Two major Windows 10 updates could be in store for 2017 – The update will be available for free to all users.
Windows 10. (Microsoft – Image Courtesy)
The Creators Update, the next major update to Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system, will be available to users free of charge from spring 2017. However, this could be followed by a second important update before the year is out, according to the website OnMSFT. Likely to roll out first of all to testers in the Windows Insider program, the update probably won't be publicly available until early 2018.
As the name suggests, Microsoft's Creators Update is designed to bring out everyone's creative side, from novice users to gamers to experienced graphic designers, whether for home or professional use. To channel this creativity, the US tech giant is putting 3D at the heart of the system. The most noticeable change will be an overhaul of Paint, updating the long-serving drawing program to allow users to create and animate 3D images relatively easily, notably by transforming simple 2D drawings into three-dimensional images. Each creation could then be shared online or even 3D printed.
What's more, Windows Ink stylus functionality, for drawing or writing, is coming to Office applications, opening the door to new uses and the integration of 3D objects into Word and PowerPoint projects. Even the firm's Microsoft Edge web browser will be revamped to exploit the full potential of 3D. Plus, the Windows 10 Creators Update will naturally be optimized for the firm's HoloLens augmented reality glasses.
Finally, the updated "Start" menu will let users create custom folders filled with the tiles of their choice. The Cortana intelligent personal assistant is also getting a host of new functions in the update. It can, for example, start playing a radio station or a movie, search for recipes, and handle recurring time-based reminders ("every month" or "every year"), which can be handy for paying bills or remembering birthdays.
Although Microsoft has already released plenty of info about the upcoming Creators Update, there's been no word from the firm on the second mysterious update.
At the same time, Microsoft is reportedly in the process of developing a simplified and lower-cost version of its Windows 10 operating system. In a similar way to Google's Chrome OS, the idea would be to make a pared-down operating system to suit the many less-powerful PCs on the market, as well as users on tight budgets, by mainly using cloud-based programs. Microsoft could officially reveal Windows 10 Cloud in April 2017 at an event primarily dedicated to the Windows 10 Creators update.