Microsoft Build 2017

Ms Build Day 2 review

1. Fall Creators Update

Quite possibly the biggest announcement of the entire event, Microsoft revealed on Thursday morning that the next major update for Windows 10 will be called the Fall Creators Update. Out this September, the software update will bring a host of new features to the OS, including a cloud-based clipboard, an overhaul of the Task View area and the ability to resume sessions on multiple devices.

Some highlights are:

  • A new clipboard feature that allows you to copy and paste links, images, and files between devices — sort of like Pushbullet.
  • Pick Up Where You Left Off, a feature like Apple’s ‘Continuity’ that allows you to start work on one device, and finish on another.
  • The new ‘Timeline,’ which allows you to “jump back in time to find what you were working on.

2. Fluent Design System (AKA Project Neon)

The company finally announced the Fluent Design System, which was earlier known as Project NEON. It’s basically a new design language for Windows 10, and the main agenda is to give developers access to a single design language that will work across a diverse set of platforms. “The Fluent Design System will deliver intuitive, harmonious, responsive and inclusive cross-device experiences and interactions,” Microsoft said in a statement.

Microsoft today unveiled the long-rumored Project Neon. Now, though, it has a real name: Microsoft Fluent Design System, or ‘Fluent’ if you’re short on time.

The update isn’t an overhaul, but more a shift toward what’s possible as we move into designing for multiple platforms, including mixed reality. Fluent adds a variety of possibilities for UI design on Windows Apps, including:

  • Light
  • Depth
  • Motion
  • Material
  • Scale

3. Windows Story Remix

Story Remix is a brand new application coming to Windows 10 in the Fall Creators Update. It’s something of a sequel to Movie Maker, as it allows users to combine videos, images and music into a professional, cohesive video presentation without requiring them to know anything about complex video editing.

As part of the Fall Creators Update, Microsoft announced Windows Story Remix, an application for editing photos and videos. It lets you add soundtracks, annotations, transitions, special effects, and even allow users to add 3D objects to your photos and videos to view in mixed reality. More importantly, it has Windows Ink support to write on photos and videos easily.

4. Test iOS apps on Windows

Microsoft’s mobile efforts have been largely fruitless, but you know what they say: when you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. That’s exactly what Microsoft is doing with the new Xamarin Live Player, which will allow iOS app developers to deploy, test and debug applications on any Windows PC running Visual Studio. Just install the Xamarin Live Player app on your iOS device, pair it to your PC and you’re ready to go.

5. iTunes is coming to Windows Store

Microsoft revealed Apple’s iTunes and the Apple Music streaming service will be arriving on the Windows Store later this year. iTunes, is already available on the Windows platform, but the arrival of a Windows Store app is a big deal.

Windows users could already access iTunes, but now it’s coming directly to the Windows store. I’m not sure it’s worth getting excited about iTunes, as any Apple user can tell you, but the initiative to work cross-device and bring Apple Music and additional iPhone support is commendable.

It won’t, however, be available on devices running the relatively locked down Windows 10 S.

6. OneDrive Files On-Demand

Last but not least, OneDrive is received a new feature when the Fall Creators Update rolls out later this year. Dubbed “Files On-Demand,” the new feature will allow OneDrive users to have more control over which of their files are stored in the cloud and which are stored locally. In other words, you’ll be able to see all of your files and folders even if you haven’t synced them to your device. For those who have chosen OneDrive as their primary cloud storage service, this should be a step in the right direction.

OneDrive was already insanely useful on Windows devices, but today’s announcement of Files On-Demand, you can squeeze even more utility out of the popular cloud storage platform.

The system lets you see all your OneDrive files in Windows 10’s File Explorer before you download them, so you can work as if each was stored on your device. For enterprise users, there’s an additional benefit: when you update a shared file, it’s now synced automatically across all devices on the account. So now, each of your colleagues has a freshly synced version of the file you recently saved, and it’s all available in File Explorer without digging through OneDrive itself.

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