In a strange and somewhat unexpected development, Microsoft revealed today that the next major update for Windows 10 will be branded as the Creators Update. And yes, it will focus on creative tasks, plus 3D and VR/mixed reality scenarios.
As Leo Laporte said during our live coverage on TWiT this morning, it was an interesting “left turn” for the company. Previous Windows releases have been very broad, with new features for mainstream users and power users alike. But this one seems to be very focused on what can only be called a niche market.
That said, there will of course be new features in the Creators Update that apply to all users. And here’s what we know so far:
3D. Starting with Windows—but coming to Office and presumably other products too—Microsoft is integrating platform-3D capabilities, and creating an end-to-end 3D workflow. So where the original release of Windows 10 included a 3D output app, for 3D printing, the Creators Update will close the loop and provide apps like Paint 3D that will let you create/build 3D content.
Windows Holographic and VR. It is somewhat interesting to me that Windows Holographic wasn’t a bigger story at today’s event, but Microsoft did announce that VR is also coming to Windows 10, and it will do so at much lower price points than ever before. The five biggest PC makers—Lenovo, HP, Dell, Acer, and ASUS—will all sell VR headsets for Windows PCs and at new, low price points starting at just $300. “These accessories will be the first and only with inside-out, six-degrees of freedom,” Microsoft says. “Unlike every other virtual reality headset in the market today, there will be zero need for a separate room and complicated setup.”
4K gaming and game broadcasting. Gaming on Windows 10 is up 500 percent year-over-year, Microsoft says, and it’s only going to get better with eSports tournament support, and new game broadcasting capabilities.
Windows MyPeople. In an idea taken directly from the original release of Windows phone, Microsoft will let you integrate your most-often-accessed contacts directly into the taskbar using a new feature called Windows MyPeople. “You can pin your favorite contacts to the Windows taskbar and easily drag and drop any document, photo or video right on top of the contact for easy sharing,” Microsoft explains. “You can receive unique notifications, Shoulder Taps, and easily view and open emails, IMs, shared documents and more, all in one place. The Windows MyPeople experience is also integrated across universal Windows apps for easy sharing.” Smart. Overdue, but smart.
There’s more, of course, but it’s going to be a busy day with lots to do, so I’ll highlight these and other new Creators Update features in more depth in the near future.