Microsoft is holding a briefing at the IFA 2017 conference today, where it finally announced the release date of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. The feature update will be arriving on PCs on October 17.
One of the key features of the Fall Creators Update (FCU) is Windows Mixed Reality. With head-mounted displays (HMDs) from OEMs like Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and 3Glasses that start at $299 and work with PCs that have integrated graphics, there's a much lower entry point for virtual reality than with competing products from Oculus and HTC. PCs with integrated graphics will run the experience at 60fps, but a discrete GPU will get you 90fps.
The company has also improved Game Mode with the FCU, allowing you to "use the full processing power of your device as if it was an Xbox game console", from a button on the Game Bar.
Aside from gaming and Mixed Reality, there are plenty of improvements for those that just want to get things done. OneDrive Files On-Demand is the long-awaited replacement for the placeholders that were found in Windows 8.1 and removed in Windows 10. You'll be able to see all of your files that are stored in the cloud - even if you haven't chosen to sync them - and you can choose to store them offline by right-clicking on the file or folder and choosing that option.
The update also comes with some improvements to Windows Ink, allowing you to mark up PDF files in the Edge browser. There's also a new Find my Pen feature, which basically just tells you the last place that you were when you used your pen.
Microsoft says that it has 'reimagined' the Photos app to "deliver remixed experiences for telling your stories with photos, videos, music, 3D, and, even inking." The firm is, of course, talking about its Story Remix feature, which it announced at its Build developer conference this year.
As always, there are Windows Defender improvements to keep your system more secure, and there are accessibility improvements as well. Eye Control is an "incredible eye tracking technology that lets you type, and operate a mouse just using your eyes, this is life changing technology for those with Lou Gehrig’s disease."
Microsoft will begin rolling out the Fall Creators Update on October 17, although it's likely to be a staged rollout, with the company testing it on newer devices and gradually pushing it out to others as it gets more feedback. As far as Windows 10 Mobile goes, Microsoft says that it expects it in a similar timeframe.