Microsoft just released a huge new update for Windows 10 -- here's what's new

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. Photo: Stephen Lam/Getty Images.

On Tuesday, Microsoft released a big free upgrade to Windows 10 that brings new features to the operating system.

Officially dubbed the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, the new software won’t change your Windows 10 experience very much. Instead, the update brings a whole bunch of smaller and behind-the-scenes tweaks for PCs and tablets that include a few new settings, features, and apps.

Here’s a quick rundown of the Fall Creators Update highlights:

The Fall Creators Update represents Microsoft's first use of its new design theme.


In the update, Microsoft is applying its new design aesthetic, dubbed Fluent Design, to a handful of apps. But this video gives you a taste of what's to come.

The update's headline feature is support for Microsoft-certified virtual reality headsets.

Microsoft

Tuesday marks the release date not just for the Fall Creators Update, but also for those new headsets. They range from about $A380, all the way up to Samsung's premium $A650 model.

When you plug one of the new headsets into a computer running the update and put it on, you'll be taken to the Cliff House, Microsoft's new VR interface.

Microsoft is also following in Snapchat's and Facebook's footsteps, adding augmented reality stickers.

Matt Weinberger/Business Insider
I'm not really an artist, but here's my Mr. Smiley monstrosity I whipped up in Paint 3D.

With the update, you can now use the Paint 3D app to create your own AR stickers and place them -- virtually -- in the world.

You can now pin the contact information for your favourite people to the task bar.

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You can pin your friends to the task bar using Windows 10's new People app. The task bar will display thumbnail versions of their profile pictures.

If you click on a picture, you can quickly send that friend a message using email or Skype. You can also send the person a file by just dragging one to the friend's image.

Another nifty feature frees up space by allowing you to store seldom-used files in Microsoft's cloud.

Microsoft

Called 'OneDrive Files-on-Demand,' the feature essentially gives you more hard-drive space. Through it, you upload files to the cloud and access them as you need them, provided you have internet access. The feature is similar to one offered by Dropbox and one built into Apple's macOS.

The Photos app can now automatically create video slideshows from photo albums.

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Microsoft calls the feature Remix. You activate it by pushing the Remix button in the Photos app while selecting an album. The feature allows you to set the mood of the video by choosing matching theme music.

Microsoft has also made it way easier to find emoji.

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To access the new emoji menu, you just press the Windows button plus the period or semicolon key. Microsoft has added new emoji, including zombies and dinosaurs, and given others a facelift.

Windows 10 can now relay Android phone notifications to your PC.

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You have to install Microsoft's Cortana app on your phone to activate the feature, which can also let you know when you have an incoming call.

Windows 10 works better -- and has new features for -- stylus users.

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With the Fall Creators Update, Windows 10 shows you the last known place you used your stylus.

Text input is smoother and faster in Windows 10, thanks to the update, and you can now use a stylus to advance slides in a PowerPoint presentation. If you lose your stylus, Windows 10 can help you find it.

The update adds some handy browser updates, including the ability to pin websites to the task bar.

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The feature allows you to go to a website with one click from your desktop. Another new feature allows you to annotate e-books you're reading in Microsoft's Edge browser by just drawing right on your screen with a stylus.

Among the other changes in the Fall Creators Update are tweaks for developers and security upgrades.

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The update offers lots of little changes all over the operating system. Among them are expanded support for Linux and additional protections against ransomware like WannaCry.

Microsoft also unveiled the Surface Book 2, a premium laptop designed to show off what Windows can do.

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You can read more about Surface Book 2, which starts at $A3,180, here.

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