Hands on with Windows 10’s Story Remix, the new tool to make your photos pop

Microsoft’s Story Remix was expected to be one of the highlights of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, and it lives up to that promise, combining the existing, excellent Photos app with a video and slideshow editor that adds transitions, music, and even fantastic 3D animations.

Remember how Paint 3D brought Paint into a new dimension, with stamped textures and 3D objects? Story Remix adds the same creative element to Windows 10’s Photos app. Unfortunately, it’s not quite the cohesive experience you might hope for, as Photos now has two different interfaces—the traditional app and Story Remix—and you may need to bounce back and forth between the two.

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How to use Microsoft’s Paint 3D: Creating cool 3D scenes has never been so much fun

I’ll admit it—I simply can’t draw. Stick figures push my creative limits. Imagine my surprise, then, when I found that creating 3D objects and dioramas is actually easier in Microsoft’s Paint 3D than drawing two-dimensional art in Microsoft’s legacy Paint app.

Though it shares a name, Paint 3D isn’t really like the familiar Microsoft Paint app at all. Paint 3D’s entire purpose is to create fun, cartoony 3D objects and scenes—and share them. A major part of Paint 3D’s appeal is the Remix 3D community, where you and other members can import, edit, then share digital objects and ideas. Another is the awesome Magic Select tool which functions as a free Photoshop-like editing tool for 2D and 3D content. Don’t forget about the new Mixed Reality Viewer app, either!

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Windows 10 Fall Creators Update review: This could be Microsoft’s biggest Windows yet

Update: The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update is now available, and can be manually downloaded/upgraded via the Windows 10 Upgrade Assistant. Otherwise, Microsoft will automatically push the FCU to all PCs in a series of waves that should last for a few weeks. 

Microsoft’s Windows 10 Fall Creators Update is what every sequel shoots for: bigger, better, more ambitious than the original. As it rolls out in phases starting Tuesday (see Microsoft's blog post for details), our review focuses on Windows' big, risky bet on mixed reality, plus smarter investments in the pen, creative 3D apps, Edge, and even speech. A ton of practical, everyday additions won us over, including OneDrive placeholders and much longer battery life while watching movies.

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Xbox Fall Update: The biggest changes as Microsoft preps for the Xbox One X

Microsoft's Windows Fall Creators Update may be upon us, but there's a second game in town: Microsoft's upcoming Xbox One X game console. In preparation for its upcoming launch on November 7, Microsoft began pushing what it calls its Fall Update for the Xbox One to consoles on Monday.

Though the update contains a number of different changes, the primary focus is to help gamers prep for the upcoming Xbox One X launch. With that in mind, let's look at what the new update adds.

1. Back up existing games to an external drive

Xbox One owners need to transition their older Xbox One games to their new console, but the last thing they want to do is re-download them via the cloud. Fortunately, the new Fall Update allows users to back up their games and settings onto an external hard drive. During the setup process for the Xbox One X, uses can connect their drive to the new console and bring all of their content over at once.

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KRACK Wi-Fi attacks shouldn’t harm updated Windows PCs

The bad news: A severe WPA2 protocol vulnerability dubbed KRACK holds the potential to break Wi-Fi security for virtually all wireless devices or networks, allowing attackers to snoop on your Internet traffic or even inject malicious code into websites you visit. The good news: If you’re running a Windows PC, you’re already safe—at least if you automatically apply new updates.

Microsoft quietly released a KRACK-smashing update as part of last week’s Patch Tuesday blitz, the company confirmed to Windows Central and other websites. Phew! Here is the company’s statement:

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HP Elite x3 review: Yep, this was the last great Windows phone

Editor's Note: It looks like our headline was spot on, as HP has decided to discontinue the Elite x3 after Microsoft put Windows Mobile into maintenance mode

HP’s Elite x3 smartphone has achieved at least one thing: It has triumphantly realized Microsoft’s dream of phones that could eventually replace your PC.

Microsoft’s vision was meaningless unless those phones could support the PC’s legacy apps. Microsoft’s Continuum feature already allows you to connect a mouse and keyboard, giving the phone the look and feel of a desktop PC. HP designed the Elite x3 to evolve that concept. Pick any Win32 app you’d like—Photoshop, AutoCAD, even Chrome—and HP’s new Workspace feature will allow it to be run via your phone. Combine that with stellar battery life, truly useful utilities, and an (almost) elite set of hardware specs, and you indeed have a PC in your pocket.

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RIP Windows phones: New Windows 10 Mobile hardware and features ‘aren’t the focus’

Windows phones are really, truly dead. This weekend, Microsoft’s VP of operating systems confirmed the writing on the wall. “Of course we’ll continue to support the platform [with] bug fixes, security updates, etc.,” Joe Belfiore wrote on Twitter, in response to a conversation sparked by a user asking whether it’s time to move on from the Windows Mobile platform. “But building new [features and hardware] aren’t the focus.”

It’s the first time a senior Microsoft employee has said that flat-out, but it’s not the first time one has been so blunt about Microsoft’s mobile hardware prospects. “If you wanted to reach a lot of phone customers, Windows Phone isn't the way to do it,” Windows chief Terry Myerson told the Verge in 2016, while essentially putting Windows Phones on hold for the year. That hiatus now appears more permanent.

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Why the Internet is worried that Microsoft’s consumer services are doomed

The question rattled around the Twitterverse this week: Now that Microsoft has unexpectedly shuttered Groove Music Pass, can it be trusted to sustain other consumer products and services?

It’s not an idle question. Every cancelled consumer product—the Zune music player, Windows phones, the Microsoft Band—resurfaces the same angry protest: Doesn’t Microsoft care about consumers?  

If “care” means app development, yes: Both the Zune and Groove Music Pass evolved into reasonably good services, even if few used them. If “care” refers to marketing, though, you already know the answer: In general, no. And if you follow the money—which in this case, comes mostly from Microsoft’s enterprise businesses—that’s most likely the real reason why no Microsoft consumer service can feel completely safe. 

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How Windows 10 dictation works

Dictation within Windows has lived in the shadows for years. Finally, with Windows 10 and the Fall Creators Update (see our review!), dictating text is almost as easy as talking to Siri, Cortana, or Google.

Within Windows 10, you can turn on dictation with just a keystroke. It’s easy. I wrote this whole article with just my voice. I edited it, though, with my mouse and keyboard. It’s all part of Windows 10’s new emphasis on modality: first touch, then writing with a pen, voice control, and finally dictation.

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