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Photos 1.0 SP1

Download: Microsoft Surface Photos 1.0 SP1 (requires Microsoft Surface 1.0 SP1)

Microsoft Surface Photos enables users to browse and control photos and videos. The Photos application is a commercial production-quality application that you can deploy in your venue, and it includes default content that you can use. You can also add your own photos and videos to the default content or replace the default content with your own photos and videos. And you can replace the background image of Photos and rename the Photos application if you want to tailor it for a specific purpose or topic.

For more information about the Photos application, see the Photos Help documentation that is included with the Photos application.

The rest of this topic includes:

Photos Overview

When users first open the Photos application, it shows five photos and videos scattered over the screen and the stack, which is a circular container that contains a stack of photos.

An example view of the Photos application

Users can scatter as many photos and videos as they want over the Microsoft Surface screen. People standing on all sides of the Microsoft Surface unit can interact with the photos and videos at the same time by moving, rotating, and resizing them.

Videos include a button in the center of the image that users can use to play and pause the video. (When users play a video, the pause button moves to the bottom. When users pause a video, the pause button changes to a play button, and the play button eventually moves back to the middle of the image.)

Users can move, resize, and rotate videos, even while they are playing. However, only two videos can play at the same time. When a video is large enough, users can also drag the video's playback slider and adjust the volume.

Stack and Scroller

All the photos and videos in Photos are displayed in the stack and scroller. (If you include less than 20 pieces of content [photos or videos], Photos does not use the stack or scroller. Instead, Photos scatters all the photos and videos on the Microsoft Surface screen.)

The five photos and videos that are scattered on the Microsoft Surface screen when Photos is first opened are the first five photos or videos in the library of Photos content. (The photos and videos are listed alphabetically by category and then by the file name of the photo or video.) If none of the first five pieces of content are videos, the first video (listed alphabetically) in the first category (also listed alphabetically) is displayed with the first four photos.

When Photos first opens, the content is organized with the stack. The stack is a circular container that displays the content as a stack of photos and videos. (The stack does not display content that is scattered on the Microsoft Surface screen.) With the stack, users can do the following:

  • Touch or flick the top content (photo or video) to send it to the bottom of the stack; the next item in the stack moves to the top.

  • When a video appears on the top of the stack, play videos by touching the play button.

  • Touch a corner of the content on the bottom of the stack to move it back to the top.

  • Move content out of the stack and scatter it on the Microsoft Surface screen by dragging it.

  • Move content back into the stack by dragging it back onto the stack.

The stack control

The name of the current category appears on the top of the stack. This name is the category menu. Users can touch the name, slide a finger up and down to scroll through the names of other categories, and touch again to select the category that they want.

The scroller is another view of the content. It displays content (photos and videos) in two horizontal rows, with the name of the current category on the top of the scroller. Like the stack, users can move content out of the scroller and scatter it on the Microsoft Surface screen by dragging it with a finger. Users can also move it back into the scroller in the same way. Unlike the stack, when users move content out of the scroller, the content appears dimmed in the scroller (instead of not appearing at all, like in the stack). Users can change the category just as they do with the stack (by touching the category menu), or they can scroll the scroller to the right or left to see other categories.

The scroller control

Users can also move, rotate, and resize the stack and the scroller. To move, rotate, or scale the stack or scroller, users must touch around the content and not touch the content, the menu list on the stack and scroller, or the middle scroll area on the scroller. The stack and the scroller include the Change View button (The Change view button) on the bottom that users can touch to switch between the views. No matter which view appears, it always appears on top of all the photo and video content (except any content that users are currently moving or scaling).


Categories correspond to folders of photos and videos on the Microsoft Surface unit. Categories appear alphabetically in Photos by their corresponding folder name, and the photos and videos within them are displayed alphabetically by file name. (Users do not ever see the file names.)

Photos includes the following default categories:

  • Animals

  • Beaches

  • Cities

  • Flowers

  • Nature

  • People

Memory Cards

The Photos application includes the functionality to read photos and videos from a memory card. If you set up a media card reader and configure Photos to use the memory card feature, users can insert their memory card into the media card reader and then their photo and video content temporarily replaces the venue content in Photos with their photo and video content. When users remove the memory card, the venue content returns.

(The memory card content is cached and is never stored in memory. When users remove their memory cards, the content is completely removed from the Microsoft Surface unit.)

When users insert a memory card, the content from the card animates on the screen. You can specify the media card reader's location so that the memory card content animates in from the direction of the media card reader.

For guidelines about which media card reader to use with Photos, download the Microsoft Surface Media Card Reader Guidelines.

Featured Content

Featured content in Photos

You can select a photo or video (called the featured content) to be one of the five pieces of content that appear when Photos starts. For example, this content might highlight attractions or might be a Help video that explains how to use Photos or any other applications on the Microsoft Surface unit.

Photos does not include default featured content.

Interacting with Photos

Users can move content (a photo, a video, the stack, or the scroller) in Photos by dragging it or flicking it across the Microsoft Surface screen. Users can rotate content with one finger by touching a corner or side and moving their finger around the center of the content, or with two fingers by moving both fingers in a circle in the same direction (clockwise or counterclockwise). Users can also resize content with two fingers by moving their fingers closer together or farther apart.

Example Photos Scenarios

You can use the Photos application to display a wide variety of content. You can show photos and videos of your venue, or you can show the local sites and attractions. Your videos could be Help videos (how to use Photos or other applications), videos about how to do something in your venue or how to use your products, videos of employees answering frequently asked questions about your venue or products, or even video logs from the venue manager or company president.

You could rename the application to "Videos" and include only videos. You could rename it to "Shows" and fill the Photos application with posters and videos of your shows. Or, you could rename it to "Products" and feature advertisement images of your products, videos of the products in use, or even videos of TV commercials.

After you configure Photos, you might want to change the title, description, icon, and preview of Photos that appear in Launcher on Microsoft Surface units.

You can also set up where the content appears from when Photos first opens or when users insert a memory card. For example, when Photos first opens, if you want your venue content to appear from the direction of a hotel lobby information desk, you could set the position of the content to animate in from that direction.

Customizing Photos for Your Business

Photos enables businesses to show photos and videos to users on a Surface unit, including default content or their own content. Users can view and share content, browse content by categories in the stack and scroller, control videos, and explore their own content by using a media card reader.

Customize the Photos application in the following ways:

  • Deliver brand awareness with a customized background image.

  • Create marketing opportunities by adding images or videos of products, services, shows, other branches of the business, partner locations, or co-branded venues.

  • Create a unique customer experience by installing a media card reader to let users add their own photos and videos to share with others on the Surface unit.

  • Increased reach through international support for operating systems beyond English and viewing in several international markets.

  • Flexible installation and configuration through an individual Photos 1.0 SP1 installer.

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