Microsoft unveiled its next-generation Windows software, which has a greater focus on creativity.
The company held a press event — with a tagline “imagine what you’ll do” — in New York City on Wednesday morning to show off a collection of shiny new tech products ahead of the holiday shopping season.
Its first announcement focused on its Windows 10 Creator Update, which includes virtual reality, augmented reality and 3D support.
According to the company, more than 400 million people currently use Windows 10. But the company wants users to start thinking of Microsoft products as more than just productivity tools but a way to express ideas.
To start, it revealed a updated version of its iconic Microsoft Pant software. Microsoft Paint 3D lets you take photos of physical objects via your smartphone and upload it to the platform. From there, you’ll be able to custom the images in 3D and ultimately print them out.
The company is throwing a 3D model option into its Microsoft PowerPoint toolbar, so you can spin pictures of objects on screen during a presentation. An upgrade coming to the Microsoft Edge browser will support 3D, too.
Microsoft announced a new collection of VR headsets, starting at $299, from a series of partners. Although not too many details were revealed about the products, they’ll be available for consumers next year.
However, the company spent an ample amount of time on stage highlighting its vision for the future of gaming. As a part of Windows 10 Creator Update (via its Xbox app), users will broadcast the games they’re playing in real time — a move that takes on popular gaming network Twitch.
Microsoft is also expected to debut an all-in-one Surface PC. We might even get a sneak peek at its rumored Amazon Echo competitor and the new Xbox console, codenamed “Project Scorpio.”
While the tech giant has launched tablets and laptops under the Surface branding, this could be the first time we see it land on a desktop computer. It’s expected to include a hinge that allows it to lay flat, as well as touchscreen and stylus capabilities — similar to what’s already standard for other Surface products.
The news comes one day before Apple hosts its Mac-centric product launch in San Francisco, where we’ll likely see a new MacBook Pro and possibly an updated iMac desktop.
Because Sony recently pulled the sheets off of its PlayStation Pro 4, due out in November, we’ll likely hear more about Microsoft’s Project Scorpio. The 4K-capable gaming system is said to work with virtual reality headsets and the HoloLens.
Last week, Nintendo announced Switch, a handheld gaming system that can be transitioned into a console for the home — an innovative concept that could shape the future of gaming. It’s unclear if Project Scorpio will be an updated version of its standard Xbox system or a completely new product.