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Microsoft Introduces ‘Surface Hub 2’ for Modern Workplaces

The new device is on Windows 10 and its "multi-user sign in" feature will allow many people to log into it using the built-in fingerprint sensor

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Representational image.
Representational image. Wikimedia Commons

Microsoft has unveiled its next-gen workplace “Surface Hub 2” that will help people collaborate and work together irrespective of their locations.

The new Surface Hub 2 comes with 4K+ resolution and 50.5-inch multi-touch display to co-create, harnessing the power of Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Whiteboard, Office 365, Windows 10 and the intelligent Cloud.

“The 4K cameras that rotate with the device, integrated speakers and far field mic arrays allow everyone in the meeting to feel as if they are right in the room with the rest of the group,” Panas Panay, Chief Product Officer at Microsoft, said in a blog post on Tuesday.

Also Read: Microsoft’s Search Engine Bing Bans Cryptocurrency Advertisements

“We’ve sold to more than 5,000 customers across 25 markets. Over half of Fortune 100 companies have purchased Surface Hubs to improve team’s efficiency and how they collaborate – breaking down barriers and creating real business value,” Panay informed.

“In 2018, we will begin to test Surface Hub 2 with select commercial customers. It will be available for purchase in 2019,” he added.

 

The logo of Microsoft
Representational image. Pixabay

The new device is on Windows 10 and its “multi-user sign in” feature will allow many people to log into it using the built-in fingerprint sensor.

Additionally, “Surface Hub 2” will come with options like “Tiling,” that would display multiple pieces of content side-by-side, Microsoft Whiteboard, Office 365, 4K cameras, integrated speakers and far field mic.

Microsoft’s “Surface Hub” was introduced in 2016 in two sizes, 55 and 84-inches with 4K resolution at $8,999 and $21,999, respectively. (IANS)

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Microsoft Contractors can Listen to Xbox Players’ Chats: Report

Apple, Google and Amazon recently suspended human review of user audio recordings after reports said the companies used third-party contractors to listen to users’ voice recordings

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FILE - Microsoft Corp. signage is seen outside the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, Washington, July 3, 2014. VOA

Do you have a Microsoft video gaming console Xbox at home? It is possible that third-party contractors working for the tech giant are listening to your living room talks.

After revealing that contractors listened to sensitive and personal conversations of users via Skype and virtual assistant Cortana — which Microsoft has admitted — Motherboard now claims the third-party vendors working for the company also “listened to the audio of Xbox users speaking in their homes in order to improve the console’s voice command features”.

The audio — mostly of children as they played video games — was captured by Xbox consoles “by mistake”, the contractors were quoted as saying.

“Xbox commands came up first as a bit of an outlier and then became about half of what we did before becoming most of what we did,” one former contractor was quoted as saying.

The contractors worked on Xbox audio data from 2014 to 2015 before Cortana was implemented into the console in 2016.

“Listening continued as the Xbox moved from using Kinect for voice commands over to Cortana,” the report said on Wednesday.

Microsoft last month announced it plans to remove Cortana from the Xbox but the gaming console can still be controlled through voice commands with either Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant on external smart speakers.

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FILE – A sign for Microsoft is seen on a building in Cambridge, Massachusetts, March 18, 2017. VOA

The company said in a statement: “We’ve long been clear that we collect voice data to improve voice-enabled services and that this data is sometimes reviewed by vendors”.

Last week, Microsoft admitted that third-party contractors were listening to voice conversations on Skype and virtual assistant Cortana.

“We’ve updated our privacy statement and product FAQs to add greater clarity and will continue to examine further opportunities to improve,” the company said.

The updated privacy statement said that human review is used to help build, train and improve the accuracy of its Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems.

Microsoft has joined the likes of Google, Apple, Amazon and Facebook who are in the dock for letting third-party contractors listen to users’ talks.

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Apple, Google and Amazon recently suspended human review of user audio recordings after reports said the companies used third-party contractors to listen to users’ voice recordings.

While Apple suspended the programme that let its virtual assistant ‘Siri’ listen to users’ recordings for “quality control”, Google stopped listening and transcribing Google Assistant recordings in Europe. (IANS)