Thoughts on Build 2015 – Continuum on Windows Mobile

Pocket PC, Windows Mobile 1.0, Windows Phone, all these past iterations of Windows Mobile have broadcasted the fact that they are Windows on a Phone or a PC in your pocket. Except they really were not. They silmply were mobile versions of Windows, each built with their own limitations. Even when Microsoft went on to brand Windows 10 for Phones as just Windows initially, I thought it was all a bit disingenuous. Windows 10 (for phones) would never be full Windows. All rumours of a Surface Phone and abilities of docking were just wishful thinking. But then Build 2015 happened.

Continuum for Windows Mobile is one of those things that depends on execution and a strong foundation. Previous user concepts imagined a scenario where one would carry an x86 phone capable of running full desktop Windows. Of course the hardware and storage needed for such a feat is so immense that this concept of docking looked to be nothing more than a pipe dream. The Motorola Atrix – a device which looked into the future of mobile computing – also had a dock. But it was a critical and commercial failure all things considered. It lacked the foundation, it was very impractical in execution.

With Windows 10, Microsoft appears to have come the closest to bringing this dream into a reality. I say closest because we haven’t got it in our hands yet. This could easily turn out to be something that looks promising; like live lockscreens, then turn into vapourware.

Nevertheless, even with tempered enthusaism, with universal apps and the shared codebase of the Windows 10 SKUs, it is obvious that Microsoft has laid a very strong foundation here. And with Continuum, it all comes together like a well made cake. Sure your phone can’t run Photoshop Elements or Adobe Lightroom, and maybe it can’t run those massively complicated excel files you need for your quarterly results, but for the average user a bit of email, some word processing and light browsing is all they really need. Microsoft has you covered there.

Windows 10 Phone Continium
Finally, we’re done with the low-end devices

More interestingly, Windows Phone finally has another USP that iOS or Android can’t duplicate. Maybe Chrome OS can beam notifications, or OSX can allow you to take calls, but when Windows can do all that and more, it gets to start a little bit interesting.

Last year I wrote this –

. This is possibly the most hyped version of Windows in a while. If it does not live up to the hype and expectations, then Microsoft will be swept away by Apple and Google eventually just like they themselves swept away IBM. For Microsoft’s sake, Windows 10 had better be damn awesome

What do you know? Windows 10 is looking pretty damn awesome.


*This editorial represents Michael’s thoughts on this issue. Respectful discussion, dissent or criticism is allowed in the comments section below. Ad hominem, personal attacks and general unpleasantness will not be tolerated.

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