The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update is here - and so is Surface Book 2!

The strangest name for an operating system update ever?

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Microsoft announced at IFA 2017 that the next Windows 10 update will roll-out worldwide from today, 17 October. The Fall Creators Update, as it's called, is rolling out right now and Microsoft even dropped a new Surface Book 2 into the mix, which you can see in the video below:

The new laptop is available in 13-inch and 15-inch versions, starts at £1,499 and boasts a 17 hour battery life according to Microsoft. The 13-inch Surface Book 2 is available for pre-order in the UK from the 9th November. 

Also available today is a bunch of Windows Mixed Reality headsets from Acer, Dell, HP and Lenovo, beginning at $399. Samsung’s innovative mixed reality headset, the Samsung HMD Odyssey, will be available on 6 November.  

The Fall Creators Update includes the Mixed Reality Viewer, which uses the camera on your PC so you can see 3D objects mixed into your actual surroundings. With the Fall Creators Update, you can also bring 3D objects from Paint 3D into your Office files, including PowerPoint presentations and Word documents. Objects can rotate and animate within your presentation.  

More on the Fall Creators Update

The 'Fall Creators Update' follows the Windows 10 'Creators Update' which was released earlier this year

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.  

Here's a taster of what to expect in the Fall Creators Update: 

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. 

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.
 

OneDrive enhancements

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: 

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. 

Improvements to Mixer plus new Story Remix app

With the Fall Creators Update, Microsoft is improving game streaming service Mixer – you can now launch and jump into a game stream faster than before. 

 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.  

The Photos app has received a much-needed refinement in the Fall Creators Update, so you can use 3D effects, Ink, transitions, and make simple automated videos. 

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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