Microsoft Announces Windows 10 Fall Creators Update With 'Fluent Design' And OneDrive On-Demand

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Today, during its Build 2017 conference, Microsoft announced the official name for Redstone 3: Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. Microsoft isn’t exactly being very creative with its name for the next major update to the Windows 10 operating system, but at least we know when it will be released to consumers.

As the follow-up to the Windows 10 Creators Update, which was released last month, the Fall Creators Update brings a number of new features to the table including OneDrive Files On-Demand, Clipboard, Timeline, and Pick Up Where You Left Off.

File On-Demand actually restores the “Placeholder” functionality that was originally included with OneDrive in Windows 8.1. With that operating system, OneDrive integration allowed you to see everything in your cloud storage library, but only synced files as needed. Microsoft removed this functionality in Windows 10 and had long promised to restore it at a later date. Nearly two years later, File On-Demand pickups up right where placeholders left off. On a related note, Microsoft is bringing OneDrive Offline Folders to Android and iOS apps.

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Pick Up Where You Left Off allows you to begin working on a project (i.e. a Word or PowerPoint document) with your Windows 10 PC, and then continue working on your smartphone while out and about. Of course, this functionality can also work in reverse. Pick Up Where You Left Off will be enabled on iOS, Android, and Windows 10 Mobile devices using Cortana.

In a similar vein, Clipboard is your cloud-based “scratch space” that allows you to copy content from a Windows 10 PC and paste it with an Android or iOS device (and vice versa). In practice, this feature sounds very similar to the Apple Universal Clipboard which provides similar functionality between iOS devices and macOS.

Timeline allows you to hop back in time and discover content that you were previously working on. You can visually swipe back and forth between your history of open apps and documents and restore them at will. Think of it as a DVR for your app workflow on your desktop.

Tying this all together is what Microsoft calls Fluent Design System, which was previously known internally as Project Neon. Fluent Design is a clear evolution of the Metro design language introduced with Windows 8, and we’ve seen examples of how it looks in the real world with updates to the Groove app. One of the primary goals of Fluent Design is to craft the user experience to the device that you are currently using:

These devices all behave differently and fulfill different needs. From large screens to no screens they rely on touch, ink, voice, gaze, and gesture. Every day, developers also face the challenge of a multi-device, multi-interaction world, and we are committed to simplifying this world with a modern Microsoft design system.

While current Windows Insiders might not see much of a difference in the Windows 10 UI in early Redstone 3/Fall Creators Update builds, the Fluent Design should come more into focus closer to launch.