Windows Phone site AAWP have posted a leaked slide purporting to be of new feature of Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S8 – a Continuum-like desktop experience which would allow users to use windowed apps on a big screen using a keyboard and mouse.
If true Samsung would not be the first Android company to enable this feature, with Motorola introducing OneCompute in June 2016 for example, but they will certainly be the biggest, selling tens of millions of their highest end flagship handsets per year.
It is likely that the feature would benefit greatly from Microsoft’s Office productivity software for Android, as was the demonstrated on Motorola’s version of the feature, but that otherwise it will suffer from a shortage of applications designed to be used with a mouse and keyboard and not offer as good an experience as Microsoft’s Continuum for phones does.
In some ways the feature being made mainstream by Samsung would be good for Microsoft, as it would introduce the concept of using your only phone as a desktop productivity vehicle to the masses, and it may stimulate the development of peripherals, particularly the USB-C monitors which are becoming more common.
The flip side of course is that it is unlikely that Microsoft will be able to compete software wise with the Android store, particularly because it is likely users will be able to run most phone apps in a window, unlike Continuum for Phones, which only allows specially adapted Universal Windows Apps to run in desktop mode, which further exacerbates the issue of the already anaemic Window Store. Microsoft would of course not really care, as turning Android phones into mini-PCs would increase the number of consumers using their productivity software.
Could we be seeing Microsoft being leapfrogged once again by competitors who come in late and popularize a feature Microsoft has had first? Let us know below.