Last night saw a plethora of announcements by Microsoft. While there were rumors of possible things that Microsoft would talk about, nothing was concrete. Here’s a rundown of the biggest announcement from yesterday’s Microsoft event.
Windows 10 Creators Update
Following the Anniversary Update for Windows 10 released in August 2016, a new major update is in the works for Microsoft’s latest Operating System. Dubbed the “Creators Update”, the update highlights a multitude of new 3D creation tools, updates and improvements to live-streaming and custom tournaments for the Xbox app. The update will also focus on communicating with your loved ones, by placing them at the center of your Windows experience.
The People app has been a part of Microsoft Windows since Windows 8. It allowed you to stay upto date with your loved ones and friends. The Creators Update brings all these a lot closer to you; in fact, it’s right on your taskbar. In addition, Microsoft also demonstrated a new feature akin to Facebook poke. Called “taps,” the feature allows you to send each other stickers of 3D objects.
Xbox live streaming
Ever wanted to stream your gameplay to your friends via the Xbox app? Well now you can. Live broadcasting will be incorporated in to the Xbox app following the Creators Update. The function works as part of Xbox Live. People can follow their Xbox Live friends and comment whilst in game. In addition, the Arena platform will also be updated to enable gamers to create custom challenges and tournaments. In terms of audio, the Creators Update will also enable Dolby Atmos audio to the Xbox.
Microsoft 3D Paint
Remember the venerable paint app that was included in Microsoft Windows? Well Microsoft is putting it under the knife and revamping the classic Paint app with a focus on 3D content. That’s right. The new 3D Paint app allows you to turn your photos into 3D memories. You can also export three-dimensional Minecraft creations and create doodles in 3D. The possibilities are endless. I’m guessing Microsoft is aiming for people to use the HoloLens for this purpose or one of the other many VR and AR headsets out there at the moment. If you don’t want to purchase new hardware to show off your creations, never fear. You can always share it directly to Facebook.
Windows VR headsets
Apart from the HoloLens platform which was a bit of a hit or miss, Microsoft also announced their lineup of VR headsets for Windows 10. Starting at a price point of around $299, the device will run on the same platform as the HoloLens. According to Microsoft manufacturers the likes of HP, Dell, Lenovo, Asus, and Acer will all be making headsets. No launch date has been given though
Now for the hardware. Meet the Surface Studio, a touchscreen all-in-one desktop computer boasting a thickness of just 12.5mm. In terms of hardware, the Surface Studio has a 28-inch PixelSense display, A Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M (slightly old in terms of graphics power), an Intel Core i7 processor, up to 32GB of memory and 2TB of storage. The device also has a “zero-gravity hinge” allowing the screen to tilt down at an angle, thus giving it the ability to transform from a traditional computer design to a drafting board form factor for drawing and creative work. Want one? Well, preorders start at $2,999, although Microsoft says that the Surface Studio will be available in limited quantities for the holiday season so you might want to get one as soon as you can.
Meet the Surface Dial. A new way of interacting with Microsoft’s latest Surface products via haptic feedback. How does it work, you ask? Well, Users simply have to twist it in order to select items from an on-screen menu (like a color picker). If you have a Surface Studio, then the Surface Dial dials it up a notch allowing you to place the device on the screen thus allowing you contextual software control. The Dial is expected to be available from November costing $99.99. If you purchase a Surface Studio, though, you get one thrown in for free.
Surface Book i7
It’s not the new Surface book. Its’ more of an upgrade. Packing an Intel Core i7 processor (hence the name) and a bigger battery, the Surface Book i7 will be available in November for $2,399. The interesting thing about this is that the battery life is supposed to be around the 16 hour mark with faster graphics power and an extra fan to keep it cool.
With the new update, it seems that Microsoft is trying to get the creative juices flowing with its user base. If that be the case, then it’s pretty likely that we’ll be seeing even more products and updates of this nature.
What do you think about Microsoft’s creative touch? Leave a comment in the section below.