Microsoft’s big Windows 10 content update has been given a final release date of April 11. Well, that’s when it will start rolling out, quite how long it will take to make its way to your PC is anyone’s guess. Though there are ways…
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The Creators Update is a free feature-rich OS update (so it’s going to put your PC out of action for a while as it installs) and, as the name might suggest, is offering new ways to produce things with your Windows 10 PC.
“The Creators Update is designed to spark and unleash creativity,” says Microsoft on their blog, “bringing 3D and mixed reality to everyone and enabling every gamer to be a broadcaster.”
The big news for us gamers is that it’s bringing with it Game Mode (though the Creators Update site seems very quiet on this feature) and Beam, offering potential speed boosts in-game and real-time interaction for streamers and the ultra narcissistic. Quite how much positive impact Game Mode is going to have is tough to say.
We’ve carried out some early testing on preview builds of Game Mode and didn’t have a wonderful time, but we’ve since spoken to Microsoft about it and earlier iterations had some thread scheduling issues. It was struggling to tell what was a physical and what was a logical core and where our six-core, 12-thread CPU was having three threads dedicated to gaming it would have been treating them as exactly the same.
We’re still waiting on some answers from Microsoft to our technical questions on how Game Mode does what it does, but once the Windows 10 Creators Update is out in the wild we’ll do some more in-depth testing to see how it performs. It will be very interesting to see what AMD’s Ryzen makes of it…
The Beam feature is an interesting one too. Microsoft have bought and turned Beam into a release product in around six months which is a seriously rapid turnaround and shows just how much import they’re putting on it. On the surface Beam is just a standard game streaming feature, though one that’s more directly tied into the operating system for easy access. Where it differs from the competition though is because it’s now so intrinsic to the OS Microsoft have achieved an incredibly low latency to its broadcast.
There is only scant microseconds of delay between the streamer doing something in-game and a viewer seeing that happen wherever they are in the world. That opens up some interesting possibilities for real-time interaction with a stream, though could also open up new worlds of real-time harrassment too, so it will be interesting to see what methods are in place to combat that.
Elsewhere the Creators Update comes with a new version of MS Paint, Paint 3D. The new application allows you to create simple three dimensional works of art from scratch and share them easily. Microsoft are also laying the groundwork in their flagship OS for the future of mixed reality for the prospective $299 headsets set to ship from Acer, Asus, Dell, HP and Lenovo later this year.
But if you can’t wait to see what else is in the new update it’s possible to get your mitts on the Creators Update from your existing Windows 10 installation right now. If you sign up to the Windows Insider Programme you can get access to early builds of Windows 10 and the latest build (15063) is available right now. This will appear in the Update and security section in Settings and if you select the Fast Ring of updates it will get you downloading and installing the latest build probably in a few hours.
Obviously the usual caveat of "beware mortals, you are playing with a preview build on your main operating system, abandon hope all ye who install here" applies. So, y’know, don’t blame us if eats your hat, or has sex with your cat, or bleeds oil on the floor, or rips off your door.
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