Smart Tech

The latest news on how Microsoft is developing smart technology

How to set up your Windows mixed-reality headset

Microsoft has launched affordable and easy-to-use mixed-reality headsets that will include content from the Steam gaming platform and Halo franchise. The technology announced a range of devices and motion controllers from HP, Lenovo, Dell and Acer. “Mixed reality is the future, and we want everyone on the journey with us,” … Read more »

SwiftKey now lets you personalise keyboards with your own photos

SwiftKey users can now personalise the keyboard app with personal pictures, the company has announced. Photo Themes lets people upload their own images to create a keyboard that’s unique to them. To launch the new feature, SwiftKey, a British company owned by Microsoft, has teamed up with professional adventure photographer … Read more »

Future Decoded 2017: in pictures

Future Decoded, Microsoft’s largest UK enterprise event, was held at ExCeL in London on October 31 and November 1. The two-day conference was attended by tens of thousands of business leaders, journalists and analysts, and featured speakers such as Panos Panay, Vice-President for Surface at Microsoft; Cindy Rose, Microsoft UK … Read more »

Future Decoded: HoloLens to be rolled out to 29 new countries

hololens

Microsoft will expand the availability of HoloLens by launching the headset in 29 new countries across Europe, the company announced at Future Decoded. The mixed-reality device, which allows wearers to place 3D digital models in the room alongside them, is being used by NASA to recreate Mars, Audi and Saab, … Read more »

Future Decoded 2017: day two – as it happened

HoloLens rolled out to additional 29 countries, taking total to 39; hardhat accessories also in production Day two of Future Decoded gets under way at the Excel in London Speakers include Lorraine Bardeen, from Windows and HoloLens, Microsoft UK CEO Cindy Rose and former footballer Gary Neville Future Decoded: day … Read more »

Future Decoded 2017: Day one – as it happened

Panos Panay: Surface Book 2 13-inch coming to UK on November 13, 15-inch coming early next year Microsoft Teams coming to UK data centres Microsoft’s biggest event in the UK gets under way at ExCel, in London Speakers include Microsoft’s Panos Panay, UK CEO Cindy Rose and comedian David Walliams … Read more »

With HoloLens, police can now take the crime scene back to the station

Black Marble, a member of the Microsoft HoloLens Mixed Reality Partner Program (MRPP), is one of many agencies creating ground-breaking applications for the device. It has seen the potential benefits that mixed reality brings to an enterprise by blending virtual and physical worlds, enabling revolutionary experiences to improve business processes … Read more »

Future Decoded: welcome to the quantum age

By Rob Fraser, Senior Director of Commercial Software Engineering at Microsoft   Sitting on the desk next to me as I write this is a small, red and black glass valve. Loaned to me by the National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park, it’s a part of one of the … Read more »

The era of Windows Mixed Reality begins October 17

By Alex Kipman, Technical Fellow at Microsoft Mixed reality will unleash the creativity of every person and every organization on the planet. Our journey has been filled with key moments in time that have shown us what is possible as we enter this next era of computing, the era of … Read more »

Microsoft unveils superfast and secure blockchain service for companies

Microsoft has announced a first-of-its-kind blockchain service for companies that can handle more than 1,600 transactions per second – much faster than current networks. The Coco Framework is easier to use than other blockchain products, making the technology widely available to firms in a range of sectors, including financial services, … Read more »

A two-minute guide to how mixed reality will change your world

Mixed reality. Virtual reality. Augmented reality. What’s the difference, and how will blending the physical and digital worlds empower you to do things that were previously impossible? Most importantly, how will all this affect our trousers? Learn all this and more on episode three of the Story Labs animated series … Read more »

BBC and Microsoft experiment lets viewers talk to their TV

The BBC has worked with Microsoft to create an experimental version of iPlayer that lets viewers talk to their television and find their favourite programmes. The experimental version of the popular service, which allows people to watch BBC television shows and listen to the radio via the internet, uses artificial … Read more »

Microsoft HoloLens is helping architects to build better buildings, says RIBA

Architects are constructing better public buildings and spaces in the UK thanks to the growing popularity of cutting-edge technology such as Microsoft HoloLens, the industry’s professional body has said. Switching from pens and paper to mixed-reality headsets, cloud computing and digital collaboration tools has transformed how architectural firms operate. This … Read more »

Six things Microsoft announced at its London AI event

Microsoft has laid out its vision for AI (artificial intelligence), which puts people at the heart of intelligent technology to empower them to achieve great things. The company is dedicated to democratizing AI for every person and organisation, making it more accessible and valuable to everyone, and for the past … Read more »

Microsoft reinforces AI vision at London event

Harry Shum, Executive Vice President, Artificial Intelligence and Research Group, Microsoft

Microsoft’s vision for AI (artificial intelligence) is about people. It’s about amplifying human ingenuity through intelligent technology that will reason with, understand and interact with people and, together with people, help us solve some of society’s most fundamental challenges. This was the message shared earlier today at an event in … Read more »

The secret to a healthy life? Big data

NHS, health, doctor, Kantell, Cortell

It’s an exciting time to be in medicine. Thanks to scientific advances, many more of us are living longer. We’ve seen exciting developments in areas such as robotic surgery, prosthetics and remote care. All these technologies have the potential to revolutionize the way we experience healthcare. With better medical care, … Read more »

Microsoft at London Tech Week: in pictures

London Tech Week featured conferences, showcases and forums aimed at helping startups, entrepreneurs, enthusiasts, students and companies. Microsoft was a headline partner of the event, which featured speakers such as Cindy Rose, the company’s UK CEO, and Ben Medlock, the founder of SwiftKey. Here’s what happened:   … Read more »

Eurovision: UK has 1% chance of winning, Bing predicts

The UK has just a 1% chance of winning the Eurovision Song Contest this weekend, Bing has predicted. Microsoft’s search engine has crunched the numbers on all 26 competitors and belives Lucie Jones is 12th in the list of performers who are most likely to take top spot in the … Read more »

Prime Minister Theresa May hails the future of UK tech during Microsoft visit

Prime Minister Theresa May has hailed the “amazing work” being done by Microsoft, during a recent visit to the company’s UK headquarters. The PM reiterated the country’s “valued relationship” with the technology firm after being shown how artificial intelligence and products such as mixed-reality headset HoloLens allow businesses and organisations … Read more »

TAAP wants to make paperwork extinct – and it’s succeeding

A mobile app company aiming to make paperwork obsolete has announced it is in talks with leading retailers and commercial firms across the UK. TAAP’s software allows firms to use handheld devices such as smartphones and tablets to log important work events such as merchandising, incidents, security and cleaning, instead … Read more »

World-famous architect sees his buildings recreated using HoloLens

Paulo Mendes da Rocha, Hololens

World-famous architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha has expressed his delight after Microsoft and Trimble helped to recreate some of his most well-known buildings using HoloLens. The 88-year-old Brazilian said it was “fantastic” that he could see his creations using Microsoft’s mixed-reality headset, which places computer-generated holograms in the real world. … Read more »

Arsenal to drop out of top four after Liverpool defeat, Bing predicts

Football

Arsenal’s hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League will suffer a blow this weekend when they drop out of the top four, Bing has predicted. Arsene Wenger’s men take on Liverpool at Anfield, with Microsoft’s search engine predicting that the hosts will clinch a victory (55% chance). Liverpool’s victory … Read more »

Blockchain banking gets a boost from Azure

piggy bank

British payments services firm Caxton will use Microsoft’s cloud platform to offer faster, cheaper and more secure banking via blockchain technology. The private blockchain system will run on Azure and give users direct access to preferential banking rates, while cutting their service costs. The move will be particularly beneficial for … Read more »

2017 predictions: the apps we’ll use and the games we’ll play

minecraft

In the latest instalment of our week-long look at what Microsoft UK’s leaders believe will happen in 2017, we turn to apps and games. Lee Schuneman, head of Lift London, focuses on digital reality technologies and how they can be used to help us push forward healthcare and education; while Harvey Eagle, at … Read more »

Chelsea to tighten hold on Premier League, Bing predicts

Football

Chelsea will extend their lead at the top of the Premier League when they beat Leicester City this weekend, Bing has predicted. Antonio Conte’s men have a 41% chance of beating last season’s champions, which will push the club up to a total of 52 points, widening the gap between … Read more »

Brits have loved 2016 – and here are the emoji to prove it

The UK may have experienced ups and downs in the past year but Brits were determined to stay positive, at least when it came to messaging their friends. SwiftKey, the smartphone keyboard app, has revealed the 10 most-used emojis in the UK in 2016, and the list is dominated by happy faces. The … Read more »

The 10 best-read Microsoft UK stories of 2016

Microsoft has been busy over the past 12 months. The company has bought SwiftKey and LinkedIn, rolled out HoloLens and opened data centres in the UK, among other things. The Microsoft UK News Centre has covered a lot of news during 2016, so here are the 10 best-read articles of the year. … Read more »

A British company has created a simple test to help premature babies

baby, feet

A simple bedside test that could improve the lives of millions of premature babies suffering from underdeveloped lungs has been developed by a British-Danish company. SIME Dx, a digital diagnostics company in Microsoft’s start-up programme, has announced that its laser-based test can accurately predict which babies are likely to develop … Read more »

Premier League: Top four to break away from chasing pack, Bing predicts

The top four teams in the Premier League will break away from the chasing pack after this weekend’s matches, Bing has predicted. Microsoft’s search engine expects Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester to win their respective games, while fifth-placed Tottenham will only manage to draw against sixth-placed Manchester United. This will … Read more »

RAC technology lets cars ‘talk’ to drivers before they break down

RAC van

Motorists will know their car has a problem before it breaks down thanks to RAC technology that lets people “talk” to vehicles. The British firm’s device can spot issues with parts such as filters and fuel injectors before they fail, saving car owners time, inconvenience and money. The black box device can be fitted to … Read more »

CES 2017: The model car kit that can improve kids’ lives

A model kit that helps children build and program their own toy cars has been recognised by one of the world’s top innovation award shows for improving kids’ lives. SAM Labs, which is based in London and graduated from Microsoft’s start-up programme in 2014, has revealed that its Curious Cars … Read more »

The 10 charts that show the UK needs to embrace the cloud and AI

Research has revealed that nearly half of UK bosses believe they have to embrace digital transformation or see their company fail within the next five years. However, while 44% of business managers understand that the sudden shift to a more digital society will require changes in how they work in … Read more »

Future Decoded 2016: in pictures

Microsoft held its Future Decoded event, which is aimed at helping businesses digitally transform so they can grow and succeed, on November 1 and 2. Thousands of attendees heard from speakers including Chancellor Philip Hammond, who vowed to tackle cyber criminals, author Bill Bryson and Paralympic athlete Martine Wright. Here is a … Read more »

Future Decoded 2016: day two – as it happened

Future Decoded held on November 1 and 2 Microsoft unveils Microsoft Teams, a new collaboration tool Speakers today include Uber’s Chris Messina and Roger Walkden, HoloLens Commercial Lead Exclusive HoloLens developer session Thousands of people to attend at ExCeL, London Latest 17:52 And that’s the end of Future Decoded. We … Read more »

Future Decoded: Chancellor Philip Hammond vows to tackle cyber criminals

Philip Hammond, Microsoft, chancellor, Future Decoded

Phillip Hammond, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, has used his keynote speech at Microsoft’s Future Decoded event to launch a new National Cyber Security Strategy and “strike back” against cyber criminals. Speaking on the first day of the technology conference Hammond said his “three-pillar plan” of Defend, Deter and Develop to protect the privacy … Read more »

Future Decoded 2016: Day One – as it happened

Future Decoded held on November 1 and 2 Chancellor Philip Hammond and author Bill Bryson speak at event Hammond: The tech industry is the future of the British economy Chris Bishop, head of Microsoft Research Cambridge: AI will transform nearly every aspect of our lives Thousands of people to attend at ExCeL, … Read more »

Cindy Rose: Decoding Digital Transformation

keyboard, data

By Cindy Rose The 2016 edition of Future Decoded comes as we are at the dawn of what many believe is the fourth industrial revolution. As with the first revolution in the 18th century, which witnessed the rise of industrial scale manufacturing; the second, the harnessing of electrical power for … Read more »

How computer science is helping me tackle cancer

body, cancer, biology

By Ben Hall Cancer is a major problem in biomedicine. While scientists have made great strides in some types of the disease, we have not been able to reduce adult mortality greatly over the past few decades. My laboratory at the Medical Research Council (MRC) Cancer Unit at the University of Cambridge works … Read more »

I saw how rocket cars can change children’s lives

rocket car, bloodhound

When I was told to go “to the races”, I was thinking Aintree or Royal Ascot. However, my destination was North Liverpool Academy, and the races involved rocket cars being fired across the school’s playground. It was all part of the Race for the Line competition, which is open to primary schools … Read more »

A company that makes meetings worth going to just raised $1m

Speaker at Business Conference and Presentation. Audience at the conference hall.

A company that allows people to easily share ideas and content during meetings and presentations has secured $1 million of funding to expand into the US. Glisser, which enables presenters to interact and share slides with audiences via their smartphones, has been handed investment from backers including Downing Ventures, the London … Read more »

Microsoft launches Dynamics 365 to help companies grow in the cloud

microsoft, surface, laptop

Microsoft has launched a new range of business apps to help companies grow using the cloud. Dynamics 365 combines services such as accounting, sales, marketing and customer service with data analysis tools, artificial intelligence and Power BI to give firms a unique insight into how they work. Companies can choose which of … Read more »

Microsoft launches HoloLens in the UK

Microsoft is releasing HoloLens, its mixed-reality headset, in the UK. The company announced that people in six new markets can now pre-order the device, which allows users to see computer-generated holograms in the real world and has been used by organisations such as NASA and Audi. From today, HoloLens is available to pre-order in the … Read more »

ReCore robot dog Mack is brought to life by UK firm

mack, recore, xbox

Man’s best friend has become an engineer’s best friend after a UK company built a fully working version of the robot dog in ReCore. Mack, as the canine is known, plays a key role in the new Xbox game, helping heroine Joule Adams solve puzzles and fight enemies on a ravaged world … Read more »

Microsoft is helping epilepsy patients predict when they will have a seizure

Doctor, microsoft, band, epilepsy

People with epilepsy could soon be able to predict when they will have a seizure under a “pioneering” project that uses Microsoft products to monitor health. MyCareCentric Epilepsy, a program run by a private/public consortium, will see patients wear a Microsoft Band to record data such as sleep patterns, exercise, heart rate and temperature. … Read more »

The Met Office needs your help to predict when it’s going to rain

rain, umbrella

The Met Office is calling on more people to record the weather from their gardens in a bid to make forecasting more accurate. The UK’s weather service is encouraging homeowners to use weather monitors to record data such as rainfall, hours of sunlight, wind and humidity, and upload the results to its Weather … Read more »

Technology is unearthing hidden art in the Tate’s collection

tate, art, painting

People will get the chance to see rarely-viewed art from the Tate’s collection in a new exhibition that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to match historic paintings with modern photos. The display at Tate Britain will use cutting-edge technology to study the latest pictures from global news agency Reuters and compare them with one … Read more »

Manchester City will win the Premier League, predicts Bing

The wait is nearly over for football fans as the 2016/17 Premier League season kicks off this weekend. Microsoft’s search engine Bing has predicted that Manchester City will win the league with 94 points, five  clear of local rivals Manchester United with 89, followed by Chelsea and Arsenal with 88 and … Read more »

The Xbox Summer update starts rolling out

by Mike Ybarra, Head of Platform Engineering The latest system update for Xbox One and the Xbox app has started rolling out, continuing our commitment to give gamers more choice in how and where they play. Cortana is now on Xbox One, Background Music will be available through music apps like Pandora, we’re … Read more »

Rolls-Royce deal with Microsoft could mean fewer flight delays

Man sitting on place with headphones, rolls

Airline passengers could see more flights leave on time after a new partnership between Rolls-Royce and Microsoft. Rolls, whose engines power more than 50,000 flights around the world every month, will use Microsoft’s Azure IoT Suite and Cortana Intelligence Suite to quickly diagnose issues with plane engines. Mechanics can then … Read more »

Fitwell is the personal trainer that everyone can afford

Fitwell, band

Setting up your own business can be painful, both financially and emotionally. The bills, the long hours and the stress can all take their toll on a person’s health. But for one entrepreneur, starting his company was literally painful. Baris Ozaydinli developed such serious back and neck pain that he … Read more »

Windows Anniversary update: log into websites using your face

Windows, start menu

The days of trying to remember passwords could be over after Microsoft unveiled plans to allow Windows users to log into websites using just their face. The move is part of the Windows 10 Anniversary update, which will be released for free on August 2 and features increased security, enhanced … Read more »

If you’re reading this, you should thank Alan Turing

Alan Turing

If you’ve ever used a computer, asked your smartphone a question, or even spent time with your nan or granddad, you owe a debt of gratitude to Alan Turing. You may be familiar with the name, or may have heard of the Turing test of artificial intelligence, but surprisingly few … Read more »

This man built a robot to play Connect 4 with him

BBC micro:bit

You know that feeling when you absolutely have to play Connect 4? Wait, is that just me? Surely I’m not the only one who has felt that pang of pain when you realise you can’t play one of the best board games of all time on your own? Paul Foster … Read more »

Owning your own ‘satellite’ just moved a step closer

Catapult satellite kit with bbc micro:bit

A new experiment is set to be launched that could lead to the general public creating their own satellites. The project will see people from across the country capture information about the world around them such as location and mapping services, weather forecasting and measuring plant and crop health. This will then … Read more »

Cities Unlocked: A voyage of discovery

Gerald James

Research by Guide Dogs suggests that in the UK, 180,000 blind or partially sighted people rarely leave home alone. It should come as no surprise then that for these individuals, making any journey, let alone an unfamiliar one, can leave them feeling anxious and vulnerable. But what if we could … Read more »

Cities Unlocked: A new journey

The Cities Unlocked partnership

As part of our Future Decoded event this week, Satya Nadella in his keynote highlighted the Cities Unlocked partnership between Guide Dogs and Microsoft as a powerful example of how we are helping people to achieve more. Take a look at our ‘Cities Unlocked: A New Journey’ video below, with audio … Read more »

Amos Miller lights up the world through sound at TEDx Glasgow

You may have seen or read about Microsoft’s Cities Unlocked project launched last November. Placing the individual rather than the technology at the centre of the experience, Cities Unlocked augments the ability of people with sight loss to employ their sense of hearing to navigate the world around them. The … Read more »

Windows 10: It’s time to #UpgradeYourWorld

Today marks a significant step towards an era of more personal computing, as we release Windows 10 to the world. Windows 10 is now available across 190 countries as a free upgrade for Windows 7 and 8.1 devices, as well as with new PCs and tablets. With Windows 10 we’ve … Read more »

TV White Spaces helping us see the wood through the trees

Earlier this year Ofcom gave the go-ahead for the industry to start harnessing the benefits of TV White Spaces technology. With use cases of the technology set to become a commercial reality at the end of 2015, Microsoft continues to explore how this innovative use of wireless technology will impact … Read more »

Build your imagination

11 March 2015 – It is amazing to think that when the BBC Micro launched in 1981, Microsoft didn’t exist in the UK and neither did Windows. But that first BBC project embodied everything we believed then, and that we still believe today about computing. Get affordable computers to as many … Read more »

Cortana calls red in Barclays Premier League derbies

With two major Premiership derbies kicking off this weekend, Cortana is bringing the ever prescient ‘Bing Predicts’ to Windows Phones for the first time. Unfortunately for fans in blue and white it’s not looking like a good day out for the home sides. Cortana is forecasting that Liverpool is 12.5% … Read more »

Unlocking cities through sound

Imagine losing your sight and having to rely on other people to help you get out and about, or being restricted to the same four of five short routes that have taken months to learn. Or imagine being in a foreign country, unable to read the signs and unsure of … Read more »