Microsoft Unveils New Windows Hardware, Software

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(26 Oct 2016) US tech company 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 3D.
Instead of taking a regular photo of a sandcastle in two dimensions, for instance, a beach-goer can scan all sides of the castle with a phone.
Microsoft's tools will convert that into 3D; 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 3D printers.
Business presentations can be enhanced as 3D support comes to PowerPoint, which will allow users to rotate an object to focus on a particular angle.
Microsoft's image-editing software, Paint, will also enable people to create 3D artworks by combining existing 2D images with newly scanned objects in three dimensions.
Microsoft also announced a high-end desktop called Surface Studio.
Costing about 3,000 US dollars, 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 900 US dollars.
Satya Nadella, Microsoft's CEO, said innovations over the past decade have been focused on consumption.
While that is important, he said, the next decade will be defined by technology that empowers people to create.

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