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article imageMicrosoft launches Windows 10 update with Mixed Reality features

By James Walker     Oct 17, 2017 in Technology
Microsoft has released the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, the latest version of the OS and the first to include support for Windows Mixed Reality. Microsoft is betting big on bringing mixed reality and 3D content into the lives of consumers.
The Fall Creators Update has been in development for several months and is the second major Windows 10 release to arrive this year. Coming after the Creators Update in the spring, it follows up on the earlier release with several more creator-oriented capabilities.
Mixed Reality
The standout feature from Microsoft's perspective is Windows Mixed Reality. The company's debuting its own virtual reality ecosystem grounded around affordable consumer headsets and software that's built-in to Windows. Headsets will immediately work as soon as they're connected to a PC, cutting out the complexity of rival VR platforms.
Windows 10 Fall Creators Update
Windows 10 Fall Creators Update
Microsoft
At launch today, headsets from brands including Acer, Dell, HP and Lenovo are available with pricing starting at $399. The selection includes models that have optional motion controllers. There's also a small selection of mixed reality content available in the former Windows Store, newly rebranded as the Microsoft Store. The library should grow over time as adoption increases and more developers get onboard.
Windows 10 Fall Creators Update
Windows 10 Fall Creators Update
Microsoft
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Microsoft's long-term plan to make mixed reality mainstream commences today when the first headsets enter use. Since most PC owners won't be jumping in immediately, the company's provided a basic experience that works with any PC. The Mixed Reality Viewer app lets you use a webcam to place 3D objects in your surroundings, offering a glimpse of what's possible with the technology.
Desktop features
As well as pioneering emerging tech, the update also comes with new desktop features to make Windows more productive. The delayed My People capability is now available, letting you pin your favourite contacts to the taskbar. You can then drag links, files and images onto your contacts to immediately share resources with them.
Windows 10 Fall Creators Update
Windows 10 Fall Creators Update
Microsoft
The desktop also gains support for OneDrive Files On-Demand, the reincarnation of Windows 8's OneDrive Placeholders. Back by popular demand, the feature lets you view all your OneDrive files on your PC, even if they're not downloaded. Opening a file will immediately download it for offline use, letting you use File Explorer to access documents you previously uploaded to the cloud.
Windows 10 Fall Creators Update
Windows 10 Fall Creators Update
Microsoft
In other areas of the OS, Microsoft has improved Edge with new reading capabilities and shortcut options. There's updated PC gamer options for broadcasting and recording, new Cortana voice commands and an overhauled Photos app that includes Google Photos-style editing options.
"Get creative"
According to Microsoft, the Fall Creators Update diversifies what's possible with a PC by letting you do more with your hardware. The release has a healthy set of features for regular PC users but it’s clear Microsoft's real intentions are to increase enthusiasm around 3D creativity, mixed reality and emerging tech. The update will introduce Windows 10 users to all of these areas.
Windows 10 Fall Creators Update
Windows 10 Fall Creators Update
Microsoft
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"With the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, we are introducing some fun, new ways to get creative – from bringing mixed reality and 3D to the masses, to faster broadcasting for gaming, to turning photos and videos into real memories, and so much more," said Microsoft. "The Fall Creators Update can be experienced on a wide variety of Windows 10 PCs and on a range of Windows Mixed Reality headsets."
The Fall Creators Update is available for free from today on most Windows 10 PCs worldwide. As with previous Windows 10 updates, it's being rolled out in stages so your device won't necessarily receive it straightaway. If you want to get the new features today, you can manually install the update using Microsoft's dedicated tool. The company advises against this though, explaining the phased approach helps ensure the release is fully compatible with your device's hardware.
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