It's been about six months since the release of the Windows 10 Creators Update, which can only mean one thing: it's time for another feature update to the OS. As was promised at IFA, the Fall Creators Update arrives today, and it packs quite a few new features.
Of course, the headlining feature in the Fall Creators Update is Windows Mixed Reality. With a range of head-mounted displays (HMDs) that are made by Acer, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, and more, you can immerse yourself in virtual reality, and the shell is built right into Windows 10 on your PC. It offers a lower barrier to entry than other VR solutions, with support for a dual-core Core i5 with integrated graphics.
Many of the HMDs that were announced are available beginning today, and prices start at $399. They even come with a pair of Motion Controllers.
The Creators Update introduced Paint 3D, but with the Fall Creators Update, you can add those 3D creations to the real world with the Mixed Reality Viewer app. It's similar to how a lot of AR cameras work.
But there's also Story Remix, which is a new feature of the Photos application. This allows you to mix up photos and videos into a story, and you can add those same 3D creations and effects to existing media.
But if you're not interested in any of that stuff, there are still a bunch of productivity-related features on the way. OneDrive Files On-Demand is the resurrection of placeholders from Windows 8.1. You no longer have to choose folders to sync; you'll be able to see all of your folders and files in your OneDrive, and the files will be downloaded as you use them. Of course, you can sync them ahead of time through the File Explorer if you need to.
There are also a number of improvements to the onscreen keyboard. There's a one-handed keyboard that has swipe functionality, and there's finally an emoji picker that you can launch by pressing Win + . (period).
The most noticeable change though will likely be the Fluent Design System, Microsoft's new design language that's meant to translate across 2D and 3D environments. Acrylic will bring layers of transparency, so you can see what's behind an object. Buttons that don't have borders will be highlighted when you hover over them, and when you get closer to the next button, that one will start to light up.
The design changes in the Fall Creators Update are subtle, but there are more on the way. Fluent Design is to come in phases, and it will evolve over time.
The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update will begin rolling out today at 10am PT, and it will be a staged rollout. If you can't wait for Microsoft to push it to your machine, you'll be able to do a clean install with the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool, or force your PC to upgrade using the Upgrade Assistant.
While this update is rolling out to PCs beginning today, Microsoft has assured us that it will be rolling out for other device types - such as Xbox and phones - within a similar timeframe, so expect to see those soon.