In a few weeks Microsoft will provide a major new update of Windows 10 , the latest edition of its operating system. Except for second thoughts, it will be called “Spring Creators Update” and will affect tens of millions of people around the world, as their computers are usually set to automatically install the latest updates. Although Microsoft has not yet announced a date or its official name, we know many things about the update, whose features have been tested for months by developers and by those who installed the previews.
Name and date
The new version is formally called Windows 10 Redstone 4, a production name that usually changes Microsoft at the end of development with something more friendly, especially from a marketing point of view. Windows 10 has existed for two and a half years and has already received updates with rather similar names: “Anniversary Update”, “Creators Update” and “Fall Creators Update”. According to some lines found in the operating system, it seems that the new version will be called “Spring Creators Update” with a reference to spring and then to this time of the year (at least in our hemisphere).
There is not much information on the date of arrival, but we have been talking about the end of March or the first days of April. Redstone 4 has been subjected to many tests, which began in the summer of 2017, and to several postponements for some features, which seemed to end up already in the update last fall and that Microsoft then preferred to further refine.
The thing that could change your life, or further complicate it, is called Timeline and is used to see the applications open on various devices and resume using them where you had stopped. The idea is a system similar to that of “Cards of other devices” on the Chrome browser, which shows the sites opened on the smartphone even on your computer, provided that both are on a Google account. Microsoft’s timeline does the same thing, but with applications. If you open Office on your laptop, you can find the same session on your computer or on a tablet with Windows 10. Microsoft has also thought about applications for Android and iPhone: those compatible can also appear in Timeline.
The news was scheduled for last fall, then Microsoft has rethought it thinking it was not ready yet. Among the features there should be an option to browse the history of your desktop, seeing versions and previous files, a bit ‘as happens with Time Machine macOS (Apple) to find the old files.
The Spring Creators Update contains an option to simplify file sharing between nearby devices, a long-awaited feature on Windows 10, and very reminiscent of MacOS AirDrop . From the “Share” option of the applications a new space has been added, where the devices in the vicinity appear with the same option activated and can then receive files. The system uses WiFi and Bluetooth: it can be used between computers, tablets and other compatible gadgets.
Progressive web app (PWA) PWA
applications that can be used directly in a browser, without the need to be installed, will have a new relevance. Edge, the program to navigate Windows, will be more compatible with this system and the PWA will be listed within the Microsoft Store. This means that you can more easily find apps of this type and run them instantly on your computer, without the need to install them.
With Windows 10, Microsoft has bet a lot on Edge, the new browser that is trying to forget Explorer, its predecessor little loved by users. For now Edge has not achieved great success, but Microsoft is continuing its development with the will to make it more competitive than Chrome and Firefox , which dominate the browser market. The new version has a revised menu for easier access to favorites, a system for automatic completion of forms, one to remember credit card payments and other features that Chrome and Firefox have been offering for some time.
In the Spring Creators Update, Edge also gains another option that has proved popular on competitors’ browsers: the ability to turn off the sound of a tab, making it less noisy to navigate, especially when you have a lot of browser tabs open.
For more than a year, Microsoft is in the midst of a major change in the way menus, lists, icons, windows and other Windows 10 graphics are shown. Old Metro Design, super essential and with flat colors, remains the basis of the new graphics, which is however acquiring more personality with new colors and some transparencies in the panels. The idea is to make transitions from one context to another within the operating system clearer, making it more recognizable and less anonymous. Transparencies will be the main graphic novelty of the Spring Creators Update, along with some changes to font management. The transition to this new Fluent Design is still in its early stages and will continue in future updates.
Microsoft has worked to add many features to Mixed Reality, its platform that brings together virtual reality and augmented reality. The results are only visible using helmets for virtual reality and other types of viewers, but still confirm the willingness of Microsoft to keep Windows 10 updated in this area, which at least on paper has great potential.
The Spring Creators Update will also contain hundreds of small changes and refinements to Windows 10, especially to make the use of menus and functions easier and more intuitive. For example, Microsoft has worked on a new system that simplifies the process of connecting a bluetooth device to your computer: just one click to do it, without having to worry about the Settings section. It works with Microsoft devices, but should be extended to other manufacturers in time for the update to be released.