Microsoft has announced that its next major Windows 10 update at IFA 2017 - the largest European tech show in the calendar - will arrive from 17 October 2017.
Remember, Microsoft already revealed it will update Windows 10 and 10 S twice a year - in the spring and in the autumn - with new features and noteworthy upgrades.
The last major update, which arrived on 11 April, was the Creators Update. Back at Build 2017 - Microsoft's annual conference - the company confirmed the second-half 2017 update will be called the Fall Creators Update, and it includes a focus on bringing Windows Mixed Reality to the fore, plus cross-platform Windows experiences to iOS and Android devices.
Here's everything you need to know about the Fall Creators Update.
- Microsoft will now release major Windows 10 updates twice a year
- Windows 10 S is a streamlined version of Windows for education
What is the Fall Creators Update?
Technically called the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, the operating system update will, in summary, add: Windows Mixed Reality, Story Remix, OneDrive Files On-Demand, and Fluent Design.
While Timeline, Pick Up Where You Left Off and Clipboard were promised during the Build 2017 conference, the IFA update confirms that these features will be delayed to a future update.
What does Fall Creators Update include?
Windows Mixed Reality
Principal to the Fall Update is the activation of Windows Mixed Reality functionality. With a number of headsets due to be released in the later half of 2017, the software update will ensure the hardware is operable.
Which is the key to opening the door to Windows 10 and 10 S experiences beyond just a static monitor. And as Windows developers don't have to make any considerations for hardware choices - the various headset options from Acer, Lenovo, Dell, Asus and HP are all cross-compatible - there's a lot of choice if the idea of mixed reality appeals.
Story Remix is a new Windows 10 app. But it's not just any app. It's basically a successor to, or even a replacement for, Windows Movie Maker, an app that let you create videos on a Windows XP or Windows 7 machine.
Story Remix works in the cloud and essentially lets you pull in images and video from any device - whether iOS, Android, or Windows. In other words, it provides a true multi-platform experience.
You can grab media from multiple devices and get started right away working on your video. It reminds us a lot of Apple's new Clips app. You can even start making an video with Story Remix on an iPhone, but if you want to finish creating it on a Windows 10 PC, you can do that too. The app also supports 3D models and lets you pin objects in scenes. It therefore combines Microsoft's Remix 3D and Paint 3D technologies.
It seems to borrow a little from Snapchat's augmented reality effects. And, like all video makers meant for the average consumer, you can add soundtracks, including ones from Microsoft's Groove music service. From what we can tell, this app is aimed at everyday people and not professional video editors. It will launch with the Fall Creators update.
OneDrive Files On-Demand
OneDrive Files On-Demand will store all of your data in the cloud and only download it when you actually want to use relevant files. You can choose to keep everything in the cloud, with OneDrive only downloading the required data when needed.
A new status icon will show whether a file is available locally or needs to be downloaded from the cloud first, in case you need to use the service offline.
Microsoft debuted a new look and feel to Windows 10: Fluent Design System. It was previously codenamed Project Neon and is part of Microsoft's effort to leave the Metro user interface behind.
The name refers to the tools developers have to create applications, and in this instance, can bring game-like features to interfaces, such as layering, elements that pop out at you, and more motion and design options.
What's missing from the Fall Creators Update?
Timeline, Pick Up Where You Left Off, and Clipboard
Not everything has made it into the 2017 update, however, so we'll have to wait until 2018 for some of the other major features.
Microsoft will introduce a feature called Timeline. It will allow you to go back to an earlier snapshot of your system and restore open programs and documents. You can therefore "go back in time" to find what you were working on, scrub through your history of open apps and documents, and restore a session.
Timeline will also work with the new Pick Up Where You Left Off feature - which will let you resume sessions and apps on multiple devices. Microsoft wants app developers to link their desktop apps so users can resume experiences on an iPhone or Android device. It will even add a cloud-powered Clipboard that will sync across Windows, iOS, and Android, so you can copy from a PC and paste it on a phone.
Clipboard will also be directly integrated into Microsoft's suite of Office apps, which will make it easier for you to quickly grab content from your mobile device and place it into a document you're working on from your desktop.
When will Fall Creators Update be out?
The Fall Creators Update will roll-out from 17 October 2017. If you don't get the update but have a Mixed Reality Headset then simply plugging the device in will prompt the update.
Is the Fall Creators Update free?
Yes, the update will be free for existing Windows 10 and 10 S users. All features will work across both flavours of Windows.