What can I do?
Site visitors: There was an issue serving your request, please try again in a few minutes.
Site Owners: There was a gateway timeout. You should visit your error log for more information.
Windows devices offer a feedback notification feature that allows you to provide feedback to Microsoft about the operating system. Although this is a useful feature for reporting problems with your computer, you might find it annoying and prefer not to have it.
If you're not interested in Microsoft's feedback program, you can easily opt not to receive notifications. This guide explains different ways to disable feedback notifications in Windows 10 and 11.
The Feedback notification is a great way to stay on top of user feedback but can also be a bit overwhelming. If you're looking to disable feedback notifications, you can do so using the local editor group policy. This is a relatively simple process and only takes a few minutes to complete.
Before you begin, you should keep in mind that the tool only works with Windows 11 Professional and Enterprise editions. Therefore, you won't have access to the Local Group Policy editor if you're using Windows Home edition. To proceed in such a case, you need to activate the Group Policy Editor in Windows Home first. If it seems too complicated, you can skip the process and move on to the next one.
To disable feedback notifications using Local Group Policy Editor, go through the below steps:
Once you have completed the steps above, restart your computer to ensure that the changes have taken effect. Upon disabling this feature, you will no longer receive feedback notifications on your Windows 11.
Another method of disabling the feedback notification in Windows 11 involves tweaking the Windows Registry. The process is relatively simple, but you should carefully follow the instructions. It is important to note that you may cause serious damage to your computer if you are unfamiliar with editing the registry. If you don't know much about these things, it would be best to leave this step to a professional.
If you opt for this method, you should back up your registry in case things go wrong. Follow these steps to disable feedback notifications:
Upon finishing the above steps, exit the Registry Editor and restart the computer. Next time you start up your PC, you won't see the feedback notification.
If you're tired of constantly being bombarded with feedback notifications, you can set the feedback frequency to never in Windows settings. You may also find this solution helpful if you are unfamiliar with editing the registry and are using Windows Home edition.
Here are the steps you need to take in order to disable feedback frequency:
That's all it takes! Now you will no longer receive feedback notifications from Windows.
If you prefer using the Character User Interface to perform tasks, you can disable the feedback hub using Windows PowerShell in Windows 11.
To disable the feedback hub feature, use the following steps.
reg add "HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Siuf\Rules" /v "NumberOfSIUFInPeriod" /t "REG_DWORD" /d "0" /f
reg delete "HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Siuf\Rules" /v "PeriodInNanoSeconds" /f
After executing the command, restart your computer. Now you won't receive feedback notifications on Windows 11.
Despite being an excellent tool to assist Microsoft in identifying and resolving problems, it may not be suitable for everyone. Maybe you don't want to be bombarded with feedback notifications due to their annoying nature. Whatever your reason may be, you can disable feedback notifications in Windows 11 using Registry Editor, Group Policy, and Windows Settings. Choose whichever method fits you best and turn off Windows' feedback notifications.
Shopping for new window treatments? Our guide to curtain types can help you choose the right style for your room.
In an interior design Venn diagram, curtains occupy that essential middle space between function and fashion. Curtains filter light and add privacy, but they also offer a focal point and opportunity for color and pattern. Window treatments complete a room, but there are so many options, it can be hard to decide which is best for your space. Here, interior designers break down the different types of curtains so you can decide on window treatments that work for your style and needs.
Single-panel curtains cover one window and are made with a single piece of fabric. Single-panel curtains can be store-bought or custom-made with various finishes at the top (pinch pleat, box pleat, classic straight hem, etc), says Shannon Eddings of Shannon Eddings Interiors in Austin, TX.
"They are typically made of linen, voile, or velvet, but can come in all sorts of fabrics," she says. Eddings adds that she typically uses rings to hang almost all curtains. Rings are more functional for opening and closing during everyday use and cause less damage to the curtains.
Panel pair curtains are also sometimes called double-panel curtains. Double-panel curatins include two matching panels of fabric that cover two distinct windows, either side-by-side or separated by a wall or piece of furniture.
"I typically use rings to hang a classic pair of curtains," Eddings says. "This is my most-used method of covering windows because it can add a lot of drama to a room if you hang the curtains high, closer to the ceiling, rather than right above the window."
She adds that hanging panel pair curtains closer to the ceiling creates the illusion of grandeur and can make the room seem larger than it is. "We use panel pairs in any place where there isn't furniture right in front of the window that would block access to actually using the curtains day in and day out."
A rod pocket curtain is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: a curtain with a pocket sewn at the top where the rod threads through. This type of curtain is often more affordable than others. "[Rod pocket curtains] work well with blackout curtain panels in a bedroom since light doesn't get through at the top," says Cristina Lehman of C. Lehman Home of San Francisco. However, she adds that they might not look as high-end as other options and can be more difficult to open and close as sometimes the fabric catches on the rod or glides slowly without rings or grommets.
Eddings says she only recommends these if you plan to basically leave the panels where they are most of the time. "Some people like them because they create the look of ruching at the top of the front of the panels and add some visual interest," she says.
Tab-top curtains have loops or tabs sewn at the top where the rod threads through. These typically have a farmhouse or cottage look and are often made from a light cotton or linen material, though they're available in both thin and thick fabrics, depending on the look you're going for. While tab tops are affordable, they can be a bit harder to open and close, so they're best used on windows that aren't opened or closed a lot, says Lehman.
Because the rod is visible with tab-top curtains, it's important to consider what it will look like. If you don't want the rod to show, try making hidden tab curtains.
"A key component to address other than the drapery itself is the rod installation. Make sure to take the rod about six inches down from the ceiling (depending on the crown in the room) and wider than the wind. This will create the illusion of tall sprawling windows without blocking any light," says Julia Longchamps of Julia Longchamps Interior Design in Maryland.
Pleated panels have a "pinched-in look at the top, formed by header tape behind the panel. The tape creates pleats when pulled together," Lehman says. "This type utilizes rings attached to the panels, similar to what you would use with a shower curtain."
She adds that this style often looks high-end and more formal and lends itself to homes with more traditional styles, though they'll work with all decor. One downside? Pleated panel curtains are often expensive.
Getting your curtain length right is also important. "I like to kiss the floor with my window coverings. I would [suggest] investing in getting them altered professionally," Lehman says.
"[Pinch-pleat curtains] are my favorite because they tend to look custom (and usually are custom)," Edding says. She adds that this type of curtain is a panel pair but has decorative sewn-in pleats at the top and elegant folds coming down the panels. "Pinch-pleat curtains just add the wow factor without being overly aggressive," she adds.
Pleated options tend to be a favorite among designers, though they can be more difficult to install because of the level of detail involved.
"My favorite part of a drapery with any sort of pleat is that the pleat creates a beautiful drape with the fabric. Depending on the fabric with a flat panel, sometimes you need to work a little harder to have them lay perfectly (think lots of steaming)," Longchamps says.
When working with rings, Longchamps suggests 5-8 per panel to get the curtain to lay right.
Cafe curtains are often used in kitchens or bathrooms. They hang from the center of the windowpane down to the bottom, allowing light in above but privacy where it's needed on the lower half.
Cafe curtains are a good option for spaces that need both privacy and light. "They are cute, simple, and functional and have a touch of French or European charm," Eddings says. You might not have the means to go custom on floor-to-ceiling curtains, but because cafe curtains don't require nearly as much yardage, they can be a good place to splurge on a custom design or a beautiful fabric.
Grommet curtains have rings sewn into the top of the curtain panel, almost like a shower curtain. "Grommet-style curtains are an option that is often found readymade at big box retailers," Edding says. "We don't typically use these, but they certainly have their place and purpose in the curtain world. Grommet panels have pre-cut holes at the top of the panels, typically with a metal ring around them, so that they can easily slide onto a curtain rod. It eliminates the need for rings."
This is usually an affordable, casual style. Lehman adds that one possible downside of grommet curtains is that the built-in rings are almost always metal, so it can be limiting if you'd rather avoid metallics in your space.
Big feature updates for Windows 11 usually contain some kind of additional protection, and Windows 11 22H2 is no different. You'll find Enhanced Phishing Protection tucked away in the Windows Security app, among several other enhancements.
So, let's explore what Windows 11's Enhanced Phishing Protection is and how you can use it.
Phishing is stealing information such as passwords or other sensitive personal data through fake emails, messages, or websites. These fake communications often pretend to be from your bank or credit card provider. But it is just as likely that scammers will use popular social media sites or online stores as cover. Scammers rely on the fact that many of us use the same password in multiple places.
In the FBI Crime Report 2020, the bureau stated that phishing was the most common type of cybercrime. There have been many subsequent reports that suggest this type of malicious activity is on the increase worldwide.
Learning more about phishing and the best ways to spot a phishing scam are great ways to decrease your risk of falling foul of this cybercrime.
Enhanced Phishing Protection is all about helping prevent you from entering your Windows 11 password in unsafe places. That's assuming you use a password to sign in to Windows 11. If you do, Windows Security and Defender Smartscreen work to protect you in a few ways:
In the 22H2 update, Phishing Protection will only monitor the password you use to sign in to a Windows account. While this is useful, it isn't exactly complete phishing protection, especially in a world where we might have dozens of passwords that need protection.
Microsoft will hopefully expand on this security tool in future updates, perhaps allowing you to create a secure record of the passwords you want to be monitored.
After updating Windows 11 to version 22H2, you can find the control for Phishing Protection in the Windows Security app.
If you aren't sure if you're running version 22H2 of Windows 11, you can check in Settings > Windows Update. If the update is available, download and install it now. If not, check if your PC is compatible with Windows 11 22H2.
When first enabled, the phishing protection tool will only warn you about using your password on malicious apps or sites. You can expand the protection to include warnings about password reuse and unsafe password storage. Check the box next to each phishing protection you want to add.
Phishing Protection works alongside Defender Smartscreen, which already helps protect you from malicious websites and apps. You can still enable phishing protection without Smartscreen being on, but we recommend activating both services.
The extra phishing protection offered by Windows Security is a welcome addition, and it is almost certain to be expanded in future updates. There are similar features included in several third-party antivirus programs, but this is yet another reason to entrust your computer's security to the Microsoft security suite.
TL;DR: Ever since Windows 11 was released about a year ago, some gamers who made the jump found that their gaming performance had dropped off slightly compared to Windows 10. Over a year later, Microsoft has published a guide to help users regain their frames.
Windows 11 hasn't had the smoothest first year, but your mileage will vary. Early on AMD processors were affected, sometimes losing nearly 15% of its performance, but that only lasted for a couple of weeks right after launch. A number of Nvidia buyers noticed significant frame drops following the latest 22H2 update in September. And overall, some people believe Windows 11 simply feels less "snappy" than Windows 10 did (myself included).
Numerous gamers report that Windows 11 also affects their in-game performance, even after attempting fixes such as disabling VBS, which we discovered could Improve frame rates rather consistently. This led many consumers to downgrade to Windows 10.
This week, Microsoft released a guide specifically to help gamers regain those extra few frames, simply by restricting two features within Windows.
Microsoft's first solution is to disable HVCI, also known as Memory Integrity. According to Microsoft, "Memory Integrity helps prevent attackers from injecting their own malicious code and helps ensure that all drivers loaded onto the OS are signed and trustworthy." Though some claim Memory Integrity can be used to block ransomware attacks, so use this tip at your own risk.
Microsoft assures that this feature will be automatically activated on all new Windows 11 PCs, but not on computers already running Windows 11, so you may have to enable it in that case.
The second tip provided is to disable Virtual Machine Platform. The job of Virtual Machine Platform is to "provide core virtual machine jobs for Windows." This feature is also not enabled automatically unless you were to freshly install Windows 11. Neither option was activated on my Windows 11 PC, which is slightly concerning since their main purpose is to Improve security.
Microsoft claims to have received feedback from users and noticed that having both Memory Integrity and Virtual Machine Platform enabled can degrade performance. As a result, Microsoft concludes that gamers may "turn off these features while gaming and turn them back on when finished playing" if they want the optimal experience out of their machine.
Unfortunately, Microsoft does not clarify how much performance users can get out of disabling these features nor do they provide a more straightforward or automated way for unnecessary features not to be running on the background when gaming. However, based on our tests regarding VBS, we wouldn't expect anything more than a 10% improvement.
Hybrid work promises us the best of all worlds. The ease and comfort of working from home, the connection and energy of engaging with our coworkers in the office, and the flexibility and opportunity of working where we want. But today, there are still challenges preventing this promise from becoming a reality.
Start creating Places today with Microsoft Teams Rooms.
One consistent question I hear from customers is what is the purpose of the office? It’s clear that the role of the office has changed. To make the office worth the commute, employees need a good reason—more than simply “because I said so.” That reason, we’ve found, is each other.1 But it’s hard to know when colleagues are coming in, and too often, employees have commute-regret: the unique frustration of making the commute just to be alone in the office, doing work they could have done from home. And to make matters more challenging, people returning to the office often find spaces that haven’t evolved since 2019.
Leaders, meanwhile, lack data and tools on employees’ evolving work habits, forcing them to make policy and infrastructure decisions without knowing if those changes will make things better.1 Leaders deserve to know that the office spaces they’re investing in are right for how employees work best.
Reimagining the workplace to support true flexibility will require technology to bridge the physical and digital divide. To do that, a new category of technology solutions is emerging called Connected Workplace. The Connected Workplace helps create modern workplaces equipped with technology that enables every employee to achieve their best outcomes. It then uses the information collected from modern workplaces to learn so places can easily adapt to employees’ changing needs.
“We believe that organizations can create more engaging experiences for employees while getting more from their physical assets, by using technologies that can help streamline the work day, balance employee inclusion and experience, and support ongoing portfolio optimization.”—Phil Kirschner, a Senior Expert at McKinsey & Company on the future workplace.
Employees want to work in spaces that have been designed for their needs. In fact, by 2025, organizations will spend USD81 billion2 on technology solutions in the workplace in order to optimize the USD4.4 trillion3 corporate real estate market. This market spans several siloed segments that address workplace experience, provide valuable data on occupancy and space utilization, support the infrastructure of buildings, contribute to the design and construction of spaces, and guide strategic planning related to real estate portfolios.
“The ‘future of work’ necessitates a new approach—one that helps people connect to space and to one another in considerably more dynamic and engaging ways. Technology will play an essential role in enabling individuals to make daily decisions that optimize how they work and offer insight to organizations that are focused on managing their environments and operations with greater agility.”—Georgia Collins, Executive Managing Director, CBRE.
When spaces have meaning and purpose, they become places. That comes from people gathering, bonding, and sharing an experience together. It’s what makes a house a home—and an office worth coming into.
Today I’m excited to introduce Microsoft Places, our new connected workplace platform that will reimagine hybrid and in-person work. This platform delivers solutions that coordinate where work happens, modernize the office with intelligent technology, and optimize the workplace for changing needs.
See more about the vision of where we’re heading with Microsoft Places.
Let’s go deeper into each of these areas to bring Microsoft Places to life.
Microsoft Places hybrid scheduling will leverage common data signals from Outlook and Teams to allow you to view the week ahead and see when your co-workers and close collaborators are planning to be in the office. You’ll understand the days with the most in-office attendance, allowing you to adjust your schedule to take advantage of valuable in-person connections. Intelligent booking will help you discover available spaces with the right technology to match your meeting purpose and mix of in-person or remote participants. And you’ll get recommendations for the shortest commute times—with prompts telling you when to leave based on that day’s traffic and when your meetings are scheduled. With Microsoft Places, you can prioritize your time while maximizing in-person connections.
Technology can dramatically Improve the in-office experience, especially places that were not built for hybrid work. With wayfinding, you’ll no longer waste time looking for the right conference room or following outdated building signs; instead, you’ll be able to access a map on your mobile device that guides you to the right place. Hot desk booking will allow you to see where your closest colleagues are sitting and choose your desk accordingly. And once you get to the right room, Microsoft Teams Rooms empowers everyone to participate regardless of location, thanks to its thoughtful, inclusive features. With the goal of rebuilding and strengthening bonds, Microsoft Places will also facilitate serendipitous meet-ups, allowing colleagues to easily create impromptu meet-ups and share with others in the office. With Places, offices are more responsive to everyone’s needs.
To better manage physical space, leaders need space insights such as utilization data, energy-saving opportunities, and occupancy trends. These valuable inputs are what guide dynamic space adjustments on a particular day, like changing excess huddle rooms to overbooked collaboration rooms. And with advanced knowledge of expected occupancy, leaders can go further with their space optimization, reducing available floors on lighter days—saving energy expenditures and improving workplace experience. Leaders can also aggregate trends about people and places across their entire portfolio, creating more flexible, dynamic, and sustainable places that support new ways of working.
Finally, Microsoft Places will be integrated with the Microsoft 365 solutions customers use every day, like Outlook, Teams, and Viva. It will leverage and enhance the rich set of data available on the Microsoft Graph, combining people and place signals. Unifying those data assets will enhance first and third-party solutions and address our customers’ biggest challenges related to how, when, and where people work. All the data collection on the Microsoft Graph and Microsoft Places platform adheres to our stringent privacy standards. Users will know what data is collected and be able to opt-in and out, and information will show trends without singling out individuals.
Microsoft Places will be available in 2023.
To make sure we’re solving the most pressing challenges about where work happens, we’ve partnered with companies across the Connected Workplace field. Our ecosystem of partners will build on top of the Places platform with new and existing solutions, leveraging and enhancing the rich data of the Microsoft Graph.
We’re proud to partner with industry leaders across all segments of the Connected Workplace market: Experience, Platform, Infrastructure, Environment, and Planning.
Together with our ecosystem of partners, Microsoft Places will help create holistic and impactful solutions to address the changing workplace needs of our customers.
The process of turning a space into a place starts with creating better, more inclusive employee experiences—and then capturing and accruing the data from those experiences to provide insights that guide further space optimization. That’s why Microsoft Teams Rooms is the right starting point for your organization. It not only is one of the most critical hybrid enablers in every office, but its usage and management data will be leveraged in Microsoft Places.
With the right technology, we can transform offices to fit our ever-evolving needs. By creating responsive, flexible, and dynamic places to work—and offering solutions that help prioritize time and maximize in-person connection—Microsoft Places will help make the promise of hybrid work a reality.
1Hybrid Work is Just Work. Are We Doing It Wrong?, Microsoft Work Trend Index Pulse Report, September 22, 2022.
2Microsoft finance teams’ internal data with IDC
3Microsoft finance teams’ internal data with IBISWorld
Last week the big Microsoft Surface event introduced us to a slew of new products hitting store shelves this month. The stars of the show were Microsoft's Surface devices, from the Surface Pro 9 (now with optional 5G connectivity) and underwhelming Surface Laptop 5 to the unexpected-but-intriguing Surface Studio 2+ all-in-one.
All will start showing up on store shelves later this month with Windows 11 pre-installed, and I’m excited to get some in for testing so we can see how these devices stack up against the best laptops and PCs on the market. But as neat as these new PCs look to be, for me they’re far from the most exciting product Microsoft talked about last week.
No, I’m way more excited about the Microsoft Adaptive Accessories. Originally announced back in May, Microsoft’s Adaptive Accessories lineup is a small collection of components you can use to construct custom input devices for your PC. This allows you to design controls that might be more comfortable or easier to use than a traditional mouse and keyboard, which is something I’m keenly interested in as a career writer plagued by hand and wrist trouble.
Last week Microsoft finally gave us pricing and availability details for the Adaptive Accessories, and they’re arriving this month – October 24th, to be specific. The prices are about in line with what I expected, too: $60 for the Microsoft Adaptive Hub that can wirelessly sync with other Adaptive components and connect to existing third-party assistive tech, $45 for the Adaptive Mouse (with an optional $15 detachable tail for thumb support) and $40 apiece for the Adaptive joystick and buttons.
This seems like great news for any PC user who has trouble using a keyboard or mouse, and it's nice to see Microsoft expanding its lineup of adaptive devices. I already own the Xbox Adaptive Controller, and even though I don't have a visible disability I'm seriously considering picking up a slew of Adaptive Accessories for my gaming PC later this month. Here's why -- and why I think you should pay attention to this stuff, even if you (currently) have zero trouble with your mouse and keyboard.
Microsoft's Adaptive devices expand the ways in which you can interact with your PC, and that's indisputably a good thing. While there are already many organizations working to make computers more accessible to more people, the fact that a PC industry titan like Microsoft is publicly shining a light on the limitations of the traditional mouse/keyboard combo is a big deal.
When these devices hit store shelves, owners will have access to a set of customizable controls (usable in both Windows and macOS) that allow you to map PC commands and macros onto button presses and joystick input. Since they can connect via Bluetooth 5.1 you can also use them with a phone, which is a cool bonus. The components themselves look sleek and professional while also being large and easy to access, a winning combination in my book.
Obviously, folks with health conditions or impairments that impact how they can use a mouse and keyboard are likely way ahead of the rest of us when it comes to this stuff. Microsoft announced the Adaptive Accessories back in May during its annual Ability Summit, where it talked up its Inclusive Tech Lab and ongoing efforts to make tech more accessible. But even if this is the first time you're hearing about any of it and you don't think this tech was made for you, I think you should pay attention and consider investing in some—either now, or down the road.
As a writer in my mid-30s I'm inarguably a Millennial (trust me I've tried) and our generation is one of the first to grow up with personal computers. That means we're among the first to know what a lifelong keyboard-and-mouse habit does to the human body—and in my experience, it's not great!
I don't know about you, but after three decades of banging away on a rectangular slab of plastic my hands and wrists are aching for a change. I've spent the last few years exploring alternative inputs and lifestyles in an attempt to get back to pain-free PC use, and so far a key factor (in addition to physical therapy, stretching and responsible work/life balance) has been finding new ways of using my PC without a traditional keyboard and mouse.
That includes investing in an Xbox Adaptive Controller for PC gaming and a variety of ergonomic keyboards, including the Microsoft Sculpt. But it also includes using Voice Access, a new Windows 11 feature that recently transformed how I work by making talk-typing feasible instead of a nightmare. And when Microsoft's Adaptive Accessories go on sale, I'm planning to pick up a Hub, a few buttons and a pair of joysticks so I can test them out as PC gaming accessories.
I've spent my whole life playing games and one of the harder things for me to do, as an aging human with RSI and carpal tunnel, is hold a gamepad for more than a few minutes at a stretch. While a Microsoft rep confirmed to me that the new Microsoft Adaptive Accessories regrettably do not work with the Xbox Adaptive Controller, I should still be able to use them to create a decent controller-free PC gaming setup.
And hey, if I can map a few Word or Excel macros to the joysticks for easy access when I'm on the clock, so much the better! These new accessories seem like a welcome addition to Microsoft's catalog of accessible tech, and I can't wait to see what else the company can do to make PCs more inclusive and easy to access.
Microsoft held its annual Microsoft Surface October event today (October 12) and unveiled what's next for the Surface family of laptops, tablets and PCs. To be specific, we got our first glimpse of the new Microsoft Surface Pro 9, Microsoft Surface Studio 2+ and the Microsoft Surface Laptop 5. Based on what was shown, these machines seem likely bets to land a spot on our best Windows 11 laptops list.
We were expecting updated versions of the Surface Pro 9 and Surface Laptop 5. However, we were pleasantly surprised to see an updated Surface Studio, which is Microsoft's all-in-one desktop computer aimed at creative pros. In addition, we got a recap of all the new features coming to Windows 11 and some surprise integration with Apple features like Apple Music and iCloud photos.
Here's a closer look at what Microsoft announced at its Surface event today (October 12):
Surface Pro 9: As expected, the new Surface Pro 9 will be available in either Intel or ARM flavors. The ARM version comes with 5G connectivity (in select areas) and Microsoft's Qualcomm-powered SQ 3 chip, while the Intel versions will come with 12th Gen Alder Lake CPUs. This version also seems to have AI-driven NPU features that the Intel version doesn't.
At 0.37 inches thin and just under 2 pounds heavy it appears roughly the same, design-wise, as the Surface Pro 8, with the same 120Hz display and slick design. Regrettably, it seems as though Microsoft will still charge us extra for a stylus. This new machine isn't a radical overhaul of the Surface Pro line but the 5G model could be a major game changer.
Surface Laptop 5: The new Surface Laptop 5 looks pretty much like last year's model, and still comes in 13.5-inch and 15-inch variants powered by Intel's 12th Gen Alder Lake CPUs. Sadly, it doesn't look like you can order one with AMD chips this time around, but on the plus side, Microsoft finally added support for Thunderbolt 4.
It appears as though Microsoft has changed little else about its flagship laptop this time around -- and that's a little disappointing when you consider our that in our Surface Laptop 4 review from last year we praised this Windows laptop's performance and speakers but lambasted its dated design.
Surface Studio 2+: Whoa, we weren't expecting this -- Microsoft announced the Surface Studio 2+, a follow-up to its big-screen Surface Studio 2 all-in-one desktop that's fine-tuned for creative work. With a 28-inch 4K+ (4,500 x 3,000 resolution) touchscreen and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 laptop GPU, this looks like a fantastic playground for creatives. Plus, it looks like Microsoft includes a Surface Pen stylus in the box, a must-have for a creative tool like this.
The only reservation we have is that this all-in-one is packing an outdated 11th Intel Core CPU, along with a mid-tier Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 laptop GPU. This may be enough for its intended use (i.e. as a digital canvas), but given how the Surface Studio 2+ costs $4,299, we think it's warranted to look at this otherwise brilliant computer with increased skepticism.
While the Surface event took place already at t 10 a.m. ET, 7 a.m. PT, 3 p.m. BST on October 12, you can still head to Microsoft's event website to watch a replay. We'd expect the event to show up on Microsoft's YouTube channel, too, though it's not there as of this writing.
What follows is our minute-by-minute report on today's Microsoft announcements, along with some analysis in the build-up to the event.
Hello and welcome to our live blog for Microsoft’s October 2022 event, which looks to be all about the company’s Surface line of tablets, laptops and desktops. We’re definitely going to be introduced to some new Microsoft devices today, the only question is: what are we in for?
More than anything, we expect to see Microsoft unveil a Surface Pro 9 during the show today. Last year’s Surface Pro 8 is a solid Windows 11 tablet that doubles as a decent 2-in-1 laptop if you purchase the Type Cover keyboard, a $129 add-on that really ought to be included with every device for free. We’d love to see Microsoft unveil an upgraded Surface Pro 9 today with a detachable keyboard included at no extra charge, but that’s not all — check out our Microsoft Surface Pro 8 vs Surface Pro 9 comparison for a clear rundown of what changes we expect to see in a Surface Pro 8 successor.
As we wait for the event to kick off, take some time to catch up on the latest leaks and rumors circulating about what Microsoft has up its sleeves. While all such unconfirmed info should be taken with a grain of salt, it often gives us some insight into what to expect from the titans of tech.
Case in point: Earlier this week we caught wind of a Surface Pro 9 and Surface Laptop 5 specs leak, which claims both will be unveiled with Intel’s 12th Gen “Alder Lake” chips inside. That’s significant because it suggests you won’t be able to buy a Surface Laptop 5 with an AMD CPU, which you could get in the Surface Laptop 4.
All this excitement is bringing back memories of a Surface-focused Microsoft event around this time last year, when we were introduced to the Surface Pro 8, the Surface Duo 2 and more. While we expect a new Surface Pro to be unveiled today, we’re much less confident Microsoft will introduce us to a new Surface Duo.
In some ways that’s too bad, because the dream of a Microsoft phone that unfolds into a tablet (or phablet?) is a beautiful one. But as much as the Surface Duo 2 improved upon its predecessor, in the end it proved to be one big foldable fail. As much as we’d like to be surprised by a surprise Surface Duo 3 reveal today, it seems likely Microsoft will take more time at the drawing board before reviving the Surface Duo line.
One thing that helps Microsoft’s Surface Laptops stand out from the pack is the Alcantara fabric lining you can get lining the keyboard deck of select models. Sure, it seems like a minor detail, but having a layer of fabric insulating your hands and wrists from the cool aluminum chassis feels surprisingly nice.
Regrettably, the Surface Laptop 4 only offers the Alcantara fabric lining on 13.5-inch models. If you want the larger screen of the 15-inch model, you’re limited to choosing between a plain matte black or platinum-colored aluminum chassis. So as curious as we are about what’s under the hood of a new Surface Laptop 5, we’re also eager to see what cosmetic options Microsoft will offer. Green, red, purple...the possibilities are legion, and it would be wonderful to see Microsoft expand its Alcantara lining options to all colors and models of Surface Laptop 5. Fingers crossed!
Well, hello there! This is managing editor Roland Moore-Colyer stepping in for some Microsoft Surface event action. And yeah, I'm a little excited about this one,
I've long been a Surface fan, and I still reckon the Surface Laptop range has one of the best keyboards on any laptop ever; this is coming from a man who's just got the MacBook Air M2. So I have high hopes we'll see a new Surface Laptop today.
So what would I want to see from a Surface Laptop 5? Well a properly refreshed design for starters. Last year's Surface Laptop 4 was great but I felt it had taken the Surface Laptop look as far as it could.
With potential for narrower bezels, more USB-C ports and improved internals, I'm hoping for a Surface Laptop that's both svelte and surprisingly powerful. A slightly larger trackpad would be nice too. And as Alex mentioned earlier, more Alcantara keyboard coverings would get the thumbs up from me.
When it comes to specs, I'm hoping Microsoft will have explored its partnerships with Intel and AMD to have custom chips that better harness the portable power of the chip maker's laptop processors and make use of their latest GPU technology.
Various Surface Laptop generations make for reasonable old-school gaming machines. But I'd love to see a bit more power for running more modern games natively, even if that means having a dynamic resolution. And integrated Xbox Cloud Gaming from the start would be a boon too; we've just seen that happen with gaming-focused Chromebooks after all.
With Microsoft's Xbox Series X success, I'm already a little surprised we've not seen more gaming-related Surface devices; perhaps that could change today.
But then again, the native Xbox desktop app one the door to cloud-powered gaming via an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription. So perhaps Microsoft doesn't need to make and Surface Pro Xbox Edition; that does sound cool though...
Aside from a big specs leak touting 12th Gen Intel processors, there's not a lot in the ay of rumors swirling around the Surface Laptop 5.
I'm really hoping this is because Microsoft has kept the lid on its Surface work rather than the updates being so minor they've failed to catch the attention of would-be leakers. If nothing else, I hope the likes of Microsoft's Panos Panay have some big spec and performance figures to show off.
Time to chew over the Microsoft Surface Pro 9. Over the generations, the Surface Pro has really evolved into a true ever-day hybrid device. And arguably Microsoft has perfected the formula. So what's next?
Well aside for better specs and battery life, I'm sure Microsoft could do a little more work to narrow the display bezels. Sure, these make the Surface Pro easier to hold when in tablet mode but, I reckon Microsoft could find a software solution to that issue, meaning when connected to the keyboard, the tablet could provide a more immersive display.
On the specs side, I expect the Surface Pro 9 to make use of the latest Intel laptop-grade chips, meaning we can hope for solid boost clocks and decent performance for a range of every-day tasks.
Ideally, improved onboard graphics could provide the Surface Pro 9 more gaming chops for when the working day is over. But that could be wishful thinking. Or it could be the domain of Xbox Cloud Gaming, turning the Surface Pro 9 into a game streaming device when paired with an Xbox Wireless Controller.
You know what I'd really like to see today? The Microsoft Surface Neo.
Back in 2019, Microsoft showed off the dual-screen Surface tablet that could double up as a pseudo Surface Laptop thanks to a magnetic keyboard attachment and a virtual touchpad. I remember seeing it in person — albeit it from afar and I got rudely pushed by a person when I got too close to snap a phot with my DSLR — and being very intrigued.
But alas, I think it may have gone the way of the dodo for good, with Microsoft having consigned it to the protype pile. So don't expect to see it today.
As for other Surface products that could be revealed today. Well, like Alex, I doubt we'd see another Surface Laptop Studio, unless it got a minor specs update.
But it would be good to see a new version of the Microsoft Surface Headphones 2, which are now more than two-years-old. Some improvements in battery life and things like design refinements would be welcome.
An update to the Surface Studio would also be very welcome. The all-in-one PC meets digital easel was an impressive, albeit very expensive, but of computing kit. But it's getting long in the tooth now.
An updated version with an improved display and ideally more powerful specs that could appeal to gamers as well as creatives would catch my eye. And perhaps a refinement of the design would be nice too; I ask for a lot, ok.
OK, we're now under an hour away from the Microsoft Surface October event. Do let us know what you are looking forward to from the Surface showcase.
To do that you can follow us on @tomsguide on Twitter, visit our Facebook page, or even follow our TikTok account where editor Kate Kozuch has the knack of bring you the latest tech news and views in mere seconds.
Oh, in case you think the Surface event will be all about hardware, there's a good chance Microsoft will talk about some Windows 11 tweaks.
It's been a year since Windows 11 got an official release, so the Redmond company probably has a few things to say about the operating system, as well as flag any upcoming tweaks. I've been using Windows 11 for a bit now, and while it's decent, I'm sure it has a lot more scope for refinement.
Time for a live look in at the Microsoft Surface event feed, which is currently showing an animated version of the above graphic and playing some trippy music.
We're 10 minutes out from the event getting underway, and still no live stream on YouTube that we can see so you're best bet to follow along is at the Microsoft event website... or via a certain live blog with your Tom's Guide pals.
You can also watch via the Microsoft Surface Twitter feed, if you are so inclined.
Philip Michaels here to take you through the event itself on a busy day for Microsoft. While this Surface event is going on Microsoft is also hosting its Microsoft Ignite event, a gathering for IT pros and developers. Are these events related? Probably not, but it just shows what a massive company Microsoft is.
Panos Panay is here to kick us off, celebrating 10 years of Surface. There's a lot of reminiscing about the origin story of Microsoft hardware. It's all about challenging conventional form factors to remove barriers for users.
We're kicking things off with the next-generation of Surface laptop — the Surface Laptop 5 specifically. You can get models in 13.5- and 15-inch frames. Designed for Windows 11, natch.
The Surface Pro 5 features a responsive touchscreen and glass trackpad. Microsoft is also touting how quiet the keyboard is.
Expect a sleek, light design, and the new colors include sage.
Surface Laptop 5 features 18-hour battery and the latest Intel processors. There's a new Focus mode for filtering out distractions. (As a phone guy, it amazes me that laptops now take their cues from smartphone features instead of the other way around.)
Among the sustainability feature is the ability to schedule Windows 11 updates when your local power grid is not so taxed. That's an interesting way of achieving carbon neutrality, which is Microsoft's ultimate goal as a company.
And that's the Surface Laptop 5. Time for a Windows 11 update.
Windows 11 moved accessibility controls out of apps and into the OS itself -- features live captions, voice control and narrator.
Now we're talking security. Smart App Control only allows apps to run if they're predicted to be safe. Windows 11 uses Windows 11 and password-less support, too, for safer logins.
I'm not going to lie. Microsoft is going through these Windows 11 features like an auctioneer, and it's hard to keep up. Suffice it to say, Microsoft is touting a lot of improvements, some of which were part of the latest update, some of which are new.
iCloud Photo integration is coming to Windows 11. Apple Music is coming to Xbox, and it's going to join the Apple TV app in the Microsoft app store next year.
We've moved on to Surface Pro 9, the latest 2-in-1 for Microsoft. Microsoft is handling this presentation like it's got a bus to catch.
You're getting new colors, plus 12th Gen processors from Intel built on the Evo platform. The 13-inch display promises more accurate colors and when you detach the screen from the keyboard, Windows 11 adjusts the spacing of the icons for easier use with touch.
Surface Pen features include search capabilities and you can launch presentations with a click. Microsoft put some effort into making it seem as if you're writing on a real piece of paper.
On the note-taking front, Good Notes is coming to the Surface Pro 9.
The camera on the Surface Pro 9 is centered, and the microphones face toward you.
The rumors are true — there's now a version with 5G that promises 19 hours of battery life.
Among the Surface Pro 9 features is auto-framing that keeps you in the shot. Windows Studio Effects also prevent the camera from blurring as it follows you.
A voice focus feature makes sure that you're heard. The feature kept a leaf blower silent during Microsoft's presentation thanks to a Voice Focus feature.
Panos is back to talk about the Surface Studio 2 Plus, which is billed as "the ultimate creator's canvas." The new version is 5x more powerful than the original Surface Studio.
A zero-gravity hinge lets you adjust the position of the display. The task bar expands as you adjust the display (similar to what the Surface Pro 9 does when you detach the display).
We're getting a new graphic design app, Microsoft Designer, that's powered by AI. Microsoft Designer aims to create unique designs for you, using the DALL-E AI tool that creates images based on text.
Bing and Edge are getting integrated DALL-E support soon. In the case of Bing, that should Improve image search.
"The next wave of computing is here right now," Panay says, wrapping up the event. "And we've created it for you."
So that's a lot to digest in a crisply-paced 38-minute presentation. If that rapid-fire product news has your head spinning, we can help you sort things out, starting with our look at the Microsoft Surface Pro 9.
Here's our look at the Surface Laptop 5, one of the other big announcements made during today's Microsoft event.
If there was a surprise at today's event, it would be the Surface Studio 2+, the latest version of Microsoft's all-in-one computer for creators. We've got all the Surface Studio 2+ details, including price, specs and features.
Tony Polanco is back from the Microsoft Surface Event where had the chance to go hands-on with the Surface Studio 2+ and gather some first impressions of the all-in-one desktop.
We've got more hands-on reports about the latest Microsoft gear from Tony Polanco. It's now time to see what kind of first impression the Microsoft Surface Pro 9 made on our computing writer.
We've pitted the Microsoft Surface Pro 9 vs Surface Pro 8 against each other to pick out what the biggest upgrades and differences are. And we chew over if the Surface 9 Pro is worth getting over or upgrading to from the Surface Pro 8.
As we conclude: "The biggest upgrade is probably the addition of a new ARM-based Surface Pro 9 packing Microsoft's new SQ3 chip. While it likely can't compete with its Intel-equipped sibling in terms of sheer horsepower, the fact that you can now get a Windows 11 tablet with a stylus, keyboard and 5G connectivity really makes the dream of a tablet that doubles as a productivity tool seem like stone-cold reality."
Microsoft has just introduced GPU decompression to its new DirectStorage API, bringing it to version 1.1.
GPU decompression can provide huge performance gains in gaming — Microsoft promises up to a 200% performance improvement in loading times. Unfortunately, it’s still much too early to get excited — we might not see DirectStorage for quite a while.
Microsoft’s DirectStorage is new software that will help games utilize the super-quick loading times on NVMe SSDs. You can read more about it in our in-depth guide on DirectStorage. As the development of DirectStorage progresses, Microsoft has just announced that version 1.1 of its new software is on the horizon, and it’s bringing with it a sizeable update that includes GPU decompression.
Normally, decompression tasks are performed by the processor instead of the graphics card. However, seeing as GPUs do an excellent job of performing the same tasks over and over in parallel, Microsoft decided to try to move some of that decompression work from the CPU to the GPU. Utilizing graphics cores in modern GPUs has proven to be effective in slicing loading times in games by a considerable amount.
In its tests, Microsoft managed to cut the asset loading time down from 2.36 seconds to just 0.8 seconds. For gamers, this means faster loading screens, quicker world-building in open-world games, and an overall performance uplift when assets need to be loaded. Microsoft predicts up to 200% faster performance; three times faster than without GPU decompression. Using GPU decompression also cuts CPU usage by a whopping 85%.
Microsoft plans to have DirectStorage work on both Windows 11 and Windows 10, but the former will have some additional optimizations that might make the API more powerful on Windows 11. AMD and Nvidia are already working on drivers that support DirectStorage. Intel, with its new Arc Alchemist graphics cards, also has such drivers in the works.
DirectStorage certainly sounds impressive, and it could deliver some realistic performance gains to gamers. Unfortunately, we’re still quite far off from seeing the tech spread widely. In fact, despite the fact that it will soon reach version 1.1, DirectStorage is not yet released — and it won’t be for some time.
So far, only one title has been announced to provide access to DirectStorage — Forspoken. The game keeps being delayed though, and the latest update tells us that it won’t arrive before January 2023. That means that Microsoft won’t be able to debut its new API at least until early next year. The good news is that once DirectStorage is here, it might be a very promising addition to Windows 11 and Windows 10.