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IFA: Windows 10 Creators Update lands in October

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Last week in Berlin at IFA, Microsoft announced that the next update of Windows 10, the Fall Creators Update, will be available worldwide next month.

Microsoft says its mission is to empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more, and this next step in the Windows journey empowers the creator in all of us with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.

Microsoft provided the following information:

With the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, Microsoft is introducing fun, new ways to get creative. The update will deliver an evolution to the photos experience allowing customers to tell their story using photos, videos and 3D effects; enhancements in gaming, security, accessibility and immersive new experiences made possible by Windows Mixed Reality. All of this innovation will be brought to life by a range of beautifully designed, and feature rich modern devices available from our hardware partners this holiday.

Windows Inking
Windows Inking keeps getting better by letting users ink directly onto PDF documents, making it easier and faster to comment and share with others, improving on what can be done with pen and paper alone. Smart Ink applies artificial intelligence to inking automatically making the squares drawn more perfect, or turning boxes into a table with no extra work. With Windows Find my Pen customers will be able to locate their pen to start inking.

Photos and Videos

With the Fall Creators Update, the Windows Photos Application has been reimagined to deliver remixed experiences to let customers tell their stories with photos, videos, 3D and even inking.

OneDrive Files On-Demand
Customers can save their creations in OneDrive Files On-Demand, accessing their cloud files like any other file on their PC without using up their local storage.

Gaming 

The fuel that often inspires creativity is play. The Fall Creators Update brings new enhancements to Game Mode, which allows games to use the full processing power of a device as if it was an Xbox game console, right from a new button on the Game bar. To take advantage of this power, Microsoft has a fantastic lineup of Xbox Play Anywhere games including: Cuphead, Forza Motorsport 7, Super Lucky’s Tale, and Middle-earth: Shadow of War. Additionally, the most powerful console on the planet, Xbox One X, will be available on November 7.

Security

The Fall Creators Update also brings security improvements to Windows 10. Windows Defender is smarter and defends better than before with behind the scenes cloud intelligence that enables new defenses against ransomware and exploits. Furthermore, Windows 10 S, introduced last May, is specifically designed for simplicity and security, with significant breakthroughs in battery life and performance.

This is the core of Fall Creators Update, it’s all about unleashing customers’ creativity and having some fun while at the same time keeping them safe and secure.

Accessibility

With Fall Creators Update, Microsoft is making Windows more accessible for those with Lou Gehrig’s disease, which is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that impacts the brain’s ability to control the body’s muscles. A new feature called Eye Control, implements eye tracking technology that lets users type, and operate a mouse using their eyes. This is life-changing technology for those with this disease, and a real advancement in accessibility.

Windows Mixed Reality
One more aspect of the Fall Creators Update is all about immersing customers in a new reality, the world of Windows Mixed Reality. By combining physical and digital worlds, Microsoft believes mixed reality is the next step in the evolution of human computing. In Windows Mixed Reality, users are fully immersed in the experience and are not limited to a mobile device screen size. The setup is simple, and does not require users to mount cameras around the room – just put the headset on, plug it into a PC and get started. It’s available from a range of device partners around the world, like Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP and Lenovo with prices starting as low as $299.

Windows Mixed Reality headsets start to become available on October 17 when the Fall Creators Update ships.

Even for customers without headsets, Microsoft will deliver mixed reality experiences through the PC. With Mixed Reality Viewer, users can see 3D objects – either from the Remix3D.com community or their own creations from Paint 3D – mixed into their actual surroundings through the PC’s camera – and snapped and shared – for powerful ways to tell their story.

Modern devices bring the magic of the Fall Creators Update to life 

Earlier this week at IFA, Microsoft partners also announced a range of beautifully designed, and feature rich modern devices. Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP and Lenovo introduced new Windows 2-in-1s, laptops, all-in-ones, and gaming PCs that feature Intel’s latest 8th generation processors, include the latest NVIDIA graphics cards that enable Windows Mixed Reality experiences, deliver all-day battery life, and offer OLED and 4K screens for the most stunning visuals.

Arts and Entertainment

Deezer to host Hotstix’s Mandela tribute playlist

Deezer is celebrating Nelson Mandela on the centenary of his birthday by hosting a tribute playlist created by music legend Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse.  

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Mabuse, a legendary figure in African music, first rose to prominence in the 1970s with his band Harari and later developed a name for himself as a solo artist. One of his best known songs was the global hit BurnOut in the 1980s.

The playlist takes the listener on a captivating musical journey through the life of Nelson Mandela.  It was compiled by Mabuse, who consulted with Mandela’s family and friends to ensure that the music would be relevant and accurate. The playlist also features commentary by Mabuse, which was recorded in his Soweto home.  

“I have tried to tell the story of the music that Madiba loved,” says Mabuse. “The Playlist excludes the time in prison obviously, as Madiba would not have had exposure to music in that time.  We have focused on the music we know he loved before and after that period. This recording was really an emotional journey for me, but an incredible opportunity to document these memories.”

The playlist features the music the young Mandela loved, such as The Manhattan Brothers, Solomon Linda, Brenda Fassie and Miriam Makeba.  It includes struggle songs from Chicco, Johnny Clegg, Hugh Masekela and Yvonne Chaka Chaka.  The playlist also includes Mandela by Zahara, one of the younger artists who caught Madiba’s ear.

Mabuse also offers stories of his own songs, such as Shikisha, a song greatly beloved by the former President.

“I was delighted to share my thoughts and hope the listeners enjoyed the musical journey,” says Mabuse. “Madiba did enjoy music immensely and we all have a purpose wherever we are in the world to celebrate culture and to learn from different cultures and music forms and styles.”

This playlist was inspired by the Nelson Mandela 100 campaign, calling on corporates and individuals to act as sources of inspiration and engage in conversation and action.

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Sports streaming takes off

Live streaming of sports is coming of age as a mainstream method of viewing big games, as the latest FIFA World Cup figures from the UK show. Africa isn’t yet at the same level when it comes to the adoption of sports streaming, but usage is clearly moving in the right direction.

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England’s World Cup quarter-final against Sweden was watched by just under 20 million viewers in the UK via BBC One. While this traditional broadcast audience was huge, it was streaming that broke records: the game was the BBC’s most popular online-viewed live programme ever, with 3.8 million views. In Africa, the absolute numbers are lower but the trend towards streaming major sports events on the continent is also well under way.

According to DStv, live streaming of sports dominates the usage figures for its live and recorded TV streaming app, DStv Now. The number of people using the app in June was five times higher than a year ago, with concurrent views peaking during major football and rugby games.

Since the start of the World Cup, average weekday usage of DStv Now is up 60%. The absolute peak in concurrent usage for one event was reached on 26 June, during the Nigeria vs Argentina game. The app’s biggest ever test was on 16 June with both Springbok Rugby and World Cup Football under way at the same time, resulting in concurrent in-app views seven times higher than the peaks seen in June last year.

The World Cup has also been a major reason for new users to download and try out the app. First-time app user volumes have tripled on Android and doubled on iOS since the start of the tournament.

“While we expected live sports streaming to take off, it’s also been pleasing to see that the app is really popular for watching shows on Catch Up,” says MultiChoice South Africa Chief Operating Officer Mark Rayner. “Interestingly, some of the most popular Catch Up shows are local, with Isibaya, Binnelanders, The Queen and The River all getting a significant number of views.”

With respect to app usage, the web and Android apps are the most popular way to watch DStv Now, with Android outpacing iOS by a factor of 2:1.

“We’re continuing to develop DStv Now, with 4k streaming in testing and smart TV and Apple TV apps on their way shortly,” says Rayner. “The other key priority for us is working with the telcos to deliver mobile data propositions that make watching online painless and worry-free for our customers.”

The DStv Now app is free to all 10 million DStv customers in Africa. The app streams DStv live channels as well as supplying an extended Catch Up library. Two separate streams can be watched on different devices simultaneously, and content can also be downloaded to smartphones and tablets. The content available on the app varies according to the DStv package subscribed to.

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