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Windows 10 Creator’s Update Set To Arrive In Early 2017 With 3D Support & ‘Mixed Reality’

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Windows 10 Creator’s Update improves sharing and adds 3D across applications including PowerPoint

The second major update to Windows 10 will arrive this Spring in the form of the Creator’s Update, bringing support for 3D in Microsoft Paint and PowerPoint, mixed reality features combining augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) alongside sharing improvements.

At an event in New York City, Microsoft said that 15 months on from the launch of the operating system, Microsoft wanted to unlock the creativity of the 400 million systems running Windows 10.

“Today’s productivity is defined by email and documents,” said Terry Myerson, who heads up Micosoft’s Windows and Devices Group. “We think in 2D. We output 2D. Yet the next generation is growing up with 3D.

“With the Creator’s Update, you can turn on your laptop and start scanning in 3D, printing in 3D, start creating in 3D, sharing in 3D and start experiencing mixed reality.”

3D integration

microsoft-paint-3dMegan Saunders, general manager of HoloLens, showed off 3D image capturing on a Windows Phone, but the hope is the functionality will come to any device, and how it can be imported into other applications.

Microsoft Paint 3D will be included in Windows 10 Creator’s Update, with Microsoft claiming 100 million people are using the quintessential doodle application every month. Windows 10 will also make use of SketchUp’s 3D creations.

Saunders said there were plans to introduce 3D to many of Microsoft’s applications, including PowerPoint, giving a new flavour to ‘death by PowerPoint’.

Microsoft HoloLens is set to arrive in the UK later this year and the company says it allows 3D content to break free from the screen and into real life. It proposed a combination of VR and AR called Mixed Reality and also detailed a number of sub-$300 VR headsets from the likes of HP, Asus, Lenovo and Dell to make it more affordable.

“What you also saw today was the birth of a new medium. A world where you can move from 2D constructs into 3D,” added CEO Satya Nadella. “[It’s] the ability to share experiences from your analogue into your digital world.

“We’re democratising this medium for everyone.”

Microsoft Surface Studio

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Microsoft Surface Studio 1

Mixed reality

windows-10-creators-update-3One of the other major features in Windows 10 Creator’s Update is sharing. Users will be able to nominate a number of frequently contacted people who will then appear in the Windows status bar. Documents and messages can be shared with these contacts easily, and replies issued using the software of your choice.

“With W10 Creators’ Update, we will give you a faster way to share,” said Microsoft’s Alison O’Mahoney In your life, you put people first. And now Windows does too.”

A firm release date has not been confirmed by Microsoft other than early 2017, although a beta will be made available to Windows Insiders this week.The first major update to Windows 10 was the Anniversary Update, which arrived in August, and brought a host of usability and enterprise enhancements.

Microsoft has grand ambitions for the Creator’s Update too, and also showed off the Surface Studio and Surface Book i7.

“I want to share a goal for Windows 10,” concluded Myerson. “I want it to have the same impact as the Gutenberg press.”

Quiz: What do you know about Windows 10?