Not just Surface and Windows: 4 more intriguing Microsoft announcements

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At its announcement event last night, Microsoft presented its Creators Update, the next important and substantial update of Windows 10, with quite a few interesting features. The company’s new all-in-one Studio Surface computer stole the show, however, with several stunning capabilities. At the same time, Microsoft also revealed several more interesting products and updates. Just in case you missed them, here they are.

1. Virtual reality spectacles at an accessible price

Photo Credit: Microsoft
Photo Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft has cooperated with a number of major manufacturers, such as Dell Computers, Lenovo, Asus, and Acer, in creating new virtual reality headsets with a screen, movement sensors, and tracking of head movements. The headsets, which are, of course, based on Windows 10 and the new 3D capabilities provided by Creators Update, will also accommodate virtual reality games. The price, a relatively accessible $300, is designed to make the 3D virtual reality experience accessible to as many users as possible.

2. A new Surface Ergonomic Keyboard

Microsoft is already making ergonomic keyboards, and also makes wireless keyboards. Yesterday, however, the company introduced the Surface Ergonomic Keyboard, a stylish ergonomic keyboard that operates on Bluetooth technology. The keyboard comes in a wavy shape, with special Alcantara padding for resting your palms. The keyboard, which uses two AAA batteries that are expected to last for a year, is priced at $130.

3. Surface Dial: A new control tool

Yes, controls that use a dial have existed for a number of years. This is the first time, however, that such a large and important company as Microsoft is producing them. Surface Dial lets you to control almost every parameter you want, and enables you to easily scroll, enlarge, and contract the screen. But its main use is in combination with the Surface Pen stylus. For example, you can change the pen color with your left hand while drawing with the right, or concentrate on specific details without lifting your hand or moving the mouse. The Surface Dial comes with a $100 price tag.

4. The Cognitive Toolkit 2.0 with Python support has been launched

Just before the event, Microsoft launched the 2.0 version of its open deep learning platform, which up until now has been called the Computational Network Toolkit (CNTK). Its main innovation is the addition of native support for Python 3 (Python 2 support will come later). This is a significant step forward, because up until now, the platform was only compatible with C++, which restricted its use to a relatively small number of people. Microsoft hopes that the new version will help it reach more users, some of whom currently use platforms like Google’s TensorFlow, DL4J, Caffe, Torch, and others. More particulars are available in Microsoft’s official announcement.

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