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The 6 most important things Microsoft just told us about the next Windows update

From mixed reality to iTunes joining the Windows Story, here's a round-up of all the big announcements.

Microsoft has just announced its next big update – the Fall Creators Update – and given the world a preview of what this next version of Windows 10 will entail.

Using the keynote on the second day of its Build developer conference, the firm revealed several of the headline features coming with the update in the autumn, as well as touching on its plans in the world of mixed reality and its HoloLens headset.

Here’s everything you need to know.

1. Copy and paste to anywhere

One big part of everyday computing life could be about get significantly more fluid thanks to what Microsoft calls a “cloud-powered clipboard”.

This will enable users to highlight and copy text on one device – with that data then held in the cloud – before users can then paste it somewhere on another device.

On stage, Microsoft demonstrated this tool by taking the name of a store you might want to visit and highlighting it from a to-do list on a PC, before pasting it in the search bar of your mapping app to find it and get directions.

Not only that but it was an Android device too – so this will work across platforms. Nice.

2. Story Remix

Microsoft’s big new creativity app for the update is Story Remix, a photo and video editing app where users can quickly create montages of their content.

The app works across all Windows devices as well as iOS and Android, and can automatically pull together clips based on time and location, with users then able to edit them, add effects and even choose people in the photos or videos they want to focus the final montage on.

3D effects from the Paint 3D app can also be pulled in to give a bit of Hollywood CGI to your creations.

3. Windows Timeline

As well as creativity, Windows has been keen to improve productivity in recent updates – Windows Timeline is the latest feature to encapsulate that.

In short, it works as a more intelligent version of the web history feature, but across your whole device – enabling users to look back and jump into things they were working on previously.

This also syncs up with Cortana so if you open a new device, the virtual assistant will ask you if you want to go back to what you were working on and open it up for you.

4. iTunes in the Windows Store

A big step forward in the modern day peace between old rivals Microsoft and Apple, iTunes is to enter the Windows Store for the first time.

The app will include access to Apple Music – Apple’s music streaming service, as well as full compatibility with the iPhone.

5. Microsoft Fluent Design System

This is what was known as ‘Project Neon’, Microsoft’s apparent redesign of the Windows 10 interface.

It is in fact more of a soft change rather than an overhaul, with the tech giant introducing a new design checklist they want developers to think about and apply when designing their products.

It’s built around five key characteristics: light, depth, motion, material and scale.

6. Mixed reality motion controllers

The finale of the keynote was dedicated to Microsoft’s virtual reality venture – what it calls mixed reality.

At the heart of this is HoloLens, the firm’s holographic computer headset, which is also supported by a range of third-party headsets built by the likes of Acer that run Windows software.

The big news here was more hardware – namely handheld motion controllers to work with Windows mixed reality for the first time.

It’s an unsurprising move, considering both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive already support their own motion controllers alongside their VR platforms.


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