Microsoft today announced the free Windows 10 Creators Update will begin rolling out on April 11. For those keeping track, this is build 15063, first released to Windows Insiders on March 20.
The company first unveiled the Creators Update at its Windows 10 event in October 2016. The free upgrade includes 3D and mixed reality features, broadcasting functionality for gamers, Edge improvements, plus new security capabilities and privacy tools.
In related news, Microsoft today also shared that its Surface devices are coming to more countries. You can now pre-order the Surface Book with Performance base in Austria, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the U.K. Surface Studio and Surface Dial are now available for pre-order in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. All three Surface products will be available for purchase in the aforementioned countries starting on April 20.
Here is a quick rundown on the new features you can expect in the Creators Update (also check out our more detailed breakout for gamers):
- Paint 3D: This new app lets you create 3D objects from scratch, change their colors and textures, or turn a 2D object into a 3D one. Remix3D.com takes this a step further with an online library of pre-made 3D art that you can use and where you can share your own creations.
- Windows Mixed Reality headsets: The update supports these new devices coming from Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, and Lenovo starting at $299 and shipping later this year. Built-in sensors mean six-degrees of freedom without the need for external markers or sensors.
- Beam: Windows 10 PC and Xbox One gamers can stream gameplay, chat, and interact with the community in real-time.
- Game Mode: Dedicate more resources to your PC games, or really any app you choose.
- Edge advanced tab management: Find, organize, and open tabs you’ve set aside without leaving the page you’re on.
- Edge Books: Get e-books in the Windows Store and read them in Edge across all of your Windows 10 devices.
- Night light: Reduce the blue light emitted by your screen so you can hopefully sleep better.
- Mini view: Keep an ever-present small window on top of what you’re doing. This is useful for always having a show on in the background, carrying on a Skype conversation, or controlling your music.
- Screen time limits: A similar set of controls is now available for Xbox One, so parents can manage how much time their children play games across the console and PC. You can set a daily allowance for each child and they will be automatically signed out when time is up.
- Remote lock: Windows Hello can now use any smartphone, fitness band, or device that’s paired to your PC or tablet to detect when you step away, automatically locking your computer behind.
- Windows Defender Security Center: A single dashboard display lets you control your security tools (anti-virus, network, and firewall), assess your device performance and health, limit apps, and set family safety options.
- Privacy: A new set up experience that lets you choose the settings across Windows 10 and other Microsoft services.
Windows 10 is a service, meaning it was built in a very different way than its predecessors so it can be regularly updated with not just fixes but new features, too. While Microsoft has released many such updates, the Creators Update is the third major one and follows the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, released in August 2016.
Windows 10 was installed on over 75 million PCs in its first four weeks, passed 110 million devices after 10 weeks, 200 million in under six months, 270 million after eight months, 300 million after nine months, 350 million after 11 months, and 400 million after 14 months.
Microsoft was aiming for 1 billion devices running Windows 10 “in two to three years,” but backpedaled on that goal. Indeed, the company did not have a new figure to share today, meaning Windows 10 is still on some 400 million devices, but below half a billion.