Microsoft releases preview SDK for the Surface Duo, envisions Windows 10X on foldables – Blog – 10 minute

Why it matters: With dual-screen devices set to bring the next evolution in mobile computing, developer adoption and support remains a key factor in driving the industry forward. Towards that end, Microsoft has announced the preview SDKs for its dual-screen Surface Duo and laid out ideas for optimizing app experiences on foldable devices.
The tech community has received a few updates from Microsoft regarding the company’s upcoming foldables: The Windows 10X-powered Surface Neo and the smaller Android-powered Surface Duo.
The company’s developer documentation on creating apps for dual-screen devices includes the preview SDK for the Surface Duo (coming soon for Mac OS), letting developers test their apps on the new emulator integrated into Android Studio for simulating “postures, gestures, hinge angle, mimicking the seam between the two screens, and more.”

For the Surface Neo and devices that’ll run Windows 10X, a new Microsoft Emulator will be shipped to developers, alongside “new APIs for dual-screen support, documentation, and code samples,” through Insider builds. The emulator will support both UWP and Win32 apps in single- and dual-screen scenarios.

Microsoft’s five app patterns for dual-screen devices (top) and recommendations for spanning apps across various modes (bottom)
Microsoft also laid out new web standards for dual-screen devices as well as UX design patterns depicting app behavior and spanning across device orientation and layout. The company said that it’s working on improvements to React Native and Xamarin frameworks for cross-platform developers.
In addition to this, the company also announced the Microsoft 365 Developer Day. The online event will take place on February 11 at 8:30 AM PDT, and dive into more details about the aforementioned updates.

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Patent suggests the Surface Pro 8 could be solar powered – Blog – 10 minute

In a nutshell: While we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to mobile computing options these days, the anxiety that arises from a low battery when on the move is very real. You could carry a portable battery pack with you, but Microsoft might have something better in store with the Surface Pro 8: a Type Cover with built-in solar panels.
As reported by Windows Latest, Microsoft first filed a patent with the USPTO for a Surface Pro Type Cover with integrated solar panels back in the second half of 2018, but it was only published on a public platform last week.
The filing shows what looks like a Surface Pro slotted into a “Mobile device cover with integrated solar panel.” There are four panels on the back to capture light and power the Surface Pro, and Microsoft states that any artificial sources of light would be sufficient, meaning it’ll work both indoors and outdoors. Additionally, the cover could charge the device while it’s being used.

The patent adds that more than four solar panels can be integrated into cover, and they could come in any variety, “including monocrystalline solar panels, polycrystalline solar panels, thin-film amorphous silicon solar panels and/or concentrated PV cell solar panels.”
Thanks to the hinged design of the Type Cover, it can be placed at the best angle to catch the light while users work.
Microsoft’s Surface Pro 7 won the ‘Best Productivity’ award in our ‘Best of Tablets’ feature, but there are few changes over the previous-generation model. An optional Type Cover with solar panels could help the Surface Pro 8 shine next to its competitors. But, like all patents, there’s no guarantee this one will ever become a real product, though here’s hoping.

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Grab Microsoft’s new Surface Pro 7 with cover for only $770, Dell’s XPS 13 laptop is $450 off – Blog – 10 minute

Naturally there aren’t as many deals around as we saw a few weeks back, and in many cases we’re just seeing popular tech items getting replenished after being out of stock for a bit. Then again, we found a handful of noteworthy deals that you may not want to miss. Like Microsoft’s latest Surface Pro 7 which is discounted to just $770, including the Type Cover. This is down from $1,030 and the best discount we’ve seen so far.
The popular 2TB Seagate FireCuda gaming SSHD is back down to $59.99 and finally, save $450 off the XPS 13 with the coupon code detailed below.
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Microsoft May Finally Launch Dual-Screen Device at Oct. 2 Surface Event


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Microsoft is holding its next Surface event in New York City on October 2 and rumors are buzzing that the company could launch its long-rumored, never-shipped dual-screen device, codenamed Centaurus. It would be a significant change of approach if the company did. After initially leading the way with a series of impressive products, Surface has been quiet (in brand terms) for the past few years. Designs like the Surface Book have been refreshed, but the last major product to be introduced under the Surface brand was the Surface Laptop. (The Surface Hub is technically branded as a Surface product, but it sells for vastly more money and isn’t really consumer-oriented.)

Microsoft has demoed Centaurus at internal events, indicating that the device may be nearing completion. We’ve seen Intel push OEMs to create some dual-screen devices — the company demoed its Honeycomb Glacier concept at Computex this year, which drew some praise (and eyeballs) for its unusual design:

That’s what Honeycomb Glacier looked like when folded flat, and it’s not necessarily all that appealing. Open, however, the laptop reportedly offered a second display that worked rather well for at least some use-cases:

Intel-Honeycomb-Glacier-Feature

Intel has also created prototypes like Tiger Rapids, a folding dual-display concept with a conventional display on one side and an e-ink panel for inking and writing on the other. That concept has been commercialized as the Yoga Book C930 from Lenovo. One major question about the new Surface devices would be this: Are they intended to be general-purpose machines for regular users, or specialty devices that appeal to narrow market segments?

Since it launched Surface, Microsoft has devoted time to both market groups. The initial Surface Pro and Surface were an attempt to push PCs into tablet form factors, with detachable keyboards, fanless operation (some models), and an emphasis on weight and battery life. Later, Microsoft branched out into more niche concepts like the Surface BookSEEAMAZON_ET_135 See Amazon ET commerce (2-in-1 tablet, but with a discrete GPU), Surface Hub (corporate presentations), and Surface Studio (focused on creatives and featuring Surface Dial). Other products, like the Surface Laptop, were initially intended for users who wanted a stripped-down and limited version of Windows before Microsoft changed strategies and decided to market the system primarily to ordinary users.

Complicating this scenario is the fact that Microsoft has never actually shown Centaurus or its rumored predecessor, Andromeda, to the public. Some Surface products that have been rumored for years simply never materialize. Remember the Surface Phone? It was rumored to be right around the corner for several years, even as Microsoft tore up its plans for Windows 10 Mobile. There were even a few rumors that the company would still launch Surface Phone after shutting down its phone division, or that it would partner with a third-party company to create some kind of product. Nothing ever materialized.

Right now, the rumor mill seems to think dual screens are the juicy feature on tap for the event; if Microsoft has anything else in the till that it hasn’t shown off the company has been quiet about it. The new launch may feature products from Intel’s 10th Generation CPU family, but Surface has been historically slow to adapt cutting-edge Intel parts — it isn’t unusual for Microsoft to tap older hardware for its various updates. Ice Lake’s 10nm chips are expected to be a huge leap forward for Intel integrated graphics, however, and it would make a lot of sense for Microsoft to tap those CPUs for the Surface Pro and Surface Book. A new Surface Book might feature Intel Gen 11 graphics for the CPU, with a Turing GPU option available via a partnership with Nvidia, for example, improving both integrated and discrete performance.

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Microsoft’s next Surface event is October 2 – gpgmail


Microsoft just sent out invites for its next big event. Set for October 2 in New York, the unveiling comes exactly a year after the company’s last major Surface hardware launch. The timing is certainly right for one last major product push ahead of the holidays, as well.

Last year’s big event featured the launch of the Surface Pro 6 hybrid, Surface Studio 2, some software announcements and the launch of the Surface Headphone line. There are plenty of entries in Microsoft’s line that are due for a refresh, including Surface laptop and miniature Surface Go tablet.

The company also likes to launch at least one new product line at these things. As the Verge notes, the company’s long-rumored dual-screen tablet certainly seems overripe at this point, which at least two years of product research under its belt.

The above save the day invite, which was sent out to reporters today, subtly alludes to the inclusion of several convertible form factors, while paying homage to the Windows 10 logo.


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Microsoft Confirms Some Surface Pro 6, Surface Book 2s Are Running at Pentium II Speeds


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If you own a Surface Pro 6 or Surface Book 2 and you’ve noticed slower-than-expected performance lately, we’ve got good news: You aren’t imagining it. We’ve also got bad news: Currently, there is no fix, though Microsoft is reportedly working on one. There have been reports on Reddit from users who saw their CPU speeds falling to as low as 400MHz, even on systems plugged into the wall. What makes this issue a little curious, however, is that some of these reports go back for several years.

TechRepublic contacted Microsoft, who said: “We are aware of some customers reporting a scenario with their Surface Books where CPU speeds are slowed,” a Microsoft spokesperson told TechRepublic. “We are quickly working to address via a firmware update.”

While this quote doesn’t reference the issue with Surface Pro, some of the Reddit threads focus on that platform rather than the Surface Book or Surface Book 2.SEEAMAZON_ET_135 See Amazon ET commerce In this case, however, it appears that the issue has been flying along under the radar for a while — long enough that people have found their own fix. There’s a third-party utility called ThrottleStop. It can be used to disable a specific CPU instruction called BD PROCHOT.

What’s a BD PROCHOT?

BD PROCHOT stands for “Bidirectional processor hot.” ‘Bidirectional’ refers to the fact that this signal can be thrown by the CPU itself (to lower its own temperature) or by another component as a means of protecting that part from overheating. Imagine, for example, that your GPU was going to overheat and damage itself due to high operating temperature. The GPU can throw this flag to reduce the CPU’s frequency, reducing the processing work that was causing an overheat in the first place.

ThrottleStop

It is not clear exactly which components can use the BD PROCHOT function. It was introduced at a time when individual components paid less attention to their own thermal conditions and performed less clock throttling overall, though that intelligence has been baked into mobile hardware at various times and in various ways. Some modern systems measure skin temperature and use it as part of determining their operating frequencies, for example.

Because BD PROCHOT is bidirectional, there’s a potential risk here. The flag can be thrown by a different component that isn’t the CPU, which means (in theory), you’re overriding a component that’s trying to preserve its own functionality by telling the CPU to slow down. But this does not seem to be an explanation for what’s going on with Surface devices. Customers report these problems on products that show no signs of any overheat, and some customers who have used the ThrottleStop utility to turn the BD PROCHOT function off have gone on to use their products for a year or more without any problems.

There are non-Surface users who have reported BD PROCHOT issues as well over the years, so this isn’t a Microsoft-specific instruction or capability, though the issue does seem to be hitting Surface in particular right now. Users who need to use ThrottleStop to restore normal functionality can probably attempt doing so. If you do, be cautious. Don’t disable BD PROCHOT and then run the ugliest thermal workload you can find — turn the flag off and let the system sit at idle or run a YouTube video. See if you notice any inappropriate behavior or hot spot formation on the device. If you run into problems, you can use the utility again to restore default functionality.

Devices like the Surface Book and Surface Pro 6 are thin, which means any significant source of inappropriate heat is likely to migrate to the surface (no pun intended) of the device. So before you disable BD PROCHOT, if you’re concerned about the impact, take a moment to familiarize yourself with how hot your Surface Book or Surface Pro 6 feels to the touch now. Then disable BD PROCHOT and run the same check after giving the system time to warm up. If the machine stays stable and you have no other problems, you’re probably fine to use it. Just keep an eye out for a fix from Microsoft.

If your machine feels hotter to the touch than it ought to, or the heat is building up in an unusual spot for your machine, we advise against disabling PROCHOT until more information is available. People reporting this issue seem to be experiencing a bug rather than a genuine problem but that is not a guarantee. If you experience any instabilities or thermal issues after disabling BD PROCHOT via third-party utility, re-enable it immediately and contact Microsoft for additional service instructions.

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