During Microsoft's IFA 2017 keynote Terry Myerson, the companies Executive Vice President for the Windows and Devices Group, announced that the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update would become available beginning on 17 October.
I had previously predicted that this update would arrive on the October Patch Tuesday, 10 October 2017, like the previous two updates did but it looks like the company will begin this roll out one week later.
The Fall Creators Update has been in development under its code name of Redstone 3 since this past April as Windows Insiders have tested a total of 17 builds so far through the companies public testing program. Currently Windows Insiders are at the beginning of a bump in the release pace for Fall Creators Update builds as Microsoft works to stabilize the final code to eliminate bugs and performance issues from this, the fourth major feature update for Windows 10.
According to Myerson, some of the areas the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update is delivering new features and enhancements include:
-- Windows Inking
-- Photos and Video
-- One Drive Files On-Demand
One area that was announced last October and is finally coming to life in this update is Windows Mixed Reality. Most of the software elements for this feature were included in the Creators Update, which was released earlier this year, but now the hardware is finally catching up to allow users to immerse themselves in Windows Mixed Reality.
At the IFA 2017 Keynote, Myerson shared that the Mixed Reality headsets from their OEM partners, some of which have just been unveiled this week at IFA 2017, will become available for purchase on 17 October when the Fall Creators Update is released for general availability. Previously the Head Mounted Displays from Acer and HP were released as developer preview hardware but were only available in limited quantities. These headsets have been in and out of the news since late last year and it is good to finally see them arriving in retail channels for consumers to begin experiencing this new interface to the world on Windows 10. The headsets range in price from $299 to $349 and do not include the Windows Mixed Reality Motion Controllers that will retail separately for $100.
Acer Head Mounted Mixed Reality Display
One other feature that will arrive with the Fall Creators Update is the Mixed Reality Viewer, formerly know as View 3D in Windows 10 Redstone 3 test builds, which was demoed back in May at Microsoft's education event. This app allows you to place 3D objects into your local environment and see them through the standard camera on your Windows 10 device running the Fall Creators Update.
View 3D/Mixed Reality Viewer
Unfortunately, since announcing this capability back in May, both Apple and Google have gone public with their own augmented reality tools and has put Microsoft in what seems like a catch up position despite their early announcement of the feature for Windows 10 ahead of both competitors.
The only question left for the availability of the Fall Creators Update is whether this will be a staged roll out that begins on 17 October or if the company will simply make it available to all existing Windows 10 users all at once. Microsoft has used a staged roll out in the past, typically beginning with know hardware from themselves and OEM partners, in order to track it and make sure no major issues crop up as the upgrades occur on user devices. Most recently they did this with the Creators Update release beginning back in April and only just made it fully available a little more than a month ago.
Of course, we will follow all those details here and you can use our Redstone 3 PC Build Tracker to stay up to date on the final testing builds for the Fall Creators Update.
Finally, during the IFA 2017 keynote, Microsoft also took the opportunity to show off several upcoming OEM devices running Windows 10 and you can check out some of this hardware over at the Windows Blog to see the wide range of innovative hardware that is coming to market from Microsoft's hardware partners.