Microsoft’s Satya Nadella speaks at Build 2017. Photograph by Brian Smale, courtesy Microsoft.
At the Build 2017 developer conference in Seattle, Microsoft Corp. shared the first details of the next major update to Windows, the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. Available later this year, the Fall Creators Update delivers new experiences for more than 500 million Windows 10 devices: a new design system; creative experiences that will move with you across Windows, iOS and Android; new apps coming to the Windows Store — including iTunes; new tools that make Windows home for all developers; and the world’s first Windows Mixed Reality motion controllers — no markers required.
“We designed Windows 10 to empower the creator in all of us,” said Terry Myerson, executive vice president, Windows and Devices Group, Microsoft. “We’re excited for our customers to take advantage of the new features in the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update that will empower innovative experiences; a modern, unified design for cross-device experiences; and an easier path for developers to create for the future of computing.”
Introducing a new design system for the next wave of creativity across Windows devices
Microsoft Fluent Design System will deliver intuitive, harmonious, responsive and inclusive cross-device experiences and interactions. For developers, Fluent Design is built to help users create more expressive and engaging apps that work across a wide range of device and input diversity.
Windows experiences move with you across Windows, iOS and Android
The Microsoft Graph is an intelligent fabric that helps connect dots between people, conversations, projects and content within the Microsoft Cloud — ensuring experiences flow seamlessly between Windows, iOS and Android devices. Key features helping to bring this to life include these:
- Timeline visually displays what a user was doing previously; allowing users to easily hop back into files, apps and websites as if it was real time.
- With Cortana, you can Pick Up Where You Left Off across Windows, iOS and Android devices.
- Clipboard is a fast, easy way to copy and paste just about anything between connected devices by allowing copying from the desktop and pasting on a phone.
- OneDrive Files on Demand allows access to all files in the cloud without having to download them and use storage space on a specific device.
Windows Story Remix: A new way to transform your photos and videos
Built on .NET and distributed through the Windows Store as a Universal Windows Application, Windows Story Remix uses AI and deep learning to organize and transform photos and videos into stories. It will use the Microsoft Graph to connect users across devices. Story Remix brings memories, photos and videos together to create stories with a soundtrack, theme and cinematic transitions. Users can also create mixed reality by adding 3-D objects to photos and videos to tell stories in a whole new way, or turn photos and videos into a canvas, drawing on them with Windows Ink.
The Windows Store brings full UWP support for Windows, iOS and Android — and welcomes iTunes
The Windows Store is adding additional popular applications later this year:
- iTunes is coming to the Windows Store by the end of this year. Windows users will get the complete iTunes experience, including Apple Music and the iTunes Store, as well as support for iPhone and other Apple devices on any Windows 10 or Windows 10 S PC.
- When Autodesk introduced its Universal Windows Platform (UWP) SketchBook last summer, it became its fastest growing new platform introduction with an average of 35 percent sales growth every month throughout 2017. Autodesk SketchBook, the de facto application for painting and drawing, was built from the ground up as a UWP app leveraging the pen and touch capability of Windows 10. Autodesk will continue to use UWP to extend its Windows Store offerings to include support for Windows Mixed Reality in Autodesk Stingray, a 3-D game engine and real-time rendering software.
- SAP will bring SAP Digital Boardroom to the Windows Store this month. SAP Digital Boardroom is one of the most popular solutions from SAP. It is a next-generation board portal that leverages data from lines of business applications to provide a single source of truth for executives to steer the business in real time. The app was submitted to the Windows Store as a Progressive Web App. This allows SAP to reuse its web content and investments to target multiple platforms, while at the same time take advantage of deeper integration with Windows 10.
Making Windows home for all developers
Microsoft is inspired to make Windows and Visual Studio the best home for all developers — not only for applications on Windows, but also app experiences that span across all platforms and all devices. Today several new tools for Windows developers were announced:
- .NET Standard 2.0 for UWP and XAML Standard are both coming later this year to make web, C++, .NET or UWP developers love to build on Windows.
- With modern code, developers can take advantage of Windows and the Microsoft Graph, using Project Rome for UWP, Android and now iOS.
- With the Xamarin Live Player developers can build, test and debug their iPhone applications from a Windows PC. With it, all users need is Visual Studio and their iPhone to get started building native apps for iOS in minutes.
- Microsoft has simplified the install of Ubuntu by bringing it to the Windows Store. Microsoft also announced it is working with SUSE Linux and Fedora Linux running on the Windows Subsystem for Linux — to bring them to the Windows Store. Now, Windows is the only platform that can run both Windows apps and Linux apps side-by-side.
Introducing the world’s first Windows Mixed Reality motion controllers — no markers required
Today, Cirque du Soleil announced how it is using Windows Mixed Reality to transform the way it imagines and create shows. To demonstrate the creative decisions it has to face, it rebuilt a virtual version of the stage from the show Kurios, including its famous huge mechanical hand.
The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update will also see the magic of mixed reality brought to consumers around the world. We are working with developers to create this new frontier in computing and want any developer to get a Windows Mixed Reality dev kit. Due to wide interest from the community, developers in the U.S. and Canada can pre-order an Acer ($299 USD) or HP ($329 USD) Windows Mixed Reality Headset Developer Edition starting today from the Microsoft Store for delivery later this summer.
In addition, Microsoft unveiled the first Windows Mixed Reality motion controllers with no markers required. The motion controllers offer precise and responsive tracking of movement in your field of view using the sensors in a Windows Mixed Reality headset. There is no need to install hardware on the walls around you. Our partners plan to market and sell these controllers on retail shelves this holiday.
Acer will sell a Windows Mixed Reality headset and motion controller bundle priced at $399 USD this holiday season.