The third major Windows update – Windows Creators Update – has is currently being rolled out across the globe, offering a variety of new tools and functions including 3D support, mixed reality and enhanced security.
Microsoft believes that the Windows 10 Creators Update, the third major release for Windows 10, “will unveil a next wave of innovation on the world’s most widely used operating system for users”.
More than 400 million devices are running Windows 10. New features in the Windows 10 Creators Update, released last month, promise more tools for users to express their imagination. These include 3D, mixed reality, enhanced apps, improved security, and 4K gaming.
“Whether you sculpt in 3D or code, design new worlds or buildings, compose symphonies of music or science, or create ideas or possibilities – we want to empower the creator in each of us,” says Yusuf Mehdi, Corporate Vice President, Windows and Devices Group, Microsoft. “We want Windows to be the place you love to create and play, with the tools to help you make your mark on the world.”
Microsoft provided the following information:
3D for everyone
With the Creators Update, millions of Windows 10 users can now print, create and share in 3D, as well as get up close and personal with mixed reality.
The new Paint 3D app makes it simple to create 3D objects from scratch, easily changing colors, stamping textures, or turning a 2D picture into a 3D work of art.
In addition, the Remix3D.com community has also been busy connecting creators since October 2016, helping them find new ideas and providing instant access to a growing library of 3D objects to customize, edit, and share.
From 3D to mixed reality, the Windows 10 Creators Update will enable immersive experiences that blur the lines between physical and virtual worlds. Brands including HP, Dell, Lenovo, ASUS, and Acer will ship the first VR headsets capable of mixed reality with the Windows 10 Creators Update. These headsets will contain built-in sensors to enable inside-out, six-degrees of freedom, allowing for easy set up and free movement without the need for external markers or sensors in the wall. These devices will light up with new, immersive Windows Mixed Reality apps and experiences, which developers are creating on the recently available Windows Mixed Reality dev kits.
With these new 3D and VR capabilities, millions of Windows users around the world will be able to seamlessly create and consume 3D content like never before.
A faster, more secure way to browse
Since the launch of Microsoft Edge in Windows 10, users have spent more than 63 billion minutes on the browser. In the Windows 10 Creators Update, Microsoft Edge gets better at helping them do both with a completely new suite of tab management features, new extensions, as well as both a new bookstore and reading experience.
According the NSS Labs 2016 Web Browser Security Comparative Reports, Microsoft Edge blocks 9% more phishing sites and 13% more malware than Chrome, helping to protect user identity and information. In addition, since the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, Microsoft Edge is up to 24% – 43% more efficient than the competition for general purpose browsing, and lasts up to 23% – 69% longer when streaming videos.
The Creators Update will also bring more extensions to Microsoft Edge, letting users easily add new functionality to what their browser can do. We are excited to offer new extensions with this update such as Ebates, Intel TrueKey, Read & Write, Ghostery, RoboForm, among others. It is also the only browser that can play Netflix content in 4K Ultra HD resolution, bringing the crispest, sharpest entertainment for Windows 10 users.
Comprehensive security for everything you do
Windows 10 is the most secure version of Windows ever, and the Creators Update continues to broaden and deepen its security features.
The new Windows Defender Security Center, for example, combines security and health options in one place so that it is easier for people to see and control Windows 10 device security and health options.
For enterprise customers, the Creators Update will continue to bring new tools and capabilities that help simplify IT – making it easier to better deploy, manage and support Windows 10 devices – and to help stomp security threats.
The best experience in 4K gaming and in-game broadcasting
Gaming is one of the most popular activities on Windows 10 today, comprising over 32.5 billion hours of gameplay on Windows 10 since launch.
The Windows 10 Creators Update makes it super easy for anyone to broadcast their gameplay on Windows 10 and Xbox One via the built-in Beam broadcasting technology. With Beam’s sub-second latency, new experiences are possible such as the ability for viewers to influence the gameplay or interact with the stream while it’s taking place.
Also built into the Windows 10 Creators Update is Game Mode, a new platform feature that dedicates more graphics and processor resources to your PC games. It works with almost any game, and provides on average more sustainable framerates for gamers.
The Creators Update will also enable user-generated tournaments through Arena on Xbox Live, so gamers can define the rules of competition, invite friends and track tournament progress seamlessly across devices.
The Creators Update will be rolled out in a measured and deliberate manner; users can download and install it via Windows Update as soon as it is available.
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.
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.
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.
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.