Launch of Microsoft's Windows 10 in Sydney on July 29, 2015 in Sydney, Australia.

Microsoft’s Windows 10 Creators Update will launch April 11

By Frederic Lardinois as written on
After months of teasing, Microsoft is finally ready to ship the Windows 10 Creators Update, the next major iteration of its desktop operating system, to its users. The free update will start rolling out globally on April 11. This process usually takes a few weeks, but users will also be able to force the update from their Windows settings.
As the name implies, the focus of the update is on “creators.” Microsoft is going for a pretty broad interpretation of this theme here, but the highlights of the release are improved support for the upcoming crop of Windows-centric mixed reality and virtual reality headsets (especially for developers), better support for games thanks to a new dedicated game mode and built-in streaming to Beam, as well as new creative tools like Paint 3D.

The update also features the new night light mode to help you sleep better, screen time limits that parents can set for their children, and updates to the Windows Hello security feature.
When I talked to Windows General Manager Aaron Woodman earlier this month, he noted that what he has been seeing over the last few years is a pivot back to the roots of Microsoft and Windows — and he sees this update as another example of this. In his view, the three big highlights of the release are Windows Mixed Reality (which was once called Windows Holographic), the new gaming features, and the updates to the Edge browser.
Indeed, while it was long fashionable to make fun of Microsoft’s browser efforts and the early Edge releases definitely had a few usability issues, it’s now become a respectable competitor. Woodman noted that Microsoft wanted to first “nail the fundamentals” like performance and security and has now worked on other areas like tab management and the integration of Cortana (which actually works quite well).
With this update, the company is doing something interesting in that it is bringing e-books to the Windows Store, which will be displayed in Edge. At first, this seems like an odd move. We have all been accustomed to using specialized apps and even devices for reading e-books. Woodman, however, argues that while this holds true on mobile, on the PC, the browser is the default place for people to consume text.
The update will start rolling out on April 11. How long it’ll take to arrive on every PC remains to be seen and Microsoft tunes the process depending on the feedback it gets.
In addition to announcing the release date for this update, Microsoft also today announced that it will bring its Surface Book and Surface Studio hardware to more markets. The Surface Book can now be pre-ordered in Austria, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. It will ship April 20.
The Surface Studio (and Dial) can now be pre-ordered in Australia, Canada and New Zealand. There, too, it will ship April 20.

HoloLens and Alexa integrations - managed solution
Adobe unveils new Microsoft HoloLens and Amazon Alexa integrations

By Nat Levy as written on
Adobe is in the middle of its big Summit conference, where it is introducing a variety of new technologies, including tie-ins with the Microsoft HoloLens augmented reality headset and Amazon’s digital assistant Alexa.
Many of these new innovations are backed by the company’s artificial intelligence and machine learning platform Adobe Sensei and the company’s catalog of cloud offerings.
Virtual reality is a big part of Adobe’s newest projects. In the advertising realm, the company envisioned a situation where someone could be standing in the middle of Times Square in New York City with a VR headset on. Based on the individual, various Adobe products such as Sensei and the Adobe Experience Cloud would come together to virtually replace the iconic billboards in the neighborhood with advertisements that might better speak to that person.
The HoloLens project visualizes data and layers it on top of the real world. For example, a retailer could use the technology to visualize sales data, so an employee wearing a HoloLens could see how various items are doing and decide to emphasize the more popular ones in the store. Additionally, retailers could place sensors on items, and see which products are generating the most foot traffic.
Here is a look at how Adobe and Microsoft are working together on virtual reality and retail:
Adobe wants to personalize Amazon’s digital brain Alexa. Alexa is open to third party developers, and Adobe wants to tie in its Experience Cloud to make it possible for consumers to ask Alexa for their reward status for a hotel chain or airline, for example.
Alexa would then use their customer profile data and preferences to recommend promotions or activities that take advantage of those rewards. Adobe said it would be able to do this in a way that protects people’s privacy.


computer-science-education-week-manage-solutionComputer Science Education Week

By Kelly Cronin
The first full week of December is Computer Science Education Week, celebrating the importance of computer science education for both students and educators alike.  Computer science education has the power to shape our future, and it is becoming more and more prevalent in classrooms all over the country.  Take a look at how new technologies are benefitting computer science education.

Managed Solution displayed the HoloLens at CalPoly Cyber Security & Awareness Fair

Managed Solution participated in the 2016 Cal Poly Pomona Cyber Security & Awareness Fair.  The fair aimed to bring awareness to the world of Cyber Security where our entire world is progressing into an internet connected world.  At the fair students and faculty got to experience a variety of speakers that have in-depth knowledge of the Cyber Security do’s and don’ts and experience in the Cyber Security field, a poster contest where students displayed their research of pressing issues in the Information Technology Industry, and a hands-on exhibit that allowed students to experience the world of a typical attacker on Internet of Things products.
Read the full press release here >>

Students demonstrate their HoloLens apps after a quarter of VR and AR design

At the University of Washington, a computer science classroom is equipping their students with HoloLens headsets to let them develop their own apps. One app developed is called HoloScanner, which redesigns the process of scanning a room and turns it into a game that can then be used for other apps. Other apps include augmented reality cooking, a painting app, and more.
Check out the HoloScanner app video and more here>>

HackingSTEM: Using Computational Thinking to Understand Earthquakes

Millions of students worldwide are in the process of discovering the possibilities of instructing machines to accomplish tasks. Whether completing the Minecraft Hour of Code tutorial, or watching a Pixar In a Box episode on Khan Academy, the spirit of discovery, experimentation and the art of Computer Science is celebrated while students build core 21st century software engineering skills.
This month, the Education Workshop has partnered with the California Academy of Sciences and KQED to combine coding with mechanical engineering and data science to empower students to use computational thinking to experience how engineers and computer scientists are working together to mitigate the impact of earthquakes.
Learn all the details here >>


mixed-reality-for-farming-managed-solutionHow mixed reality and machine learning are driving innovation in farming

By Jeff Kavanaugh as written on
Farming is, by far, the most mature industry mankind has created. Dating back to the dawn of civilization, farming has been refined, adjusted and adapted — but never perfected. We, as a society, always worry over the future of farming. Today, we even apply terms usually reserved for the tech sector — digital, IoT, AI and so on. So why are we worrying?
The Economist, in its Q2 Technology Quarterly issue, proclaims agriculture will soon need to become more manufacturing-like in order to feed the world’s growing population. Scientific American reports crops will soon need to become more drought resistant in order to effectively grow in uncertain climates. Farms, The New York Times writes, will soon need to learn how to harvest more with less water.
And they’re right. If farms are to continue to feed the world’s population they will have to do so in manners both independent of, and accommodating to, the planet’s changing and highly variable climes. That necessitates the smart application of both proven and cutting-edge technology. It necessitates simplified interfaces. And, of course, it necessitates building out and applying those skills today.
Fortunately, the basics for this future are being explored today. For example, vertical farming, a technique allowing farmers to grow and harvest crops in controlled environments, often indoors and in vertical stacks, has exploded in both popularity and potential. In fact, this method has been shown to grow some crops 20 percent faster with 91 percent less water. Genetically modified seeds, capable of withstanding droughts and floods, are making harvests possible even in the driest of conditions, like those found in Kenya.

If farms are to continue to feed the world’s population they will have to do so in manners both independent of, and accommodating to, the planet’s changing and highly variable climes.

But managing such progress, whether indoors or in the field, is a challenge unto itself. Monitoring acidity, soil nutrients and watering time for each plant for optimal growth is, at best, guesswork or, at worst, an afterthought. But it’s here new interactive technologies may shine. A small family of sensors can monitor a plant’s vitals and provide real-time updates to a remote server. Artificial intelligence’s younger cousin, machine learning, can study these vitals and the growth of some crops to anticipate future needs. Finally, augmented reality (AR), where informative images overlay or augment everyday objects, can help both farmers and gardeners to monitor and manage crop health.
Plant.IO* is one system that shows how it can be done: A cube of PVC pipes provides the frame for sensors, grow-lights, cameras and more. A remote server dedicated to machine learning analyzes growth and growth conditions and anticipates future plant needs. A set of AR-capable glasses provides to the user an image, or a representation, of the plant, regardless of location. If the AR device is capable, like the Microsoft HoloLens, it also can provide a means to interact with the plant by adjusting fertilizer, water flow, growth lights and more.
This methodology, when paired with gamification, may lend itself to a new, simplified form of crop management. Together, AI and AR make it simple and fun for everyone from adults to adolescents to monitor and manage their own gardens from home and afar. This idea is at the heart of Plant.IO: a fun, workable solution for an agriculture-based scenario where digital information can overlay a physical object or area without losing context.
In fact, this sort of management system could extend beyond gardens and farms. Any scenario where a physical environment exists alongside measurable data could, potentially, benefit from an AR/AI deployment. Industrial operations, such as warehouse management, are a promising area. Industrial farming, where the combination of AI and infrared cameras to measure a field’s health, is another.
With the right formula of AR and AI, users can monitor and nurture plants from virtually anywhere in the world. It doesn’t matter if they’re growing plants on their kitchen counter, or preparing for their next harvest. Better yet, they can do this with the latest information on a plant’s acidity, nutrient, watering levels and more in an environmentally sound manner.
The first industrial revolution helped us go from the fields to the cities with the productivity gains from machine farming. This industrial revolution is using machine learning and other digital “implements” to take farming even further — and to feed the world.
*Disclosure: Plant.IO is an open-source digital farming project created by Infosys.

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National Video Games Day Comes to Life with the HoloLens


By Kelly Cronin
In a wave of new technology updates, we have taken notice to a completely unique experience - mixed reality.  In a mixture of augmented and virtual reality, the Microsoft HoloLens brings holograms to life with complete interaction between our fingertips and 3D holographic objects.  One can only imagine the incredible uses for such a tool, but of course we all mostly just want to play with it.  National Video Games Day, on September 12th, is inspiring us to see how the HoloLens is transforming the video game world.  Check out some articles, photos, and videos below to see just how awesome the HoloLens truly is.

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Pokémon Go bringing attention to Microsoft’s HoloLens

The hype over Pokémon Go isn't solely because Team Mystic is the best, it's also because the augmented reality game is changing how we see video games interact with our real lives. Augmented reality is an incredible experience that moves gamers from sitting behind a screen all day to moving around inside, outside, and everywhere in between. The HoloLens is an augmented reality headset - putting the game inside your living room. Imagine catching a Pikachu without your phone in your hand. Epic.

Read the article here >>

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Students demonstrate their HoloLens apps after a quarter of VR and AR design

At the University of Washington, a computer science classroom is equipping their students with HoloLens headsets to let them develop their own apps. One app developed is called HoloScanner, which redesigns the process of scanning a room and turns it into a game that can then be used for other apps. Other apps include augmented reality cooking, a painting app, and more.

Check out the HoloScanner app video and more here>>

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Putting Video Games into your Living Space: Young Conker

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Managed Solution hosts HoloLens event, featuring custom made app

We are just as excited about the HoloLens as you are, so we're sharing the experience. Vice President of Marketing and Engagement, Jackie Weiner, developed a custom-made app for our HoloLens that has objects, games, and videos to interact with.  At our invite-only events, we host a friendly competition among CEO's and other C-Level executives.

Photos from the event are below, and you can check out the full press release here.

Want to get an invite to one of the coolest experiences around? Check out our events page to find an event near you. 

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“The app is awesome! The HoloLens is just fantastic. I was really impressed by the investment that was made into creating this app. The app just blew my mind, and it just shows you how much the HoloLens platform can offer developers."

- Ian Koskela, CIO CD Savoia



By Mollie Ruiz-Hopper as written on
Today at gamescom, Lenovo unveiled two Windows 10 desktop PCs built for you to game and experience virtual reality anywhere you go: the IdeaCentre Y710 Cube and IdeaCentre AIO Y910.
While many gamers dedicate rooms for their battle stations, about half are playing beyond the confines of a desk. The minimalist designs of both PCs, combined with Windows 10, give you top-of-the-line performance virtually anywhere.

The IdeaCentre Y710 Cube with Windows 10

Ideal for gamers who want to stay competitive no matter where they play, the IdeaCentre Y710 Cube comes with a built-in carry handle for easy transport between gaming stations and a new, compact cube form factor weighing only 16 pounds.
The IdeaCentre Y710 Cube allows you to handle 4K gaming, VR and high-quality streaming with massive computing capabilities in real time, as well as multitask between editing a spreadsheet and streaming a movie. With Windows 10 and the Xbox app, you can stream Xbox games from your Xbox One to your Windows 10 PC. For even more control in your favorite games, the Cube also comes with the option of an integrated Xbox One Wireless receiver, including an Xbox One wireless controller.
Other features include:
  • Powered by Windows 10
  • Integrated Xbox One Wireless receiver supports up to eight Xbox One controllers simultaneously
  • Up to NVIDIA’s latest GeForce GTX 1080 graphics
  • Up to 6thGen Intel Core i7 processor
  • KillerDoubleShot Pro Wi-Fi reduces in-game lag
  • Up to 32GB of DDR4 RAM
  • Up to 2TB HDD (hard disk drive) or up to 256GB SSD (solid state drive) storage
  • Available with option to bundle with Lenovo YSeries Gaming Mechanical Keyboard and Precision Mouse
Price and Availability:  The VR-ready IdeaCentre Y710 Cube with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 starts at $1,299.99, available starting in October 2016.1 For more information, visit

The IdeaCentre AIO Y910 with Windows 10

The slim, compact, VR-ready IdeaCentre AIO Y910 gives you the most powerful gaming experiences in a size that fits nearly any battle station. Built entirely within a 27-inch Quad High Definition (2560×1440) borderless display, it cuts down on the clutter of hardware and cables, without cutting down on game performance.
As both a VR-ready PC and a high-end desktop, it offers all the features you need as a great personal gaming powerhouse, family PC or entertainment center. With Windows 10 and the Xbox app, you can stream Xbox games from your Xbox One to your PC and also have access to the productivity apps of Microsoft, such as Microsoft Word, Outlook and more.
Other features include:
  • Powered by Windows 10
  • Easily detachableback panel allows for one-step access to the AIO’s core components
  • Ultra-thin display featuring 144Hz refresh rate and 5ms response time
  • Impeccable sound with Twin 5W HarmanKardon stereo speakers
  • KillerDoubleShot Pro Wi-Fi reduces in-game lag
  • Up to NVIDIA’s latest GeForce GTX 1080 or AMDRadeon RX 460 graphics
  • Up to 6thGen Intel Core i7 processor
  • Up to 32GB DDR4 RAM
  • Up to 2TB HDD or up to 256GB SSD
Price and Availability:  The VR-ready IdeaCentre AIO Y910 with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 starts at $1,799.99, available starting in October 2016.1 For more information, visit
Lenovo’s newest gaming desktop designs, the IdeaCentre Y710 Cube and the IdeaCentre AIO Y910, together with Windows 10, are perfect for exploring virtual reality anywhere you go. Exact specifications, prices, and availability will vary by region. Visit to learn more about today’s news!



All Windows 10 PCs will get Windows Holographic access next year

By Darrell Etherington as written on
Windows 10 users will be able to dive into mixed reality starting next year, with an update planned that can let any “mainstream” Windows 10 PC run the Windows Holographic shell the company first revealed in January 2015.
The update will allow users to multi-task in mixed reality environments, which combine traditional 2D Windows 10 apps with immersive, 3D graphical environments. These will be enabled via a range of “6 degrees of freedom devices,” input devices that add positional tracking to other more traditional forms of input, like clicking and pointing.
The Windows team is trying to make this more broadly available, too, thanks to support for a range of Windows 10 PCs that don’t necessarily need the specs required to run full-scale VR today. As an example, Microsoft presented a video of Windows 10 Holographic running at 90 FPS on an Intel NUC, a tiny desktop PC that’s not super expensive and included integrated Intel graphics.
While it’s still unlikely that we’ll all be doing our average desk workflow of spreadsheets and slide presentation in mixed reality any time soon, it’s good to see Microsoft set a timeline for public availability of a feature which, at launch, seems like it had the potential to become vaporware rather than a shipping product.
Intel and Microsoft are also building a specification for mixed reality PCs, as well as head-mounted displays that let users experience the mixed reality operating environment. The public release of the spec is planned for an upcoming Windows hardware develop conference in Shenzhen this December.



HoloLens Development Edition Updates

By Alex Kipman as written on
In the four months since we began shipping Microsoft HoloLens to our developer and commercial partners, we’ve been absolutely amazed at the innovation shown by the creative people and companies building real solutions using HoloLens. From training aircraft mechanics and flight crews, to helping golf pros and fans get more out of their game, I’m inspired by the experiences you are creating.
In May, we announced the first major software update to Windows Holographic, and today, I’m excited to share our second major update: the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. This is our fastest and most reliable version yet. Some exciting changes are on tap with this release, as well as some new policies making it easier than ever for more developers to create the future of holographic computing.
We’ve also heard that companies are looking for a solution they can confidently pilot and deploy in their enterprises, so today we are introducing the Microsoft HoloLens Commercial Suite, which includes the Development Edition hardware as well as enterprise features for added security and device management.  Check out this video to learn more about the HoloLens Commercial Suite:

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Some of the Microsoft HoloLens Commercial Suite features include:

  • Kiosk mode. With HoloLens kiosk mode, you can limit which apps to run to enable demo or showcase experiences.
  • Mobile Device Management (MDM) for HoloLens. Your IT department can manage multiple HoloLens devices simultaneously using solutions like Microsoft InTune. You will be able to manage settings, select apps to install and set security configurations tailored to your organization’s need.
  • Identity. Azure Active Directory & next generation credentials with pin unlock.
  • Windows Update for Business. Controlled operating system updates to devices and support for long term servicing branch.
  • Data security. BitLocker data encryption and secure boot is enabled on HoloLens to provide the same level of security protection as any other Windows device.
  • Work access. Anyone in your organization can remotely connect to the corporate network through a virtual private network on a HoloLens. HoloLens can also access Wi-Fi networks that require credentials.
  • Windows Store for Business. Your IT department can also set up an enterprise private store, containing only your company’s apps for your specific HoloLens usage. Securely distribute your enterprise software to selected group of enterprise users.
Check out our documentation page for the full list of things we’ve been working on to make HoloLens even better for you.


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