At its Build 2017 developer conference today, Microsoft announced the Fall Creators Update for Windows 10. The company detailed a slew of new features coming to its latest and greatest operating system, all free. The update is slated to arrive “later this year” (that likely means September 2017, but Microsoft isn’t committing to a specific timeframe). Windows Insiders and developers will be able to play with it sooner.
Windows 10 is a service, meaning it was built in a very different way from its predecessors so it can be regularly updated with not just fixes but new features, too. Microsoft has released many such updates, including three major ones: November Update, Anniversary Update, and Creators Update.
As part of the update, Terry Myerson, executive vice president for Microsoft’s Windows and Devices Group, showed off Windows Story Remix, a new creative app built with .NET that uses the Microsoft Graph to transform your photos and videos. Think of it as the successor of Windows Movie Maker, with 3D features. It automatically brings together your photos and videos, or even those shared by your friends and family, to create stories with a soundtrack, theme, and cinematic transitions. You can also add 3D objects to your photos and videos or turn them into a canvas for drawing on with Windows Ink.
Lorraine Bardeen, Microsoft general manager of Mixed Reality Experiences, gave a demo that emphasized the collaborative nature of the creative app. There is image recognition technology for people and objects, Android and iOS versions for letting others contribute, Pen and Ink support, as well as a slew of automatic remix effects. Best of all, Bardeen said these features are coming in the form of APIs so that developers can leverage them in their own apps as well.
Joe Belfiore, corporate vice president in Microsoft’s OS group, highlighted four new features coming to Windows 10’s 500 million users and developers as part of the update.
The first is Timeline, which lets you jump back in time to find what you were working on. It’s a visual representation of what you were doing at given intervals, letting you hop back into files, apps, and sites as if you never closed them. Best of all, you can perform a search through all the activities you performed and find exactly what you’re looking for without having to remember when you did it.
Next is Pick Up Where You Left Off, powered by Cortana. If you are logged in with your Microsoft Account, your Android, iOS, and Windows devices can be used to continue what you were doing. That means, for example, logging off your PC and having what you had open pop up on your phone. Cortana will ask if you want to pick up where you left in your app, doc, or website, and hitting “yes” should initiate a seamless transition.
Clipboard lets you copy and paste just about anything between connected devices across Android, iOS, and Windows. Hit “copy” on what you want to grab (a photo, map link, text, image, or video), and paste wherever you want.
OneDrive Files on Demand allow you to access all your files in the cloud without having to download them and use storage space on your device. All your files can be seen in File Explorer and accessed on-demand whenever they are needed.
Last, but not least, the Falls Creators Update features elements of Microsoft Fluent Design System, the company’s newly revealed modern design language. Fluent Design is supposed to span all the different devices we use and help developers build more engaging apps that work across a variety of inputs. Given that this is supposed to be an evolution of the company’s
Metro Modern UI design language, we’re not holding our breath.