When Windows 10 shipped, Microsoft promised us that this would be the last “Big Bang” operating system release they ever made. From that point on, we should only expect to see a regular stream of incremental updates, in much the same way service pack updates appeared in the past.
The first major update to Windows 10 – named Creators Update – is due to arrive imminently. But far from simply being a collection of bug fixes, the boffins at Redmond have been hard at work creating a collection of add-ons that promise to help users be more productive – and creative – when using their PCs.
So what can we expect to see in the update?
Ever since the 1990s, developers have been trying to recreate 3D environments on computers – and with the Creators Update we move ever-so-slightly closer to seeing this dream realised.
The venerable Paint program, present since Windows 1.0 was first released in 1985, is receiving a major upgrade. In Creators Update, users will have a full suite of 3D drawing tools available for the first time. Paint 3D allows users to draw directly on the screen of compatible devices (like tablets and touchscreen laptops), and the ability to draw 3D objects.
You can see a demonstration of these new drawing features below.
Holographics at home
The Creators Update is also expected to offer improved support for HoloLens, Microsoft’s “smart glasses” which are due to ship later this year. HoloLens promises to enhance the 3D experience for Windows 10 users for graphics, gaming and entertainment.
The Creators Update also introduces a brand new “Holographic” interface that can be used with low-cost virtual reality (VR) headsets from HP, Asus, Lenovo, Acer and Dell. Microsoft has been keeping this feature under wraps – but you can expect to see more the closer we get to launch.
This focus on visual tools is why the release is called Creators Update.
Simplified, stronger security
As part of their continued quest to improve security for their users, Windows Defender is undergoing something of an overhaul. The Windows Defender Security Center “experience” has been designed to make it easier for users to protect their computers and data from a range of cyber threats.
According to Microsoft, the new tools give you complete control over your system, focused in 5 key areas:
- Virus & threat protection, including the free Windows Defender Antivirus system.
- Device performance & health, showing where a PC may have problems, and offering a one-click repair install of the operating system.
- Firewall & network protection, allowing easy access to network settings.
- App & browser control, allowing granular control of software and its access to your computer. A new “App Throttling” tool allows you to prioritise certain applications to improve performance too.
- Family options, allowing parents to control access to applications and websites to protect their children.
This Microsoft video provides a good oversight of what to expect from the Windows Defender Security Center.
Any device productivity
For anyone lucky enough to own a Microsoft tablet or smartphone, the Creators Update is about to make it much easier to work. Your computer will now pop up a notification, showing the webpages and documents you have open on your other devices. A quick click and you can pick up exactly where you left off.
The same is true of your mobile devices – Cortana (Microsoft’s virtual assistant) can pick up whatever you were last working on your PC too. You will even be able to access information and files copied to your clipboard on any device.
Advanced sharing with friends
Microsoft has built social tools directly into Windows 10 with the latest update. Sharing files, photos and messages is as simple as dragging the item onto a contact pinned to your status bar. The Creators Update also introduces “Beam”, a live broadcasting tool similar to the hugely popular smartphone app, Twitch.
Whether at work or at home, sharing information is set to become a whole lot easier.
How do I get the Creators Update?
If your PC is already running Windows 10, the Creators Update is completely free. Your computer will update itself automatically once the new software is released in April.
If you’ve resisted the Windows 10 upgrade, you will need to buy an upgrade from the Microsoft store.
Want to learn more? Keep an eye out for our Complete Guide to Windows 10 Creators Update which will be published soon.