Windows 10 Fall Creators Update SDK Improves Mixed Reality, Modernize Apps Available

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update SDK delivers thousands of new capabilities and improvements.

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WebVR experience in Microsoft Edge

Tuesday, at the Windows Developer Day in London, Microsoft shared with developer partners how to create inspiring experiences using mixed reality, modernize applications for modern workplace, and build and monetize games and applications. To this end, a latest release of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update SDK is now available.

Also, on October 17th, EdgeHTML 16 will be released with Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, Microsoft announced. It brings updates to WebVR 1.1 including added support for Windows Mixed Reality motion controllers, the supports detection of connected motion controllers, rendering accurate representations of controllers into the scene, mapping button presses to actions and casting pointing rays into the scene for point-and-commit interactions.

For added realism, controller models animate the buttons and thumbsticks as the devices are manipulated.

  • Current releases of both BabylonJS and A-Frame have full support for Windows Mixed Reality headsets and motion controllers — BabylonJS, A-Frame (0.7.0), three.js (r87), ReactVR (2.0.0).

    Upcoming WebVR frameworks

  • Edge extends support for running WebVR experiences including machines with multiple graphics cards. If you are using WebGL directly rather than through one of these libraries, you'll need to handle WebGL Context Lost and Context Restored events to take advantage of this wider range of hardware.
  • Edge also let you view traditional 2D websites within the headset, manage favorites, create new tabs including InPrivate tabs, and seamlessly transition into WebVR experiences. And, on desktop a click will launch WebVR content directly into the headset.
  • Because Microsoft Edge is built on Universal Windows Platform (UWP), it can be used alongside thousands of other apps supported by Windows Mixed Reality out of the box, writes Microsoft.

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update SDK delivers thousands of new capabilities and improvements:

With this latest release, developers can easily create modern experiences, as it comes with Windows application packaging project with Visual Studio 2017 version 15.4, that allows utilizing app packaging without converting existing installer. Just add a project and you're done. Once an app start using this modernized installer, access to all APIs that have been added to Windows Platform becomes available.

Another major integration that brings .NET Standard 2.0, enables reusing of code across platforms and devices with Visual Studio. Also, it integrates a vast array of libraries from the open source community built on .NET.

Developers also can now create apps with Fluent Design, as the new SDK includes UX building blocks, guidelines, samples, tools. Here are some highlights:

  • Navigation View control provides an easy, consistent home for getting around your app.
  • Acrylic Material gives you a rich new visual building block that helps you create information hierarchy and greater immersion in your app.
  • Reveal Highlight interaction visualization built into many controls helps your experience feel natural to use across as disparate inputs as mouse, pen, touch and gaze.
  • Connected Animations aid usability by preserving context and increasing engagement, and are so easy to adopt incrementally.
  • Gesture Actions like swipe build on familiar patterns to help users efficiently and naturally get stuff done.

Device relay allow customers to continue with their work on a different device and Activity Feed, and allows them to pick up an activity they were doing in the past, and continuing it now or sometime in the future.

With Activity Feed, devs can enable customers can pick up where they left off between devices and experiences by simply adding an activity to the Activity Feed using UserActivity API.

Next revolution in technology – Mixed Reality offers following developers oppurtunities:

  • Unified platform maximizes reuse across platforms and device form factors
  • Windows Mixed Reality provides reach on the broadest range of devices
  • Microsoft Store provides an unrivaled discovery opportunity
  • Millions of people come to the Store every day to get an application from our broad catalog

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update SDK here.

Lastly, according sources Microsoft is expected to introduce changes to its Windows 10 OEM licensing, reports Mary Jo Foley. The price hike for certain, will be based on the processor family with Intel Xeon and AMD Opteron are in line for a sizeable price hike.

Per the OEM price list, server-grade processors with four or fewer cores will cost $144 for Windows 10 Pro for Workstations per machine, while PCs with four cores may need to fork out $230.

Windows 10 Pro for Workstations, which is releasing later this month, is expected to be available as an upgrade for Windows 10 Home and Pro. And, as per the documentation, this SKU may become mandatory for all server-grade processor.

Next, affected are those that ship with Windows 10 with downgrade rights to Windows 8.1 or Windows 7. In this front, volume-licensing customers won't see any change, but others are expected to see an increase in pricing to be as much as $270 per license.

And, according to Microsoft's product lifecycle policy, Windows 8.1's extended support ends January 2023, while Windows 7 Professional should be available till January 2020.

A Microsoft spokesperson, refused to comment on any possible pricing changes, providing information on the downgrade rights stated (source: ZDNet):

"In OEM licensed versions of Windows 10 Pro, end users will continue to have downgrade rights to the two prior versions of Windows Pro products. End users can downgrade from Windows 10 Pro to Windows 8.1 Pro or from Windows 10 Pro to Windows 7 Professional."

"Windows 10 downgrade rights are available until the end of the extended support for Windows 8.1 Pro or Windows 7 Professional respectively. End users can go to this page for additional information."

Update 10/13: New Map Control features updated for the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, making it more performant and visually pleasing, with features includede, such as the ability to import 3D models into map scene and support for layering and binding of map elements.

In addition, enhancements to Styling API allow clients to specify base map styles and visual states for their own map elements.

Also, recently a major refresh to global map data including 3D buildings was released, too.

New In-app ads dashboard in Windows Dev Center

The new Monetize -> In-app ads section in Windows Dev Center, a one stop shop to create and manage ad mediation settings of UWP and Windows 8.x ad units, is available as on Thursday.

You can find the new In-app ads section under Monetize section in the left navigation. When you choose this new In-app ads option, you can view in-app ads dashboard that lists all your ad units, along with additional details such as application name, ad unit type, mediation settings, etc.