Microsoft today released the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update to all users of the operating system. The update was originally announced back in May and has been available to Windows Insiders since then. Now, the same software is beginning to hit PCs everywhere.
So what’s new in the Fall Creators Update? A bunch of stuff. Most notably, Microsoft has formally introduced its Project Neon design language as the Fluent Design System which focuses on bringing the evolution of Metro to Windows 10 devices. It features blurred transparencies throughout the experience, smoother animations, and just a cleaner experience overall. Some apps, such as Groove Music, have already adopted the new design language, while core Windows elements have also copped the new look as well over the course of multiple Insider builds.
In terms of features, there’s plenty to talk about here. For instance, a new function called Pick Up Where You Left Off lets continuity between devices happen more seamlessly and powerfully. Essentially, any task you perform on one Windows 10 device, you can continue on another. It’s similar to how Apple manages continuity across iOS and macOS, but Microsoft’s take is much more extensive as it works on Windows, iOS, and Android.
OneDrive placeholders are also making a comeback in the Fall Creators Update, but not in the way you may expect. Microsoft has given the feature a new name: Files On-Demand. It allows for users to store data in the cloud and sync it across devices without having to download it to multiple devices. Microsoft talks about the function as allowing you “to open online files from within desktop or Windows Store apps using the Windows file picker. Simply select the file you want to open in the file picker, and the file will automatically download and open in your app.”
Another feature coming to Windows 10 is a cloud-based clipboard literally called Clipboard. It allows users to paste text, images, and more into a little box and sync that data across devices. Microsoft is trying to solve that problem many users face when trying to paste, say, a link in a browser on their desktop but wanna do so on their phone instead. I’m telling you, this is one of the best additions to any OS I’ve ever heard, so you’ll probably enjoy using it.
Finally, with the Fall Creators Update, Microsoft is rebranding the Windows Store as the Microsoft Store. The reason? With the update, you’ll be able to purchase more than just games and apps; Microsoft will also sell you laptops, tablets, and PCs alongside accessories, much like its online store. Whether this is for good or bad depends on how often you visit the Windows Store. I, for one, only use it to install an app every now and then so it’s not like I’m a regular visitor. But if you tend to visit the Microsoft online store more often than others, you may appreciate this change.
Of course, with every good software update comes some ommissions, and there’s a few worth noting. For one, the infamous Paint app is no longer included. Microsoft is trying to push users to use Paint 3D and future creative apps, but at least the original Paint app will stick around in the newly-branded Microsoft Store.
Also omitted from today’s update is a new feature called Timeline. It creates an improved Task View interface that lays out recently-used apps for you to interact with at later times. You may have lost your place in your workflow that you had open a few hours ago, but with Timeline, you should be able to recover it just by scrolling down in Task View. Timeline also works across devices in conjunction with Pick Up Where You Left Off so you can travel back in time no matter which device you’re using. Unfortunately, it wasn’t ready for the release of the FCU so expect to see it in a future update.
Finally, Microsoft is also opting out of including Windows Story Remix. The allows users to essentially create videos out of photos and videos, but with more features than you’d expect. You can source videos and photos from multiple devices with the Story Remix app (iOS, Android, or Windows), import 3D models into your projects, and even let the app create a video reel for you with music and highlights from your clips. This feature wasn’t ready for release either so we’ll likely see it hit Insider’s PCs soon and the public in the future.
To see if the Fall Creators Update is available for your Windows 10 PC, go to Settings > Update and Security > Windows Update and click “Check for updates.” Some users will see the update today, others will see it in a few weeks. It’s really hit or miss, but you have a better chance of seeing the FCU sooner than later.