Microsoft Finally Announces The LTE Enabled Surface Pro

Microsoft Surface Pro 4

Back in September, I posted on a rumor that an LTE equipped Surface Pro was going to be announced with it likely being available in December of this year.  We can now put those rumors to rest.  The LTE Surface Pro is real.

In London today at the Future Decoded conference, Microsoft announced two LTE versions of the Surface which will be available starting December 1st.  Both models are based on the Intel Core i5 processor and both have the Qualcomm X16 LTE modem with 20 mobile bands support for global use.  The Core i5 with 4GB of RAM and 128GB SSD will be $1149 while the bigger model with 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD will be $1449.

In all, there are 7 LTE antenna built into Surface with the modem built into the motherboard of the device.  Also, it will support eSIM technology for provisioning without a SIM card.

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What’s New in The Fall Creators Update for Windows 10

My Windows 10 Desktop

What has commonly been referred to as the Fall Creators Update is now rolling out to Windows 10 PCs.  The update brings a lot of new features and refinements that reflects Microsoft’s direction for Windows 10 being the underlying platform for everything going forward on new technologies like Augmented Reality.

As you would expect, the Fall Creators Update has a massive number of improvements under-the-hood that in general, improves the overall performance of the Operating System.  Even if all of the new features don’t get you excited, the overall performance improvements will be welcomed.

But the real win with this update are the app improvements, new features and other general user experience additions.  If you compare Windows 10 when it was first released in July 2015 to this update, they are in many ways vastly different.  The Fall Creators Update adds a huge amount of polish to the platform and Windows 10 with it feels far more complete than any previous iteration.

If I tried to cover ever new facet of this update, this already long article would be even more TL;DR.  Instead, I’m going to highlight over a dozen of the top new features of functions in the update.   You’ll see that the updates cover a wide range of the elements of Windows 10, from Microsoft Edge to Photos to how you interact with Contacts.  It is a comprehensive update to the platform and one that I think the vast majority of users will want to upgrade to as soon as possible.

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News Not News – Windows Phone in Maintenance Mode

Microsoft Lumia 950

In a series of Tweets answering users questions on Windows Phone, Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore admits that, outside of business customers, the platform is in maintenance mode.  It is the closest yet that the company has indicated that they have no further plans for developing a mobile platform.

 

Based on Mr. Belfiore’s sad-face emoji, it doesn’t appear he’s all too thrilled with the situation for fans and users of Windows Phone, but the reality is that the phone platform will slowly ride off into the sunset.

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The Huawei Matebook – An Impressive Windows 2-in-1 PC

Huawei Matebook with Huawei P10 Android Phone

In the ever increasingly crowded world of 2-in-1 Windows 10 PCs, there seems to be a large gap between the have’s and the have not’s.  The have’s are the Microsoft Surface Pro devices of the world with top-end specs but equally, have an impressive price tags.

The have not’s are the $200-300 devices with subpar displays that are usually around 10″, powered by Atom processor and have 64GB or maybe 128GB if you are lucky.

The problem is the gap between $300 and $1200+ dollars.  There are not a lot of choices and the choices that are there generally are lacking in some area.  Huawei, for their part, is trying to fill the gap.

The Huawei Matebook was released last year and it remains one of the best 2-in-1 Windows 10 hybrid devices on the market.  Powered by the Intel m series processors with ample RAM and storage, the Matebook has a lot going for it and is one to consider, as I did, when you are looking for one of these style of devices.  The Matebook isn’t perfect as I’ll cover in this review but it is certainly the solid foundation that Huawei needs in order to penetrate the Windows 10 PC market here in the US and globally.

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Microsoft Photos Update Brings Drawing and Editing Improvements

Drawing in Microsoft Photos

A big update is currently rolling out to the Microsoft Photos app on Windows 10.  The update, version 2017.39081.15820.0 for those keeping score and who like to play version number BINGO!, brings the ability to draw on photos and share them as well as improved editing features among the changes.

When you open a photo within Microsoft Photos, you will now see the option to draw on that photo.  You can then use your finger or stylus to write text or point out items in the photo and them share them with others.  The great thing is, this new feature will save a copy of the photo you are drawing on, keeping your original safe and sound.

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gPlayer Pro Update Brings Improved Playlist Support

gPlayer Pro for Windows 10

gPlayer Pro, the Google Play Music app for Windows 10, has a significant update rolling out this morning to users.  The update is build 1.0.9.0 for those keeping score at home and with it comes a lot of improvements around playlists.

Playlists and Radio playlists are now like the web version of Google Play Music in gPlayer Pro and you have access to the recent and your own playlists in the app.  Access to publicly created playlists is now also supported in this version as is the ability to subscribe/unsubscribe from public playlists.

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Samsung Odyssey Windows Mixed Reality Headset Announced

Samsung Odyssey Mixed Reality headset

Today at a special Windows Mixed Reality event in San Francisco, Samsung announced their new headset, the Odyssey.  The headset will retail for $499 and will start shipping on November 6th.  Pre-Orders however have begun at the Microsoft Store.

The Odyssey will have built-in AKG headphones that will over spatial audio and has dual array microphones.  The OLED screen in the headset will render at 2880 x 1600 at 90Hz.  This is by far the highest resolution of the other Windows Mixed Reality headsets that are on the market.  It will also have 110° of viewing angle.  Motion controllers are also included with the headset.

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