Microsoft announces Windows update with 3D features

Wed Oct 26, 2016 4:05pm EDT
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By Jeffrey Dastin

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O: Quote) on Wednesday announced a free update to its Windows operating system that lets users take photos and edit content in three dimensions, in an effort to bring excitement to its declining computing business.

The Windows 10 Creators Update, coming in early 2017, lets users on mobile devices take three-dimensional photos by scanning an object as they walk around it. It also allows for 3D graphics in Microsoft's popular PowerPoint presentation software, and a new "Paint 3D" application lets people edit photos and other designs in three dimensions.

The new features show Microsoft is hoping to stand out from the pack as rival Apple Inc (AAPL.O: Quote) has eroded its grip on software.

"3D creation is a tough thing to simplify, but Microsoft's attempt ... is the best effort I have seen to date," Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights & Strategy wrote in a research note.

Shares of Microsoft were down slightly in early afternoon trading.

Terry Myerson, executive vice president for Microsoft's Windows and devices group, said the update was tailored for gamers who are increasingly interested in augmented and virtual reality experiences.

Virtual reality accessories for the update will start at $299, Myerson said.

"We are building Windows for each of us (and enabling) people to experience computing in new ways," said Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella.   Continued...

Panos Panay, Corporate Vice President for Surface Computing holds the new Microsoft Surface Studio computer at a live event in the Manhattan borough of New York City, October 26, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson