Microsoft shares details on the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

Not the most creative name, and the best rumored feature isn’t happening.

windows 10 s splash
Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft announced at its Build developer conference that the next major update to Windows 10, codenamed Redstone 3 and due in September, will be called the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.

If that name is underwhelming, so is the news that the rumors about separating Edge from the OS so that Edge could be updated more frequently are not true. The Windows news site Neowin, which first carried the rumor last week, got the news from Microsoft that there were no plans to separate the browser from the OS but “never say never.”

This is really a big mistake on Microsoft’s part. Edge was only getting updated with Windows updates, which were coming at a rate of once per year. That cadence was recently upped to twice per year, which is still far too rare for the browser. Google and Mozilla update their browsers every few weeks, not every few months, and that’s why they are much faster and more compatible.

The main new feature coming with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update is a major overhaul to the UI, known under its codename Project NEON and now formally known as the Microsoft Fluent Design System. However, the entire planned redesign won’t launch with the Fall update, only major portions of it.

Microsoft described Fluent as "an evolution of Metro," the new UI originally introduced with Windows 8 and renamed the “Microsoft Design Language” and later MDL 2.0. Microsoft said there are five key areas that Fluent Design will emphasize for its new visual experience: light, depth, motion, material and scale.

This means less static pieces of the interface and more animations, rich textures, and dynamic layers. Microsoft released an accompanying video to show samples of all five experiences.

Microsoft has also launched a new website detailing the Fluent Design System.

Other new features include:

OneDrive Placeholders

Microsoft is finally bringing back OneDrive Placeholders with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. Microsoft first introduced the concept in Windows 8.1, where you could have access to files offline. But it wasn’t integrated into the Windows file system and didn’t work very well. OneDrive Files on Demand will allow you to save space on your device by letting you view files when you need them instead of downloading all the files on your device.

Clipboard syncing

Windows 10 will let you sync content in your clipboard across all of your connected devices. Microsoft tried this before with an experimental app called OneClip but it was never released. Windows 10 Fall Creators Update will allow you to copy and paste anything you want between your devices, such as Windows 10 PCs and mobile, (Android and iOS). Microsoft said this syncing works with almost all content, even animated GIFs.

Pick Up Where You Left Off

This feature was launched with the Creators Update, but with the upcoming Windows 10 Fall Creators Update it will work across numerous devices: Windows, iOS and Android. You can start working on a document, app, or loading a website on your PC and continue working on it from a phone or tablet.

Timeline

Timeline is similar to your browser history, which is broken down chronologically. It displays a timeline of the tasks you have done for the past day or days, allowing you to jump back to an old task or app with a click. It sounds neat, but really, do I need a second way to open Word and continue working on a document?

Story Remix

This app lets you turn photos and videos into a movie, using things like cinematic transitions, soundtrack, and theme. It will also let users add 3D objects to their videos and photos.

There is a lot to digest here, and time will tell how it all plays out. 

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