It's fair to say that day two of Build was a little flashier than day one. Throughout the lengthy presentation, we got a glimpse at the not-too-distant future of Windows 10, as well as more information on Microsoft's mixed reality plans, developer tools, and a whole lot more.
These are the top seven takeaways from day two of Build 2017.
Redstone 3 is now (insert drum roll ... ) the 'Fall Creators Update'
That's right: We now have an official name for Microsoft's next big feature update to Windows 10 — previously known under its codename, Redstone 3. And though "Fall Creators Update" might feel like Microsoft is phoning it in a little by copping most of its last update's name, it's certainly descriptive. Naming conventions aside, the Fall Creators Update is already shaping up to be a notable upgrade.
First official look at Microsoft's new design language, the 'Fluent Design System'
Along with a name, we also got our first official look at the new design language that is set to roll out with the Fall Creators Update. Previously referred to as Project Neon, Microsoft's Fluent Design System is heavy on transparent blur elements and smooth animations that "make even subtle actions feel alive." We've already seen bits of this new design paradigm make their way into first-party apps, but we'll see more in Windows 10 and from third-party developers once the Fall Creators Update arrives.
Windows Story Remix
Shortly after revealing the next big Windows 10 update's name, Microsoft hammered home its focus on creators with Windows Story Remix. Described as an evolution of the current Photos app, Story Remix makes it easy to automatically create "stories" from your photos and videos. Microsoft says professional-looking transitions and 3D special effects make each story look great, and you can even tap into Groove Music from the app for your soundtrack.
Cloud Clipboards, Timelines, and 'Files on Demand,' Oh my!
This one is cheating a little, but there were three smaller announcements on stage today that deserve plenty of attention: OneDrive Files On-Demand, Timeline, and a cloud-based clipboard.
Files On-Demand marks the return of the highly requested OneDrive Placeholders, a feature that lets you see all of your OneDrive files on your PC without actually using up local storage. Timeline, on the other hand, lets you essentially scrub backward in time on your PC to restore programs and documents you were working on with snapshots of your system. Lastly, Clipboard will allow for cloud-based copy and paste, letting you copy something on one device and paste on another.
All three features are coming with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.
iTunes on the Windows Store
What was probably one of the biggest shocks of the keynote was news that iTunes is coming to the Windows Store. The obvious impetus for this move was last week's launch of Windows 10 S, which can only install and run apps from the Windows Store. Given Microsoft's target demographic for Windows 10 S is students, who may already be deep in Apple's ecosystem, this makes perfect sense. What's more, this is the second big win for the Windows Store in the past week, with Spotify announcing last week that it will be heading to Microsoft's app shop, as well.
Reaching out to iOS developers
Along with a number of other announcements around developer tools, Microsoft had some love for iOS developers. First, the tech giant launched its Project Rome SDK in preview for iOS. First launched for Android apps, Project Rome lets developers connect apps across devices, allowing for starting a task on one device and completing it on another.
Another big reveal was Xamarin Live Player, which streamlines iOS development on PC by letting developers deploy an app to iDevices and view code changes live in real time. And while a Mac is still required to submit an app to the App Store, this Xamarin Live Player streamlines the debugging process.
Windows Mixed Reality is a (really) big deal
To finish things up, Microsoft gave a whole of love to its Windows Mixed Reality platform. We learned not only that Windows Mixed Reality now supports awesome motion controllers, but developers can now preorder Mixed Reality dev kits from Acer and HP. The kicker? Acer's kit only costs $299, and HP's goes for just $329.
What are your impressions of the second day of Build? Did we skip an announcement we should have included? Let us know below.
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