Mi­crosoft adds di­men­sion to Win­dows 10 ex­pe­ri­ence

Jamaica Gleaner - - BUSINESS -

MI­CROSOFT WANTS to bring life to com­mon com­put­ing ex­pe­ri­ences by adding a third di­men­sion to widely used soft­ware such as Win­dows and Of­fice.

The new tools, part of a free ‘Cre­ators Up­date’ to Win­dows 10 early next year, prom­ise to make it easy for peo­ple to cre­ate and share pho­tos, draw­ing and other im­ages in 3-D.

In­stead of tak­ing a reg­u­lar photo of a sand­cas­tle in two di­men­sions, for in­stance, a beach­goer can scan all sides of the cas­tle with a phone. Mi­crosoft’s tools will con­vert that into 3-D; view­ers can ro­tate the vir­tual sand­cas­tle on the screen with their fin­gers. Mi­crosoft plans to make it easy to share that on so­cial me­dia and even send to 3-D print­ers.

Busi­ness pre­sen­ta­tions can be en­hanced as 3-D sup­port comes to Pow­erPoint; you can ro­tate an ob­ject to fo­cus on a par­tic­u­lar an­gle. Mi­crosoft’s im­age-edit­ing soft­ware Paint will also en­able peo­ple to cre­ate 3-D art­works by com­bin­ing ex­ist­ing 2-D im­ages with newly scanned ob­jects in three di­men­sions.

“By mak­ing 3-D for every­one, our dig­i­tal world starts a new, more hu­man jour­ney,” said Me­gan Saun­ders, a Mi­crosoft ex­ec­u­tive in charge of tran­si­tion­ing com­put­ing to three di­men­sions.

Mi­crosoft also an­nounced a high­end desk­top called Sur­face Stu­dio. Cost­ing about US$3,000, the Stu­dio will be tar­geted at cre­ators such as ar­chi­tects, artists and engi­neers, many of whom have long used Ap­ple’s Mac com­put­ers. The 28-inch dis­play is on a flex­i­ble hinge, so users can view it straight on, or tilt it to as low as 20 de­grees for draft­ing. Mi­crosoft also an­nounced Sur­face Dial, a cir­cu­lar ac­ces­sory with new ways to scroll and nav­i­gate.

Wed­nes­day’s an­nounce­ments come a day be­fore Ap­ple is ex­pected to re­fresh its Mac line-up.

Mi­crosoft’s Sur­face sales aren’t high enough to rank on ei­ther Gart­ner’s or IDC’s list of top five per­sonal-com­puter man­u­fac­tur­ers, but they rep­re­sent an im­por­tant busi­ness for the soft­ware com­pany as it show­cases the virtues of Win­dows 10 and re­lated ser­vices such as Bing search and Skype chats.

The Sur­face Stu­dio will likely be a niche prod­uct, with the Sur­face Pro 4 tablet still avail­able for ev­ery­day con­sumers start­ing at about US$900. Yet Stu­dio rep­re­sents Mi­crosoft’s vi­sion for the fu­ture of com­put­ing.

Satya Nadella, Mi­crosoft’s CEO, said in­no­va­tions over the past decade have been fo­cused on con­sump­tion, “help­ing us con­sume more in­for­ma­tion and me­dia in dif­fer­ent for­mats”. While that is im­por­tant, he said, the next decade will be de­fined Mi­crosoft Gen­eral Man­ager Me­gan Saun­ders de­scribes Paint 3D at a Mi­crosoft me­dia event in New York, Wed­nes­day, Oc­to­ber 26, 2016.

by tech­nol­ogy that em­pow­ers peo­ple to cre­ate.

Mi­crosoft, maker of the Xbox gam­ing con­sole, is also tar­get­ing gamers. The up­com­ing Win­dows 10 up­date will have new fea­tures for live broad­cast­ing game play.

An­other Win­dows fea­ture prom­ises to help peo­ple com­mu­ni­cate more

eas­ily with friends and fam­ily. Win­dows will try to make mul­ti­ple apps for video calls, email and texts seam­less by let­ting users sim­ply choose the per­son to send to rather than the app to send with. Text sup­port will likely re­quire a Win­dows or An­droid phone, though; iPhone sup­port wasn’t promised.

AP

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