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Houston, Texas, has become a hub for digital innovation, making it the ideal location for the Microsoft IoT Hackathon that took place May 13-15. Fed by a competitive university system, Houston’s growing engineering and IT talent base is leading disruption in the manufacturing, energy and life sciences sectors. The City of Houston is also partnering with Microsoft to realize a smart city agenda with the goals of improving the effectiveness of city employees, streamlining transportation and better connecting citizens to local services, especially during emergencies.

Houston’s journey to work with Microsoft and its partners in leveraging the cloud for digital transformation and building repeatable Internet of Things (IoT) solutions was brought to life during the recent IoT in Action event on April 16, which featured Mayor Sylvester Turner as a keynote speaker. The success of this event with 700+ attendees was not the only reason Microsoft chose to host a hackathon in the City of Houston. We also saw it as an opportunity to provide startups and developers with the tools and resources they need to innovate and bring their IoT concepts to life—all in a city that is committed to its own IoT journey.

Read on as I share some of the topics explored during the hackathon, as well as examples of the IoT solutions being developed and built on Azure IoT and Windows 10 IoT.

Hacking for a more connected future

Our core focus for the hackathon was to help attendees explore how they can use these IoT capabilities and create solutions that enable a more seamless experience between the physical and digital worlds. We were joined by 15 attendees from 13 different companies within the broader Houston area. All came with a concept in mind and looked to explore Microsoft IoT solutions for industries like farming, warehousing, interior horticulture, manufacturing, energy, transportation, public safety, smart cities and traffic logistics.

Zan Gligorov from OrgPal was one of the attendees. OrgPal is a Houston-based smart automation and telemetry company focused on specialized IoT hardware and software solutions. Designed for use in the energy and smart city industries, OrgPal’s solutions focus on capturing field service and customer data for storage, analysis and management in the cloud or on premises. It also provides edge and end point hardware, along with the information gateway infrastructure that brings the data to your fingertips (on desktop, server and mobile devices). During the hackathon, Zan was able to find opportunities to include new data sources for OrgPal’s hardware offering and new predictive maintenance results to include on the telemetry solution, including environmental issues, equipment abuse and other typical issues. The solution explored in the hackathon uses Windows 10 IoT Core and connects with Azure IoT services.

Zan Gligorov from OrgPal at hackathon in Station Houston hub for innovation and entrepreneurship.

Simplifying IoT development with Windows 10 and Azure IoT

IoT is a core strategy for driving better business outcomes, improving safety and addressing social issues. Yet for those just getting started, building and deploying IoT solutions can be expensive and time-consuming. Through Microsoft IoT Hackathons, our goal is to make it easier to quickly build secure, smart devices that leverage the intelligent cloud and harness the power of the intelligent edge.

Hackathon attendees can build and develop intelligent edge devices based on the Windows IoT family of operating systems, including:

  • Windows 10 IoT Core – helps manufacturers get to market quickly with small-footprint devices that are secure, lower cost and built for the intelligent edge. Windows IoT Core provides a royalty-free OS for prototyping, developing and testing IoT devices.
  • Windows 10 IoT Core Services – ensures long-term OS support and services for managing device updates and device health. Benefits include reduced operating costs with over-the-air updates that device manufacturers control for OS, apps and drivers—plus 10 years of OS security updates.
  • Windows 10 IoT Enterprise – provides a binary-identical, locked-down version of Windows 10 Enterprise that delivers enterprise manageability and security to a broad range of IoT solutions across multiple industries. It shares all the benefits of the worldwide Windows ecosystem, including the same familiar application compatibility, development and management tools as client PCs and laptops.
  • Windows Server IoT 2019 – securely handles the largest edge-computing workloads. Announced just this past February, Windows Server IoT 2019 brings the power of high-availability and high-performance storage and networking to the edge, addressing latency and connectivity requirements as well as enabling customers to maintain data on premises while securely storing and analyzing large amounts of data.

Those at the hackathon explored a variety of concept ideas using these technologies. For example, one attendee focused on enabling a better smart cities transportation solution. He used Windows Server IoT 2019 to quickly provide analysis and decision-making based on the data gathered from sensors attached to devices running Windows 10 IoT Core. Others explored connecting various devices running either Windows 10 IoT Core or Windows 10 IoT Enterprise to Azure IoT services with the goal of providing solutions in manufacturing, agriculture and energy.

Additionally, attendees received hands-on experience for connecting their devices into Azure IoT Hub, Azure IoT Central, Azure Time Series Insights and numerous other Azure IoT capabilities.

Pratima Godse, architect at Daikin – which develops environmental systems for home, commercial and industrial applications – shares her progress with an event staffer at the Microsoft IoT Hackathon in Houston, Texas.

Fostering continued innovation in Houston

With the hackathon taking place in Station Houston – the city’s hub for innovation and entrepreneurship – we had the ideal setting to help participants explore new ideas or see how they could improve and harden proposed solutions as they move closer to commercialization. And all benefited from the detailed, hands-on technical training that established a common knowledge base from which the group worked.

Microsoft has been a key part of the City of Houston’s Smart City initiative and continues to invest through events like the hackathon to fuel additional innovation. As part of this investment, Microsoft is partnering with Intel to create the Ion Smart Cities Accelerator. The soon-to-be-converted 270,000-square-foot space in the emerging Midtown Innovation District will host pilot programs for companies developing Smart City technology. Currently, Station Houston is hosting the accelerator program.

Join us next time!

The Microsoft IoT Hackathons are an ideal opportunity to network with peers, demonstrate expertise, share best practices and insights, talk to subject matter experts and expand your skills. To join the fun, think about the concepts you want to work on and watch this space for announcements as we release future dates in coming months.

In the meantime, check out our global IoT in Action event series for learning opportunities coming to a city near you. And be sure to watch the on-demand webinar, Windows IoT: Business Transformation, to discover how Windows 10 IoT can help you get up and running quickly.

The post Microsoft IoT Hackathon accelerates solutions across industries appeared first on Windows Blog.

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In early April, we announced enhancements to the Windows update process to improve the user experience with more control, transparency, and the initial availability of the Windows 10 May 2019 Update through the Windows Insider Program’s Release Preview ring to focus on and improve quality. Based on positive data and the feedback we’ve seen from this longer preview phase; I’m pleased today to share that we are beginning to make the Windows 10 May Update available. We will be taking a measured and throttled approach, allowing us to study device health data as we increase availability via Windows Update. This post will provide details on how you can get the May 2019 Update, including update options. I’ll also cover how commercial organizations can begin targeted deployments and offer insight into how we’re increasing transparency with the full launch of the new Windows health dashboard.

How to get the Windows 10 May 2019 Update
Beginning today, the May 2019 Update is available for customers who would like to install the latest release. If you are ready to install the update, open your Windows Update settings (Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update) and select Check for updates. Once the update appears, you can select Download and install now. (Note: You may not see Download and install now on your device as we are slowly throttling up this availability, while we carefully monitor data and feedback). Once the download is complete and the update is ready to install, we’ll notify you so that you can pick the right time to finish the installation and reboot, ensuring the update does not disrupt you. This new ‘Download and install now’ capability is available for devices running Windows 10, version 1803 or version 1809 that also have the May 21st updates (or later) installed. For more information on the new user update controls and how to get the May 2019 Update, watch this video.

Windows 10 April 2018 Update approaching end of service
For Windows 10 devices that are at, or within several months of reaching, end of service, Windows Update will automatically initiate a feature update; keeping those devices supported and receiving the monthly updates that are critical to device security and ecosystem health. The Windows 10 April 2018 Update (Windows 10, version 1803) will reach end of service on November 12, 2019 for Home and Pro editions. Starting this June, we will begin updating devices running the April 2018 Update, and earlier versions of Windows 10, to ensure we can continue to service these devices and provide the latest updates, security updates and improvements. We are starting this machine learning (ML)-based rollout process several months in advance of the end of service date to provide adequate time for a smooth update process.

Semi-Annual Channel released for commercial customers
With today’s release of the May 2019 Update (Windows 10, version 1903), IT administrators should begin targeted deployments to validate that the apps, devices and infrastructure used by their organizations work as expected with the new release and features. Windows 10, version 1903 is available through Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), Windows Update for Business, and the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC)1 for phased deployment using System Center Configuration Manager or other systems management software. For information about the latest features for commercial customers, see What’s new for IT pros in Windows 10, version 1903. For specific information on what’s new with Windows Update for Business, see this blog post.

Increasing transparency: the Windows health dashboard
As part of our commitment to increasing transparency, the new Windows release health dashboard is now live, offering timely information on the current rollout status and known issues (open and resolved) across both feature and monthly updates. The new dashboard provides a single page for each currently supported version of Windows so you can quickly search for issues by keyword, including any safeguard holds on updates, see the current status of each issue, and find important announcements. In addition, you can easily share content via Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and email, and even use Dark mode (the same popular feature recently introduced in Windows 10). Watch a walkthrough on all the new dashboard features in this video.

The May 2019 Update provides the best possible update experience
Being on the latest version of Windows 10, the May 2019 Update, provides you with the latest features, more control over updates, and greater transparency for a better update experience. We will continue to work to improve Windows 10 quality and will be closely monitoring and sharing how the rollout is going, including both the current status and issues via the new Windows release health dashboard. We hope you enjoy this new update and encourage you to tell us about your experience by providing comments or suggestions via Feedback Hub.

1 It may take a day for downloads to be fully available in the VLSC across all products, markets and languages.

The post How to get the Windows 10 May 2019 Update appeared first on Windows Blog.

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Last month, we announced the first preview builds of the next version of Microsoft Edge for Windows 10. Today, we are pleased to announce the availability of the Microsoft Edge Canary channel for macOS. You can now install preview builds from the Microsoft Edge Insider site for your macOS or Windows 10 PC, with more Windows version support coming soon.

Building a “Mac-like” user experience for Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge for macOS will offer the same new browsing experience that we’re previewing on Windows, with user experience optimizations to make it feel at home on a Mac. We are tailoring the overall look and feel to match what macOS users expect from apps on this platform.

We are committed to building a world class browser with Microsoft Edge through differentiated user experience features and connected services. With this initial release, we have made several changes to the user interface to align with the Microsoft design language whilst making it feel natural on macOS.

Examples of this include a number of tweaks to match macOS conventions for fonts, menus, keyboard shortcuts, title casing, and other areas. You will continue to see the look and feel of the browser evolve in future releases as we continue to experiment, iterate and listen to customer feedback.  We encourage you to share your feedback with us using the “Send feedback” smiley.

Additionally, we are designing user experiences that are exclusive to macOS, by leveraging specific hardware features available on Mac. For example, providing useful and contextual actions through the Touch Bar like website shortcuts, tab switching and video controls, as well as enabling familiar navigation with trackpad gestures.


Introducing the Microsoft Edge Insider Channels for macOS

The new Microsoft Edge preview builds for macOS are available through preview channels that we call “Microsoft Edge Insider Channels.” We are starting by launching the Microsoft Edge Insider Canary Channel, which you can download and try at the Microsoft Edge Insider site. This channel is available starting today on macOS 10.12 and above. The Dev Channel will be released very soon, and once available, you’ll be able to download and install it side-by-side with the Canary Channel. You can learn more about our approach and what to expect from the different channels in our blog post from last month.

A consistent platform and tools for web developers

With our new Chromium foundation, you can expect a consistent rendering experience across the Windows and macOS versions of Microsoft Edge, as well as the same powerful developer tools you’ll find on Windows.

For the first time, web developers can now test sites and web apps in Microsoft Edge on macOS and be confident that those experiences will work the same in the next version of Microsoft Edge across all platforms. (Note that platform-specific capabilities, like PlayReady content decryption on Windows 10, should continue to be feature detected for the best experience on those platforms.)

As with our Windows preview builds, our new macOS version also includes support for installable, standards-based Progressive Web Apps which you can inspect and debug using the browser developer tools. We’re working to make PWAs feel at home alongside your native apps, so when installed they will appear in your Dock, app switcher, and Spotlight just like a native app.

Sharing your feedback

We’re delighted to share our first Microsoft Edge Canary build for macOS with you!  Getting your feedback is an important step in helping us make a better browser – we consider it essential to create the best possible browsing experience on macOS. We hope you’ll try the preview today, and we look forward to your feedback and participation in the Microsoft Edge Insider community.

If you encounter any issues, and to give feedback or share suggestions with the team, head over to the Microsoft Edge Insider community forums, get in touch with us on Twitter, or just use the “Send feedback” option in the Microsoft Edge menu to let us know what you think.

For web developers, if you encounter an issue that reproduces in Chromium, it’s best to file a Chromium bug. For problems in the existing version of Microsoft Edge, please continue to use the EdgeHTML Issue Tracker.

We look forward to hearing from you!

– The Microsoft Edge Team

The post Introducing the first Microsoft Edge preview builds for macOS appeared first on Windows Blog.

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Hello Friends!

Each year after Microsoft Build, we run a world-wide developer event to bring all the latest Microsoft 365 technology to you, in person.

Through the collaboration between the MVP (Most Valuable Professionals) and RD (Regional Directors) communities, Dev Collective, Windows, Office, Developer Tools, and the Insider Team, we’ve expanded the content this year to bring you even more developer awesomeness. More code. More demos. More useful knowledge.

You’ll enjoy an inside peek into some of tomorrow’s innovative dev tech, as well as practical information you can use today. Plus, you’ll gain valuable access to a peer network along with exposure to all-star devs from a wide range of tech disciplines.

Imagine new ways to build Microsoft 365 user experiences when the Insider Dev Tour comes to you this year. Just starting out? No worries, the tour is curated for everyone—from hobbyists to students to experts alike.

Agenda varies by location, but you can expect to find developer demo-focused practical sessions with topics such as:

  • Introduction to Microsoft Graph Services
  • Web Development with NodeJS and Microsoft Developer Tools
  • Embedded and IoT Solutions with Microsoft Windows IoT Core
  • Command Line / Terminal and Windows Subsystem for Linux
  • Coding your Future with the Windows Insider Program
  • Desktop Apps with the Microsoft Graph
  • UWP User Interfaces with the latest APIS and OSS libraries
  • Developing with the New Edge Browser
  • Desktop Apps with .NET Core
  • AI Platform / Machine Learning on Windows
  • Progressive Web Apps with the New Edge
  • NET Core 3.0
  • Build apps for Microsoft Teams with Microsoft Graph and Web Technology

The day will start, of course, with a great keynote that covers the best from Microsoft Build.

We’re rolling out locations over the next week. You may not see your city on the site on day 1, but they’re all coming. Here’s a list of some of the countries we’re running events in this year, in partnerships with the local communities:

Africa Mauritius, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa
Asia / Pacific Australia, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan
Europe Austria, Belgium, France, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Spain, St Petersburg, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom
North America Canada (Toronto) and United States (Colorado, Florida, Giorgio, Massachusetts, New York, Texas, Utah, Washington DC)
South America Brazil, Chile, Colombia

If your local city is not yet open for registration, be sure to check back next week and register!

Whether you’re interested in Microsoft Windows, Teams, Graph, Identity or IoT, the Insider Dev Tour has you covered. Interested in developing with the latest dev tools like VS Code, the Windows Subsystem for Linux, and Visual Studio? Yes. We have that. Web dev? We made sure you’re covered with content on JavaScript, Node, ASP.Net, and tools.

Find your local event and register now!

Thank you, and see you there!

Pete & Dona (@pete_brown, @donasarkar)


The post Announcing the Insider Dev Tour 2019! appeared first on Windows Blog.

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Hello Windows Insiders, today we are releasing Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 18898 (20H1) to Windows Insiders in the Fast ring.

IMPORTANT: As is normal with builds early in the development cycle, these builds may contain bugs that might be painful for some. If you take this flight, you won’t be able to switch Slow or Release Preview rings without doing a clean-install on your PC. If you wish to remain on 19H1, please change your ring settings via Settings > Update & Security > Windows Insider Program *before* taking this flight. See this blog post for details.

If you are looking for a complete look at what build is in which Insider ring – head on over to Flight Hub. You can also check out the rest of our documentation here including a complete list of new features and updates that have gone out as part of Insider flights for the current development cycle.

What’s new in Build 18898 Disk type now visible in Task Manager Performance tab

A small, but perhaps convenient change — you’ll now be able to see the disk type (e.g. SSD) for each disk listed in Task Manager’s performance tab. This is particularly helpful in cases where you have multiple disks listed, so you can differentiate between them.

General changes, improvements, and fixes for PC
  • We fixed an issue resulting in a high hitting DWM crash in recent builds.
  • We fixed a pcshell.dll issue in recent builds resulting in a high hitting explorer.exe crash.
  • We fixed an issue where updated Japanese IME settings would be never applied in certain desktop bridge apps, which could result in prediction candidates being shown even after they’d been disabled in the IME settings. For those who’ve already been impacted by this, you’ll need to reset the app Settings > Apps > <select the app> > Advanced Options > Reset before you see the results of this fix.
Known Issues
  • There has been an issue with older versions of anti-cheat software used with games where after updating to the latest 19H1 Insider Preview builds may cause PCs to experience crashes. We are working with partners on getting their software updated with a fix, and most games have released patches to prevent PCs from experiencing this issue. To minimize the chance of running into this issue, please make sure you are running the latest version of your games before attempting to update the operating system. We are also working with anti-cheat and game developers to resolve similar issues that may arise with the 20H1 Insider Preview builds and will work to minimize the likelihood of these issues in the future.
  • Some Realtek SD card readers are not functioning properly. We are investigating the issue.
  • If you use remote desktop to connect to an enhanced session VM, taskbar search results will not be visible (just a dark area) until you restart searchui.exe.
  • We’re investigating reports that on certain devices, if fast startup is enabled, night light doesn’t turn on until after a restart. (Note: The problem will occur on a “cold” reboot or power off / power on. To work around if night light doesn’t turn on, use Start > Power > Restart.)
  • There’s a noticeable lag when dragging the emoji and dictation panels.
  • Tamper Protection may be turned off in Windows Security after updating to this build. You can turn it back on.
  • Some features on Start Menu and in All apps are not localized in languages such as FR-FR, RU-RU, and ZH-CN.
  • In the Ease of Access settings, selecting a color filter may not take effect right away unless color filters option is turned off and back on again.
  • The IME candidate window for East Asian IMEs (Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, and the Japanese IME) may not open sometimes. We are investigating the issue. In the meantime, going to Task Manager and ending the “WindowsInternal.ComposableShell.Experiences.TextInput.InputApp.exe” task from the from the Details tab should unblock you if you experience this issue.
  • We are aware of an issue with the Bopomofo IME where the character width is suddenly changed to Full width from Half width and are investigating.
Known issues for Developers
  • If you install builds from the Fast ring and switch to either the Slow ring or the Release Preview ring, optional content such as enabling developer mode will fail. You will have to remain in the Fast ring to add/install/enable optional content. This is because optional content will only install on builds approved for specific rings.
DirectX 12 boosts performance of HITMAN 2

Windows 10 continues to power the world’s best PC gaming experiences, and we are continuously in awe of how our game development partners creatively use our technology to deliver vibrant and immersive worlds. Recently, our partners at IO Interactive, the developers of the award-winning HITMAN franchise, added DirectX 12 support to HITMAN 2, with impressive results. IO Interactive was so excited that they wanted to share a bit about how their innovative use of DirectX 12 benefits HITMAN gamers everywhere. Head over to the DirectX 12 blog to learn how DirectX 12 is, in the words of HITMAN gamers, “an absolute game changer.”

Join the Bing Insider Program

Learn American Sign Language with Bing! Practice the alphabet, learn numbers, and watch how to sign commonly used words and phrases. After you’ve practiced, test your knowledge with an ASL quiz.

If you want to be among the first to learn about these Bing features, join our Bing Insider Program.

Are you ready to #InsiderUp?

We believe that everyone in the world who wants to should have the chance to learn to code. The Windows Insider community has (of course) raised their hands to help make this mission happen.

Learn more about the amazing people and tools we’ve been working with to get started, sign up to help one of these communities, or sign up to be a local #InsiderUp community leader.

Get started with #InsiderUp today.

No downtime for Hustle-As-A-Service,
Dona <3

The post Announcing Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 18898 appeared first on Windows Blog.

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Today, we are excited to announce an early release of Microsoft Web Template Studio, a cross-platform extension for Visual Studio Code that simplifies and accelerates creating new full-stack web applications. Web Template Studio addresses a top community ask from developer surveys and 1-1 conversations with developers: Make it easy to create a new cloud-based web app. Web Template Studio uses a dev-friendly wizard to generate your application and provide a ReadMe.md to give you step by step instructions to get up and developing in no time. Best of all, Web Template Studio is open source on GitHub.

Our philosophy is to help bootstrap your app with what you need but not do so much that you’re deleting code and breaking stuff. We also strive to introduce best patterns and practices. Web Template Studio is extremely early in development, but we feel this is a great time to show it to the community and get a broader set of feedback. Web Template Studio currently supports one full-stack app path with React and Node.js. We want to partner with the community to see what else is useful and should be added. We know there are many more frameworks, pages and features to be added and can’t stress enough this is a work in progress. If there is something you feel strongly about, please let us know. Of course, we’re always willing to accept PRs. We want to be sure we’re building the right thing.

Web Template Studio takes the learnings from its sister project, Windows Template Studio which does the same concept but for native UWP applications. While the two projects target different development environments and tech stacks, they share a lot of tech under the hood.

Installing our nightly build

It is extremely easy, just head over to Visual Studio Marketplace’s Web Template Studio page and click “install. In addition, you’ll need Node and Yarn installed as well.

A Lap Around Windows Template Studio

We launch WebTS by simply using the shortcut and typing in Web Template Studio. Super simple. This will fire up the wizard and you’ll be able to start generating a project in no time.

Step 1: Project Name and Output path

You start with your project name and output path.

Step 2: Project Type

Once you have selected a project type, you need to select a framework. You can select from Code behind, MVVM Basic or the very popular MVVM Light.

Step 3: Frameworks

Next, which frameworks do you want to use for your frontend and backend? We currently support one framework for frontend: React.js and one framework for backend: Node.js as this is an extremely early release.

Step 4: Pages and Cloud Services

To accelerate app creation, we provide several app page templates that you can use to add common UI pages into your new app. The current page templates include: blank page, common layouts (e.g., master detail) and pages that implement common patterns (e.g., grid, list). Using the wizard, add as many of the pages as you need, providing a name for each one, and we’ll generate them for you. Lastly, you specify which Azure cloud services you want to use, and we’ll build out the framework for the services into your app including tagging ‘TODO’ items. Currently supported services cover storage (Azure Cosmos DB), and compute (Azure Functions). We’ll even work on getting these initially deployed for you as well!

Step 5: Summary and generate

Simple as reviewing what you selected, being sure you’re ok with the licenses you’ll be adopting with your choices, and then clicking “Generate”. If you have a service, we’ll help you deploy it

Step 6: Running your app

Click the “Open project in VSCode” link. You can open up your Readme.MD file for helpful tips / tricks and then to get the webserver up and running, for React/Node.JS, you just need to open the terminal then type “yarn install” then “yarn start” and you’re up and going! As you can see, the web application is a solid starting point. It pulls real data, allows you to quickly refactor so you can spend your time on more important tasks like your business logic.

Preview upcoming features

We have done most testing inside WebTS on the React framework with Node.JS, however we do experimental versions for Angular and will be adding in Vue shortly too! If you want to kick the tires, go to Settings in Code and enable the Preview Mode option.

Open source and built by Microsoft Garage Interns

Web Template Studio is completely open-source and available now on GitHub. We cannot stress enough that this project is community led. We would love for you to contribute to the project and would encourage you to read our contribution guidelines for next steps. A public roadmap is currently actively being worked on as we need more feedback from the community.

We’d also like to directly state we’re proud to be created by Microsoft Garage interns. The Garage internship is a unique program for talented students to work in groups of 6-8 on challenging engineering projects. The Garage drives three primary goals, collaboration, creativity, and experimentation. The team partnered with teams across Microsoft along with the community to build the project. It has gone through multiple iterations variations to where it is currently today. I can’t tell you how proud I am of the work Amr, Danish, Imho, Jimmy, Kai, Kelly, Sahil, and Trevor did and humbled by how everyone supported their idea.

What is even more exciting is we have the new Garage interns working on the project as well over the next few months! They just started this week and are already digging into the project and how they can improve.

Get Started Today

Web Template Studio nightly are available now. We have extremely easy to use instructions for installing the VS extension on our GitHub page. We would love to hear how your experiences are using it and the helpfulness of the project. You can reach Clint at @clintrutkas. What are you waiting for? Go and try it out for yourself now!

The post Announcing Microsoft Web Template Studio appeared first on Windows Blog.

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Image courtesy of Colie Wertz

A long time ago, in a state very far away from where he lives now, Colie Wertz was about to face his biggest fear: using a computer.

Though he would go on to design sophisticated models for films in the “Star Wars” franchise, “Men in Black” and “Galaxy Quest” – among many, many movies – he got a late introduction to this vital tool of modern technology.

The architecture major graduated from Clemson University in the early ’90s without using a computer, thanks to people who typed his papers for him when his print-perfect penmanship wasn’t enough.

“The notion of actually using a computer to get the same visceral feel of building a model was alien to me,” says Wertz, whose love of models grew from studying airplanes in his family’s World Book Encyclopedias and then later drawing the covers from model kits.

But in the summer after he graduated, he successfully built a model for a new grocery store in Charleston, South Carolina, so his new employer wanted him to do more work and gave him a computer.

“I told them, ‘Oh, we gotta talk,’” he says, explaining his lack of experience with the technology. “It was the first time I used a computer.”

But he hunkered down, learning software called PowerDraw that could import CAD (computer-aided design) drawings on a Mac clone (he thinks it was a PowerComputing machine). But his real breakthrough with technology came later, with a move that would set him up for the rest of his life.

Find out what happens to Wertz at Microsoft Stories.

The post ‘Star Wars’ designer goes to new galaxies using MSI Creator PC appeared first on Windows Blog.

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Today, we released a new Windows 10 Preview Build of the SDK to be used in conjunction with Windows 10 Insider Preview (Build 18894 or greater). The Preview SDK Build 18894 contains bug fixes and under development changes to the API surface area.

The Preview SDK can be downloaded from developer section on Windows Insider.

For feedback and updates to the known issues, please see the developer forum. For new developer feature requests, head over to our Windows Platform UserVoice.

Things to note:
  • This build works in conjunction with previously released SDKs and Visual Studio 2017 and 2019. You can install this SDK and still also continue to submit your apps that target Windows 10 build 1903 or earlier to the Microsoft Store.
  • The Windows SDK will now formally only be supported by Visual Studio 2017 and greater. You can download the Visual Studio 2019 here.
  • This build of the Windows SDK will install ONLY on Windows 10 Insider Preview builds.
  • In order to assist with script access to the SDK, the ISO will also be able to be accessed through the following static URL: https://software-download.microsoft.com/download/sg/Windows_InsiderPreview_SDK_en-us_18894_1.iso.
Tools Updates Message Compiler (mc.exe)
  • Now detects the Unicode byte order mark (BOM) in .mc files. If the .mc file starts with a UTF-8 BOM, it will be read as a UTF-8 file. Otherwise, if it starts with a UTF-16LE BOM, it will be read as a UTF-16LE file. If the -u parameter was specified, it will be read as a UTF-16LE file. Otherwise, it will be read using the current code page (CP_ACP).
  • Now avoids one-definition-rule (ODR) problems in MC-generated C/C++ ETW helpers caused by conflicting configuration macros (e.g. when two .cpp files with conflicting definitions of MCGEN_EVENTWRITETRANSFER are linked into the same binary, the MC-generated ETW helpers will now respect the definition of MCGEN_EVENTWRITETRANSFER in each .cpp file instead of arbitrarily picking one or the other).
Windows Trace Preprocessor (tracewpp.exe)
  • Now supports Unicode input (.ini, .tpl, and source code) files. Input files starting with a UTF-8 or UTF-16 byte order mark (BOM) will be read as Unicode. Input files that do not start with a BOM will be read using the current code page (CP_ACP). For backwards-compatibility, if the -UnicodeIgnore command-line parameter is specified, files starting with a UTF-16 BOM will be treated as empty.
  • Now supports Unicode output (.tmh) files. By default, output files will be encoded using the current code page (CP_ACP). Use command-line parameters -cp:UTF-8 or -cp:UTF-16 to generate Unicode output files.
  • Behavior change: tracewpp now converts all input text to Unicode, performs processing in Unicode, and converts output text to the specified output encoding. Earlier versions of tracewpp avoided Unicode conversions and performed text processing assuming a single-byte character set. This may lead to behavior changes in cases where the input files do not conform to the current code page. In cases where this is a problem, consider converting the input files to UTF-8 (with BOM) and/or using the -cp:UTF-8 command-line parameter to avoid encoding ambiguity.
  • Now avoids one-definition-rule (ODR) problems caused by conflicting configuration macros (e.g. when two .cpp files with conflicting definitions of TLG_EVENT_WRITE_TRANSFER are linked into the same binary, the TraceLoggingProvider.h helpers will now respect the definition of TLG_EVENT_WRITE_TRANSFER in each .cpp file instead of arbitrarily picking one or the other).
  • In C++ code, the TraceLoggingWrite macro has been updated to enable better code sharing between similar events using variadic templates.
Breaking Changes Removal of IRPROPS.LIB

In this release irprops.lib has been removed from the Windows SDK. Apps that were linking against irprops.lib can switch to bthprops.lib as a drop-in replacement.

API Updates, Additions and Removals

The following APIs have been added to the platform since the release of Windows 10 SDK, version 1903, build 18362.


namespace Windows.Foundation.Metadata {
  public sealed class AttributeNameAttribute : Attribute
  public sealed class FastAbiAttribute : Attribute
  public sealed class NoExceptionAttribute : Attribute
namespace Windows.Graphics.Capture {
  public sealed class GraphicsCaptureSession : IClosable {
    bool IsCursorCaptureEnabled { get; set; }
namespace Windows.Management.Deployment {
  public enum DeploymentOptions : uint {
    AttachPackage = (uint)4194304,
namespace Windows.Networking.BackgroundTransfer {
  public sealed class DownloadOperation : IBackgroundTransferOperation, IBackgroundTransferOperationPriority {
    void RemoveRequestHeader(string headerName);
    void SetRequestHeader(string headerName, string headerValue);
  public sealed class UploadOperation : IBackgroundTransferOperation, IBackgroundTransferOperationPriority {
    void RemoveRequestHeader(string headerName);
    void SetRequestHeader(string headerName, string headerValue);
namespace Windows.UI.Composition.Particles {
  public sealed class ParticleAttractor : CompositionObject
  public sealed class ParticleAttractorCollection : CompositionObject, IIterable&lt;ParticleAttractor&gt;, IVector&lt;ParticleAttractor&gt;
  public class ParticleBaseBehavior : CompositionObject
  public sealed class ParticleBehaviors : CompositionObject
  public sealed class ParticleColorBehavior : ParticleBaseBehavior
  public struct ParticleColorBinding
  public sealed class ParticleColorBindingCollection : CompositionObject, IIterable&lt;IKeyValuePair&lt;float, ParticleColorBinding&gt;&gt;, IMap&lt;float, ParticleColorBinding&gt;
  public enum ParticleEmitFrom
  public sealed class ParticleEmitterVisual : ContainerVisual
  public sealed class ParticleGenerator : CompositionObject
  public enum ParticleInputSource
  public enum ParticleReferenceFrame
  public sealed class ParticleScalarBehavior : ParticleBaseBehavior
  public struct ParticleScalarBinding
  public sealed class ParticleScalarBindingCollection : CompositionObject, IIterable&lt;IKeyValuePair&lt;float, ParticleScalarBinding&gt;&gt;, IMap&lt;float, ParticleScalarBinding&gt;
  public enum ParticleSortMode
  public sealed class ParticleVector2Behavior : ParticleBaseBehavior
  public struct ParticleVector2Binding
  public sealed class ParticleVector2BindingCollection : CompositionObject, IIterable&lt;IKeyValuePair&lt;float, ParticleVector2Binding&gt;&gt;, IMap&lt;float, ParticleVector2Binding&gt;
  public sealed class ParticleVector3Behavior : ParticleBaseBehavior
  public struct ParticleVector3Binding
  public sealed class ParticleVector3BindingCollection : CompositionObject, IIterable&lt;IKeyValuePair&lt;float, ParticleVector3Binding&gt;&gt;, IMap&lt;float, ParticleVector3Binding&gt;
  public sealed class ParticleVector4Behavior : ParticleBaseBehavior
  public struct ParticleVector4Binding
  public sealed class ParticleVector4BindingCollection : CompositionObject, IIterable&lt;IKeyValuePair&lt;float, ParticleVector4Binding&gt;&gt;, IMap&lt;float, ParticleVector4Binding&gt;
namespace Windows.UI.ViewManagement {
  public enum ApplicationViewMode {
    Spanning = 2,
namespace Windows.UI.WindowManagement {
  public enum AppWindowPresentationKind {
    Spanning = 4,
  public sealed class SpanningPresentationConfiguration : AppWindowPresentationConfiguration

The post Windows 10 SDK Preview Build 18894 available now! appeared first on Windows Blog.

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In our multitasking world, when you’re playing PC games, there’s a good chance you’re doing a lot of other things, too.

Gaming industry insights show 82% of people use their mobile phones for messaging during gaming sessions, while 61% listen to music and 49% watch game-related live streams, view video content and browse websites [1]. With this in mind, HP has created the world’s first dual-screen gaming laptop [2], the OMEN X 2S.


Players will be able to message friends in WeChat and WhatsApp, browse the perfect songs to accompany their sessions on Spotify, watch Twitch and YouTube, or even serve as a hub for OMEN Command Center software through an easy-to-use 6-inch 1080p touchscreen above the keyboard – freeing them from the hassles of alt-tabbing.

A real-time screen mirroring feature further bolsters the OMEN X 2S, by cutting and magnifying parts of the main screen – such as copying the map portion of a racing game – to the second screen, ensuring centered vision and more vertical head movement.

This powerhouse also has a lot going on under its 20 mm-thin, full-metal chassis hood: It’s the first 15-inch diagonal gaming laptop in the world to come with an applied liquid metal compound to the thermal system by way of Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut. The result is heat dissipation at 10 times the thermal conductivity of silicon thermal grease [3] up to a 28% [4] frames-per-second (FPS) performance boost over traditional grease when testing in Apex Legends, and an 8.5% [5] faster lead time in a Blender Benchmark test.

The OMEN X 2S was one of several gaming innovations unveiled Tuesday at the HP Gaming Festival in Beijing.


The newest versions of the OMEN 15 and OMEN 17 laptops are now even slimmer, with a 20% and 18% reduction in thickness over previous versions. All three OMEN laptops feature OMEN Tempest, an overhauled advanced thermal solution powered by a 12-volt fan, which utilizes three-sided venting to enable five-way airflow to keep things ultra-cool.


Support for up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 for the OMEN 17 and Max-Q [6] design for the OMEN X 2S and OMEN 15 delivers realistic visuals. Additionally, multitasking and grand-scale games – which take mountainous resources – will run even more smoothly, with up to the latest 9th Generation Intel Core i9 high-performance mobile processor [7] powered by up to 5.0 GHz Turbo [8], eight cores and 16 threads, and up to 32 GB of RAM.

HP Pavilion Gaming 15 Laptop

Both the HP Pavilion Gaming 15 and the new HP Pavilion Gaming 17 laptops offer outstanding versatility and mobility for gamers and creatives alike. Technological improvements across the board arrive with options up to the latest 9th Generation Intel Core i5/i7 high-performance mobile CPUs [7] and up to the recently announced NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti with Max-Q design [6].

HP Pavilion Gaming 17 Laptop

These OMEN and Pavilion laptops are expected to be available by June via HP.com and other retailers. [9]

In addition, enhancements to OMEN Command Center software, as well as new OMEN and HP Pavilion Gaming displays and accessories, round out an ecosystem that has everything gamers need to progress and achieve their goals.

Pricing [9]

  • OMEN X 2S Laptop starts at $2099.99.
  • OMEN 17 Laptop starts at $1099.99. The 240 Hz option is expected to be available in October.
  • OMEN 15 Laptop starts at $1049.99.
  • Pavilion Gaming 17 Laptop starts at $849.99.
  • Pavilion Gaming 15 Laptop starts at $799.99.

Find out more about the OMEN by HP ecosystem of gaming PCs, displays and accessories.

[1] Lightspeed – Gamer Mobile Screen Stacking Report, October 31, 2018.

[2] Based on gaming laptops shipped as of April 15, 2019 with integrated dual-screens. Gaming laptops defined as laptops with models targeting specifically to gamers. Gaming laptops defined as laptop with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 or NVIDIA GeForce RTX or AMD Radeon R9 or AMD Radeon RX 470 & above Graphics, excluding detachable PC’s.

[3] Based on thermal conductivity specifications of Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut vs thermal conductivity specification of standard silicon thermal grease. OMEN X configuration with Intel i7-9750H, 16GB DDR4-2666, RTX2070 Max-Q.

[4] Based on HP Internal Testing using frames per second in Apex Legends game comparing standard thermal solution to Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut April 19. OMEN X configuration with Intel i7-9750H, 16GB DDR4-2666, RTX2070 Max-Q.

[5] Based on Blender Benchmark comparing standard silicon thermal solution verses Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut April 19. OMEN X configuration with Intel i7-9750H, 16GB DDR4-2666, RTX2070 Max-Q.

[6] NVIDIA Max-Q Design can help reduce system heat and noise in thinner form factor PCs. Form factor design and thickness of the system will vary. Overall graphics performance may be lower than alternative graphics solutions that do not utilize Max-Q design. NVIDIA, GeForce, Surround and the NVIDIA logo are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of NVIDIA Corporation in the U.S. and other countries. MAXQ is the registered trademark of Maxim Integrated Products, Inc.

[7] Multi-core is designed to improve performance of certain software products. Not all customers or software applications will necessarily benefit from use of this technology. Performance and clock frequency will vary depending on application workload and your hardware and software configurations. Intel’s numbering, branding and/or naming is not a measurement of higher performance.

[8] GHz refers to internal clock speed of the processor. Other factors besides clock speed may impact system and application performance.

[9] Pricing from HP.com, subject to change without notice. Retailers pricing may vary.

The post HP launches world’s first dual-screen gaming laptop and other innovations appeared first on Windows Blog.

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For many years the ability to run UI tests in CI/CD has provided great value to web developers. This past Microsoft Build 2019 we were excited to announce desktop app developers can now also run UI tests in Azure DevOps! Desktop applications can now run automated UI tests in CI/CD on Azure DevOps using hosted or private agents, and setup is simple with a new Pipeline task.

Why UI tests in CI will help App Developers

Continuous Integration (CI) enables you to run automated tests of your application every time there’s a code change, and typically on servers so you’re not tying up desktop machines for testing. App developers have had the ability to run UI tests using WinAppDriver, and adding these tests to CI is important for a couple key reasons:

  1. UI tests need interactive test machines. If you attempt to move the mouse, type on the keyboard, on a machine while a UI test is running, you will likely invalidate the test. This is because the tests perform automated user interactions in a way that does not differentiate from your physical actions.
  2. CI is the right time to run UI Tests. There’s great value in having UI tests confirm if code changes break the user experience in your application. But equally important to having UI tests, is running them for every code change and pull request so you know exactly which commit broke the behavior. A key tenet of CI is to run every time the code changes.
How do UI tests work?

UI tests are automated tests designed to test an application by interacting with its UI in the same way a normal user would. These tests are different from unit/functional tests which test functional components of the application. A UI test typically involves going through an application in common scenarios just like a user would, verifying a user can accomplish common tasks. UI tests also typically record screenshots and often video of the test so the developer can review how the application appeared at various moments in the test.

What work was done to enable this?

For app developers to run UI tests in CI, the machine running the tests must be in an interactive state. This means the operating system has a logged in user and is listening for user input. You also need a test runner such as WinAppDriver on the test machine. Setting up a private agent in Azure DevOps with this configuration was possible, but it required significant manual configuration. Many customers requested enabling the hosted agent pool with a simple solution. The HostedVS2017 and HostedVS2019 agents are now updated with the following to enable UI tests in CI:

  1. Support for interactive mode
  2. Addition of WinAppDriver which executes the UI test commands

Both agents are included for free in the base Azure Pipelines plan.

In addition to the hosted agent additions there’s now a task in Azure Pipelines for easy addition of UI tests and added test configuration options. A preview of the WinAppDriver task is available today on the DevOps Marketplace. If you’re using the Classical Editor, search for “WinAppDriver” from the Add tasks menu:

For more information on the task, check out the updated CI with Azure Pipelines section on our Wiki.

Live Example: Microsoft Calculator

The recently open-sourced Microsoft Calculator project has UI Tests running in Azure DevOps as part of their CI. These tests are helping the Calculator Team catch PRs that break the user experience.

You can check out their DevOps CI/CD Pipeline fully integrated with the new WinAppDriver Task seen here:

Call to Action

Please take a look at Calculator and evaluate if adding UI tests in CI/CD will help your desktop application projects.

We’d love to hear from you. Please reach out on the WinAppDriver Issues Board on GitHub, or email hassan.uraizee@microsoft.com. For product announcements follow @mrhassanuz and @yosefdurr.

The post Announcing UI Tests in CI/CD for Desktop App Developers appeared first on Windows Blog.

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