the League of Legends championships this year than the World Series. So Microsoft is building one-click game streaming to Windows 10 and the Xbox.The demos showed how a single click on a button can start the broadcast and share the fact that you’re showing off to your friends. There are also buttons to allow preset chat messages, like “look at the chat box,” which are read out in a cheesy voice in the game.The new update will also allow gamers to set up their own custom tournaments on Xbox and Windows 10, with their own custom rules. With that, and the new streaming capabilities, Microsoft is looking to bolster its position in the gaming market and give other game-streaming sites a real headache.