Everything you must know about Windows 10 Creators Update and Surface Studio

Microsoft held its Windows 10 event Wednesday morning, and just as the company promised, it was focused on the future of Windows 10. Hardware took a backseat at first, with the next major Windows 10 update starting the event front and center. Wednesday’s Redstone 2 preview, along with future updates, will be released as the Windows 10 Creators Update in early 2017.

You can start getting your hands on the new bits by joining the Windows Insiders program, and if you own a Surface Pro 4 or Surface Book then you’ll be able to really give the next version an early workout.

But hardware was hardly ignored at the event. Microsoft introduced the highly anticipated Surface All-in-One (AIO), dubbed the Surface Studio, and the new desktop PC is both everything everyone expected and quite a bit more. It’s the perfect stationary machine for any creative person, offering a superior screen and the ability to morph from a traditional upright AIO to a nicely angled drawing surface leveraging the Surface Pen. Microsoft also introduced the Surface Dial, a hockey puck controller that works on a desktop surface with other Windows 10 Anniversary Update devices and can be placed directly on the Surface Studio’s screen for even more enhanced input.

Below, we provide an overview of everything announced at Microsoft’s October 2016 event:

New Windows features

The first new tagline used at today’s event was “3D for Everyone,” communicating the idea that Windows 10 Creator Update will incorporate 3D into your workflow in new and innovative ways. First up was a new version of Paint 3D that will make creating 3D scenes easy for anyone, from children to adults. You’ll be able to use your smartphone’s camera via the new Capture 3D app to scan an object and convert it to a 3D image that can be imported into Paint 3D. In addition, Microsoft is enabling 3D image support in the Office 365 productivity suite.

These 3D images will also be shareable via a new web site, Remix3D.com. This site will serve as another community specifically aimed at sharing 3D objects among real people, and if you’re a Windows Insider then you can sign up now for immediate access.

The ultimate purpose of the focus on 3D, however, seems to be to create an ever-growing gallery of objects for use with Microsoft’s HoloLens augmented reality solution. Windows 10 Creator Update, therefore, looks like it will be working hard to expand the use cases for HoloLens beyond the dry academic and scientific settings of today and make it useful for real people.

Finally, Microsoft made brief mention of upcoming OEM virtual reality systems that will support the Windows 10 Creator Update. Few details were provided on the new VR options, but they’ll be starting out at the relatively affordable price point of $300.

Gaming

Microsoft has already talked a great deal about its renewed emphasis on gaming. The Xbox One S extended the company’s console to a more attractive offering that has put Microsoft in first place in the console market for the last few months. Next up will be Project Scorpio, a 4K gaming beast to be introduced in late 2017 or so.

At the event, Microsoft introduced a new feature specific to gamers who want to share their experience with other gamers. Xbox Game Broadcasting, based on the Beam streaming service that Microsoft acquired, is exactly that feature, and it makes it easy to join in with communities and broadcast a shared gaming experience.

Microsoft also introduced the ability to create custom tournaments via Xbox Live Arena. Esports are incredibly popular today, and Microsoft obviously wants to plug into the growing phenomenon. Custom tournaments allow gamers to create their own contests and share them with friends on box Xbox One and PC, making e-sports into a more individualized, democratic, and cross-platform experience.

Enhanced Windows Sharing Experience

Microsoft wants to make it easier to share and communicate with all of the people in our lives. Today, contact management in Windows 10 isn’t terribly robust, and clearly Microsoft wants to change that in the Windows 10 Creator Update. The company is building much more than contact management into the OS. It’s making it possible for us to much more easily share information and resources with our most important people.

Essentially, the new Windows Sharing Experience builds contacts more directly into Windows 10 — similar to how it’s handled on smartphones, and MacOS. You’ll be able to pin contacts to your taskbar, and they’ll be constantly updated as desired with what’s going on in their lives. My People is the official name of the new functionality, and it will make contacts available throughout the OS for easily sharing information to the most important people. And there appears to be a new hook developers can tap into, that will allow them to build a common sharing function into apps.

Updated Surface Book with Performance Base

surface book 2

Microsoft took a few minutes to introduce an updated version of the Surface Book. The new edition, called the Surface Book with Performance Base, makes a number of important enhancements to the company’s flagship Windows 10 2-in-1. The new Surface Book model utilizes a 6th-gen Core i7 processor, an enhanced Nvidia GeFore GTX 965M GPU, and perhaps most important offers dramatically increased battery life up to 16 hours.

A new thermal solution was also described, and a potentially improved keyboard will be on hand. The Surface Book i7 will be available in November and will be priced starting at $2,400 and topping out at $3,300. You can pre-order the new Surface Book with Performance Base today.

Cars

2019 RAM 1500 Classic Warlock special edition: Badass style without the whoop

If you like the looks of blacked-out badass trucks without the cost of a desert racer, FCA announced the 2019 Ram 1500 Classic Warlock, a special edition pickup that focuses on appearance with only a touch of additional off-road capability.
Computing

Like to be brand loyal? These tech titans make some of our favorite laptops

If you want to buy your next laptop based around a specific brand, it helps to know which the best brands of laptops are. This list will give you a good grounding in the most reliable, quality laptop manufacturers today.
Computing

The Surface Pro 6 is a minimalist update on the best tablet 2-in-1

The Surface Pro 6 is officially here, though it's not as big of a redesign as you might have hoped. With a new coat of black paint and an 8th-gen processor, it's a small, but notable update.
Smart Home

Ford’s ingenious bed for couples keeps mattress hogs in their own half

Drawing on its driverless-car technology, Ford has created a smart bed for couples that uses sensors and a conveyor belt to prevent either occupant from straying onto the other half of the mattress while they doze.
Computing

Microsoft’s Presidents Day Sale cuts price of some Surface laptops by up to $200

It is a great time to save on Windows 10 laptops. Microsoft's retail store is running a sale on some of the best tablets and laptops, cutting pricing by up to $200 on the Surface Laptop 2 and more.
Gaming

Here’s how to set up a virtual private network (VPN) on your Xbox One

Online privacy is more important now than it's ever been, and gaming is happening online more than ever before. Here's a quick guide on how to set up a VPN for your Xbox One so you game in safe anonymity.
Computing

New Chrome feature aimed at preventing websites from blocking Incognito Mode

A new Chrome feature will prevent websites from blocking Chrome users as they browse using Incognito Mode. The feature is supposed to fix a known loophole that allows websites to detect and block those using Incognito Mode.
Photography

What’s the difference between Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic?

Lightroom CC has evolved into a capable photo editor, but is it enough to supplant Lightroom Classic? We took each program for a test drive to compare the two versions and see which is faster, more powerful, and better organized.
Computing

Reluctant to give your email address away? Here's how to make a disposable one

Want to sign up for a service without the risk of flooding your inbox with copious amounts of spam and unwanted email? You might want to consider using disposable email addresses via one of these handy services.
Computing

Chrome is a fantastic browser, but is is still the best among new competitors?

Choosing a web browser for surfing the web can be tough with all the great options available. Here we pit the latest versions of Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Edge, and Vivaldi against one another to find the best browsers for most users.
Computing

Don't use streaming apps? Try the best free media players for your local music

Rather than using music-streaming apps, you may want something for playing your local music. Good news! There are some good alternatives. These are the best media players you can download for free on Windows.
Mobile

Need speed? Qualcomm unveils the Snapdragon X55, the world’s fastest 5G modem

Qualcomm is preparing for an even faster future: The silicon giant just unveiled a second generation 5G modem for smartphones, promising blistering download speeds as high as 7Gbps.
Mobile

Barbie’s Corvette ain’t got nothing on Sphero’s fully programmable robot car

Sphero is known for devices like the Sphero Bolt and BB-8 Star Wars toy, but now the company is back with another addition to its lineup -- the Sphero RVR. The RVR is a fully programmable robot car that can be expanding with different…
Photography

Luminar’s libraries gain speed, drop need for you to manually import images

Luminar 3 just got a performance boost. Skylum Luminar 3.0.2 has improved speed over December's update, which added the long-promised libraries feature giving editors a Lightroom alternative.
1 of 2