Microsoft announces the Fall Creators Update, the next major update to Windows 10

At its Build developer conference in Seattle, Microsoft today announced the Windows 10 Creators Update. This is the next major update of Windows 10, which now follows a biannual release cycle. While Microsoft didn’t want to tell us when exactly this update will launch to all Windows 10 users, it’s a fair bet that it’ll arrive about six months after the launch of the Creators Update earlier this year. That would put the launch date somewhere around September.

Given the similarities in name, it would also be fair to assume that this is a relatively minor update — otherwise it should have gotten a more distinctive name. But that’s not quite the case. This update will actually introduce a number of new features that will likely change how you use your Windows device and possibly your smartphone.

The platform wars, Microsoft’s Terry Myerson said in today’s keynote, has made life harder for developers and users. This new version of Windows 10 is meant to fix some of those issues that come with using multiple operating systems (think Windows and iOS).

The Fall Creators Update will likely feature a few cosmetic updates to align its overall design with Microsoft’s new Fluent Design system — its new design language for writing Windows apps. You can read more about Fluent here, but while it is optimized for a wider range of use cases, including virtual reality and mixed reality, it’s at least somewhat comparable with Google’s Material Design in that both adopt a flat design philosophy.

The update will also leverage Microsoft’s newly expanded Microsoft Graph to provide easier hand-offs when you move between devices; a timeline feature for allowing you to easily jump back into earlier activities; a smart virtual clipboard that lets you share clips between devices, including iOS and Android phones, and an updated integration with OneDrive that gives users more control over when files are downloaded from the cloud, while still making them visible in the Windows Explorer.

The update will also ship with a new creative application from Microsoft, but at least for now, the company has remained rather tight-lipped about what that will look like.