As expected, Microsoft has announced a new September 2017 update for Windows 10, but bizarrely it has called it a very familiar name.
The 'Fall Creators Update' follows the Windows 10 'Creators Update' which was recently released.
Quite why Microsoft has decided to call it the same name is a mystery and rather odd, but perhaps it's because the original Creators Update wasn't as creative (or well received by creators) as was hoped. Part of this could be to do with the fact that hardware partners will have mixed reality headsets available to end users by then.
Then again, maybe there will be some juicy new creative hardware this fall (Autumn) to follow up on the wonderful Surface Studio, which will reinforce the message that the update is for creators.
We don't have anything like complete details of what will be in the update yet, but here's a taster and we'll let you know of any extra bits and pieces we get hold of.
Closer iOS and Android integration
The new update will include some rather excellent new features for those of us - all of us - who don't have Windows Phones and so can't use Continum with those devices.
Expect some cracking new ways to work with iOS and Android, including being able to pick up with some apps on mobile devices exactly where you left off (Office?) and a cloud clipboard that can move stuff between the devices. Honestly, everybody wants to eat Pushbullet's lunch these days. This will leverage Microsoft's acquisition of the awesome SwiftKey.
It seems this feature will be called Pick Up Where You Left Off. Which makes sense! This will be enabled by Cortana.
Cortana will help you pick up where you left off, even as you switch from PC to phone. #Windows10 #MSBuild pic.twitter.com/71JsD5xtEhMay 11, 2017
New Windows Store apps including iTunes
New Universal Windows Application apps are coming to the Windows Store including AutoDesk Sketchbook.
iTunes is coming to the Windows Store by the end of this year. Windows users will get the complete iTunes experience, including Apple Music and the iTunes Store, as well as support for iPhone and other Apple devices on any Windows 10 or Windows 10 S PC.
The Xamarin Live Player enables developers to build, test and debug their iPhone apps from a Windows PC.
There will also be a new OneDrive feature called Files on Demand that will help apps on your phone access your key docs - check out this video:
Save your disk space with OneDrive Files On-Demand. Use File Explorer to access your cloud files whenever needed. #MSBuild pic.twitter.com/PhafHk2WEXMay 11, 2017
Task View Timeline
Switching between apps in Windows 10 has always been easy thanks to Task View, but now there will be a timeline aspect to it as well - so you can effectively get back to where you were at a point in the recent past.
Introducing Timeline. Easily jump back in time to continue where you left off. #Windows10 #MSBuild pic.twitter.com/e3gxhXnp6WMay 11, 2017
Bringing photos and video closer
Story Remix is a new app that will be able to combine music, photos, videos and stories together. Think Apple's Clips rather than iMovie.
Coming to #Windows10, Story Remix will help you find inspiration and explore new ways to create great stories. #MSBuild pic.twitter.com/xliM5NnrcgMay 11, 2017
More on Mixed Reality
Developers in the US and Canada can pre-order an Acer ($299USD) or HP ($329USD) Windows Mixed Reality Headset Developer Edition from now from the Microsoft Store for delivery later this summer.
Microsoft also showed off its new Windows Mixed Reality motion controllers. "The motion controllers offer precise and responsive tracking of movement in your field of view using the sensors in a Windows Mixed Reality headset. There is no need to install hardware on the walls." They'll be on sale later in the year.
Microsoft announced a partnership with Cirque du Soleil to use Windows Mixed Reality to visualise shows when they're being created. They have rebuilt a virtual version of the stage from the show Kurios as a demo.
It's all about Fluent Design
Yep, Microsoft is introducing a new design language to Windows which we'd heard was called Project Neon internally. It won't be a drastic change and it won't all happen at once; we'd expect the UI design to evolve over the next few updates.
Let's hope this phase of Windows design lasts longer than Metro, Modern UI, Microsoft Design Language and any other names we've forgotten. Just nobody mention that Windows 8's tagline included the word 'fluid', OK? It's all new now.
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Introducing the Microsoft Fluent Design System! Draw the right focus to the right thing at the right time. #MSBuild pic.twitter.com/tzHRAb4Pm0May 11, 2017