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12 May 2017, 01:12 | Virginia Benson
Terry Myerson, Joe Belfiore, and other executives shared the stage to reveal details about the upcoming year for Windows 10, a new design philosophy for all Microsoft apps, the company's mixed reality efforts, and much more. We've already seen bits of this new design paradigm make their way into first-party apps, but we'll see more in Windows 10 and from third-party developers once the Fall Creators Update arrives.
According to Microsoft, more than 500 million devices now run Windows 10. Microsoft has demoed the Build 16193 on PC at Build 2017 Developer Conference and it comes with a lot of new features. You can watch the presentation video below that highlights the new features. It uses technologies such as Timeline, which visually displays what a user was doing previously, allowing them to easily hop back into files, apps and websites as if it was real time. The particularly-interesting bit is the ability to transfer an open task from a desktop PC to a laptop or another mobile device (iOS and Android included), using the accompanying Pick Up Where You Left Off feature.
The personal assistant Cortana will also understand what you're working on across different machines, whether it's a phone or your computer.
"Imagine logging off your PC and having the doc you were editing pop up on your phone", Myerson said. The focus point of the new update is sharing content across devices, whether that is a Windows, iOS or Android device.
In another concession to the popularity of Apple's products, iTunes software will be added to the Windows Store - an announcement that evoked some of the loudest cheers in Thursday's crowd. The so-called online files from OneDrive will show up in the Windows file picker, alongside apps that are stored locally. As the name implies, Timeline provides a visual record of recent apps and activities, which could be a more natural way of picking up where you left off. Story Remix takes your media - photos and video from your smartphone, for example - and turns them into "instant video stories".
"Fluent Design will deliver intuitive, harmonious, responsive and inclusive cross-device experiences and interactions". Microsoft had a similar capability in Windows 8 but later removed it.
The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update will also see the magic of mixed reality brought to consumers around the world.
Windows will also start to look a little fresher. We will be seeing Fluent apps in this update and developers are being asked to get on board. Microsoft stated that developers in the US and Canada can pre-order an Acer ($299 USD) or HP ($329 USD) Windows Mixed Reality Headset Developer Edition starting today from the Microsoft Store for delivery later this summer.
Windows is making hand-held controllers for virtual reality.
Acer will sell a Windows Mixed Reality headset and motion controller bundle priced at $399 United States dollars this holiday season.
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