It’s almost time. Microsoft announced that the next big update for Windows 10—the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update—will be released on October 17. Microsoft frequently updates the Windows operating system in minor ways each month, but the Creators Update is a major update that includes new features and capabilities. It’s sort of like getting a new version of the operating system entirely.
The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update includes a vast array of updates and changes, but here are the five things I’m looking forward to most:
1. Windows Inking
I’m sort of late to the party when it comes to Windows Inking. I have dabbled off and on, but it wasn’t until the launch of the new and improved Surface Pen that I really started to use it on a more regular basis. Windows Inking does a lot of cool things like identifying when you’re drawing a familiar shape like a square or circle and fixing it for you, or automatically creating a table out of a box you’ve sketched. Anyone who has used a pen, however, knows that you can never find it when you need it and the same is often true for the Surface Pen. The Fall Creators Update adds a “Find My Pen” feature that will pinpoint on a map the location you last used the pen, so that’s something at least.
2. OneDrive Files on Demand
I use OneDrive all the time. I am a huge fan of cloud storage and the ability to access my data from virtually any device, anywhere and anytime. When I place data into the OneDrive folder so it can be synced to the cloud, though, it still remains local as well and uses up storage on my computer. OneDrive Files On Demand will let you store those files in the cloud and access them as if they’re local without using up space on your PC.
3. Improved Security
The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update includes enhancements to Windows Defender. The new Windows Defender will be smarter and leverage cloud-based artificial intelligence to more effectively identify and block exploits and ransomware.
4. Mixed Reality
Microsoft—like many companies right now—is betting pretty heavy on mixed reality. Microsoft HoloLens is one example, but Microsoft is also expanding the native capabilities of Windows with the Fall Creators Update. A number of Microsoft partners, such as Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP and Lenovo, all plan to release mixed reality headsets starting as low as $299 to enable you to experience it for yourself. I am not entirely convinced yet that mixed reality will be a thing. I’m a little jaded over the way the tech and entertainment industries tried to force 3D to be a thing for the last five-plus years even though the technology sucks and nobody is really interested. I am hopeful that mixed reality can actually deliver on the hype behind it.
5. Better Gaming
With the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, Microsoft is making it easier to find and enable Game Mode when playing a game on the PC. A new button on the Game Bar will enable you to easily switch to Game Mode, which allows the game to access the full processing power of the PC for a better gaming experience.
These are just a handful of the updates and new capabilities in the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. In just over two weeks, Windows 10 users will be able to download the update for themselves and start playing with these new features. Let me know what you think.