Recent News - Microsoft

Windows 10 Camera... 'powered by Office Lens'

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Admittedly not applying anymore to Windows 10 Mobile, but Windows 10 Camera (for example, for the Surface Go, which is evidently a mobile device of sorts) today acquired a bunch of extra useful modes for the professional. The new modes are 'powered by Office Lens', coinciding rather neatly with the demise of the latter as a standalone application. Admittedly you don't get all the OCR-in-the-cloud functionaity, but you do get the auto-crop and auto-contrast optimisations. See the examples below.

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'News and Interests' hits the Windows taskbar

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For anything which can run full-on Windows 10, a significant new UI and services element just hit the Dev Channel (my Surface Pro is on this, hence the screenshots below). See also the quote from Microsoft about this - adding weather and more to the taskbar is a nice touch providing one has the screen real estate.

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Office Lens UWP loses all cloud converters

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A day later than planned, but Microsoft has now thrown the server-side switch on Office Lens as a separate app on both Windows 10 Mobile and Windows 10 Desktop. From now on, it's a service inside the likes of Office (for all platforms). Which makes sense in a way and it's nice to have it integrated, but I for one will miss it as a general purpose OCR and archival tool. See below for links, quotes and screenshots.

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The NexDock Touch is dead. Long live the NexDock 360?

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Having been a fan of the Continuum/DeX lapdocks from NexDock, I've reviewed the '2' (2019) - and the 'Touch' (2020). But it seems that Covid-19 logistics and the boom in laptop sales worldwide have got in the way of a continued run of the latter. Making both my NexDock Touch a somewhat limited edition(!) and meaning that NexDock have had to change tack in terms of form factor. They've kept touch as a feature, but evolved the lapdock concept into a wrap-around form factor, with the NexDock 360 due to ship in March 2021. See below for details.

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Rounding up the Surface Duo ('Surface Phone') reviews

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We've covered the Surface Duo ('Surface Phone') quite a bit on AAWP, but this is the last coverage until we actually get one in... well, 2021, when the Duo 2 starts to leak, since that will be the one for the UK and world markets, with NFC for tap-to-pay, etc. But I did think it was worth rounding up the USA reviews of the first Surface Duo, since the embargo on these just lifted. See below for typical videos and verdicts.

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Surface Duo: kiosks, unboxings and parallels

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The Surface Duo launch has been something of a long, drawn out affair, and even now the first USA reviewers are bound not to show the device turned on, since evaluation of the software is both waiting for updates and also the expiry of an embargo (possibly the date of public availability in the shops). But we are starting to see real units handled and shop presence, so I've embedded a few likely candidates below along with some thoughts on the Duo's future...

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Surface Duo (Surface Phone) finally launches, full-on enterprise focus

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Teased in Panos Panay's hands late last year, the Surface Duo (Surface Phone, as we knew it) has finally been officially launched by Microsoft. See the quotes and details below. To no one's surprise it has emerged as a device for business and the enterprise rather than a consumer offering, with an emphasis on productivity and remote management by IT departments. The 'perfect fit for the modern workplace'. Which will disappoint a few here - ditto the pricing, which 'starts' significantly north of £1000/$1000. The Surface Duo ships on September 10th (2020).

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(Android) Phone-PC integration moves forward with latest Your Phone announcements

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The original Microsoft vision was to bring as much of Windows to phones as possible, even extending phones to Continuum desktops to run 'as' PCs. Sadly, they gave up on Windows 10 Mobile and had to shift to plan B. Or C, depending on how you're counting(!) Regardless, Microsoft has been pressing forward with their 'Your Phone Companion' (Link to Windows) software for a couple of years now, buoyed up by a developing partnership with Android phone manufacturer Samsung. With the launch of the latter's Note 20 range yesterday, extra integration features were announced - see below for some interesting animations, demonstrating how it works.

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Edging ever closer: Surface Duo news links

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The Surface Duo (Surface Phone) has been a long time coming. A very long time, and will arrive with Android at its core and not Windows 10, after an OS change in 2018. But it's still of interest because of its innovative hinged form factor. True, its specs are going to arrive a little dated, but at least there's not much longer to wait. News reports and titbits linked below indicate that the Surface Duo should become available in the next month.

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Microsoft switches out HERE maps for TomTom, what's the Mobile impact?

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The story so far: HERE Maps (née Nokia Maps, then Navteq) provided all the map data for the mapping and car navigation in Windows Phone for years*. Windows 10 brought a first party mapping client from Microsoft, but using all the HERE map data under the hood, on Desktop and Mobile. But over the last few years Microsoft has been getting cosier with TomTom, a rival map (and traffic data) supplier, and has now announced that future map updates will come from TomTom. Details below, plus I muse on how this affects Windows 10 Mobile and 'Windows 10 Maps' on our phones.

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