Microsoft's new Surface Studio all-in-one desktop PC may have stolen the show at last month's Windows 10 event in New York City, but the company also had some compelling offerings for users who may not be in the market for new hardware.
During the event, the Redmond, Wash. software giant announced its upcoming Windows 10 Creators Update. Expected to arrive by spring 2017, the update will include a new app that will enable users to create and share 3D models and scenes called Paint 3D.
Now, members of the Windows Insider early-access program can take a beta version of Paint 3D for a spin by downloading Windows 10 build 14971, announced Dona Sarkar, a software engineer at Microsoft's Windows and Devices Group and head of Windows Insider, in a Nov. 7 blog post. Currently, the app is available only in English, but Sarkar pledged that localized versions will be available in upcoming previews.
Build 14971 also includes a new feature for e-bookworms: EPUB support in Microsoft Edge.
EPUB, short for electronic publication, is a popular e-book file format. When the Creators Update arrives, Microsoft's browser will be able to natively display EPUB files similar to how it presently displays PDF files.
"When you open an unprotected e-book in Microsoft Edge, you will be taken into a customizable reading experience where you can change the font and text size and choose between 3 themes: light, sepia, and dark," wrote Sarkar. "As you read, you can leave bookmarks."
Navigational aids include a table of contents or a seek bar that appears near the bottom of the Edge browser. Users can also invoke Cortana, the operating system's built-in digital assistant, to find passages or define select words.
The Windows command line experience has been revamped. PowerShell replaces the traditional command prompt in File Explorer's file menu and the power user menu (Win+X). Users who prefer the old command prompt in the power user menu can opt out of the change by visiting the operating system's taskbar settings.
Sarkar also noted that this week marks the 10-year anniversary of PowerShell, Microsoft's task automation platform and scripting language based on .NET. Microsoft made waves this summer when it open-sourced PowerShell.
The Get Office app has been given a makeover. Whereas the old version was little more than a collection of links that pointed to online resources related to the Office productivity suite, the new experience can be used to launch apps like Word and Excel, view recent documents and manage their Office setups.
The latest Creators Update build also includes a bevy of bug fixes and enhancements, including OAuth support for users of the Outlook Mail app with Yahoo Mail accounts. One feature, the Snooze action on Edge tabs, which allowed users to set Cortana reminders based on the websites they were viewing, has been removed but may make a return, said Sarkar.