It’s Windows time, again, folks! Microsoft’s October media event is underway, and the company just announced its next major Windows 10 update which is called: Windows 10 Creators Update. It’s not the most inspiring name choice, but Microsoft certainly thinks it’s appropriate.
Windows 10 Creators Update will arrive at some point in early 2017. The company didn’t provide an actual release date, but early 2017 is almost here. As the name suggest, the update is meant to meet the needs of creative Windows users, which is practically anyone using a computer.
Microsoft’s Terry Myerson explained some of the core features of Windows 10 CU, which include support for a 3D Windows experience, and native support for immersive 4K gaming.
Microsoft apparently wants to replace 2D with 3D in its next major Windows 10 installment, which may be a stepping stone for the Windows of the future, one that might involve plenty of AR and VR experiences.
Windows 10 CU will bring “3D to everyone,” according to Microsoft. That means you can expect 3D features across apps and games, with Paint 3D being one prime example.
Microsoft says that over 100 million people use Paint every month, and the famous simple creation tool could benefit from a little 3D update.
Windows 10 will work with other devices — think iPhone and Android — to capture and scan images in 3D, and that’s where Paint 3D might be helpful.
The app will let users edit captured 3D photos and further edit them. If desired, some of these creations could be then sent over to a 3D printer. Microsoft talked about exporting Minecraft creations and printing them for real-life use. That might be a feature some Minecraft fans might appreciate.
On the other hand, not many people own 3D printers, and they’re not exactly cheap.
Moving on, Microsoft also partnered with Trimble to bring SketchUp creations to the Paint 3D community — yes, there’s a community, which means you’re going to be able to share your 3D art with family and friends. Here’s where you can get the first taste of Microsoft’s new 3D initiatives for Windows: remix3d.com.
If Paint 3D isn’t that entertaining for you, then I bet emoji are. The company will let you add beards to emoji, and then share your creations on Facebook and other social networks.
But Microsoft’s Creators Update won’t be only about 3D gimmicks. The company is taking its 3D support and 3D models inside its productivity apps as well. You’ll be able to insert 3D creations right inside PowerPoint for richer presentations.
If you didn’t figure it out by now, Windows 10 CU will prepare us for Microsoft’s AR and VR vision. We all know its HoloLens AR headset, and these 3D creations will fit perfectly with HoloLens. In fact, Microsoft demoed grabbing objects from Remix 3D, the site we mentioned before, and pulling them in a HoloLens environment. That means you’ll be able to experience 3D creations in a totally different way, as long as you’ll have a HoloLens headset close by.
Without the proper equipment, these 3D features won’t be that useful. Hopefully, Microsoft will have a solution for that, some sort of readily available AR/VR headset to go along with our 3D needs. Or, at least, convince more headset makers to rely on Windows Holographic for AR/VR experiences rather than competing operating systems.
Initially, regular Windows partners including HP, Dell, Lenovo, Asus, and Acer will sell VR headsets that work with Windows 10 CU. Pricing for the headsets is rather prohibitive, starting at $299.
Windows 10 CU isn’t only about bringing more 3D into our lives. It’s also about more gaming features. Aside from 4K support, Windows 10 Creators Update is designed for e-sports, the company said.
In other words, game broadcasting is now part of the Xbox app. You can expect Beam broadcast support to be built into Windows 10 CU. From the looks of it, Microsoft aims to make game broadcasting a lot easier for users — and the company seems interested in creating a worthy alternative to Twitch.
Aside from Beam game casting support, Windows 10 CU will also bring you Custom Tournaments inside Xbox Live. It’s probably very clear what the feature does: it’ll make it easier for you and your friends to compete in gaming tournaments, and stream the whole acton. The tournament feature will work across Windows 10 or Xbox One, which means PC and console gamers will be able to play in the same tournaments.
Gamers will get a new perk with Windows 10 CU, and that’s bitstream audio pass-through with Dolby Atmos support.
3D and gaming might not be for everyone, but those aren’t the only new things coming to Windows 10.
Microsoft is putting people front-and-center in Windows 10 CU by adding them to the Windows 10 taskbar — well, technically the people will be placed on the right side. And they will represent the people you contact most during your day.
The new photo app will let you ink videos and photos, and share them with your friends over your chosen channel, including Skype and email.
Moreover, Microsoft will filter messages from your favorite people to make sure you’re not missing any of them. Skype and Mail will float atop the desktop once a notification comes in, which will then let you respond using your chosen app.
Finally, a new neat Windows 10 CU feature concerns people. And emoji. Your favorite people will pop on the screen whenever emoji gameplay is involved.
According to Myerson, Microsoft’s goal for Windows 10 is to have “the effect of the Gutenberg press on the next wave of computing.” It certainly appears like Microsoft is preparing Windows 10 for the future, but it’ll take some time until users get to appreciate some of the new features.