An upcoming feature in Microsoft’s Windows 10 system will automatically identify the best photos and videos to help people create highlights of their experiences.
The tool, called Story Remix, will be part of a “Fall Creators Update” to roll out later this year to 500 million personal computers, smartphones and tablets powered by Windows 10. Microsoft previewed the update Thursday at a conference in Seattle for applications developers.
Microsoft will also make a Story Remix app for devices running Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android to help people share images from their children’s soccer games and other events.
Apple and Google already offer similar tools to manage images. Both those companies have helped undercut the popularity of PCs running on Windows.
Other features in the Fall Creators Update will include:
A multi-device clipboard to let you copy text, images and other content on a laptop and paste it on a phone, as though the two devices were one. It’s similar to what Apple already offers with Universal Clipboard in iPhones, iPads and Mac computers.
With Timeline, you’ll be able to pick a time, say last Wednesday morning, and see what files, apps and sites you had opened, allowing you to easily jump back to what you were doing. A companion Pick Up Where You Left Off feature will let you continue what you’re doing on another device, much like Apple’s Handoff feature.
Changes to the OneDrive online storage service will make it easier to work with files without having to download everything and take up storage space on a device.
Microsoft didn’t say when Fall Creators Update will come out. A preview for early testers was released Thursday. As with other Windows 10 updates, this will be free for existing Windows 10 users.
The company is also expanding its exploration of a new technological frontier that allows people to mix the real world with three-dimensional projections of life-like images. The fall Windows 10 update will include features for playing games and watching video in the realm of “mixed reality,” the melding of the artificial with things that are actually happening around us.
Microsoft also plans to introduce a new mixed reality headset and motion controller in time for the holiday season. The equipment, to be made by Acer, will sell as a package for $399. That is far less than the $3,000 to $5,000 Microsoft has been charging for another mixed reality headset called HoloLens.
Apple’s iTunes software is coming to its Windows Store, a development that will help students using a streamlined version of Windows designed for classrooms. That version, Windows 10 S, can only get apps through the store, not directly from third parties such as Apple. Regular Windows 10 users can already get iTunes from Apple.