At Microsoft’s Build conference, the company showed off the Windows Fall Creators Update. This update is going to bring a number of quite interesting things to Windows – such as a number of features that let you move between applications on Windows and iOS/Android, using Microsoft’s Cortana application on those platforms.
For instance, you can share your clipboard with your mobile devices, and pick up where you left off reading articles or watching videos – yes, like Apple’s Continuity, but cross-platform. There’s also a timeline feature which allows you to scroll back in time to see what you were watching or reading or whatever days or weeks ago. All this will be available in the Cortana application on iOS and Android, too.
Microsoft also officially unveiled its new design language for Windows applications, Fluent Design System, replacing the Metro they’re using now. To be honest, it’s not really replacing Metro so much as expanding it, and I think the best way to describe it is “Material Design, now with lots of blur”. Fluent Design is already making its way to current Windows versions and applications through the Windows Store, but much of what Microsoft showed off today in videos is still in the concept phase.
Additionally, Microsoft shed some light on its Windows-on-ARM plans, detailing how it allows x86 code on ARM processors. You will be able to run any x86 Windows application on Windows-on-ARM, both from the Windows Store and downloaded elsewhere. The technology is an extension of Windows on Windows, which is currently used to allow 32bit applications to run on 64bit Windows (WoW64) and was also used to allow 16bit applications to run on 32bit Windows (WOW).
Lastly, Microsoft unveiled that it’s working with Apple to bring iTunes to the Windows Store as a UWP-packaged Win32 application. Autodesk and SAP will bring their applications to the Windows Store as well.