The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update now has a release date: October 17. Microsoft started finalizing the release last week, and we’d expect this release to follow the pattern seen in previous Windows updates: the final build will be done some time in September and roll out to members of the Windows Insider program’s fast, slow, and release preview rings. Then it will hit Windows Update. From there, we’d expect a slow ramp up in availability.
The biggest feature of the update is that it opens up support for virtual reality headsets with what Microsoft calls its Mixed Reality platform. Headsets from Acer, Dell, Lenovo, and HP will start shipping on the same day (and will be joined by Asus‘ headset next year), with prices starting at $299. These headsets don’t need any external tracking boxes; they’ll just plug into your PC with an HDMI and USB cable, or in Dell’s case, a single USB Type-C cable. In addition to software written for Microsoft’s Mixed Reality API, they will also support the SteamVR platform, so a library of suitable games should materialize soon.
Other features of the new version are seamless OneDrive integration, the ability to pin contacts to your taskbar, a beta version of eye-tracking-based navigation, expanded integrated exploit mitigation systems, and a new searchable emoji keyboard.
The Fall Creators Update will also be the first release that has any widespread adoption of Microsoft’s new Fluent Design System, though the adoption of Fluent will be a journey that spans multiple updates.
Unfortunately, the new release won’t include one of the more exciting features that Microsoft has planned. Timeline and Pick Up Where I Left Off, along with their universal cross-device clipboard, have been postponed to a later update.
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