The latest update for Windows 10 is here. The Creators Update is targeted at creative types, but it also has some features that workers will like. Many of the biggest additions – such as the new Paint 3D program – are mostly for fun and educational purposes. But some of the updates might help you do your job. Here's a rundown.
Members of the company's Insider program have had access to the update for some time, and it is available for Windows 10 users for free. Microsoft says this version is now ready for business deployment. Moving forward Windows 10 and Office 365 ProPlus will get new feature updates twice a year (March and September). It behooves companies to run this update because the Windows 10 November Update, which rolled out in 2015, will no longer be supported with security patches as of October 10, 2017. After that date, Windows 10 users must be running to Windows 10 Anniversary Update, Windows 10 Creators Update or Windows 10 Fall Creators Update to get updates. Note: New users will need to pay $120 for Windows 10 Home or $200 for Windows 10 Pro.
Augmented reality in the workplace
Want to plan out the floor space in your new office before you invest in furniture? Microsoft showed off some cool HoloLens features that could help you do just that. HoloLens is a headset from Microsoft that lets you experience augmented reality – in other words, you can project 3D virtual objects into a real-world space, then rotate and position them just how you like.
In a live demo, the functionality was paired with the new Capture 3D tool, which lets you scan a 2D image of an object from your computer (in this case a chair) and project a 3D model of it into the space you’re standing in.
That might seem like a niche use for an expensive device like the HoloLens headset. But there are tons of interesting business use cases for augmented reality on the horizon. In the future, you might use headsets like the HoloLens for employee training, remote work and more. Microsoft has also shown off industry-specific demos for augmented reality, such as engineers designing products in an interactive virtual environment.
Spruce up your presentations
An updated version of Microsoft PowerPoint – the most popular tool for creating slideshows and presentations on PCs – will let you spice up your presentations with 3D elements. Users can select 3D models from an online repository called Remix3D (which is owned by Microsoft), then add them to your PowerPoint presentations. That could help your audience understand concepts with the help of rotating 3D models. It could also simply add a bit of visual flare to your slideshows.
Another new feature in Creators Update will make it easy to stay in touch with your coworkers and colleagues throughout the workday. You’ll be able to pin your top contacts to your taskbar at the bottom of your screen, then click their icon to quickly send text messages, emails, files and more. You’ll also be able to relay text messages from smartphones straight to your Windows desktop, which will make sure you don’t overlook an important incoming message.
Additional reporting by Anna Attkisson, Editorial Director, Technology