During its IFA keynote in Berlin, Germany, Microsoft officially announced that the forthcoming Windows 10 Fall Creators Update is headed to PCs starting on Tuesday, October 17. Microsoft's Executive Vice President of the Windows and Devices Group, Terry Myerson, revealed the date as well as an overview of new features, hardware, and the push for Windows Mixed Reality.
The Fall Creators Update, a.k.a., Redstone 3 kicked off Windows Insider builds at the beginning of April with build 16170, and the latest 16278 build was previewed earlier this week. After nearly six months of public development, Microsoft is in the final weeks of testing, polishing and fixing remaining bugs before general release meaning Insiders should still see a few more releases before its finalized.
While not as creator-focused as the original spring Creators Update, this fall refresh brings many newer improvements including OneDrive files on demand, which has been a top request for users ever since Windows 10 was released nearly two years go.
Other features of the Fall Creators Update include:
- Windows Mixed Reality, including support for non-discrete GPU laptops.
- Windows Inking improvements like marking up PDFs, smart ink that converts drawn shapes into more perfect ones using artificial intelligence and Windows Find my Pen.
- Accessibility features like eye-tracking to help those with Lou Gehrig's disease.
- New input enhancements like Emoji 5.0, handwriting improvement, scrolling webpages with a pen.
- More EPUB support and UI changes to the Edge browser.
- Changes to Windows Shell like new context menu icons in Start, My People Hub, pop notifications, some Fluent Design, and more.
Regarding Windows Mixed Reality, those new headsets from Microsoft's OEM partners also begin shipping on October 17 alongside the Fall Creators Update.
You can read about many of the changes in our Fall Creators Update page, which has a running list of some of the improvements coming on October 17.
As expected, there was no mention of Windows 10 Mobile, Microsoft's phone OS, which is now in maintenance mode with the Feature2 branch.
Microsoft is wasting no time with Windows development, however, as this week Windows Insiders on the new "Skip ahead" ring already began receiving the first bits for Windows 10 Redstone 4, which is due in spring 2018.
So far, Microsoft has not said much about what the focus of Redstone 4 will be, but we're sure to hear more in the coming months.