NEW YORK -- Microsoft yesterday announced a slew of software and app updates, as well as both improved and entirely new hardware devices. While rumors have floated around about the next Windows 10 update from Microsoft, suggesting it would carry the name "Redstone 2," the update Microsoft unveiled is called Creators Update.
As its name suggests, it's aimed at creators, which Panos Panay, chief of devices at Microsoft, emphasized extends to more than artists or those with jobs traditionally considered creative. Microsoft's definition includes anyone who creates anything -- be it in Word, PowerPoint, Excel or Photoshop. Panay says everyone should have intuitive, functional software that allows the user to create the best documents, images and files possible.
It's hard not to compare Microsoft to Apple. One of the strongest aspects of Apple products comes from its tightly knit ecosystem of apps and operating systems, which sync seamlessly across iOS and MacOS devices. You can go from your iPhone to iPad to MacBook without skipping a beat and Windows wants to bring that same convenience to its users.
With the Creators Update, you will gain more of this type of continuity with the capability to send text messages from any Android or Windows phone directly on your desktop, similar to iMessage. Your most commonly accessed contacts will also appear as bubbles in the task bar, allowing you to easily send, check or search all of your emails, messages and shared files with that contact. And if you want to share a photo or video, you can simply click the Share Charm in Microsoft Apps, which will instantly suggest your favorite contacts so you can share with one tap.
The Creators Update will start rolling out in the spring, but it will be free for all devices currently running Windows 10.
Surface Book improvements
While the highly rumored Surface Pro 5 never made the stage, Microsoft did announce updates to its Surface Book. The Surface Book, which is a high-performance notebook-tablet hybrid, has been updated to include an Intel Core i7 processor, improved graphics -- which Microsoft claims will be three times better than those on the highest configuration of the 13-inch MacBook Pro -- a second fan for cooling and a purported 16-hour battery life.
However, Microsoft remained silent on the device's design, which ultimately remains the same. It's notable because one of the biggest gripes of Surface Book users is the gap that exists between the display and the keyboard, which is a result of the hinge. It appears you will have to wait another year to see if that design issue is addressed. You can currently preorder the updated Surface Book and this new configuration will retail for $2,399.
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