Last month's Windows 10 Creators update is still fresh on hundreds of millions of devices, but Microsoft is already touting new capabilities that will arrive with the next update of the operating system this fall.
Announced yesterday during day two of Microsoft's three-day Build developer conference in Seattle, the Fall Creators Update will introduce new ways to work across devices, transform photos and videos into stories, and put mixed-reality applications to new uses.
Over the coming months, the Windows Store will also add a variety of new applications for consumers and business users, including iTunes and SAP Digital Boardroom, Microsoft said.
Seamless Working Across Devices
Windows Story Remix, one of the new applications arriving with the Fall Creators Update, will use deep learning and artificial intelligence to let users organize and present their photos and videos in new ways.
"Story Remix brings your memories, or even your friends' photos and videos together to create stories with a soundtrack, theme and cinematic transitions," Terry Myerson, executive vice president of the Windows and Devices Group, wrote yesterday on the Windows blog. "You can also create mixed reality by adding 3D objects to your photos and videos to tell stories in a whole new way or turn your photos and videos into your canvas, drawing on them with Windows Ink."
Also in the works is the Microsoft Fluent Design system, aimed at helping developers create applications that work well across a range of devices and input types. That system, combined with the Microsoft Graph API that provides access to data across applications and devices, will enable more seamless experiences for users, according to Myerson.
Designed to ensure that "experiences flow seamlessly between Windows, iOS and Android devices, Fluent Design and Microsoft Graph will add a variety of new capabilities via the Fall Creators Update. They include a clipboard for copying and pasting between any connected devices, on-demand and download-free access to OneDrive files from any device and Timeline, which provides a visual look at what users were working on so they can jump back to any moment in time as if they never left, Myerson said.
New Mixed-Reality Headset, Controllers
The Fall Creators Update will also bring new capabilities for mixed-reality experiences. Ahead of the update's release, Microsoft is offering developers the chance to pre-order the Windows Mixed Reality Headset Developer Edition, to be delivered this summer, from either Acer ($299) or HP ($329). During the holiday shopping season, Acer also plans to sell a $399 bundle that includes a Windows Mixed Reality Headset and motion controllers from Microsoft.
Myerson said the new motion controllers are the first that don't require the installation of markers, hardware devices that are usually placed on walls to provide accurate motion sensing and mixed-reality responses in physical spaces.
"A customer who pairs a Windows Mixed Reality headset with motion controllers will have a rich and immersive experience across creativity tools, productivity, games, and entertainment," Myerson said. "The motion controllers offer precise and responsive tracking of movement in your field of view using the sensors in your headset."
The latest build of the Fall Creators Update became available to Windows Insider developers yesterday. Developers can also download a software developer kit for Microsoft's new Project Rome, allowing them incorporate their apps into Microsoft Graph so they will appear in the Timeline feature when the Fall Creators Update is released.