Microsoft hopes free 3D update will boost business

Microsoft  yesterday announced a free update to its Windows operating system that lets users take photos and edit content in three dimensions, in a bid to raise excitement for its declining computing business. The Windows 10 Creators Update, coming in early next year, 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 PowerPoint presentation software, and a new “Paint 3D” application lets people edit photos and other designs in three dimensions. The company also announced anew Surface Book laptop with a 30%longer battery life, of 16 hours. Shares of Microsoft were up 0.2% in morning trading. The executive vice-president for the Windows and devices group, Terry Myerson, said the update was tailored for gamers who were increasingly interested in augmented and virtual reality experiences. “Windows 10 will be your platform for gaming glory,” he said at a product launch event in New York. Accessories for the update would start at $299 (R4 150), Myerson said. The revamped OS and accessories come as Microsoft’s Windows and mobile business is struggling. Revenuefor the unit had fallen 1.8% last quarter to $9.29-billion (R129-billion),it said last week.