Microsoft took the stage in New York to announce the next direction for their company. With the success of Apple and Google in recent years, the once dominant Microsoft is now looking for new ways to set itself apart. Now, they are looking to make everyone a “Creator”, and put people at the center of Windows.
Not a bad philosophy.
The first half of the Redmond company’s event was dedicated to 3 main points, all of which are baked into the Spring 2017 release of Windows 10: the Creators Update.
3D for Everyone
Microsoft says we are witnessing the birth of a new medium: mixed reality. The next generation of creators will naturally use 3D intuitively, instead of only working and creating in 2D. We will now be able to transition from the physical world, to the 3D experience of our PC’s, to the augmented reality of HoloLens, to virtual reality headsets. They announced upcoming VR accessories made by partners such as HP, Lenovo, and more. These devices will start at only $299, and are compatible with your existing Windows 10 devices.
Microsoft is releasing a cross-platform app that has the ability to scan a physical object by taking a pic. It transforms that scan into a 3D model that can then be edited in the newest version of the classic MS Paint: Paint 3D. After you create your own art in the intuitive Paint 3D, you can share your work with a community of fellow creators. This focus on 3D will be integrated with most Microsoft apps, including PowerPoint and Edge.
4K Gaming & In-Game for Everyone
With Xbox One S and Windows 10 Creators Update, gamers can experience 4K gaming and in-game broadcasting with Beam. Beam’s integration into Xbox makes everyone a broadcaster. Your friends and followers can watch you play your favourite game live. They can chat, and even influence your gameplay with requests.
Looks like Microsoft is finally going after the likes of Twitch and YouTube with its own integrated service. I am wondering if this will gain traction, or just add clutter to an already hectic gaming landscape.
Inspired by esports and the League of Legends Finals, Arena on Xbox Live allows you to create your own custom tournaments. It is supposed to be simple to set up, invite friends, and keep score. Microsoft then rehashed some Xbox One S info, and announced that Dolby Atmos audio is coming soon.
Connect and Share with People who Matter Most
Microsoft introduced a simplified way of sharing content with your core contacts. Instead of finding what you want to share, opening an app, and then finding that contact in the app, you can now drag and drop to your contact’s face right on the taskbar. They say that people are placed at the center of Windows, “where they belong”. Also, the Windows share charm now has those people in it, above your list of apps. Looks like they’ve made annoying your partner or kids even more frictionless.
Multiple communication apps will also now be combined together. You can filter by the people most important to you in one simple place – your taskbar. SMS, email, Xbox, etc. all show up in Windows 10. Ahem… continuity?
A Microsoft for Everyone?
Ultimately, much of this portion of the Microsoft Event was an inspiring proposition of how to make cutting edge technology more accessible to more people – specifically the next generation of creators.
Wasn’t this supposed to be Apple’s shtick?
Check out our summary of the hardware portion of Microsoft’s event, where they revealed a new Surface and a Studio!