As part of its Windows 10 press conference today, Microsoft's Joe Belfiore showed off a motion study of a new touchscreen mode for the operating system that's being developed specifically for use in hybrid (notebook-tablet) PCs called "Continuum."

No, the new mode has nothing to do with that cool sci-fi TV series about a cop from the future who comes to the present day to stop a group of future terrorists. Rather, its a mode that will allow Windows 10 to switch in between a regular desktop and a full tablet experience for 2-in-1 devices. Microsoft posted the motion study of Continuum (with no sound) on its YouTube site to show it off.

Basically, if you have a device like the Surface Pro 3 that has a keyboard attached, the UI in Windows 10 will work in desktop mode. If the keyboard is detached, or if it flips around to show just the touchscreen, Windows 10 will pop up an alert asking the user to go into tablet mode. If the user clicks "Yes". the UI switches so that Modern apps that were working in a windowed mode now take up the entire screen.

More importantly, the Start menu can also expand to fill the entire screen, in a way that's similar to the Start screen in Windows 8 and in Windows Phone. It definitely looks like it will be a solid compromise for users who still want the freedom to use both touchscreen and mouse-keyboard controls.

The "Continuum" mode won't be a part of the Windows 10 Technical Preview when it goes live on Wednesday, but it's likely to be included when Microsoft launches the consumer preview of the OS in early 2015. What do you think of Continuum?

Source: Windows on YouTube