During today's keynote at Microsoft's Build developers conference, Terry Myerson and other members of the Windows and Devices Group made several announcements during their 90 minute keynote.
Yesterday we learned from Satya Nadella, Microsoft's CEO, that Windows 10 is now in use by 500 million active monthly users and Terry Myerson added and confirmed today the numbers shared last week by Yusuf Mehdi that the OS is used by 300 million users each day for more than 3.5 hours.
Myerson also revealed that Microsoft has dubbed the next feature update for Windows 10, which will be the fourth since the OS was released in July 2015, as the Fall Creators Update.
He stated that this feature update will continue the companies efforts to expanding the creation related capabilities of the operating system and one such first party creative app was shown to the keynote crowd.
This new app brings the power of the Microsoft Graph to Windows 10 users and provides users the capability to bring photos and video based memories together along with friend's photos and videos to create stories that include soundtracks, themes, and transitions. 3D objects created in Paint 3D can also be used to enhance these creative stories.
Other highlights that were unveiled for the Fall Creators Update include OneDrive Files On-Demand which I wrote about separately plus these items:
-- Timeline: With Timeline in Windows 10, you can now jump back in time to find what you were working on. With a visual timeline that displays what you were doing when, you can easily hop back into files, apps and sites as if you never left.
-- Pick Up Where You Left Off: With Cortana, you can pick up where you left off across Windows, iOS, and Android devices. Imagine logging off your PC and having the doc you were editing pop up on your phone. Cortana asks if you want to pick up where you left in your app, doc or website. It’s like having your PC and your phone finish each other’s sentences.
-- Clipboard: Clipboard is a fast and easy way to copy and paste just about anything between connected devices, whether you’re on a Windows PC or your favorite mobile phone. Just hit copy on what you want to grab; your photo, map link, paragraph, even an animated gif; and it is ready to paste into whatever you want.
All of these enhancements use the Microsoft Graph and the new Microsoft Fluent Design System, aka Project NEON, to bring them to the operating system and end users.
"Fluent Design will deliver intuitive, harmonious, responsive and inclusive cross-device experiences and interactions. For developers, Fluent Design is built to help you create more expressive and engaging apps that work across a wide range of device and input diversity."
Last week at the education event in NYC, Microsoft confirmed that Spotify would be coming to the Windows Store via the Desktop Bridge and today we learned that Autodesk will bring their Stingray game engine and real-time rendering software as a UWP app to the Windows Store and it will support Windows Mixed Reality.
In addition, SAP will be bringing their Digital Boardroom app to the Windows Store as a progressive web app.
We were also told that HP ($329) and Acer ($299) will both open up pre-orders for their Mixed Reality HMDs through the Microsoft Store for developers in the U.S. and Canada. They are expected to be shipped later this summer so developers can prepare new content for the Fall Creators Update release which should be in September.
Acer will also offer a retail bundle of their HMD along with the first ever set of Windows Mixed Reality motion controllers for $399 this holiday season and they will track your location in your space without the need for external cameras/trackers. Other OEM HMDs will become available this holiday season.
We have already seen one feature, My People, make its way back into early Redstone 3 builds that Fast Ring Windows Insiders are testing. Originally that feature was intended as part of the Creators Update but it was pulled before release because it was not ready. It now seems that the Fall Creators Update is a chance for Microsoft to not only add that feature back to the update but also bring along the Mixed Reality environment so that it is ready for the public availability of the Mixed Reality HMDs later this year. I am sure there are other creation type features the company may be working on as well.
Should be an interesting summer as testing of Redstone 3 drives towards this September release of the Fall Creators Update.