Microsoft tests new snipping tool with e-ink, voice annotation

Microsoft is beta testing a new snipping tool called Snip that allows users to add voice and e-ink annotations to Windows screen captures.

Microsoft is beta testing a new tool called Snip that allows users to annotate Windows screen captures with e-ink and voice and share those "Snips" with others.

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I found the link to the Snip beta via The Verge's Tom Warren and downloaded Snip on my Windows 7 PC with no problem. The app is not a Windows Store/Universal app, so it is not limited to Windows 10.

The tool allows users to snip, annotate, save (locally or in the cloud) and share the annotated captures.

The URL of the site with information on the Snip makes it seem the tool is not one of Microsoft's Garage incubation projects. Instead, it seems to be the handiwork of the Office team.

The "Mix" reference in the URL links to the Office Mix application Microsoft fielded last year. Mix is an add-on to PowerPoint that is aimed largely, though not exclusively, at the education market. Office Mix turns PowerPoint presentations into interactive online lessons.

The library of snipped content the tool creates, called Snips, is similar in design to the library of Sway content captures, called Sways, created by Microsoft's Sway tool.

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Snip isn't the first snipping tool from Microsoft. The company already offers a OneNote Clipper clipping tool. And the aforementioned Garage has been working on a tool called "OneClip" that it still has yet to unveil.

Microsoft also has been touting the ability to use e-ink to annotate Web pages as one of its highlights of its Edge browser that it introduced alongside Windows 10.

Across the company, Microsoft is seeking ways to enable users to interact with their PCs and devices beyond simple keyboard and mouse input. Microsoft Research's Project Oxford, for example, offers developers inside and outside the company a variety of speech, natural language and computer vision application programming interfaces for incorporation into apps.

I've asked Microsoft officials for more details on Snip, including when and whether it will be available cross-platform. No word back so far. In the interim, there's a Twitter account for Snip that might be worth following for more information.

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