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With all the excitement over Windows on ARM, don't forget about Google's Andromeda

Windows 10 on ARM will bring Microsoft's unified OS to streamlined and power-efficient, always-connected tablets and 2-in-1s: "cellular PCs." The ultra-mobile Surface, and partner phones, which I have consistently argued would be positioned as PCs, will follow. Full Windows on Intel and ARM-based PCs from the Surface Studio, HoloLens, tablets, eventually phones and more, will bring the full benefits of the Universal Windows Platform to virtually all form factors. This will be the realization of Microsoft's "Windows Everywhere" vision.

It is this point that reminds me of Google's Andromeda. Andromeda is the code name for a merged Android and Chrome OS. The rumors of such a merger are not new as this excerpt from a 2015 Wall Street Journal article reveals:

Google engineers have been working for roughly two years to combine the operating systems and have made progress…The company plans to unveil its new, single operating system in 2017 but expects to show off an early version next year.

Path to Andromeda (or Lost in Space)

Google's VP for Android, Chrome OS and Chromecast, Hiroshi Lockhiemer later clarified the company's OS vision:, "While we've been working on ways to bring together the best of both operating systems, there's no plan to phase out Chrome OS."

In May of this year Google announced that the Google Play Store was coming to Chrome. This brought 1.5 million Android apps to Chrome OS and a select list of Chromebooks.

Andromeda may help Google achieve it's "Android Everywhere" vision.

An update on Andromeda was one of the most anticipated, yet unfulfilled, rumors leading up to Google's Oct 2016 Pixel Event. Still, Google is laser-focused on making the world's most popular mobile OS, Android, and associated ecosystem the most popular on all form factors.

With Andromeda, this phone, tablet, TV and Watch OS could become a viable desktop OS. If successful it would be a realization of Google's "Android Everywhere" vision.

Then there was one

Android claims over 80% of the world's smartphone market. Apple's high-end hardware focused strategy assures Cupertino 90% of the hardware profits, even as Android dominates the user count. Google is more interested in looping users into its ecosystem of products and services, not hardware, and their free OS and hardware partner strategy helped achieve that goal.

The success of this strategy is reflected in the fact that the absence of Google apps and services from the Windows Store has hindered adoption of Microsoft's mobile platform. Google dominates the mobile landscape, and they're looking to enlarge their territory.

Affordable Chromebooks strategically targeted at the education and businesses sectors have positioned Google for a desktop play. (ARM-based PCs will be Microsoft's affordable counter-punch). Though a tiny part of the global PC market, Chromebooks are popular in schools and small businesses in the US. For example, my sister-in-law bought her son a Chromebook because (among other reasons) he uses one in school. Android apps on Chrome will likely make Chromebooks more popular. Most smartphone users use Google's ecosystem of services and Android app, after all, and will therefore find a desktop representation of that ecosystem very familiar.

Android apps on Chrome are a path to the desktop and a Continuum-like feature.

Chrome OS is directly distributed from Google, circumventing the fragmentation and update issues that have plagued Android phones. It could eventually bring Android to the desktop in a similar "as-a-service" model akin to Microsoft's "Windows as a Service." Furthermore, a Continuum-like function, which we already see with the Superbook could become a universal platform feature of Andromeda. This would make Android phones "Windows Mobile like 3-in-1s", with the added benefit of a robust mobile app ecosystem.

Microsoft's Windows 10 on ARM could enable up to 16 million legacy apps for mobile. However, even when converted to UWP apps with Centennial (Microsoft's ultimate plan for legacy apps) they have limited appeal on a small screen. Projecting those apps to a large screen with Continuum is key to a user reaping the full value of that advancement. Conversely, mobile apps, of which Android has no shortage, are the norm on phones and are slowly increasing in popularity on the growing 2-in-1 PC segment. Andromeda could make Android a bigger player in that growing 2-in-1 segment and personal computing overall.

An uneasy truce

The fact that 90% of PC users use Windows and 80% of smartphone users use Android means many of these users are the same people. Simply put, Microsoft and Google are sharing a user base, albeit from their respective positions of strength — for now. Microsoft's Window 10 companion app and Redmond's efforts to bridge Windows functionality with Android (and iOS, to the extent the platform allows) is Microsoft's acknowledgment of its PC forte and Google's strength in mobile.

PC users and Android phone users are the same people.

The goals of Microsoft's "Windows Everywhere" vision and Google's "Android Everywhere" vision are to win users to the full breadth of each firms' respective ecosystems and family of devices. Ultimately, a universal platform from each of these companies will offer users a fluid, cloud-based continuity between a PC and mobile environment. Microsoft's UWP puts Redmond much closer to this goal than Google.

The Achilles heel in Microsoft's Universal Platform strategy is its weak position in mobile and poor developer support for Modern apps. Conversely, with Andromeda yet to arrive with an optimized Android desktop experience, Google is weak on that form factor and Microsoft's desktop users are currently safe from Google.

Google's aggressive Chromebook push is evidence that if/when Andromeda becomes a reality Mountain View will not remain content sharing its Android phone users with Microsoft as desktop PC users. Though a difficult prize to acquire, Google's eyes are set on Microsoft's 1.5-billion-strong entrenched desktop PC base.

So as Microsoft moves Windows 10 to ARM and eventually phone, smartphone users' growing familiarity with Android and Google's ecosystem, the huge number of available Android apps, and Andromeda on Chrome OS are Google's path toward being a major player in the desktop space.

Jason L Ward is a columnist at Windows Central. He provides unique big picture analysis of the complex world of Microsoft. Jason takes the small clues and gives you an insightful big picture perspective through storytelling that you won't find *anywhere* else. Seriously, this dude thinks outside the box. Follow him on Twitter at @JLTechWord. He's doing the "write" thing!

265 Comments
  • Thanks for reading folks!!! Keeping an eye on the big picture is important. Nothing happens in a vacuum. Though Google has been quiet about Andromeda, the implications of what it will bring to the table if successful are worth introducing into the Windows on ARM and UWP conversation. So what are your thoughts? You know the drill LET'S TALK!!!!
  •  I just read this this morning. Android and Chrome OS merger won’t happen, says Android senior VP 
  • Then there would be two buggy insecure OS's created byu google.
  • Man, you guys need to cut that decade old BS out. It doesn't do any good to turn an eye at Google just because we're not fans.. Fact is that Android has greatly improved over the years, and it's good enough to where over 80% of smartphone users enjoy (or deal with) it on a daily basis, year after year.. Writing it off as just some buggy OS is short sighted, and just plain closed minded.. This is slightly what the article is talking about. We, as MS fans, don't want to be "blind" fans,,, unaware of the reality at hand because of petty hatred. This is not Phone Arena, and there's enough petty Android fans over there filling that role.. Lol.
    The best way to overcome your enemy is to know your enemy, and don't think for one second that this doesn't worry MS. So, if this does in fact worry MS (and it does) then how could we as MS fans just ignore it? With Google's grip on the mobile market saying that their OS sucks at this point is kinda irrelevant, don't you think? It's like 49ner fans talking **** about the Cowboys because they lost last Sunday... Well, THEY'RE 11-2! THEY CAN'T BE TOO BAD!!. 😂😂😂.... Let's keep an open mind, people.
  • I'm not ignoring Android ...but it does suck, regardless of its wide spread adoption.
  • No it doesn't. And this comes from a guy with 3 windows PCs, an XBO, and XB 360. I love Windows, but Android (Nexus and Pixel for me at least) kick ass.
  • Agreed! Never understand how some can be such die-hard fanatics of ANY platform, as-if the company is paying them for such blind faith. Then again, they exist on every side of the fence. I love my Surface Pro 2 as there's simply no other platform that offers such versatile, powerful and flexible hardware in such portable form-factor, looking forward to the Surface Pro 5. But when it comes to Smartphones, Windows is just a major compromise compared to Android at the moment, lacking in apps, versatility, customizations, and frankly, premium-looking hardware (besides the HTC M8). That should all be changing sooner than later with the Surface Phone + Windows 10 on ARM + Reverse Continuum for Mobile UI for the full Windows 10, and that would be my gateway to using Windows on Smartphones.
  • Yes, that's true.... I love the Windows start screen, and the design is coming together nicely. As an OS I think it's a great alternative to iDroid....... But two things, APPS, AND DEVICES, hold Windows back to where we really can't say any other platform sucks.. I hope that changes for Windows, but the reality is that if Windows does improve then we will just have 3 good options to choose from. Nothing will ever suck from this point on.
  • Agreed. I am using iPhone because it suits my needs. I own android phones, and did own windows phones as well....but they got so behind that I could not even keep using them. Hopfully they can fix that up soon!
  • I work with some pretty technical dudes, and they say they love Android...
    ....
    Our IT guy says he's switching to Windows for his next mobile device.. He's counting on a Surface Phone. I need to ask him why. Although I'm definitely a Windows fan, at this stage in mobile it does make me wonder why he wants to switch. Interesting.
  • @rodneyej: if you can view the platforms separately from the apps, Windows 10 Mobile is quite astonishing from a technical perspective. The hurdle they're overcoming with the Universal Windows Platform is really something. Android took awhile to first get to parity with iOS and then slowly overcome it with AI. W10M's AI isn't quite where Google's is in regards to integration and quality, but it's not super far off with quality. So personally, from a platform perspective, both Android and W10M has something that can be exciting for IT people. I wish Google would just go ahead and create apps for W10M, because Windows & Google together would be amazing. But Microsoft wants to get into AI, so they wouldn't want Google Assistant popping up on Windows 10 Mobile and Google doesn't want Windows 10 Mobile to takeoff, so they don't want their apps to have too much presence there either.
  • Windows Mobile is great, from an OS standpoint, setting apps aside.... But, it's kinda irrelevant to set apps aside when they are such a huge factor in our current mobile experience. So, no, I can't set apps aside. They must be factored into the equation or I'm not really giving a fair assessment.
  • Agreed. iOS is very limited, but at least i get the UI conecpt. Android is still confusing me to hell.
  • @Urbautz: The stock Android interface isn't super different from iOS. Samsung's interface confuses me though. I get it might be neat once you mess around, but its not intuitive because I don't use Android that often so I'm familiar with stock and I expect Android phones to work the same, but Samsung's is just different enough to confuse me. I still believe Android and W10M have the most innovation. All iOS has going is a guaranteed audience and such a closed hardware/software ecosystem that they tend to be more stable than the others. Their new features though always feel like babysteps from the other platforms versus the innovative stuff on the other platforms feel like entirely new paradigms.
  • Im using android now and its great. But my favourite mobile operating system is whitout a doubt windows 10 mobile! Its just the lack of some important apps that keep me from it. Even though i pretty much never experience any lag in my current LG G5, it lacks the fluidity of Windows mobile and IOS. I hope soo bad that windows mobile gets back in the game soon! I´ll jump right on! 
  • The next HP Elite "X4" will most likely run W10 on Arm!!! 😎😎😎😎
  • What would be the 4th form factor? You have laptop, tablet and phone.
  • Toaster.
  • No, as in a second generation "X3".. X4.
  • X3: laptop,PC(desktop),Phone...X4 laptop,desktop,tablet,phone :)
  • The "tablet" form factor is already included in the use as a phone
  • Nah, mobile 📱 is too small for media consumption.
  • 6 inches is too small?!
  • Ya that's why they are called phablet instead of tablet..
  • 🤦
  • 🤔
  • 😂😂😂😂😂
  • For Media Consumption 6" is too small, for mobile it's too big. At least i would like to have 2 devices: 10" Surface 4 (non-pro) and a Lumia 850 with 4,3".
  • You're missing the point of our conversation
  • Agreed. I hope some oem make a surface shell with continuum support and 5inch or 5.7inch 90%+ body ratio mobile 📱 like mi mix
  • 10" Surface Arm?? Because, that's what you would be getting.
  • What???? Tell that to the hundreds of millions of people watching videos on their 5" smartphones as we "speak".
    ........
    Mobile is jot too small for media consumption.
  • It's still missing the Active Digitizer input. That's a whole 'nother dimension of functionality currently only realized on the Samsung Galaxy Note series, so much so, it's suitable as a product on its own; a Digitizer Drawing Board.
  • Great article Jason. I've been watching this very same threat from Google to Microsoft's UWP dreams.  Google comes from a position of strength (Android) that is tied to where all the momentum is (mobile).  Microsoft is coming from a position of strength that is fighting for sustained relevance (PC). While Microsoft has been innovating like gang-busters on things like the Surface line, even de-throning Apple a bit from their previously unassailable position as the top in tech design, I think Google poses a significant threat.  Microsoft is hungry because they have to be.  If they win out with their grand vision, it's because the market leaders grew complacent.   Microsoft's underdog position makes them willing to take risks.  Windows 8 was a risk, but it gave us Windows 10.  While Windows 10 isn't perfect, it's pretty darn great, and getting better all the time.  Contrast that with Apple's unwillingness to incorporate touch into MacOS.  Apple is playing it safe, while Microsoft now gets to reep all the benefits of toughing out the growing pains of transitioning to a touch-capable OS that runs on ANYTHING. So Google is the big variable here.  They are making some big plays with Pixel, the Home assistant thingy similar to Amazon's Alexa... and they have top-shelf services that run almost anywhere.  Thankfully Microsoft has shed much of the "Old MS" attitude and they are enjoying a growing reputation for actually doing cool stuff.   Outside of their weakness in mobile (and that's a BIG one), I think Microsoft has all the right arrows in their quiver.  They are doing the best practical options as far as putting effort behind having great apps on Android and iOS.  Us tech-heads and fans would love a 3-in-one PC akin to the Samsung Galaxy Note (minus the exploding batteries) that runs FULL windows 10, full applications and web browsers, even oldschool game console emulators... which might work reasonably well with a good pen input, game controller accessory... etc.... But we  have to achnowledge that for the vast majority of people, it's about mobile-first apps, trendy apps your friends are using, convenience apps your city, town, or bank create... and Windows 10 on ARM's only answer to that in a growing number of cases is crickets... or to pray for a workable web site. It's main selling point, to run win32 apps, can be done on other phones through Remote Desktop VPN type solutions... which for most scenarios, works fine in a pinch. I think full Windows 10 on ARM is a long-play.  It has to be...since it will take some time for it all to play out.  It breaths some new life into the Windows world and it's reach.  I think the long-play is to help UWP indirectly by making Windows in general more versatile and have a bit more reach.  If Microsoft can limp along on mobile, some good things could happen:  1) more and more websites get redesigned with adaptive layouts that work great on small screens.  2) UWP gets the shot in the arm it needs to build out it's catalog on PC/Tablet/XBox/Holographic.  3) Steam and other game offerings like GoG, etc. do some retooling to be touch-screen and small-screen friendly.  This would let Microsoft (and partners) introduce a 3-in-1 that's actually compelling to non-business folks.
  • Thanks @Mingu7. Great points. I think there is great potential in Windows on ARM as well. It is a long play tearing down the walls between the Mobile and desktop environments reimagining what a PC is: Anything. I talked about that in my Smartphones are dead series, which might be worth revisiting considering what's happening now. I laid out there the path we see coming to fruition now. As we look at MS device family,virtually each member can do everything every other member can do, but each form factor is ideal for distinct cases. This optimizes the mobility of our digital experiences(Nadella's dream🙂. Full Windows on an ultramobile Surface would fit right in that scenario. Check out my next article coming out at noon today(12/15/16) for how I think the next phase of Microsoft's ultramobile PC and Win32 app vision will play out. 😉
  • This is a great article. I love Microsoft's vision and truly hope they succeed over Google. Execution will be key to their success.
  • MS's vision can't fail, as it's the same vision that Google shares. Remember MS retrenched so as not to compete with Google in the mobile space, instead they've migrated MS apps and services to Google and are actively encouraging current Windows users to use both Windows PCs and Android phones by withdrawing Windows phone devices almost entirely from the consumer marketplace. Really, what MS now need to do to continue this process is to allow Android apps on Windows devices so they can capitalise on the success they've had with moving their customer base over to Android phones. I'm not sure why they're waiting really, now's the time to take control of the Google app space. Once the MS store becomes essentially an alternative place to get your Google apps, but with universal access on all your devices, why would anyone buy their app from the Google store? It'd make Chromebooks even less used than they are now. Also, forget that 'used in schools so will win with parents' rubbish. Remember BBC versus Sinclair? Nuff said.
  • I agrred a lot with your take, I would add a twist and say why couldn't MSFT work their tails off to super boost their 24 Feb 2016 acquired Xamarin to be able to fully convert android apps into windows apps. That way, when developers are developing for android, xamarin generates windows apps code with extremely little to no change in code for the developer and all they had to do is publish. The key is make rediculously easy to do and remove developers excuses.
  • That is not possible.  Xamarin can help you migrate your Windows app to Android or make a new app that runs everywhere but it is not suposed to port Android apps to windows.  Developers would have to program their app again from the beginning and this is not going to happen.
  • From what I have read, you can port Android apps to Windows with Xamarin.  
  • That would be awesome, but i use Xamarin in some projects and it doesnt seems like that.  Actually even porting windows apps to Android and iOS arent that easy and you need a lot of work to do it right.
  • I think we sometimes forget that apps come with tentacles... Android Apps often assume a google account and various surrounding OS/Cloud services to be available.  Some games and simple apps might be fine, but those tentacles get sticky with larger and nicely integrated apps.  Replicating that on Windows 10 for an effortless "port" is not just about some emulation container for the app code.
  • Yes, also people forgot that there are rights laws that MS must abide by.. MS just can't do whatever they want when they want, especially with another companies assets.
  • That is a big thing that most everyone here forgets. They just think microsoft can port over apps and call it done. It does not work like that. I have said many times before that if MS did that they would have lawsuit after lawsuit.
  • To be more clear, Xamarin is a framework. It can't convert code. As @Alessandro Dut pointed out, if you're building a new app, you can create it so not too much work is required to hit all platforms. But it can't convert existing code. At least in regards to iPhone, you have the Windows Bridge for iOS (Islandwood). That actually tries to convert code.
  • I think the problem is that Google won't make those apps available, is not that MS is blocking the, is that google will never port any google branded app to the Microsoft ecosystem
  • Even if Microsoft added support for Android apps to the OS, developers would still have to add their apps to the Windows Store. If Microsoft just grabbed apk files for the most popular apps and put them in the store without the consent of the developer, that'd be piracy. 
  • If Microsoft opened a store that simply gave a developer more of an audience with zero additional work, developers would do it. It's practically free money.
  • Don't forget marketing.. Marketing is always key.
  • Marketing would be oxymoron in their case, most of their employees use apple and android.
  • As usual...
  • I also hope Microsoft win's this. Or Andromeda does not suck as Android does. Actually, i would prefer a 1:1:1 market separation between Google, MS and iOS. And they cooperating to get applications plattform independent, like MS does with Xamarin already.
  • It will be interesting to see how this situation will develop. I see a hard road ahead for either company if they try to grab at each others market share; chrome OS is is not going to be appealing to many windows 10 users, just like 10 Mobile isn't going to be attractive to many Android consumers, even with x86 app support. Either in the far future one device will do it all, or people are going to continue to pick and choose different os's for different devices. Which is why windows integration in android and google integration in windows is so important, users need choice, and the OS's need to talk to each other while they coexist.
  • Hmm, you speak alot of sense, but I don't think people really want Android as an OS (and certainly not ChromeOS). I think they want Android apps. Now MS have had success in moving their mobile customers over to Android as per the retrenching plan, the obvious next move is to take control of the one area that matters, Google apps. If they can make the MS store a better place to buy your Google apps (universally available on all your Windows devices and your Android phone) why would anyone who owns an Android phone and a Windows PC etc. ever buy an app from the Google store again? This is clearly the direction MS have moved customers in place for. I just wonder when they're planning for the final takeover bid.
  • This. Nobody cares about the OS. Heck, many phone buyers have no idea they even have an android device. They just want the apps. With that said, it is hard to make a full comparison to Chrome and Windows. Apps are still apps and cannot replace the needs of actual desktop software.
  • Desktop software has become a niche market. There really isn't any mainstream programs that do not have a mobile equivalent. The need to use Windows is shrinking daily.
  • Office is a great example of REALLY good apps. They do not in any way replace full for those that need and back to my point, you can't compare the two.
  • That is one program that is available everywhere and has plenty of other options. Not going to drive mainstream growth.
  • I am not saying that, what I am saying is that if you NEED a piece of software, such as office, then you have to have office. I will explain further in my other comment to you.
  • Developers would still have to consent to their applications being on the Windows store. It would likely be like apps on the Amazon app store: they're technically the same apps, but they're several versions behind because there's no incentive for developers to add the updated version.    You'd also have to convince users to use a second store, and re buy all their apps from the Windows store. 
  • If you mean supporting Android apps in Windows (if that's not what you mean, sorry my bad) I don't think that's a good idea.
    Support for Android apps won't help Windows anymore.
    Remember, we're talking about the WHOLE Windows ecosystem now, not just Mobile.
    Android apps are not designed to work with PC's, TV's, IoT, etc. only phones.
    UWP is the only way to go, Microsoft should encourage developers to use UWP instead of Win32 by providing the same capabilities.
    I understand that UWP is still limited compared to Win32 so MS should address that issue.
  • More people are willing to change phones than computers. I know lots of android users who are interested in Windows Mobile but the app gap keeps them back and that includes solid Google services. The arm game is to try and help the ecosystem even more. It may also force Google to make apps. Google does for iOS who also compete in mobile space with them. They have a huge amount of Windows users using their services. They will be at risk losing customers to ms which users will be constantly exposed to.
  • Yep
  • Only Google rejects all windows integration. Even Apple is more open there. MS is doing it right, their services all availible on all plattforms.
  • Nice but Andromeda will be like chrome os on phone right like a continuum experience but won't be able to run winx86 apps so i don't believe it will make a difference
  • True, but with so many apps the bet here is that x86 software will fade to the background.
  • It's really about replacing current PC software with smaller, less capable apps for certain needs (so instead of having Photoshop for all of your design work you will have seprate small apps for dealing with photos, drawing, etc.). It will be hard to get users to ditch their workflow unless the new option is much better. It's the same as the web site vs. UWP app problem, if the app has less features why would you use it instead?
  • Mobile Apps are not in the beginning, they were 6 years ago, not anymore.  that being said, if said apps could exist they would already exist by now.  small screens and phones already took over what they could from desktop and big screens. Photoshop will always be needed, mouse and pen and big screen also, small screens are now needed too and for now we have to buy two devices to fulfill our needs. Microsoft vision with UWP is way beyong a smartphone and a desktop, with a phone being able to run apps from both worlds, you can buy a single device with a processor unit and then dumb devices that are cheaper to meet all your needs, that will probably include a cheaper hololens in the future and a phone that works as a bracelet/smartwatch all running the same OS. Google right now have a specific OS for watches, phones and desktop, etc, devs have to create their apps for each OS and thats a pain, Andromeda would ease that a bit but still far from what Microsoft is offering with watches, phones, pcs, xbox and hololens... In the end it will be really easier to create a popular app to Windows Mobile than to port real photoshop to Andromeda and thats when tide will start to change.  
  • But uwp isn't about mobile. It's about moving your code to a future platform. think about the sketchable app and how it's desktop only. not only that it takes advantage of a new input device like the surface dial. Will never be good on phone but doesn't need to be. But as input changes it can quickly adapt by being on the new code base. Imagine photoshop on HoloLens with a brush you draw on any Surface you project the image and it can know the texture of the scene if you wish, the lighting info, it can change the way people manipulate photos. They can use exact 1:1 sizing, etc. it's not about phones. It's about empowering your code to do more and if they don't someone else will think of it and adobe will become the next blockbuster movies. Phone was just humanity's first step into mobile. Technology has progressed insanely over such a short period of time. It will not stop for a company who is comfortable with sitting where they are. Windows 10 is about letting developers adapt to technology changes. It is hardware agnostic, it doesn't require you to constantly change the os you interact with because some new hardware input/output model has become popular. Oh a smart watch. Ok let's rewrite everything for watch os. No, the core apis are always the same and only features need to be concerned. So stop thinking of uwp as mobile. It's not.
  • Im not sure why you replied this to me, I didn´t say UWP is about mobile, i said it will save you money and save devs time.  It sure isnt about "moving code to a future platform", that is vague and means nothing, we could say the same thing about xbox 360 games being ported to xbox one... "moving code to a future platform", but thats not why they do it. Maybe UWP seems new to you but it actually exists for some time now, it didnt change anything for Microsoft, it means nothing without mobile and continuum, you should stop thinking this is about moving your code to a future platform, it´s not.
  • Google has one OS on all form factors and has had a unified app store for years. Today, a single app can run on your TV, car, watch, phone, tablet or PC.q Microsoft is behind. The only place they are really relevant is desktop. They have no wearable, auto or television products and they basically do not even have a mobile platform. With no penetration into these markets, at this point it looks like Microsoft is just going to become a company that provides enterprise services. They will be quite successful there, but it is going to be a bit boring for us consumers.
  • This is where MS is placed well if they can get mobile apps underway, they'll have a system that can run both, x86 is still a very important part of the ecosystem that millions still require.
  • I forgot.. Don't remind me..
  • It will be exciting to see how this ends up. All the best to Microsoft. Microsoft has finally taken the right direction with arm and x86. Best of both worlds.
  • Hi Jason, I think you've got it wrong when you said "Android apps on Chrome are a path to the desktop and a Continuum-like feature"... Bringing mobile apps to a desktop is not the same as bringing full desktop apps and desktop functionality to a mobile through docking it to a bigger screen... It's almost the opposite. Can we really compare the two?
  • If it were ever to go over it is Googles method of apps on a desktop form factor like we see now with apps on Chrome.
  • This right here is why MS is in the position it is in mobile... there is a 1% that cares about full desktop ufnctionality on a mobile device... the other 99% just want something with quick toggles pre adjustments and be on your way...  The lack of a full UWP eco system is a HUGE detriment to MS, that android already has... being able to run x86 programs on a phone isn't still going to appeal to 99% of the market... in essense you are right you can't really compare the two... however that doesn't matter
  • Exactly. However, in reality Microsoft's aim is not for us to use those apps (x86) on the phone, rather that the phone is your full mobile device and can also be your computer when x86 work needs to be done.
  • But are there really any compelling mainstream x86 programs these days? Windows doesn't have phone apps, so you will be giving up all the mainstream phone software in order to run desktop software on underpowered hardware. Doesn't sound like a great experience at all.
  • You are trying hard to minimalize x86. Your point is taken and understood. Many people don't need x86 (side note: Which is super funny because that was the point in RT and everyone, including standard consumers, screamed that we needed full support, but whatever) but, to dismiss that there are not awesome pieces of software out there is in full denial. And maybe full denial to simply try and make a point. That doesn't change the fact that x86 is still needed by many and for the most part still preferred by many. Hell, even my grandma. We have tried to buy her many little internet connected devices. Many app store driven devices. She still rocks her Windows laptop because that is what she knows.
  • Windows RT failed because it was massively underpowered and didn't have good software available. Your grandma isn't a good example. Our grandmother can only use Windows phones. Everything else is too complicated.
  • Absolutely it was because it didn't have good software, but that is only part of it. RT sat in that odd middle ground while MS scrambled to figure out what was next. RT was obviously at the very beginning of a Windows store, like other OSs it needed to mature at that early stage of its life. The problem was not that there were not apps available for it, it was that X86 was not. iTunes was the biggest deal breaker for everyone I know. While most of us agree that iTunes is a POS, it was then and still is now needed by many. The store apps would have come like the other OSs had the market share grown. The market share did not grow because RT was not a PC replacement it was a tablet to compete with the other ARM tablets. That put consumers in a weird position. Buy a windows tablet, but still have to keep or buy another Windows machine to do the deal breaker stuff they wanted (again, such as iTunes). So it created a situation where many consumers did not want to buy two of almost the same thing, and I don't blame them. ______________________________________ My point in this reply and the reply up top; there is deal breaker software for everyone. Me, it is Office, full video editing software, (as much as I hate to say it, and hope that need goes away, I need Flash). And while i don't play many PC games anymore, there are a few that I play that could not be played without X86. That is beside the fact of what I already mentioned and what you partially confirmed, many standard, older consumers use what is familiar, natural and/or super easy.
  • I agree with those that say that x86 type of apps will always be necessary, maybe just not mainstream. But, I can't even imagine using some of the software I use almost daily on a small screen or tablet, examples: Mercury, Origin Pro, Nanoscope, MatLab, AutoDesk 3ds Max. I list these because I'm tired of the classic photoshop example, which I actually use as well. The point is, professionals in many different segments need productivity tools that are far too complex for a simple mobile app to take over, and the fact that soon we will start to be able to run those types of applications on devices that can fit in your pocket is INCREDIBLE. I don't get too excited, though, because I know that the power to run this software is high and it will be very demanding, but the first steps are being taken and that alone is worth of applause.
  • The programs you mentioned are no where near mainstream and will not drive growth. As you said, they are professional apps and their users are not interested in messing around with underpowered ARM hardware. Windows RT 2.0 is going to be a hard sell.
  • Interesting. I don't think MS want desktop apps to run on the small screen, only through continuum when the device lights up a bigger screen through a dock or wirelessly.
    The benefits of this are massive!! You would no longer need a desktop or even a laptop. How many businesses would use this? How many consumers that are using their phones, step into their house, light up the TV with the phone and watch Netflix, or light up their monitor on their desk and start being creative... And desktop apps are still in use everyday! Use any desktop chat software? How about tools for work? What about proper photo software like photoshop? Or the very many productivity tools. I remember reading that there are more x86 applications than there are mobile apps...
    But the point isn't about apps. The point is all you'll need to carry is 1 device to do it all. That's very handy indeed. 🙂
  • They are failing in tablet space even with android apps..how come they succeed with andromeda..?
  • Is anyone successful with tablets these days? Microsoft doesn't really have a tablet option (Windows 2in1s are really just laptops, the experience really suffers without a physical keyboard and trackpad). Even iPad sales are dropping. Android still has 2/3 of the market, so it is tough to say they are failing. Large phones have made tablets less appealing.
  • One big difference between the two platforms is Windows Mobile's security far surpasses Android
  • Totally, this is androids biggest problem. Second to that is the version fragmentation, "does that app actually work with my device?"
  • Apps can be targetted to work on devices reaching back to 2011. if the developer is competent, what you described isn't a problem. I genuinely can't remember the last time I heard of an app not working on a recent version of Android. 
  • But this is only a learning Problem. MS had to learn it on times of XP and the rise of the internet, google learns it now. I'm sure they will, after they get a view more times beaten.
  • MS still rules till the end on commercial pc systems.
  • The fact that MS is making all its software available on android will eventually finish them off. Why should I still buy MS products if all MS software is available and often even better on chrome book and android? Oh, and android and chromebook also have all apps available to me where the are almost no apps on MS products. The biggest threat to MS is MS, not google or apple.
  • Well since all the true programs software are on Windows(x86apps) if you dont want to play pokemon go i think i need to say no more ;)
  • What compelling, mainstream software is only available on Windows?
  • Almost every video game that is AAA... 
  • That is why I still use Windows at home. I am not sure if that is really mainstream though. Unfortunately, consoles seem to be bigger gaming platforms.
  • Sad but true.Even the article states how google keeping their apps from windows phone has slowed it down. I think ms might need to do the same but I doubt they will.
  • Microsoft pulling their apps wouldn't make people switch to Windows phones. It would make them find new apps.
  • Google keeps its apps off Windows phones for the same reason it doesn't make BlackBerry, Tizen or WebOS apps. It isn't some conspiracy.
  • Google made Blackberry AND WebOS Apps. You don't seem to be aware of the history of Google OR Eric Schmidt. If you don't think they're being willfully anti-competitive.
  • Google released their search app for those platforms as well as Windows. That was it. They certainly did not continue developing for them either.
  • Search, YouTube, Maps.. Your ignorance is astounding.
  • That was over 6 years ago when BlackBerry and Palm were relevant. Did you see Microsoft apps on those platforms? Did Microsoft have apps back then?
  • Ye but they can pull their apps anytime and the people will have a reason to switch :D
  • Would you switch to a Chromebook if google suddenly stops supporting chrome for windows or would you just use edge, Firefox, opera, etc. That's the same situation here.
  • No, the reason they are on all platforms is so users can choose to have office, OneDrive, Cortana etc no matter the phone they use. If an android user cannot use office on their phone they are more than likely to use google docs. That makes them more likely to use out on there pc as well so they have a consistent experience. Not having cross platform solutions will be what kills Microsoft. The missing apps from google would be on Windows in a heartbeat if it was the other way around.
  • "Your mobility - not your devices" is what Satya does. I think he does right and will have more success than closed solutions.
  • The biggest problem chromebooks running android apps have is that android and their apps kinda suck with a keyboard and mouse. They were made for generally a phone, sometimes a tablet, and don't really provide a lot of keyboard and mouse support. Windows on ARM makes sense not just with phones running apps in continuum but cheaper laptops that last hours. And if you want all your chrome stuff you can always use chrome browser and get the best of every world.
  • So, if they're finished off, there are no MS software on Android...so that makes no sense. Also, there's a huge professional market for MS. They won't be switching to a Google OS which is made up entirely of apps. I can't run a professional video business on a Chromebook. 
  • These old arguments again. The reason why Google can afford to ignore W10M is because they (and apple) are in the majority right now and which is the same reason why MS has to make sure their services are everywhere including on competing platforms. MS already tried being unique and exclusive with features for mobile, but that wasn't working (well enough). Plus they are trying to put W10 everywhere in general, which I think is smart. There are pros and cons to this strategy, but I believe it's better than the alternative.
  • So as a business you think. "what's out biggest draw back in mobile". Service apps. They are the most used apps. Google apps being one. What if you build your brand out to be amazing on ios and android and people start changing services to ms? Now they are no longer locked in to google platform for their next purchase. This is one of the plans of attack. There are many happening at once. Service apps are just one area no doubt. But the competition from ms may also force Google to compete in uwp if things go MS's way.
  • yes.
  • Thank you for writing this article. While the idea of "Google anywhere" would be great for the industry (and competition), google faces a larger issue in that it has to create the device that will push the concept forward. While Chromebooks and the pixel phone are good Google devices, they do not catch a users imagination as the next big thing (aka why to jump to google anywhere). Until they build must have devices under their own brand, they will not be perceived as the company that drives the future, and therefore will not have a rapid adoption of google everything. Thank you for reading.
  • The advantage Microsoft has is that their apps scale depending on which form factor it is running on. An android app still looks and behaves like a phone app on table,desktop and so on,but you never what google has planned. If Microsoft wants to not only keep thiers but gain googles mind and market share they need to act now.
  • Step 1: Make sure all your godd*mn services work worldwide because if I can use google now,but not Cortana which one do u think I'm going to use. Microsoft should have made sure that all their services worked for all of their customers instead of tripping over themselves to port them to iOS and android. Smh
  • Part of that's down to the developer. Microsoft's Word Android app runs and scales very well on a tablet or Chromebook, but others like Facebook Messenger don't properly take advantage of the extra screen real estate. 
  • I don't think either of the companies will manage to break the balance established. Microsoft will never be relevant on mobile (Windows on ARM is not new and it won't ressuscitate Microsoft's mobile platform) and Google will never be relevant on desktop (ChomeOS is also not new and not even putting Android apps in it will make it a decent desktop OS).   I also completely disagree with the vision of SOME people that users want a one experience accross all types of devices. I think it's completely based on nerd visions and not real life usage. Users know that a mobile experience isn't and shouldn't be the same as a desktop one. And I think Microsoft knows that. Hence why they put their services on Android. Going forward the path to computing won't be, I think, an OS competition but a competition for services. Microsoft services versus Google services. Google trying to make cheap ARM laptops isn't to try and make ChromeOS or Android a relevant desktop OS, is to try to entice people into Google services. Microsoft putting Windows on ARM devices (and again I don't believe there will be an ARM phone from Microsoft. They know they already lost the phone battle and an ARM phone would STILL need the apps that are continuing to be missing) isn't for anything else other than to try to sell the cheapest devices possible that can lock people into their services.   And in the battle for services, Microsoft is winning. I'm not refering to numbers though (I haven't looked at services usage numbers) but the fact that they HAVE their services available on all platforms gives them an advantage over Google but specially over Apple.
  • I disagree on the One Experience. As long as the software scales correctly, one experience is a great thing. Some of the first party apps are a great example of that. Groove scales across all devices wonderfully. If we were having this conversation with Windows 8, I would reluctantly agree. (I enjoyed 8/8.1, but to your point nerd vison. 10, I would argue that all day.
  • They put services on Android, in part, because they have to. Google can ignore W10M because they (and Apple) are used by majority of users. Same reason why Google actually has apps for the iPhone. You're correct, a mobile experience is not the same as a desktop one..thus having apps that can adjust how you interact/experience it depending on the usage scenario is optimal. It will also be more efficient for a developer to reuse as much code as possible. I agree, to a degree, that this is a battle for services...but with where things are going I don't think you can totally separate services from the OS if the idea is really to use the OS to lock people into services. It essentially is what Apple is/has been doing and they are popular enough (for now) that they don't have to have their services on other platforms. Take iMessage, you can only use that service on Apple products. It's a popular service and the OS itself is used to lock people in because they can't get it anywhere else.
  • What platform is Google services not available on? I am certain you don't think Google not making Windows phone apps matters in the slightest bit?! Is there some other unknown, relevant platform Google is ignoring?
  • Non GMS Android.
  • Here's my two cents... Microsoft stained Windows Mobile's name with late upgrades of features Android/iOS users enjoyed for even years ahead of us. It also carries the burden of the App Gap everyone knows of. Lack of hardware, especially high-end, doesn't help, although HP and Alcatel did come up with good hardware and the Lumia 950/950XL are still great. If it's not a Windows PC, it seems people will most likely flock to a Mac, but hopefully the not-so-inspiring hardware calls more people towards Windows. It's a hold Microsoft still has. Google has Android, and although it has its quirks, the huge range of features, apps, and hardware help it expand. When it first came out, ChromeOS seemed useless without internet access, a sort of browser-only OS. It's getting better, and schools especially ate picking them up for the price, but it needs time to get up to par with PC in terms of programs, not apps, that might be needed and aren't in the Play Store. They're both big names, and although Microsoft got to it first, in the long term the bigger prize will go to who can successfully enter the other's space without doing themselves deeper in their own hole, and who can offer the better services in their environment. (Google doesn't release its apps to Windows in hopes that they will stay, whereas Microsoft is giving Android almost everything in hopes that consumers will be attracted to the more streamlined and unified experience on Windows.) Only time will tell. Unless Apple comes with something like AppleOS. But that's another story that seems not likely near-term
  • thanks for your two cents, I pretty much agree with what you wrote.
  • I dont see the point of having android on a pc. Why should i use some kind of apps when i can have a more functional win32 programs. Maybe for people that watch videos and use social media this would be great but i doubt it :|
  • Nice article Jason. Always good to have a view of the overall picture as you say.
    I think gaming and VR/AR could be a differentiator in future and if MS start to gain apps for their ecosystem because of this and low end ARM powered Windows 10 devices replacing Chromebooks then it might just swing in their favour.
    High end systems for work/play will likely be mostly Windows devices either way but Andromeda could take a chunk of the lower end of the market depending on how quickly they manage to merge their OS's.
    So far I'd say MS is one step ahead of them but it could go either way! Exciting times.
  • Thanks...I agree that Microsofts mixed-reality platform may very well help garner some developer attention. Can't wait to see how all this pans out. Let's also not forget about "Magic Leap", that Google has invested heavily in. I wonder what we'll see when the covers a pulled away from that secretive AR project.
  • That's a good point. I didn't think about VR/AR potentially being a big differentiator
  • I think it will be easier for Android to get traction in desktop than it will be for Windows to get traction in mobile. If Andromeda can run top games, it will get interesting...
  • Given how Linux lags behind in gaming performance, I don't think that'll happen. 
  • Does SAP, Oracle/PeopleSoft and the like have user front ends on Android or iOS? If not, then enterprise will go with Microsoft. It is said that Microsoft's return strategy to the consumer is through the Enterprise/Business. Anyway, Microsoft should move ahead a lot faster with (moving) pictures for consumers, as Google already has a lead there.  
  • I know CITRIX does. My company is testing CITRIX reciever on a Chromebook to see how well it does. I think it'll go well, if a laptop is literally just remoting into the real programs, a Chromebook running the CITRIX reciever app makes a lot of sense. 
  • Yeah, in a perfect world remoting in is great. Unfortunately a lot of the world, including the US does not have broadband to support everywhere. Being able to keep files local is a must for many people. VPNing in uses dramatically less bandwidth.
  • Agreed, I just know many companies prefer running their services through CITRIX or a similar app. If your company already made that decision, a Chromebook makes a lot of sense.
  • We have the option to use a Windows PC remote in BYOD. I was stoked at first thinking I can remote in on my surface book and work from wherever and not have to lug around my huge corporate machine. Until I realized that would take over as my main corporate computing, losing my corporate laptop. That was a deal breaker. I am not going to remote in and try to work in excel all day. The lag in excel would kill me. But, yeah, I am with you.
  • Not sure if you've seen my long ass post, but Chrome Remote Desktop worked surprisingly well for me. I know it's not the same as what you used, but I was able to remote in from a very busy coffee shop to my home server PC and play a few rounds of Halo Spartan Strike as a proof of concept. Even though the Chromebook was in a busy coffee shop (50+ people, though I'm not sure how many were using Wi-Fi) and my server PC was connected over Wi-Fi, not Ethernet, the lag was imperceptible. I wouldn't use it for any online games, but for a simple game or doing a Powerpoint, I think it'll work well. I'm genuinely curious to see how much it improves when I get my gaming PC together since that'll be plugged into Ethernet and have much better hardware that my current server. A better Wi-Fi chip in the HP Chromebook I'm trying won't hurt either. 
  • Oh I am sure it does, I remote in certain situations often. At my current residence bandwidth is not an issue, but I a lm getting ready to move and the most I can get is about 7mb at the new house. No way will I work remotely off of that all day every day. Don't get me wrong, I am nervous as all get out about that connection. Games that take hour or so to DL now will take days. I am super freaked out by it actually. But, not going to not move where I want because of it. I will just have to suffer until 5G or Power line data rolls out in the hopefully not too distant future.
  • Your Chromebook would still eat a Windows licence. And if your usage scenario becomes more common, Microsoft could require RDP CALs, and be fine with it.
  • So you're the nincompoop that bought a Chromebook. I guess it had to be somebody.
  • I didn't buy a damn thing. One IT admin in our company was curious about it, so the company bought one to try. And it works great.  Not sure how someone buying something to test makes them a nincompoop, but if insults are all you have...
  • If ChromeOS is all you have...
  • Not all I have, just something I was willing to try in my personal use and something a co worker was willing to try for work use. Works great in both cases. 
  • Why are you so desperate to try and sell us on Google's junk? We aren't so easily deceived as most of the Google faithful. You'd have better luck finding a choir to preach to.
  • I'm not trying to sell anyone on anything. I'm sharing my experiences because someone (clearly not you) might think critically and give it an honest try.  Why are you so desperate to fill a conversation with your BS and vaguebooking?
  • I'm just countering your BS Google PR, Tom.
  • It isn't PR from anyone, just me sharing my experiences and observations.
  • Astroturfing?
  • I highly doubt that Windows on ARM will work. x86 apps you say? Show me Twiiter/Facebook/Snapchat version in x86? Cannot find it? Of course you can't. They are not available! What x86/x64 apps are you going to run on ARM device!? 3DMax? :) If it will be small factor device, you do not need desktop apps on it. Microsoft again is trying to reinvent the wheel with failure on horizon. I know that some people here again will tell that I am not right, but as it was before, when I wrote my comment about project to easily convert Android./iOS apps to Windows Phone, I was right at that time. As a software developer I do not see anything interesting for me in having Windows on ARM.
    Emulation!? Gushhh, current native apps (on ARM) cannot handle tough tasks, do you thing emulation will do?
  • From one dev to another you are making perfect sense regarding apps. However I feel it will work entirely as the windows ecosystem. Think about how you can manage, manipulate and use the OS (win10) to do work which on a mobile driven PC OS (android) it would be cumbersome to use. So I see win10 on arm as a big thing through tablets or via continuum
  • I can agree that Microsoft is trying to finally create ONE windows, not 10 Windows'ses :) But I do not see how I can use this new feature. I have Windows tablet. It is windows 10 Pro x64 and it is tablet, so why create something on ARM? I do not think Intel Atom CPU's worse than ARM. And ARM much faster
  • Because all Intel tablets have no LTE-SOC, hence requiring more battery to support more devices. They want to conquer the low-end tablet and convertible space, as well as small connected IoT-devices. And in both cases, a "just works" developer story leveraging existing solutions without reinventing the wheel is exactly what is required.
  • Thing is the ARM mobile SoCs are much faster than the latest Atoms with a lower power envelope. Microsoft cannot afford to stick with SoCs which are outperformed left and right by small and lightweight Android and iOS devices.
  • I did not get it. What SoC outperforms Atom X-7 series?
  • Emulation in Windows for ARM ist just an enabler to gain traction. At the same time all developement tools will be available for Windows for ARM. We are talking native ARM Win32 apps here. Just in case there is some program not available as ARM binary you fall back to emulation. Over time there will be less need for emulation.
  • I just spent about an hour digging all information about this new project. Now I can see what Microsoft is trying to achieve. Intel was unable to provide good alternative for ARM in terms of energy efficiency (and Intel is trying to kill Atom line of CPUs replacing with Core M) so Microsoft decided to go with Snap. According to new spec's of Span 835 it could be very powerful CPU. And having full Windows on ARM can give a chance to vendors to create really good tablets! Which will work as good as iPads, will always be on and won't drain battery in a few hours. We will see :)
  • Windows Computers are over a Billion strong and the the X86, win32 Desktop programs Number in the Millions. Certain programs and applications can best be done in Win32 programming because of the complexity of the tasks.  folks Windows 10 OS Computers number are 400 million strong and every new New Windows PC Desktop, Laptop, Ultrabook and tablets 10 inches and above will run it since Microsoft no longer licenses and sell Windows 7 software to it's OEM partners. Android and Apple have had the advantage of being able to use ARMS CPU's to make small devices like smart phones or tablet but that day is over because Microsoft has the emulation software in Windows 10 to enable ARMS CPU'S to RUN FULL x86 / Win32 desktop PC Programs therefore Microsoft's OEM partners can now make dirt cheap ARM"S PC's, Laptop, Tablet that even run Full x86 / Win32 Desktop programs on a Windows smart phone. Microsoft is going to give Google a tough fight. With this new X86 Emulation soft ware and the 2017 Redstone 2 & 3 Windows 10 mobiles OS updates will make a Windows smart phones that have Continuum  become a  Virtual SmartPhone / Pocket PC hybrids a New class of smartphones that can run Win32 Desttop PC programs best on a larger screen with Thier 'Continuum mode. Folks who think that Windows smart phones are DEAD are DEAD wrong instead of dying they are transforming into Smartphone  / Pocket PC's.They will catch on and people will will buy them because if you own one you will have more than a smart phone in your pocket you have a PC in your pocket.
  • I don't want a PC in my pocket, I want a phone that has the same apps my friends have. 
  • I want both... :)
  • Sounds like you want the most buggy PHONE os ever created by an ADVERTISING company, not a tech company.
  • So, a phone running Windows 10 Mobile?
  • No. Can't you follow a thread (or reality)?
    Android is the most buggy (and least secure) phone OS. And Google is the world's largest data harvesting and advertising company. You're welcome.
  • I tried a Lumia 950 XL the day it was released. No other phone I've used has had as many problems. I know Windows 10 Mobile has improved since then, but to say Windows is a perfectly fine mobile OS is false.  Also, Microsoft is more than willing to share the data you give them. Open up their privacy policy and scroll down to the advertisements section. 
  • Windows has improved greatly. Android... Not so much. 90% of Google's revenue is through advertising and is directly related to their privacy invasion efforts. They are an advertising company, and not much else. It's also a tremendous incentive for them to misbehave.
  • Microsoft also collects data to serve you ads. They just share it with other companies, while Google does not. I'd define that as "misbehaving." Windows has improved greatly...in the one year since it's latest reboot. It's still not nearly as smooth as Windows 8.1, and lags far behind in smoothness and features compared to iOS and Android. 
  • Oh look, more inaccurate Google PR. Who didn't see that coming?
  • What was inaccurate? Many on this board say that Windows 10 Mobile isn't as smooth as Windows Phone 8.1 was, and Microsoft's own privacy policy says they share your data with other companies.
  • That you think Google doesn't share. LOL Please. Many more people say Android isn't as smooth and doesn't run as well as Windows 10. So in the right order of comparison you are just being disingenuous at best. educate yourself:
    https://wikileaks.org/google-is-not-what-it-seems/
  • Android is so bad and yet Windows phone sales no longer even register. If it really was that bad, do you think it would have grown so big and continue to grow? If it is that bad, how is Microsoft fail to even begin to compete with it? Maybe it actually is really good. Obviously people like it.
  • That's what happens when you are up against a severely anti-competitive monopolist that can psychologically profile all of their users and control the information flow they receive in their carefully curated Google bubbles.
  • Microsoft wrote the book on anti-competitive, monopolistic behavior and continues to do it with Windows 10. You get non-stop ads for Microsoft products while using Windows 10! If you really had a problem with anti-competitive behavior, Microsoft certainly wouldn't be your knight in shining armor!
  • Maybe. But Google is currently worse than Microsoft ever was. You're completely blind if you can't see it.
  • VHS vs Betamax, hdmi vs display port... The best product doesnt always win. Because I know it more, display port is better than hdmi except hdmi has drm built in so that is why all tvs come with hdmi; because receivers come with hdmi for the drm.
  • Exactly. HDMI was better in the way that mattered. It is exactly the same with Android and Windows Phone. Android was designed with manufacturers, carriers and developers in mind. Windows Phone was designed for Microsoft's ego and that ego prevented them from changing their strategy after it failed.
  • Exactly not. HDMi had the benefit of politics, backroom deals, and anti-competitive behavior. But you're right about that being just like Android.
  • DisplayPort supports the exact same DRM as HDMI. DRM isn't the reason.
  • You just made me laugh with that.... "most buggy os".. Everybody knows which os is buggy as sht
  • Regardless, still the most successful phone by a massive majority
  • Google's chance of acquiring Microsoft's PC users is way far less than Microsoft's chance acquiring Android users for it's unified system.
  • How so? Windows 10 Mobile will still lack the applications (Snapchat, Pokemon Go, niche games) that mobile users want. What does this do to change that?
  • I have been thinking that since Windows 10 for ARM will be able to desktop programs, could it run Bluestacks and essentially 'have it all'? Would that be a virtual OS running inside another virtual OS?
  • Yes, and it would probably destory your battery. 
  • It's Android after all...
  • It's an operating system running within an operating system. Running a non-Android VM on Windows will also destroy your battery life. 
  • Android doesn't need any help destroying batteries.
  • And yet you can buy an Android phone that will double the battery life of any Windows phone.
  • I've had Windows Phones run for over 16 hours straight on a 2000 mAh battery. Android is lucky to get half that on a similarly sized battery.
  • HAHAHAHAHAHA! Any Windows phone? Havent you heard of the HP Elite X3?
  • Yeah, you can get an Android phone with much better battery life if that is your priority.
  • Not with a 2000 mAh battery, you can't.
  • Bluestacks most likely use x86 translation and is part of the reason bluestacks is slow. However having a ARM processor opens up the possibility of running an Android subsystem native ARM.
  • I will never understand this fascination by the Tech media with Android apps on large screen Chrome OS laptops with .5% net marketshare after 5-6 years on the market. Google has no large screen developer support! Phone apps stretched to 14-15" screens is a horrible user experience and the overwhelming majority of ChomeOS devices sold have no touch screen to interact efficiently with touch only phone apps. The above is the main reason there has been no successful large screen Android tablet EVER! The Asus transformer (android version), Asus padfone, Samsung pro & note 10.1, Nexus 9 & 10 all failed to make waves in the market.
  • FWIW, I've been giving an Acer Chromebook R13 a try the past week after being frustrated with the latest HP Spectre and not finding a high end Windows laptop that checks all my boxes. Anyway, I figured I'd share my experiences for the sake of a healthy discussion.  Microsoft's Android apps work okay on it. There some hangups now and then, especially when I use an external keyboard and mouse. I'm not sure if that's due to gaps in their coding, the lower end specs of the Chromebook itself, the ARM processor the laptop uses, or some combination thereof. I need a little more power than the Acer R13 can provide, so I have an HP model with a core m5 and 8GB of RAM that should arrive tomorrow. (side note, that model runs around $900 but I was able to get a refurb one for $450). Feature wise, they aren't anywhere near as complete as the standard desktop versions; they have the same features and layout of the mobile/Windows Store versions. But, more on that later.  I need a little more power than the R13 can provide only when I'm at home, extending my screen to a second monitor with 20+ tabs and apps open for school work. When I'm just using it as a laptop, it is blazing fast. It starts up in less than five seconds, and I never see anything slow down. It is dead simple to use, and it's the computer I'd recommend to anyone. There is absolute value in simplicity and ease of use, and I enjoyed it more than the HP Spectre which costs $1000 more than the R13. Microsoft bringing full Windows 10 to ARM misses that. Windows is necessarily complex, and even on a more powerful ARM machine, I imagine consumers will still have to spend $600+ to get an acceptable experience.  For one of my school assignments this week, I had to create a simple Powerpoint on the history of human-computer interactions. The first step was to edit the title slide in Slide Master mode, which can't be done on the mobile version of Powerpoint. Last term, I had a class that required SQL Server. No way in hell that could be done on a Chromebook. However, Chrome Remote Desktop works flawlessly. I'm building a gaming rig this week, and another duty of it will be to run the special programs I may need for school. This means I can't 100% rely on ChromeOS, but I think it's the best of both worlds: I have something that's simple and easy to use when I just need something for normal browsing or content consumption, and I can scale that up as needed. I can technically use it to do my heavier school assignments, and then it immediately goes back to being a simple, easy to use device when I'm done.  I really, really hope that Windows 10 on ARM can do that, but I have my reservations. There are a lot of background things that Windows does - which may be genuinely helpful to those that need it - that ChromeOS doesn't do. This makes the OS less powerful and consequently less power hungry. Combined with the fact that ChromeOS literally can't run viruses, and Chromebooks become very desirable for the large majority of computer users who don't need SQL Server, Visual Studio or (insert niche program here).    TL/DR: I think it's easier for both a company and an individual consumer to take something simple (Android/Chrome) and grow it to fit specific needs than it is to take something complex (Windows) and make it simple. 
  • LOL. You think Linux is 'simple'? Not in any sense of the word, sir.
  • Did I say Linux? I know ChromeOS is based on Linux, but buying a Chromebook isn't the same as booting into Linux Mint.  But hey, keep downvoting and posting simple responses, rather than participate in an actual discussion. 
  • There's still the complexity of the underlying OS. It's why Windows 10 handily outperforms ChromeOS on like hardware.
  • What? Linux is just a kernal. Linux Mint, ChromeOS and other operating systems are built on that kernel, but ChromeOS doesn't have Linux Mint running underneath. And have you tried a Chromebook compared to a similarly priced Windows machine? The Chromebook easily outperforms the Windows laptop. 
  • Yes I have (and I've told you that twice today). Windows outperformed ChromeOS, you should try it yourself.
  • I have. I've been a Windows user from the first time I held a mouse. And in my real world usage, a $400 Chromebook was better to use than a $1400 HP Windows laptop. 
  • 'fanboys' will still disagree.. There's no bad thing to a person as being a fanboy. Why can't we like 2 things on their own capabilities and features?? Fanboys
  • One lie after another with you. SMDH
  • Have you ever used the Surface 2? It runs full Windows on an ARM SoC, which is old by todays standards, surpisingly fluid.  
  • Great article Jason - personally I wouldn't want any one company to completely overthrow another especially in the smartphone space. Having competition pushes innovation fast. So if windows phones gains 33.33%+ market share that would be good. I also think Microsoft is in a better position to win android users to their mobile side vs windows PCs users moving to chrome Os. I think next years ms build/Google I/O/Apple keynote will be very interesting. No company is relaxing.
  • I don't think Windows will win over Android or iOS users unless they get basic apps like Google's services, Pokemon Go, Snapchat, or whatever the next big craze is. Those apps may not fit the image of the professional business person (TM), but they're apps that people use. Windows 10 not having access to them is a not starter.  Unfortunately, it's a chicken and the egg issue. Users won't switch to Windows because it doesn't have the apps they want, and developers won't write the apps for Windows because there are so few users. I don't think that problem will ever be solved. 
  • With full windows, you can install BlueStacks to run Android apps on your Windows computer. And with this Windows on ARM thing, it might be possible to run Android apps on Windows Mobile soon using BlueStacks.
  • And you expect the general consumer to actually do that? Why would they run Android within Windows Mobile when they can just buy an Android phone?
  • Hard to do when Google is being anti-competitive and bankrolling companies in exchange for pushing Google's monopolistic agenda.
  • What?
  • Like you don't know.
  • Well, it's hard to paint a picture when you've done nothing but post vague statements. 
  • Does your Google zealotry stem from a complete lack.of information about them? I'll have to ponder this.
  • What lack of information? What have I said has been false?
  • You don't seem to be aware of Google's anti-competitive financial activities, for starters. Unless you're just playing dumb.
  • everything..
  • You get it wrong. They want to crush ChromeOS and the iPad, not one of those phone toys. If they produce LTE-capable tablets and convertibles of all sizes, "phone" becomes a function delivered through a BT headset. The rest is the question, if the next big app thing will be a HTML-app using WebAssembly.
  • So you'd be happy if we just had Microsoft as the only company for our phones and computers and appliances software developer ? Like you've forgotten right? You want life with only one choice.. Poor you! But that will never happen.
  • I still don't understand the point of Chrome OS. There are windows laptops that are cheaper than Chromebooks. Why not just buy one of those windows laptops, install chrome, and suddenly you can do everything a chromebook can do and more for less money?
  • Because those Windows laptops suck, to be honest. The hard drives are slow, updates take forever to apply, and the trackpads and screen are usually lacking. Windows on a device with 2GB of RAM is terrible, while ChromeOS on a device with 2GB of RAM is much better since it doesn't need as much power. if all you're doing is running Chrome browser, why tie yourself to all the baggage that Windows brings with it?  
  • Chromebooks are a waste of money.  Andromeda will be a buggy insecure mess just like lagdroid.  Lets see what kind of update mechanism they have for andromeda as well.
  • Probably the same update mechanism they have for ChromeOS, especially if Google is going to push them into the education or enterprise markets. 
  • There are some laptops with 4GB of RAM that still cost roughly the same as a chromebook. With Windows, even if you're just using it for web browsing, you never know when you might need it for more. Why limit yourself with a chromebook when you can keep your options open on windows?
  • There are plenty of offline apps for Chrome for those edge use cases.  Edit: even with 4GB of RAM, there's still some major downsides to a Windows device at that price. The screen, keyboard and trackpad will be painful to use, and it'd still be slower than a Chromebook with the same specs. 
  • Windows 10 outperforms ChromeOS on like hardware. Try again. .
  • Windows 10 outperforms ChromeOS on like hardware. Try again.
  • No, it doesn't. Spend $300 on a Chromebook and $300 on a Windows 10 laptop. Tell me which ones boots faster, which installs updates faster, which has a better screen and which has a better trackpad. 
  • Been there, done that. Windows won. Windows booted faster, did more, ran better. Heck I could even play Minecraft and Portal 2. Not bad for $275.
  • I'd love to actually see that. Which specific models did you try? How long ago was it? Did you keep both long enough to install major updates?
  • Two years ago. Of course I have that same Windows laptop today, and just compared it to a modern Chromebook last month.
    The two year old Windows laptop still won handily.
  • I haven't tried a laptop, but I can vouch for my $99 HP Stream 8 tablet which runs Windows very well and very fast with only 1 GB of RAM too. Windows scales down very well. Granted I don't actually run Chrome on my tablet. I find Edge and Internet Explorer to be sufficient and performance is fine. It performs well enough to run some small steam and windows store games too. I also have some software development tools like Visual Studio Code installed as well for occasional use. If that old HP Stream 8 tablet can Windows that well, I'm confident a newer $150-200 with a newer CPU and 2 GB of RAM will run even better and by extension, just as well if not better than a Chromebook. Oh also, while I don't own one, I have tried those really cheap NuVision windows tablets that Microsoft recently sold for $49 and they perform very well too plus have a full HD IPS display. This is why from my point of view, since Windows performs the same, if not better than Chromebooks at the same or cheaper price points, why buy a chromebook when Windows can do the same thing and keep your options open so you're free to do more later? Isn't that one of the original selling points of Android over iOS? It was an open platform that anyone can customize and add to. Whether the user "needs" to or not, the option was still there. Just like with windows, whether the user ever needs to install more software applications or not, the option is there. But with chromebooks, you are severely limiting yourself for no good reason.
  • I bought my dad one of those same HP laptops, and became the default administrator for it. Because it had such little storage, I had to install the anniversary update over a USB drive, and it took over an hour to install.  Meanwhile, updating my Chromebook to the latest version took all of three minutes to download and thirty seconds to reboot. 
  • What does that have to do with the 256gb SSD in my laptop? You only raise another Chromebook failure point. Google purposely mandates them into low storage configurations to encourage people to use the cloud where Google can better spy on them.
  • It really depends. My laptop for example was a lag fest before windows 10. Now with Windows 10 latest update and anniversary update it runs really well. It's a really bad laptop. The trackpad no doubt sucks but with 2-in-1's most people use touch. Newer laptops are phenomenal from my experience. My brother has a 2-in-1 by hp. It is great. And again you get used to the touch screen so much you barely touch the track pad. I honestly wouldn't be able to tell you if it's good because I see no scenario where I would use it. This is why touch friendly apps are really important for the future. Young people will drive future adoption and they want touch. I know a lot of friends with kids and you sit them at a computer and they start touching the monitor. As far as windows not running well on lower end computers, the issue is the old win 32 compatibility that has to be maintained along the horribly managed filesystem/registry that apps have unrestricted access to. This is why MS really wants to get rid of it and move purely to UWP. When MS was showing off the full windows running on the Qualcomm CPU, it's likely the Arm based windows mobile system with the emulation layer. Look at ignite how they showed off continuum on mobile. They are basically creating windows 10 to simply have the same UI across all form factors and so that they can call it full windows and finally drop the whole separation between windows 10 and windows 10 mobile. They have always said Windows 10 is windows 10. This is exactly what it will be. Emulation will be there as a compatibility layer and the hope is more people will move over to UWP.
  • I disagree here Tom, used to own an Asus Transformer with just 1GB of RAM (W8->W10) and it was surpricely flowless. I now have a HP X2 (also a cheap 2 in 1 device) with 2GB and especially after an upgrade to Windows 10 64bit this laptop / tablet is amazing. Unfortunatelly I can't say the same for my old Google Nexus7 with also 2GB of RAM.
  • Sadly, out of the States, Google and their services goes far away from what MS offers. Most of my colleagues buy Androids phones, Chromecast, Tablets, SmartTVs, powered by google, because that stuff gets the job done. Andromeda will make them choose Google as Platform.
  • Wow, I have just kicked the AndroidTV last week. Because it is a pile of underperforming garbage. And this is an understatement. I come to like LGs WebOS, but both of those are functionality constrained.
  • I still do not like Microsoft tablet game. That has got to be fixed at some point. I really don't want to see desktop icons on my tablet. As far as the post, I'll take a wait and see on that because not much google has ever tried to develop on their own has worked out. And don't tell me android because they did not create android.
  • Compare Android when it was shipped to when it was bought in 2005. For all intents and purposes, they created Android. 
  • They ruined android, you mean.
  • Ruined it by making it appealing enough to run on the vast majority of smartphones
  • Android suffered from right place right time. Other than that it's actually pretty terrible.
  • So terrible that most of the world uses it. 
  • Much of the world eats McDonald's food as well. That isn't much of a point.
  • So by that logic, most of the world is wrong to use Windows as a desktop OS. 
  • What logic? What you wrote was illogical, I just gave one example as to why.
  • Your logic that most of the world using something must mean it's bad. Most of the world uses Windows as a desktop OS, so by your logic it must be bad.
  • My logic is that what most of the world decides to use (or in Google's case, gets hoodwinked into using) doesn't say a damned thing about it's relative quality. It's your faulty logic that is somehow trying to equate the two.
  • Andromeda will be a buggy insecure mess just like lagdroid is.
  • [citation needed]
  • See: Anything Google makes.
  • Want to provide specific examples and actually have an intelligent conversation? 
  • Can't do that with you. Google fanboys aren't intelligent.
  • I'm not a fanboy of any company. I try things and stick with what works for me. But, posting vague or false information to paint one company in a bad light seems awful fanboyish to me.
  • Posting obvious lies and misinformation to prop up Google's mediocre and failing products seems awfully fanboyish to me
  • What obvious lies and misinformation? Please, share some links to back up your statements. 
  • Don't have to, your comments here speak for themselves.
  • I prefer windows mobile but honestly a lot of people here are living off their experiences on Android Kit kat or before it. Nougat is really fast, snappy and performs as well as ios. The point is that Windows has actually regressed while Google has gotten their stuff together. Yes, due to fragmentation a lot of phones aren't running this new OS stuff, but if Google takes control of the update process like MS and Apple then it won't be a problem.
  • Visiting forums in this site says otherwise.. It's all but cries about this works that doesn't..
  • Such as? Give specific examples, not just vague, one-sentence quips. 
  • I worked as a part of a team of consultants to help Google develop automated testing and benchmarking for common enterprise scenarios in the Google Compute Engine (IaaS). The experience was interesting but I was surprised by how little they knew about common enterprise scenarios. More so, they didn't seem to particularly care. They were poorly equipped to provide us with the resources we needed to test with. It reminded me of how Microsoft used to function. Metaphorically speaking, they live in a bubble. That same disconnect shows up in many areas for Google outside of their pet projects. They were all really bright people but as an organization, they were disorganized and their disdain for how businesses use Microsoft products was palpable. That is important because Microsoft has invested a great deal into the point of intersection between users and technology. On one hand, Microsoft respects individual and organizational work flow. Google expects users and organizations to change their workflow with little to no notice. This is apparent in how they approached Google Apps in the enterprise. It has failed to sustain traction in the market against O365 for a reason. In the same way, the limitations of ChromeOS are a reflection of Google. I expected more but the experience was enlightening. There were no slides or ping pong tables either. Go figure.
  • Some of this bubble mentality is reflected in a former Amazon now Google engineer...  Not 100% on topic re:consumer needs but it does illustrate that the bubble seems to exist.   https://plus.google.com/+RipRowan/posts/eVeouesvaVX
  • This is exactly what I've been thinking, Andromeda and Windows on ARM will usher the age of the Smartphone 3.0 aka cellular PC's.
    It'll be a battle between Google and Microsoft (I doubt Apple will be able to compete effectively because of their refusal to converge macOS and iOS).
    Now, the big question is whether developers will embrace UWP or rewrite their Android apps in order to scale with the new form factors that Andromeda will support (TV's, Netbooks, etc.).
  • PC and Android for the win. Suck it Apple!
  • i will never live around with andromeda, its windows for life =)
  • It is not just the App gap that is going to kill MS...it is the PHONE Gap...as in we don't have one...how can you expect Windows everywhere when you can't find any new devices 
  • This can't be compared and it's not anywhwere near the impact that will happen with Windows 10 on ARM
  • How is this Andromeda any different from Remix OS