This week saw the major announcement of the latest iteration of Windows 10 operating system called “Fall Creators Updates” (or 1709 if you prefer to track version numbers!).
There is a heap of blog posts about this that touch on the various new features but the overall summary is that this update is still focused on allowing end users to be super creative through enhanced Mixed Reality apps and tools, but also maintaining the longstanding commitment to accessibility for all users. The following 30 minute video really gives a great overview of the new features and I encourage you to check it out:
This official blog post is also a great read as it goes over some of the major features in the Fall Creators Update, including:
- Windows Mixed Reality
- Photos App updates (better story telling features that students will love)
- Mixed Reality Viewer (drop 3D models directly into the real world and then take photos)
- My People – pinning your favourite people/contacts to the task bar for even quicker access and sharing of content.
- Microsoft Edge updates – especially around handling PDFs and digital inking support
- Microsoft Store – updates for a better customer experience
- Security – no update would be complete without even further features keeping your device and content secure.
- Mobile Phone handoff – the ability to continue your searches from your phone to your device
- Productivity enhancements – worth looking at the blog for the full list, but OneDrive Files On Demand has landed, along with some neat features like “find my pen” if you’re using a compatible device, and eye control of Windows 10 for even greater accessibility.
- PC Gaming – bunch of updates to make gaming (and sharing of your gaming through Mixer) even easier on Windows 10
- 3D in Office – for students and teachers that are really wanting to make their presentations sizzle, you can build and deploy 3D models into PowerPoint.
The list above is just a brief summary and it’s definitely worth checking out the details in the blog post . One of the features that impressed me most was the eye tracking support in Windows 10. I’ve blogged about how accessibility is at the heart of everything Microsoft does, as well as how machine learning in Azure is supporting diagnosing dyslexia and the video below shows how people suffering from ALS can use Windows 10 simply through eye tracking:
It’s truly incredible to think of the impact on the lives of these people who can start to communicate again through using their eyes.
An Educational Perspective:
Windows 10 Fall Creators Update delivers amazing value to empower students and educators to be creators in and out of the classroom.
- The Photos app brings new functionality that introduces students to visual storytelling. It helps them learn the vital skills of visual communication and digital storytelling through an easy to use inbox Windows application.
- Microsoft Edge now ships natively with Read Aloud functionality for web pages, PDFs and ePubs.
- Windows 10 automatic redeployment streamlines end of year device reset for schools. Administrators can easily start the process with a simple key stroke on the lock screen, entering their admin credentials.
- Intune for Education updates multiple fixes around improving performance plus new settings and management capabilities for basic printer setup, Microsoft Edge, Windows Defender, Windows Firewall and power policies.
- Basic printer set up for Azure Active Directory joined devices allows IT to set a default printer for a device or student through Intune for Education. Students automatically see and print to assigned printers without any additional setup on their devices. IT admins can specify whether students can find and install additional printers. This is a real key and something that many schools exploring Intune for Education have been asking me about for a while.
Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (1709) is of course a free update and you can download it by simply:
- Click the Windows button on your keyboard or bottom left of your screen, followed by the cog icon as seen below:
- Select “Update & Security”
- Click “check for updates” and you you should see the new version of Windows 10 start downloading:
So go get it – and have fun!