We wrote earlier in praise of Continuum for Phones and the new ability to cast to a PC and noted:
Microsoft only needs to do one more thing to make Continuum for Phones perfect – support for the receiving app to run above the lock screen. We already know Cortana can do this, and a self-contained app like the Micracast receiving app should pose no security risk. This would reassure both the phone and PC user that it is safe to use Continuum on their device.
It seems today’s Microsoft is not satisfied to leave us wanting more, but is actually intent in delivering the maximum potential of a technology. On their Windows for Business Roadmap site Microsoft revealed the following features are in development.
Projecting on PCs
Instead of only projecting a Continuum for phone experience on unconnected monitors, a Continuum-compatible phone can connect to monitors/screens that are connected to Windows 10 PCs. Connection above the lock screen, as well as behind the lock screen, are supported.
This is of course massive news, as it would potentially allow most Windows 10 PCs to host a Continuum session without any security impact to either user, and removes the main impediment to the usefulness of Continuum for Phones – the unavailability of unconnected screens and PCs in most location. One can now envision hot seats which feature PCs which can either be used directly for intensive work, or casually via Continuum for Phones for those who are only doing light work and who do not want or need to offload data from their phones.
To round out the feature set, Microsoft also confirmed its working on Touch Screen support over Continum for Phones and the laptop dock shown off at BUILD 2016.
Touch screen support
Touch input will be supported when connecting a Continuum-compatible phone to a touch monitor.
Laptop-like accessory support
Get support for a new accessory form factor that looks like a lightweight and low-cost laptop, but without any CPU or OS. When paired with a Continuum-compatible phone, it will allow you to use your phone like a laptop.
Expanding on the technology, Microsoft is also working on letting users cast their PC screen from one PC to another, which may be useful for support purposes for example.
PC to PC casting
Cast your Windows experience from one PC to another PC.
One further interesting related feature is using other Windows devices as screens for screenless Internet of Things devices which would make it easier to configure and control them.
Remote Display Experience
Remote display experience puts a display on every “display less” device, so users can seamlessly control Windows 10 IoT Core applications from any Windows 10 desktop PC, tablet, or phone*. In addition, the technology allows Windows 10 IoT Core devices to use remote sensor readings from any connected Windows 10 device.
*Feature name subject to change
In this case the phone would be display rather than sender.
Microsoft notes that the roadmap is for informational purposes only, is subject to change at any time without notice. It is however very encouraging that Microsoft is indeed seriously thinking of bridging the feature gap to perfect their solution, as its often the last 20% which takes a feature such as Continuum for Phones from a curiosity to a must have killer application.