Microsoft this morning unveiled its next refresh of Windows 10, called the “Creators Update,” scheduled to ship in the spring of 2017 and focusing heavily on 3D features — including a new version of Microsoft Paint that works with 3D objects scanned in via a smartphone.
“Over the next year you will see us integrate 3D across our most popular Microsoft applications,” said Microsoft’s Megan Saunders, introducing a new option for introducing a 3D model into PowerPoint.
Microsoft also showed the ability to import scanned 3D objects into Microsoft HoloLens, the company’s mixed-reality holographic headset, via the Microsoft Edge browser — taking a real-world object, editing it, and converting it into an element of the virtual world.
“By making 3D for everyone, our digital world starts a new, more human journey,” Saunders said.
The announcement was made at a Microsoft Windows 10 event in New York City, where the company is also expected to unveil a new Surface desktop PC that will also heavily emphasize 3D and virtual/augmented reality.
Terry Myerson, Microsoft’s Windows chief, said companies including HP, Dell, Lenovo Asus and Acer will be shipping virtual reality accessories with Windows 10 Creators Update, starting at $299.
On the gaming front, Microsoft showed integrations into Windows 10 Creators Update for eSports and game streaming, leveraging the Beam game streaming service, a Seattle-based startup acquired by the company in August. This promises to up the ante in Microsoft’s competition with Amazon’s Twitch game streaming service.
The focus on creative features takes Microsoft squarely into Apple’s traditional turf. The Mac maker is holding its own event tomorrow morning where it’s expected to unveil a new MacBook, among other new products and features.