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All the Microsoft news from Surface gaming and mixed reality

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At the conference held in New York Microsoft announced Windows 10 Creators Update, the next update of its OS expected in the spring of 2017, along with new hardware proposals of the Surface family with the all-in-one Surface Studio system aimed at the public of professionals.

The Microsoft news

Windows 10 Creators Update: this is the first news announced by Microsoft with which the American company opens its event focused on the news of Windows 10. A new major update for its operating system, expected to debut in the spring of 2017 and focused on 3 important strands of development.

The first is that of 3D for all, an approach that will supplant the traditional interaction of objects on a two-dimensional plane. This is obviously linked to the theme of Hololens, a product that for Microsoft is one of the ways of future development both as a business opportunity and as interaction for users. But the 3D theme also goes to the world of virtual reality, with the first demonstration of a VR viewer developed by Microsoft and connected to a PC.

Simultaneously with the release of Windows 10 Creators Update Microsoft and the hardware-producing partners will make available 6-axis VR viewers, which will not require other components for the setup in the environment allowing you to move naturally in the room in which you are.

Prices will be particularly affordable, starting at $ 299 excluding taxes in North America. It is clear that Microsoft wants to make access to the 3D world more accessible to everyone, both in terms of functionality and hardware required.

Microsoft has then dedicated a substantial part to gaming, saying that Windows 10 Creators Update is dedicated in large part to the world of e-sports. The new major release of Windows will allow you to stream gaming through the Xbox app, without having to resort to third-party apps. For this purpose Beam technology will be exploited, the company recently acquired by Microsoft itself.

Microsoft wants to exploit Beam technology to create a sort of alternative to Twitch. There will be an overlay bar while in-game that will allow you to start broadcasting immediately, while a series of tools integrated into the app will allow you to suggest to the player what the best move to make is. Of course, the integrated chat is not missing, while a small panel shows in real time the sequence of the game being transmitted. Xbox Live will also manage a notification system that will let you know when someone is starting a live broadcast.

The second new feature in the Xbox world is the ability to create custom tournaments using the new Arena feature on Xbox Live. You can easily create e-Sport tournaments involving players on both Windows 10 and Xbox One. In addition, Microsoft says the bitstream audio pass through, along with Dolby Atmos support, will be available for Blu-ray on Xbox One, including of course the new Xbox One S.

Still remaining in software and always in reference to Creators Update, one of the most relevant ads of the evening was that of Paint 3D, which will have tools for automatic cropping and “magic wand” that can quickly remove the background and enhance the three-dimensional objects, without any specific knowledge from the user. The new 3D objects from Microsoft can be used in various applications such as Facebook and Powerpoint.

There is no shortage of news from the Surface division, with announcements that had also emerged as rumors in recent days. Nothing regarding Surface Pro 4, which remains unchanged as technical specifications with prices starting at $ 899 in North America? Surface Book instead extends with a new top-of-the-range model, the Surface Book i7, which is positioned in the segment of the highest end of the market.

The name clearly suggests how this version uses an Intel Core i7 CPU, but Microsoft has not specified the model so we tend to assume it is a proposal of the Kaby Lake family. The speed performance of the discrete GPU component is doubled compared to the Surface Book: Microsoft indicates a processing power of 1.9 TeraFLOPs without specifying which NVIDIA GPU is.

The price of Surface Book i7 is indicated in $ 2,399, with availability from November and the possibility of pre-ordering one from today. We do not have specific information but it does not seem that this product will currently be sold on the Italian market. Important steps forward have also been made with regard to battery life: Microsoft declares a data up to 16 hours, obviously linked to the type of use that will be made of the product.

The latest addition to the Surface family is Surface Studio, the all-in-one model that had seen various rumors in recent weeks. 28-inch display with a 3: 2 aspect ratio with 13.5 million pixels, for a resolution of 4.500×3.000 pixels and a density of 192PPI. The hardware is completed with an Intel Core i7 processor, 32 Gbytes of system memory, hybrid storage of 2 Terabytes capacity and a video card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M in the top of the range.

The screen is mounted on a base that integrates the hardware components, on which the screen can be angled up almost to position itself parallel to the support base. Together with Surface Studio Microsoft introduces Surface Dial, a new type of input device that can be used resting on the floor or directly on the touchscreen, making new ways of interacting with content accessible. All this starting from $ 2,999, in the North American market.

Many news presented by Microsoft with today’s event, but clear the direction that the company wants to follow: give its users not only tools and solutions to consulting data but increasingly leave a space for their creation. The devices of the Surface family, and in particular Surface Studio that is aimed at an audience of professionals, point to this but in general the interest in virtual reality, augmented reality and the tools of interaction between the real world and virtual information are clear signs of how Microsoft increasingly wants to be at the center of a world that is in continuous and rapid transformation.

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