Microsoft enables 'Wake on Voice' feature on its Surface Studio all-in-one

Microsoft Surface Studio
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends
Microsoft’s futuristic and ultra-expensive Surface Studio all-in-one (AIO) PC has been a smashing success, achieving more sales than the company expected and kicking off innovation in yet another PC market. The Surface Studio has become a little easier to purchase as well, with some configurations available for immediate shipping and some new markets opening up.

Not one to rest on its laurels, Microsoft has released a new set of drivers for the Surface Studio that brings some welcome functionality. One of the features of Intel’s sixth-generation Skylake CPUs is what Microsoft calls “Wake on Voice from Modern Standby,” and that functionality is now available for the Surface Studio.

As The Verge points out, the built-in ability to wake a machine using your voice has been around for a while on any machine with a Skylake processor. The feature is possible because such machines are capable of listening for voice commands even when in certain sleep states. However, it’s up to a given manufacturer to enable the feature.

That’s exactly what Microsoft has done with the release of new Realtek audio drivers for the Surface Studio. Now, that system is capable of listening for the “Hey Cortana” command while it’s in “Modern Standby” mode, with is a specific sleep mode enabled in Skylake and later CPUs and also in Windows 10. It’s also the same functionality that’s available in the Xbox One running the latest Windows 10 build, certain Windows 10 Mobile devices, and the upcoming Cortana-powered Harmon Kardon speaker.

One caveat is that a Surface Studio must already be updated to Windows 10 Creators Update to support the updated drivers and then enable the Wake on Voice from Modern Standby feature. If your Surface Studio has been updated to the latest major Windows 10 update, then you can go to the Surface Studio Drivers and Firmware page, click on the Download button, and then select the MSI installation file for the new driver.

microsoft surface studio gets wake on voice functionality windows 10 update
Mark Coppock\Digital Trends
Mark Coppock\Digital Trends

You’ll want to choose the driver that’s for the Windows 10 Creators Update build, which is 15063, then click the Next button. Once it’s downloaded, run it to install the appropriate Realtek audio drivers. Once that’s done, then you’ll be able to let your Surface Studio save some power by going to sleep but still expect it to respond immediately when you have a question for Cortana. It’s likely that this functionality will become even more important as Microsoft rolls out its anticipated home automation functionality.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: DIY smartphones and zip-on bike tires

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Computing

Did your Windows 10 audio stop working after the update? Microsoft has a fix

Microsoft has released a small patch for its October 2018 Update build of Windows 10 following some users facing audio issues that resulted in no sound output at all. After this fix, that problem should disappear for good.
Computing

Don’t install the Windows 10 cumulative update if you have an HP computer

The most recent cumulative update for the Windows 10 October 2018 Update is causing the blue screen of death on some HP devices. Only a small subset of people appear to be impacted. 
Computing

How do the Surface Studio 2 and iMac Pro compare when going head-to-head?

Pitting the Surface Studio 2 vs. iMac Pro is a difficult matchup as there are hardware, design, and cost differences that could sway prospective buyers. Let's see if we can nail down which is best.
Product Review

Google Pixelbook review

Do you want the best Chromebook money can buy? Our Google Pixelbook review examines the operating system’s new flagship, which includes 2-in-1 versatility, an active stylus, and Google Assistant.
Computing

Nvidia is slowly rolling out its next generation of GPUs. Here's what you need to know about them

Nvidia's new RTX 2000 series graphics cards are impressive pieces of hardware, with some amazing advancements and some rather high price tags to match. Here's everything you need to know about Nvidia's new top-tier cards.
Computing

Personal info of 30,000-plus Pentagon employees compromised in contractor breach

The Pentagon is facing another security problem after it was discovered that a contractor was responsible for a leak of data that affected more than 30,000 Pentagon employees, both civilian and military.
Computing

Lenovo and Dell make great professional laptops, but who does it best?

Finding the best laptop for professional use at the office, on the move, and at home is no easy task. There's plenty to choose but to find the best of the best, we pitted the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme vs. Dell XPS 15.
Emerging Tech

Here’s all the best gear and gadgetry you can snag for $100 or less

A $100 bill can get you further than you might think -- so long as you know where to look. Check out our picks for the best tech under $100, whether you're in the market for headphones or a virtual-reality headset.
Emerging Tech

What the heck is machine learning, and why is it everywhere these days?

Machine learning has been responsible for some of the biggest advances in artificial intelligence over the past decade. But what exactly is it? Check out our handy beginner's guide.
Photography

Adobe’s Premiere Rush is a video-editing app designed for social media projects

At Adobe MAX 2018, Adobe unveiled updates across the board for all of its Creative Cloud apps, from the release of Premiere Rush CC, a social-focused video editor, to Project Gemini, a digital drawing and painting tool.
Computing

World’s first 49-inch, dual QHD curved monitor tops Dell’s new line of displays

Dell's world's first 49-inch dual QHD curved monitor and other new displays come packed with innovative design features and technologies aimed at meeting demands of workflows everywhere.
Computing

Updated Intel processor benchmarks still beat AMD Ryzen competitor, but by less

After some controversy, updated Principled Technologies testing shows the Intel i9-9900K with a reduced lead over the AMD Ryzen 2700X in benchmarks, and with the AMD Ryzen 2700 X seeing better performance. 
Home Theater

HDMI 2.0b is a whole lot more than just a connection to your TV

HDMI 2.0b is the backbone for many of the latest updates in 4K UHD technology. And while a new cable standard can often involve a bunch of changes for consumers, that is not the case this time around.