Microsoft unveils a big Windows update and virtual reality hand controllers

Microsoft's new Surface Laptop aimed at students
Microsoft's new Surface Laptop aimed at students

Windows 10 wants to follow you everywhere, but not in a creepy way.

People are on the go, jumping between their computer, phone and smart home speakers. A new update for Microsoft's (MSFT) operating system will keep multiple devices on the same page, so a project started on your Surface laptop at work can be finished on your iPhone in line at Starbucks.

The "Fall Creators Update" was one of the big announcements to come out of Microsoft Build developers conference in Seattle on Thursday. Here's what the company is working on next.

The next big Windows 10 update

A handful of new features will try to bridge the gaps between Windows 10 and devices running iOS and Android.

Timeline remembers exactly what you were doing on your computer, so you can zoom back in time and see what applications, websites or files you were working on this morning. It should make it easier to resume working on something when you switch devices.

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If you pop over to your phone, Microsoft's smart assistant Cortana will ask if you want to pick up where you left off. It's another way to dive right back into whatever you were doing on your computer.

A seemingly simple task that's been difficult to do on multiple devices is copy and paste. Clipboard is a tool that lets you copy something on your Windows 10 computer, then paste into other Windows, iPhone or Android apps.

Windows will also start to look a little fresher. Developers will use Fluent Design when creating their apps. The result will be a number of subtle design changes like different lighting, depth and motion effects.

Automated movie editor Story Remix

Microsoft will take your raw video clips and photos and assemble them into cute little movies. The Windows 10 Story Remix app will let you tweak and customize the creations, and add soundtracks and custom titles.

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Microsoft is the latest company to jump on the automated video-editing bandwagon. Apple (AAPL) added automatic movie editing to its Photos app, and Google (GOOG) includes it in Google Photos. There are also a number of third-party tools that do automatic editing, like Replay.

iTunes coming to the Microsoft Store

Here is some good news for the few people who love iTunes and the masses who are stuck using it because they've already invested in large video and music libraries. Microsoft will offer iTunes in its Windows Store at the end of this year. It will include access to Apple Music and work on all Windows 10 PCs.

Virtual reality motion controls

Windows is making hand-held controllers for virtual reality. Like Oculus Rift's Touch controllers, the Windows Mixed Reality Controllers will let a person interact more with virtual reality environments. There are buttons, a touchpad and a little joystick in each hand, and a ring of sensors that the headset can track. They will work with third-party virtual reality headsets from companies like Acer. They'll be sold as a $399 bundle with Acer Windows VR headsets later this year.

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