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article imageMicrosoft announces the Windows 10 'Creators Update'

By James Walker     Oct 26, 2016 in Technology
Microsoft has officially unveiled the Windows 10 Creators Update, the first major release of the OS scheduled to launch in 2017. It adds a range of new features aimed at "bringing ideas to life," including tools for 3D modelling and mixed reality.
The Creators Update will be the third significant Windows 10 feature release since the platform's launch in 2015. In August, Microsoft launched the Anniversary Update, focused primarily on features enabling cross-device experiences. With the Creators Update, it's emphasising natural interactions, human computing and content creation, making Windows more accessible to its millions of users.
Microsoft is asserting that 3D models are going to be a big part of the future. Once the Creators Update is installed, all of the 400 million Windows 10 devices in use today will have tools installed to facilitate capturing, printing, sharing and creating 3D content. Existing webcams and drawing apps will be repurposed to enable Microsoft's 3D vision.
The most obvious example of this is in Paint, Microsoft's decades-old drawing app that's been a staple of every Windows release for as long as the OS has had mass attention. As previously leaked, the company has completely rewritten Paint for the Creators Update. Relaunched as "Paint 3D," the app is now built on the Universal Windows Platform with a complete redesign that's pen and touch-friendly.
Windows 10 Creators Update
Windows 10 Creators Update
Microsoft
Paint 3D shares very little with the classic Paint application. While it's still a basic drawing app at heart, Paint 3D takes the Windows drawing experience into another dimension – literally. Its simplified user interface hides a complete 3D modelling mode that lets you create in 3D from within the Paint app. It will help to get millions of Windows users involved in 3D creation, using a tool they're already familiar with.
Content made with Paint 3D can be shared to Remix 3D, a new online community that Microsoft is launching with the Windows 10 Creators Update. It will allow creators around the world to inspire others with their work. In return, Paint 3D authors will be able to pull designs from Remix 3D onto their canvas to make getting started a little easier.
A separate feature will allow Windows 10 devices to be used as 3D cameras. Microsoft demonstrated using a Windows 10 Mobile phone to scan real-world objects in 3D. Physical objects can be imported into Paint 3D by walking around them and creating a 3D panorama, further lowering the boundaries limiting 3D content creation.
Windows 10 Creators Update
Windows 10 Creators Update
Microsoft
As previously announced earlier this year, Microsoft is planning to bring Windows Holographic to every Windows 10 PC. With the Creators Update, Windows 10 devices will be capable of supporting virtual and mixed reality headsets without any extra software. Today, Microsoft said it is working with partners including HP, Dell, Lenovo, ASUS and Acer to launch affordable virtual reality headsets compatible with the Creators Update.
According to Microsoft, these headsets "will be the first and only" to support inside-out, six degrees of freedom. Additionally, there will be no complicated setup procedure or complex space requirements. Windows 3D devices will retail from just $299 and be compatible with "affordable" laptops and PCs. Current VR headsets typically cost upwards of $500 and require powerful gaming PCs to run.
Microsoft is adamant virtual reality should be accessible to everyone. By making the baseline prerequisite a Windows 10 PC, it can help to broaden the appeal of the emerging technology.
Windows 10 Creators Update
Windows 10 Creators Update
Microsoft
"At Microsoft, our mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more," said Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO. "With Windows 10, Microsoft Surface and the medium of Mixed Reality, we aim to empower the builders, the makers and the creators with the tools to create, collaborate and express themselves in new ways."
Aside from 3D and mixed reality, the Creators Update also features a few changes to the core Windows desktop. A new taskbar toolbar called Windows MyPeople lets you pin your favourite contacts to the taskbar. You can then drag and drop documents, photos and videos onto the pinned contact to instantly share content with them. Apps will be able to integrate with the feature, creating a single place to interact with people you know.
The Windows 10 Creators Update will launch in March 2017. It will be released for free to all existing Windows 10 devices. It's likely more features will be included in the final launch that have not yet been announced by Microsoft. The company said it will "empower a new wave of creativity" through the integration of 3D and mixed reality authoring tools into the core of Windows.
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