back to article Win 10 creators update offers new reality opportunity

Microsoft’s recent release of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, with virtual and augmented reality built in, is a big moment. Microsoft was one-half of the duo with Intel – nicknamed Wintel - that during the 1990s made business computing a mass movement. Windows headsets paired with x86 PCs also promises this mass-market for …

  1. James 51 Silver badge

    What's the AR/VR equvilent of W.I.M.P.? Tracking cameras that let people see their hands and keyboards and mice might help VR but I can't help but think virtual displays while interacting with reality will give AR an advanrage.

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      The interface methods are a serious issue with both, but rather less so for AR because one can still see and interact safely with physical interfaces or at least interact with virtual interfaces with some semblence of safety. Environmental navigation, on the other hand is problematic particularly while physically staying safely on the same spot and the "I'm leaning through a solid object" type issues.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      FAIL

      *yawn*

      "What's the AR/VR equvilent of W.I.M.P.?"

      I think there was a good example of it in the third 'Matrix' movie when you saw the computer AI system that people with plugs in their heads were interacting with, move your hands and touch a virtual display that's suspended in midair, things like that.

      But until we have a UI that makes _THAT_ possible, it's just more "new, shiny" to hype a sow with lipstick on it (and not even on the OINKY end) called "Windows 10" aka "Win-10-nic".

      QUESTION: Why does Micro-shaft spend SO much time and money and effort on THIS (playing 'catch up' to Google and Apple, basically) while *SIMULTANEOUSLY* ignoring the *FACT* that their UNPOPULAR OPERATING SYSTEM has a *CRAP* *UI* that looks like it was designed in **1985** (like windows 1.0).

      Micro-shaft: GET RID OF THE 2D FLATSO, the ADWARE, and the SPYWARE. When you get THAT right, people will like your OS whether it has 3D AR/VR or not.

      icon, because Micro-shaft FAIL OS.

  2. Khaptain Silver badge

    If only I could install it

    Even though the version 1907 is proposed natively through Windows Update, the install sequence goes like this:

    reboot computer,

    Install process begins

    3 automatic reboots followed by an automatic restoration of the previous, 1703, version.

    Gone through the sequence at least 5 times, and no amount of cache clearing, update resetting, registry magic will allow for my "Microsoft" Surface Pro to succeed.

    VR is obviously not coming my way any time soon.

    1. iron Silver badge

      Re: If only I could install it

      You're not missing anything. MS MR headsets don't seem to be available in the UK and so far I haven't found any useful new features in the Fall Creator's update. There was nothing useful in Creator's Update either which considering I'm a developer and use Windows to "create" every day is either exceedingly bad naming or a lack of features in these updates.

      1. Random Bit

        Re: If only I could install it

        'MS MR headsets don't seem to be available in the UK'

        Try Argos, Pc World or Amazon for starters. The samsung headet although is not available in the UK.

        I got a lenovo headset. It is early days, but it is certainily fun. I thinking of having a go coding for it over the weekend.

  3. Roland6 Silver badge

    "That said, the market is at an early stage."

    It would seem the only progress since the early 1990's is that the platform hardware (and thus software) is more capable. AR and VR are still niche technologies looking for mass-market applications - I wonder if any will be found...

    1. tony72

      Re: "That said, the market is at an early stage."

      It's the age old problem - you need compelling content to persuade people to buy the equipment, but nobody wants to spend the money creating content when there isn't an existing user-base to sell it to. Every so often I pull my Daydream View off the shelf, spend an hour or two trying out a few apps from the play store, then usually end up on youtube watching a few 360 degree videos. There's lot's of stuff that hints at the potential of VR, but I have yet to come across any really compelling experiences.

  4. iron Silver badge

    "Samsung with... the newly announced Windows Mixed Reality headset, the HMD Odyssey."

    Unfortunately not available in the UK. :(

  5. Kennelly

    What about Valve/HTC/Vive?

    An article on VR and AR that fails to mention the Vive? Significant omission.

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: What about Valve/HTC/Vive?

      An article on VR and AR that fails to mention the Vive?

      Presumably because it's an article paid for by Asus and Asus and HTC are competitors..

  6. Nick Ryan Silver badge
    WTF?

    While it's fun tech, I honestly have yet to see anything that even hints at non-niche uses for the tech. Maybe I'm just jaded but just because some tech is fun doesn't mean that it is in any way practical in the real world, despite what movies or sales people might suggest.

    Some games, yes. Specialist systems, such as medical or architectural imaging, quite likely. Much else beyond this? No. Unfortunately my opinion doesn't match that of the pushers of this tech who insist that this tech is absolutely vital for modern businesses and their boards and committees. The same boards and committees that we are dilligently printing out content for.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "The same boards and committees that we are dilligently printing out content for."

      That doesn't mean they won't buy the shiny new kit, even though it'll just end up as pointless decoration in their corner offices.

      Other than that, I'm fully in agreement with you.

    2. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

      In my case, marrying AR to 3D printers for prototyping and even, in some cases final product is a significantly good case of improving my productivity. However, we both know that's a niche case. The arts community would probably make a good application as well. My sister gets all of her jewelry from her artsy friends.

      The other application, again engineering, is remote inspection using drones in cases where it's either environmently dangerour, or it's just damned hard to get to or into. It might also be used for data visualiztion, something somewhat difficult when more than two dimensions are involved. FWIW, that's all I can come up with.

  7. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

    "This article was supported by: Asus"

    Wouldn't it be better to have that in a larger font and at the start of the article? After all, if it's a bought-and-paid-for article it's better to notify the punters up-front..

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: "This article was supported by: Asus"

      I thought in advertorials like this the first word was usually "Sponsored" in bold. Why not this time?

      1. Denarius Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: "This article was supported by: Asus"

        I saw Asus before clicking. Win10 update provided nothing useful and nearly bricked my Asus laptop. Had to remove battery, unplug and hit power button and leave for 5 minutes to get laptop to work again. Another marriage of inconvenience. Never had that experience with Linux, Solaris or BSDs. The irony

        Only run Win 10 incase some PHB insists I use software that wont run under Wine. I note many Oz government sites now dont seem to like Linux and insist of Fluash and require not blocking of multiple sites owned by noted invaders of privacy.

        Only use I can see for augmented reality is headset VR for inattentive drivers who get visual alarms and loud audio when they are in wrong lane, too fast, across white/yellow lines etc. Maybe block FB, texting and phone calls by default.

  8. Mage Silver badge

    Daft

    MS obviously don't care about the users that really need Windows.

    There is the Xbox if they want to experiment with AR, VR and stupid GUIs.

    Just give us back the customisation of UI and logical access to stuff that there was 1996 to 2006 on Windows NT. Stop with Flat and faffing around with wizards and removing settings.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Daft

      "There is the Xbox if they want to experiment with AR, VR and stupid GUIs."

      But I don't like it much THERE, either... (live ad tiles on XBox, for example). I skip that part of the "show" and just play the games. It's the only reason I own one (well, more than one, but they keep breaking, and I won't get an 'XBox One' and I want 100% compatibility - my NEXT gaming platform will probably be a play station, unless THEY get as bad as M$ is with the XBox One, then I'll be happy playing 'Star Ocean' and Final Fantasy XIII's for a while until "next box").

      Big Thumbs Up for the rest of the post, though, specifically this:

      "Stop with Flat and faffing around with wizards and removing settings."

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'This article was supported by: Asus'

    What's with the sponsorship El Reg? If that's ok to do, then I've got my own little Asus story. Every single one of my Asus ROG rigs bought specially for game dev (not overused on gaming), didn't last longer than 2/3 years before overheating and constantly randomly rebooting. However, random crashes and freezes started happening long before that (not related to bad-drivers / overclocking or overuse). This comment was supported by an Asus user...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      VR & AR Hype

      Ok, back to topic. I think its interesting how the background to this story is AR/VR while pushing Win10 again. Anyway, to add perspective, the most successful game engine right now and one of the biggest cheerleaders for VR is Epic. The king here is Tim Sweeney, and even he thinks VR is about 12 years away. That is practically infinity as far as time goes in the tech world...

      Conclusion: For the foreseeable future VR / AR is hype. Hololens is being overhauled right now and sales of VR gear has been scaled back at almost every store. Yes Facebook is still pushing Oculus, but no one is buying, not at those prices... And this is the third time prices have come down too, no matter what 'virtual sympathy' Zuk feigns for poor Puerto Rico.

      Last thing... Tens of Thousands of VR headsets were given away for free to game devs in recent years. This has helped produce content and garner attention. But how many game devs are actually planning real strides into VR / AR? Very few... Even Epic / Unreal-Engine refuse to officially support Hololens etc. While this has a lot to do with politics and M$ playing hardball with UWP, if Hololens was a compelling product, Epic would definitely support it!

      ---

      http://www.rollingstone.com/glixel/interviews/epics-tim-sweeney-on-vr-and-the-future-of-civilization-w459561

      ---

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2017/10/10/mark-zuckerberg-criticised-tasteless-puerto-rico-vr-video/

      1. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

        Re: VR & AR Hype

        That's not what Sweeney said - he's talking about pervasive VR.

        I don't think VR is hype, but it's finding its way. I've just bought a rift, as the discounted Black Friday price fell within my discretionary spending. The Vive is tempting, but 600 quid is too much at the moment.

        Even running it on a system which ideally needs to be faster, in a space below Oculus' minimum 3ft by 3ft I can see the potential. It's clearly early days, and there is a lot of hype, but the technology basically works - it just has to be used for the right things.

        I would agree that if someone is expecting photorealistic environments that they can react with, it's a long way off yet.

        This is the best time to get into VR if you're interested, when there's a lot of experimentation, but things aren't eye bleedingly expensive. Provided you're prepared for some sub par experiences, and the hardware to be fairly quickly superceded, of course.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: 'This article was supported by: Asus'

      Asus would do BETTER supporting an article that talked about how they were shipping LOTS of reasonably priced Acer laptops pre-installed with Linux and a bootloader that bypasses Intel's "management crap"...

      (I think THAT kind of 'sponsorship' would go over SO well, that enough El Reg readers would buy them to make it SPECTACULARLY PROFITABLE to do so... so GROW A CLUE, Asus, if you read this...)

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Somewhat ironic as this update has knackered my nvidia 3d vision. Severe ghosting, no screen resolution change, and fails to install new drivers. Between nvidia and microsoft I'm going back to windows 7 for gaming. Windows 10 has been a joke - every major update something breaks or doesn't work as well. Why don't they stop adding useless new features and just FIX THE BLOODY THING !

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