Soon, users will no longer need an expensive headset or even a smartphone to experience mixed reality. The new Microsoft update will be bringing mixed reality applications to every Windows computer next month. This new upgrade to Windows 10 named the Windows 10 Creators Update.
The changes, which all Windows users will be forced to take on, per usual, aims to make 3D content creation open to all Windows users to support their "3D for Everyone" initiative. The update will make is possible to "create and share 3D content," as well as provide mixed reality support.
As for the 3D content specifically, this will apply to the favorite app of all you '90s kids out there—Microsoft Paint—which will now be called Microsoft Paint 3D. Instead of simply beautiful 2D creations, it will now be possible to change colors more easily, stamp textures, and turn "a 2D picture into a 3D work of art."
The Creators Update will be available on Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, and Lenovo's mixed reality headsets, which start at $299. As the current Microsoft HoloLens costs at least $3,000, the Creator Update with Windows Mixed Reality support provides a much more affordable gateway into mixed and augmented reality.
According to Microsoft, these cheaper headsets "contain built-in sensors to enable inside-out, six-degrees of freedom, allowing for easy setup and free movement without the need for external markers or sensors in the wall."
The update will also feature some less exciting, but still cool changes, like offering a picture-in-picture view when a TV show, movie, or Skype call is in progress. Smartphones will also now be able to lock a Window 10 PC when you are away from the computer. Gamers are hyped about a Game Mode that "prioritizes system resources to a game" so as to "ensure games run at the best frame rate possible."
Although the update will become officially available April 11, it could take months to reach all users. That said, there are multiple ways to get it ahead of time. For the less tech savvy, using the Windows Update Assistant you will be able to manually initialize the installation on April 5th. Or to download the final release of the update and check it out right now, try becoming an Windows Insider. For the impatient tech-minded individuals, after joining the Insider program, you can get the full install disk image and install it yourselves.