Continuum on Windows Phone is about emerging markets and meeting future computing needs

Microsoft head honcho Satya Nadella had a neat little appearance at the Salesforce Dreamforce conference and with it a demonstration of what Microsoft is working on these days.

Microsoft's Continuum for Windows Phone – the idea of running your phone as a mini-PC – is certainly one of the differentiating features of the Windows 10 Mobile OS. Indeed, it is not clear just how Apple or Google could respond to such technology.

Nadella gave a quick demonstration of the forthcoming feature. Perhaps the biggest news is the confirmation that Continuum can run just fine over Bluetooth connections. Users, however, can opt to choose the unannounced Continuum dock (codenamed 'Munchkin') to connect their phone physically as well. That dock is expected to retail for $99, and it should be announced in October at Microsoft's New York City press event.

Continuum and the long term plan fo emerging markets

Continuum is much like HoloLens in that we won't see the fruits of its labor for some time. While those in enterprise could certainly benefit from the technology, it is emerging markets where it will ultimately have the biggest impact. The reason? For many their smartphone is the first – and only – computing device. The question next is how to you make it more meaningful? One way is to make the phone more significant is through Continuum by letting them use any display to re-create a near full PC experience.

What to expect from Microsoft's Windows 10 devices event in NYC

Meet the newly announced Jade Primo, Acer's first PC smartphone with Continuum {.cta}

However, like all new technology, it starts in the upper price tiers, and it has to trickle down to more affordable phones. Hence the long term plan of Continuum. For now, it is limited to Microsoft's high-end phones, but in a just a few short years, their budget line will feature it as well.

Do think the continued blurring of tablets, PCs, and phones is where technology is heading? Is Microsoft actually ahead of the curve? Let us know your thoughts in comments.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • A right direction for sure
  • agree ... I think they should make Intel based phones which will allow to install win32 apps that will be real phone for me.
  • as cool as this sounds (intel phones where you can install win32 apps) I'm worried the battery tech is not that advanced yet to get some serious juice out of such a phone.
  • and I believe that this is why they are enabling developers to port over win32 to universal apps. Once those apps are ported in, then ARM based devices can run them as well. I'm not certain what type of performance or capabilities would be lost in the transition, but from what Microsoft has been saying, I am hoping for negilible changes.
  • Sorry to have to break it to you, but win32 apps will not be able to run on ARM because of Project Centennial. What it is, is essentially app-v in appx form, which means it will have to run on the same processor instruction set as it already did, i.e. x86. In theory this could mean that it would run on a mobile phone, should it be powered by x86, but it wouldn't be a very pleasant experience, as win32 lacks all of the API's for touch, and so on. But they COULD make sense if the OS was to detect that you had a mouse and keyboard attached and were running it on an external display. I am hopeful for that to happen, but let's see... Btw. Bluetooth display!!! What?? I have heard of that, but it would be awesome to have. Please just make the pairing experience easy and not slow and error prone... Please!
  •  Munchkin looks good and really a wired screen is better are right about the appv and for the desktop users a great way to get existing w32apps, easier way for devs to monetise and a known safe place for all the free programs and no hosting  sites for the devs to provide. I think this is a really good thing and makes the store appealing to traditional users as well as hybrid users.    
  • Could they use a virtual Machine engine to simulate a phone in a PC and the opposite? Just to run apps from both worlds in both devices (Mobile and PC)
  • To mitigate that concern, in the first few versions they could limit it in a similar way to how they are limiting Continuum by requiring a dock excpet here you just need to be connected to a power outlet. That would easily make it a small PC.
  • Intel phones sound great, but seeing that the experience with Atom based laptops isn't all that great and many resource intensive x86 apps won't run or run poorly on those processors, I doubt the experience will be good with a chip designed for a phone.
  • When I use a Intel-based Windows tablet I expect to be able to run the x86 software I use on my laptop or desktop: Visual Studio, SQL Server, Hyper-V and other people should want to run Photoshop or Maya or other software made specificaly for PC and the reality is low power processors just aren't up to the task.
  • Yet...
  • @MindSynthetic:
    We can collectively pat our and Microsoft's backs, but "just" being ahead of the curve hasn't worked out favourably for Microsoft in the past.
  • I agree. Also I think that this will lead to a point where laptops or PCs will only be used as machines for certain purpouse as such for PC gaming or Adobe based skills (photoshop, premiere pro after effects). I think over time the market for PCs and laptops will shrink and only 'high-end' users will be choosing them and a regular user will end up with a phone (continuum). many of my friends these days are using only phones anyways so this is a good direction for them.
  • I definitely think MS are ahead of the game with this
  • Very Apple like to claim to have invented something that has been around for years. Ubuntu has this capability as has Android for years. Keyboard and mouse support as well as scaling to display size is nothing new. It just doesn't really make sense unless you are on a very small budget. Otherwise PCs are dirt cheap and won't have the ARM limitations. You can buy a full featured laptop for well under $200 these days. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • "Ahead of the game" doesn't equal "invented", it means "made it work a lot better". Using keyboard and mouse on Android isn't great, I've tried it. I've heard nothing but negative reviews of Ubuntu Touch, and suffice it to say it hasn't taken off :) I have high hopes for Continuum for Phones (I am hoping to get a small tablet that features it. I can't really afford Talkman or Cityman but maybe a tablet will be cheaper).
  • Being able to project to a screen is completely different than having a PC experience from your phone... but I think you know that. And what happens if you get a call while you're projecting that android screen to a monitor? Oh.. ya...
  • Considering the market share of Android worldwide, you'd think they would be touting this parity with Continuum by now if they've had it for years. Also, you said "scaling to display size". I don't think that is all that Continuum does... My understanding is it scales to display size and adapts application presentation and functionality(or features) to connected hardware. I'm pretty sure Microsoft is first on this one.
  • No one gives a shit about Ubuntu, and Android on a PC is even a bigger pile of I need a so called computer that can only browse the internet.
  • No one gives a shit about Windows Phones either. Fanboy-ish comments with nothing added to them to explain why "no one gives a shit" or just blanket statements like yours are very annoying.
  • Hopefully it trickles down to midrange segment soon enough while the technology is still MS exclusive, otherwise it's going to be another missed opportunity.
  • Uhhh yeah exactly. Barely anyone in an emerging market could afford these phones.
  • Exactly big flaw here. Imagine what a difference it would make to have continuum on ask Lumia devices, the difference being flagships allow for two active screens, while the rest that are non-flagships only can have one active screen at a time.
  • Buit the technology will trickle down to lower end phones. The high end chips in the flagship phone will be midrange chips next year and low end chips the year after that and this tech will become affordable in these countries.
  • When mid rangers become capable of driving external displays, Android and iOS would bring out their own implementations of continuum like they own it. Andoid people will be meh, iOS people will all awe at the new invention, us... well, we'll be in the corner - "But... Micro... 2015... never mind"
  • Possible. However, without the same universal app model, their solution is just 'making mobile bigger'. I still think MS has an advantage here especially if they do an x86 phone.
  • Lets hope for that then.
  • Perhaps short-term, specifically in enterprise, that could be true. And remember, making it x86 doesn't mean it'll get the full software support, and without that, the architecture doesn't really matter. When it gets down to a time where the Continuum dock can be included for free and the non-flagships can do this stuff well, ARM could become the prevailing chip tech, or Apple and Samsung could look into their own x86 offerings. We also know that iOS and Android have done better than Windows at bringing a similar experience to different form factors, while putting out lots of software for people to consume in the app stores. On Microsoft's end, cross-buy still needs to happen, phones AND the Xbox One still need finalized operating systems, and we don't yet have a release period for Astoria and Islandwood to even BEGIN to fix the app issues facing the Windows Store experience. So, while Apple and Android OEMs have to catch up on the hardware side, Microsoft has just as much catching up to do on the software side, and I'd argue that's even harder. An OEM can buy up parts to throw into a device, but getting software gaps filled involves getting a large number of developers and publishers on-board.
  • That was my original point. Well, if any company can do such a comeback in the software front, its Microsoft. Ironically, if any company can screw up such a great lead, sadly its Microsoft again. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the best.
  • Yeah, it'll be interseting to watch. Somehow, Microsoft--a company known for software--has spent the last 2-3 years wrecking its software in as many ways as it can, while simultaneously managing to put out really nice-looking hardware. It's a bizarre time.
  • The problem though is more and more companies are moving away from traditional x86 programs. The market is rapidly moving away from that requirement meaning a standard mobile device works just fine. I now have clients I support that their software is now fully cloud based. Mobile devices use an app and desktops use a website. It reduces the support costs of the manufacturer because they don't have to support the problems caused on traditional PCs and employers like it because they have to buy less equipment with BYOD.
  • But it will take a long time for that to finalise. Productivity suites like Adobe's and Coral's or even the Office need more powerful hardware and zero latency. Cloud services don't cut it - Not for now atleast.
  • Not really. The industry as a hole is going at snail speed and lots of company have already stopped using Cloud services and are back On Premise. Or just a couple of SAAS applications. Most of my clients are full On Premise again. And rightfully so. Cloud services have a lot of disadvantages for companies and in most cases are more expensive. Also when you include costs of PC support. Which costs are overrated anyway. A proper admin has very low PC costs. BYOD's? At most of my clients BYOD is just phones. BYOD is so 2014 ;)
  • So you code cloud apps for your clients but to do so you definitely use old school x86 apps don't you? You see that's why its gonna be a deal breaker for business as you'll always have all the tools in your pocket. Can't wait to jump on that train...
  • As someone who's had to do a wipe on 3 different sales peoples phones after they got infected with android of the sales people is now up to his 8th wipe.  Had two others with broken screens.  That's in the last 6 months and with a total of 6 people.  Yeah, it's not reducing the support costs when you consider we haven't spent anything on any of our desktops(27) in the same time period. 
  • Agreed, however with Apple controlling their hardware and software, will it take long for Apple to replicate? (genuine question, not trolling) Also with ChromeOS being web based, would it be that challenging for Google to imitate? (again, genuine question, not trolling, if anyone familiar with software development can shed any light it will be appreciated.)
  • I dont have a CS background or anything, but Apple can come up with stuff completely out of the blue with zero leaks, and at the same time blantly copy something that someone else has done - again with zero leaks. They might even be R&D ing the continuum replacement right now, especially since they already have unified notifications and calls. They just need to find a way to execute or emulate MAC OS apps on iOS. Chrome OS on the other hand is a joke. But because of that, its really easy to implement continuum, even on todays hardware. Chrome OS is just a front end for a lot of web based services. If a platform can run web browsers - be it ARM or x86 or AMD64 - Chrome OS is doable.
  • I've already seen discussions "Android can do that right now", if it gets some traction I expect Google/Apple to jump in very fast. I'm sure the opposition will cut corners, add it to 'material design 2.0' or something and patch things up to be capable of scaling. And MS/WIn is still short on apps (which are essential to this kind of Continuum). But bigger and overblown mobile screen, isn't what Continuum is about, you need software support, system/architecture. They won't be able to do that properly - simply, they don't have the ecosystem MS has. The killer is "desktop" (over continuum), and Intel / x86 capable phone, "the whole deal" - Apple Mac isn't the competition really, Chrome is...well, not sure what it is. So desktop, xbox, etc. and all tucked in with and via continuum - down the line - that's what makes all the difference. As for how I see it - very clearly : )) - after moving from desktop to small and capable laptops/hybrids, which is great, this is the next step, but it's not there yet, it's going to take some time, so this is 2 yrs from now.
  • The Android API already has everything apps would need for Continuum, although most devs currently ignore the "desktopy" -kind of functionality.
  • Daniel, your are on point. The Asus ZenPhone2 (currently Atom chip) has W10 ported to it by XDA. Now if Intel and MS really connect and Intel makes some really good mobile chip this can become interesting.
  • I still think Microsoft needs real answers to Continuity, Handoff and AirPlay - though. Continuum is all about making one device more flexible across different interaction methods, while the Aplle technologies are about making your experience itself device agnostic so that it doesn't matter if your sms arrives on the small screen or if you started a document on that same small screen. All you need is to sign in to your desktop Mac or iPad and you will be able to continue to work. The things are related but fundamentally different concepts. Apple's approach is stronger in the sense that it facilitates having multiple devices and really is all about creating an ecosystem of devices that seem to augment and supplement each other, creating a sort of (live) mesh... (Sorry, couldn't help myself)
  • I totally agree with you - but, to play the devil's advocate - it's Microsoft's fault in many ways. MS always had great ideas, but they pretty much suck at executing them. History is full of failed ideas and projects that never made it to production, having a cool idea is one thing and making it usable, all packaged and wrapped up is something else, whoever tried that knows it's very hard thing to do..Apples is good at that (and I don't like them, but let's be honest) and MS isn't really. Everything counts, nobody is beating MS to come up with half-baked ideas, wait a bit, finish it properly and get a nice little product that 'just works', and we won't be having this conversation.
  • but you need failed product to launch successful product.  Classic example, window 7, window 8, then window 10.  Failed product are very common.  MS are driven by competition and try to stay ahead.  It's a very good culture qualification in a company.  Satya said, facebook or google won't exist without windows. Of course, I am roleplaying your devil advocasy.
  • yes, I know what you mean, I'm a big windows fan - but windows doesn't have a competition really, but itself. When we talk about mobiles or continuum which is kind of in that neighborhood, it's entirely different - and if MS competes against Apple it can't just go out with a half-product, it needs to wrap it up in a nice tidy little box.
  • But Ms has a big advantage, the desktop UI of continuum is the same as that of PCs that has been that way for 20 years. An Android or iOS approach would have a different desktop UI (for UI consistency), which will deter most of the users and defies the idea of "mini PC" as it doesn't resemble the PC they are accustomed to.
  • Maybe but then whats the benefit to a dev for doing all that work in android? Continuum is just a leveraging of the UWP in that it scales natively so adding continuum is nothing for a dev but leverages the scalability already present in his app.
  • I think that a lot of the readers of this and other articles are not aware that there are many countries out there where people don't have access to the kind of laptops/tablets/pcs or even internet access or speeds as those do in the US, EU or other more developed countries. Most of these people only have their smart phone and to be able to turn that into a mini-pc with munchkin and continuum is a huge step forward for them and as a knock on, their localised business, economy and relevant surroundings will benefit. If MS can capitalise on this, and provide Small Business style apps or software to take advantage of the munchkin/continuum combo along with Office 365, then they will be able to sew up the "bottom end" of the Enterprise field.
  • That is right but if you look at the price of a high end like lumia 950 then munchkin + bluetooth mouse and keyboard a TV to project to, i build a very good PC for this money. Ok i have no phone then but still if you aim on this market where users have no money for high end laptops for the same or less money i can build a good Windows PC to run full office, photoshop, illustrator, cinema 4D. Its a very good step from Microsoft and like the article says it need time to ger cheaper but somebody has to take the first step.
  • I can get a usb keyboard and mouse for $15 on amazon then add in the $99 adapter and thats $115. remember a lot of people pay per month or contract for their phones. they dont buy them outright. lets see what kind of pc you can make for $115
  • HP Stream is currently $180, is x86 and doesn't require a $400 phone. Continuum is dead in the water, especially since Microsoft doesn't seem to have any developers on board. I can't even think of ANY big name apps that launched with Windows 10. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • The thing is in 2015 a smartphone does what a full os laptop does.... unless its work (heavy like programming etc) what a pc for Posted via the Windows Central App
  • Yes when all needed components (phone, monitor, peripherals etc.) cost less than 100$, total, and store is full with quality apps then why not. Coming soon..
  • You don't need gazillion apps for this to be useful. Office, web browser, media player and a few others are enough to get this rolling. How many apps do you use on your desktop?
  • Depends. At work a lot and none from store. At home a bit different picture (if not working). Yet most could be accomplished by RDC to real OS. Developing countries on the other hand lack good network connections and even electricity is scarce.
  • Continuum sounds exciting... But can it challenge the android crazy emerging markets. I don't know... We have to wait and see. But it is going to be one hell of a job to convince emerging markets. While I don't have any statistics but from what I have seen I can tell that lot of people think that smartphone means android and without android it isn't smartphone. Thats the kind of people Microsoft are going to deal with. 
  • Yes it will be huge in emerging markets when 150$ Windows phones with x86 Intel processors emerge. It's already possible to manufacture at that price- just ask Asus. People in emerging markets usually have a hdmi enabled TV , hook up a 20$ Bluetooth keyboard + mouse and a 10$ hdmi cable and you end up with a decent PC for under 200$. Until the price comes down to this barrier, it won't make sense for the consumer. *and of course Microsoft should enable the usage of x86 apps only in continuum mode
  • ASUS is the best option i've seen for this. You're right. But the processors they use are coupled with PowerVR GPUs of mid or low range capabilities. They cannot power external displays. If only Intel could create an SoC with better GPUs coupled to Atom x series. OR, AMD can seize the opurtunity. They have their APUs, which have more than capable GPUs inbuilt. Just need to sort out a 14nm process and lower heat signature.
  • Imagine having a phone running with a AMD APU on your phone, I would love to have them as exclusives to WP, just like Apple's A-processors, but since AMD is poor and Android leads the market, it's unlikely to be seen soon Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • If it ever does happen, It would be lot like SD810. Always overheating, but superb graphics, and a lot of criticism, yet the people who love it will kill for it.
  • The real question is if the Atom x5-Z8300 supports external 1920x1080.  The x5-Z8500 can do 4K2K.  Both use Intel HD graphics.  They are listed for phablets.
  • But those will be costly. Phones with those chips will be over 300$ atleast. ASUS phones are priced lower only because of older chipsets. I suspect ASUS is the only company sourcing these chips and Intel is giving them away at a far lower price, just to fill the sheets. More powerful Atoms are used in netbooks and tablets. Intel seems to be trying to streamline everything with the new x series though. We'll see.
  • Any reason you can't build the GPU into the monitor? A 'Continuum' monitor would solve most of the hardware problems and could also serve as the 'dock'.
  • The interface between a GPU and CPU and memory should be pretty fast and wide. Impossible through serial cables like USB. Anything proprietary would be against the universal cause. Besides, these monitors would be costly on their own and the extra hardware useless unless you have a phone with continuum. Not a win for emerging markets.
  • USB is 'Paralel', then there is USB3 and Lightning and whatever else is on the way.
  • Universal SERIAL Bus isn't parallel.
    Try getting your basics right. However fast is USB 3.0 and Lightning connectors - which BTW are not on the way, but already here for a while now - They wont match the speeds required for the mentioned purpose.
  • Can't we use continuum with mid. Or lower phone with the dock ? Andd for emerging market . A flagship phone is not always the perfect fot them Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • My prediction is that Microsoft announces this first, takes the long path to budget phones, Android will slap a half baked version on their cheap phones, Android will then clean up their half baked version enough for people to love, and then Microsoft will push to the low end finding the market is now saturated. Its been the unfortunate reality of Microsoft. If they at least did the Apple approach and came in late with a highly refined product that could work to wow people but I fear they will stick to the middle ground approach which the market doesn't seem to like. That's just been my observation. The idea of continuum is great. Most people don't need a high end computer to browse the web, check Facebook, and read email but they want a larger screen. I think Microsoft is best positioned to provide the best overall experience but I'm becoming pessimistic on the ability to deliver in time.
  • Android added keyboard/mouse support, external displays and device scaling years ago. Microsoft still hasn't implemented these things for mobile. Maybe x86 support would be cool with this, but even then a PC is so cheap these days it barely makes sense. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Continuum is a gimmicky feature... these days poeple no longer need pc... so how are gonna be wowed by this?? Posted via the Windows Central App
  • Low income people with poor eyesight. That is one use case I have seen interest.
  • Exactly my point low income people wont have the other screen.... this thing (continuum) is perfect fit for the enterprise ... but to normal users....nope except fans ofcourse Posted via the Windows Central App
  • PC computing is not defined by hardware but people moving about.  If you move between devices, then continuum is for you.  Enterprise or not, continuum benefit students or casual people who writes light office stuff like Resume, you have to find a job regardless.
  • exactly. all you need to do is plug the phone into your tv and you have a computer but with your phone. You stated the whole point. no pc is needed.
  • Isn't this the point? You say people "no longer need a PC" (which in itself is garbage of course), but for those people, surely being able to use their phone to power their entire computing needs is actually a great thing?  
  • I don't think I will find use for it but it still seems like a really cool idea. If Microsoft pulls this off, this will certainly be the next big thing.
  • Ahead of the curve for sure! Other apps also taking advantage of Continuum benefits...
  • and its limited to phone which are moe expensive than a laptop
  • Was it just me, or did he actually do nothing in the continuum environment?
  • I've been a Microsoft partner for quite some time so I'm very used to the "coming soon" phenomenon as they've been doing this in the Dynamics division for years, however it seems like they spend more time promoting their coming attractions than marketing what they currently have. It's almost as if they're saying "Don't leave me yet, I have all this cool stuff 'coming soon', just hang on!" I really wish they would just start talking about things once they're pretty much ready to release. Although, sites like WC are really good at getting leaks out of company sources and other news sites, so it's getting harder to distinguish leaks vs company announcements.
  • SharePoint is a perfect example of that. In concept it's great but Microsoft spends most of it's time on security and scalability while forgetting useability and ease of maintenance. Simple tasks are crazy complicated and the staff I work with are to the point they refuse to use it anymore. To make matters worse they keep seeming to reboot the style in ways just enough to confuse the userbase while really getting nowhere significant in design.
  • While it is hard for me to imagine that I might one day only own a high spec phone and do all my computing on it, I believe this will be where we are heading. I also believe that MS has the absolute lead here with one OS. This is the only way this concept makes any sense.
    I remember when it was hard to imagine that you could carry any computer around in your pockets, so I'll just embrace wherever this goes.
  • Nice idea, may have its niche, but its useless at airports, lounges, having an impromptu meeting or anywhere without a screen. Much better to get a cheap laptop (Acer Cloudbook for one) that has all the components needed (including video out) rather than be reliant on finding a screen to connect to for this.
  • What if a Continuum phone or this Munchkin also had the ability to serve as a projector? The biggest constraint I see to continuum is the expense (for emerging markets) and portability/existence of a monitor. A keyboard, perhaps a portable foldable one, and mouse aren't as big of constraints, relatively. If you can find a desk beside a blank wall (ubiquitous throughout the world), configure your phone or munchkin for the right attitude, you're probably in business. I have no idea if the tech exists. Just a thought. If they solve this, Continuum might take off.
  • You can already do that in a way with Miracast. Add a Miracast adapter to a Pico projector and when you get onsite just cast your screen to the projector. The small ones now are down to $350 and sometimes less and project on a wall. Very portable too.
  • This is really about cost.  If someone in an emerging market is stretching to buy a phone, they can't afford a separate projector.  If they can, they might as well get a cheap monitor.
  • Not a bad idea.  Samsung has a "Smartphone Projector" combo already.  If they can put Windows 10 Mobile on this, you wouldn't need a separate monitor for Continuum.
  • remember this connects to a tv also as long as the tv has hdmi in.
  • It's not a gigant leap to think I'll come home, stream a movie through my Pocket PC formely known as a smartphone, to a larger screen/tv and still use this device for texting etc.
  • What phone does he use, is it a covered up 950 maybe?
  • He is rumored to be using Cityman, I believe. MJ Foley as heard this before, IIRC.
  • This is what I'm waiting for. The phone is only an app on a computer
  • one minute someone applause for MS, few secs after the applause someone is hating MS and regreting using a WP.   What the heaven?!!!
  • Such is the case for Microsoft fans. One minute Microsoft hits a home run and then the next it's all fouls.
  • I was speaking to a friend at work today who has a teenage child.  I'm told that young adults these days tend to travel light and don't like carrying things they don't need to.  It would be intresting to see how that market segment would respond.  Considering that people in education rely on Office in ways that content consumers don't, this could be a vaild USP.  Just don't **** it up.  This could be an oblique attack on a certain segment if handled correctly.  The problem is that MS need to provide devices that that segment wants.  That's a big ask...
  • Like they gave away (sort of) windows 10, they could invest in similar enterprise with high-end phones. The new high end phones that are about to be released next (talkman, cityman) probably barely meet requirements for smooth continuum experience. Imagine a phone with continuum home edition for $150, while pro version would be released on super improved high end phones after like 2 years when many already got used to continuum...
  • Continuum is definitely a killer feature.  Let's hope it fulfills its promise.
  • This new strategy makes a lot more sense now, even though I still don't see it as game-changing in the short term. Maybe in a couple of years, once prices go down, this investment will pay off, especially in emerging markets. Feels like a modern version of Bill Gates' "a computer in every home" dream :p
  • Will continuum be supported by the Lumia 930?
  • no, only new lumia phone.  I think current lumia phone are not powerful enough to share 2 screen.
  • Emerging markets?? U need a high-end phone, a 99$ dock and a decent screen with hdmi or display port for continuum...
  • You read the bit where it stated that emerging markets were the long term goal right? After a couple of years when the tech required for it to work was cheaper to make.
  • If Google can get Project Ara to market it will really disrupt the market.
    It will be what the iPhone did in 2007.
    I don't see how apple, android oem's, and Microsoft could compete against this modular device.
    You could buy one and never need another phone again.
    Since it is modular, you could plug your phone into a bigger screen and use it like a computer. So there's continuum, though I think it would work better if Microsoft built a modular device. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android on my Oneplus One
  • I actually look forward to Windows on a modular system more-so than Android. But yeah, modularity will shift the foundation.
  • When I saw the full demo, and he said Bluetooth monitor, I thought he just made a mistake.  I've never heard of a bluethooth monitor, unless that device next to the phone was an all-in-one.
  • I think he ment miracast. A lot of smart tvs have it built in. Most smart samsung tvs have it built in . they just call it something else.
  • What matters for profits and for the ecosystem is people who are willing to buy premium products and who will pay for apps. If developing markets end up adopting this in n years when it becomes very cheap, good for them but that doesn't help Microsoft much or the Windows phone ecosystem.
  • You need listen to the intire interview.  He talked about how profits are not always the leading indecator for success.  In most cases it's the trailing indicator after volume of use.
  • So how is the phone going to connect to the display through Bluetooth? Are there Bluetooth enabled displays? (honest question)
  • some smart displays and smart TVs do; could also be a miracast type system
  • I was thinking in the line of traditional computer screens that would be affordable in emerging markets. Smart TVs aren't affordable in those settings (anything 'smart', actually).
  • But this might encourage manufactures to start creating inexpensive Bluetooth monitors to work with Windows 10 Mobile devices.
  • Continuum is going to be fantastic. Plus, it'll evolve and grow from here to even more functionality.
  • Still looks to me like continuum is the reason behind many of the issues with WP 10.  If continuum fails to optimize for being a phone first it may be the end of WP. 
  • I think for the US and particularly the younger generation Microsoft also needs to show how Continuum can be used for fun and consumption. Show the Windows Phone powering Netflix to the big screen in a room while playing Candy Crush, Asphalt 8 or Minecraft. Those are the type of scenarios that will get young people excited. And for parents perhaps show Continuum powering a YouTube client app(again on the big screen TV) showing how to solve a math problem while the parent bangs out an email or works on an Office document. I think these are great real life use cases that people will say "Wow, you can do that on a phone." Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • You mean the thing people have been doing with Android and emulators for years? It didn't make sense then and it is going to make sense in the future as PCs are already so cheap. Why jump through hoops to use your phone as a PC when you can buy a real desktop for well under $200? You can even find laptops these days for less than $200. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Why you ask? Because you can plus the average person does not know of these features you are talking about. If there's a way for me to run Netflix on my TV and work on an email all from my Xperia Z3 1.It's not widely known 2. It is not built into the OS to do so and would require extra work and digging up "how-to" guides. There are a lot of things you can do but if very few people know about it so what. This is a huge chance for Microsoft to show that these types of things can be done and built into the OS. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • It's nice but still not impressed with any of it.
  • Let's not forget how powerful Remote Desktop is though too. I look forward to having a mobile that I can move around with, dock into an office and RDP to a powerful VM/server and continue working where I left off, of course this will give me full x86 app capability too. So assuming continuum has normal remote desktop capabilities, this will be a killer feature. Especially for companies that already have a server based desktop type environment. The phone could effectively replace the thin terminals!
  • You can easily do that today... Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Yes you can RDP on your mobile small screen app. But I'm talking about using a full screen rdp/vdi. Using your mobile as the tap client to connect in
  • Hmm Moore's Law said  electronic components would get super small and now we have smart phones that have the CPU power,ram size and main memory hard drive like size that equals that or betters that of a year 2000 full Desktop PC. now if Intel is able to make a x86 CPU that can be put in a Smart phone then Microsoft full Windows 10  Desktop OS will be on a smart phone and the Pocket PC is here for real. All Windows smart phones use ARMS CPU's they are powerful but not as poweful as an Intel x86 CPU. I hear internet talk that Intel is going to make an X86 Chip that can run on a smart phone. If this is so then the ful Wndows Pocket PC is here and will be here to stay with Microsoft at the head of the pack with full Linux coming to smart phones Also. At that Point folks  Microsoft will be selling People Pocket PC's with built in phone services and running universal apps. The world will change fantastically
  • For me this become most interesting if they release an adapter where you can tap or set your phone on an adapter and instantly your phone gets connected to your monitor, your mouse, and your keyboard. Then it is a truly mobile solution. Muchin looks neat, but from leaks seems to be tethered. While I think munchin is a great step toward making continuum docking simple, if I get a phone call and want to walk around I won't be able to, or I will have to unhook from the adapter which is cumbersome. It sounds like you can wirelessly use continuum, but we all know how dreadful pairing can be at times. Miracast also is very spotty at best. If they could create an adapter that is inexpensive and easy pairs you to a "desktop like" set up then I can see this being even more intriguing to consumers and businesses. 
  • I heard Continuum requires a USB C connectot to work on the Munchkin Doc that is for smart phones that have the hardware for Continuum. Microsoft has to devise a way  for Windows smart phones that have a standard micosoft USB connector can become a smart phone that runs Continuum. if they can do that it's a super plus for Windows 10 Mobile smart phones. If they cannot they have to find a way to make cheap windows 10 mobile continuum smart phones.  
  • All phones going forward should come with USB-c. This shouldn't be an issue. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • If those people don't have a computer, why would they have a screen, especially one with bluetooth? I just can't see any real life scenario where it would be benefitial to have just the computational device, and then have to connect it to other devices, that have to happen to be, where you need them... Don't get me wrong, I think it's really cool technology, and I'm pretty sure I'm getting one of the phones with it, but I can't really see how I'm gonna show this cool thing off ( :p ).
  • If you read the title, then you will know where it is for. Plus, not only because everyone has PC at home doesn't need a PC-capable device. Sure this is not for everyone, but for those who needs to bring files with them and be able to view it, work on it, show it on a bigger screen will definitely need this one. You don't need to bring your laptop and your phone, or your tablet and your phone together where your "phone" is actually your Pocket-PC already.
  • Anyone else bothered by the design inconsitency in the continuum start menu? The apps list is on the right where on the PC it's on the left, and there's no power, settings, file explorer buttons. I think this was done to make it behave more like Windows Mobile, so why doesn't Windows Mobile swipe to the left for the apps list? It's little things like this that make me wonder if Microsoft will ever be able to build a UI as clean and as consistent as Apple.
  • Correction 4th paragraph n 4 last line "how 'do' you make" instead 'to'.
  • None of this matters if you can't get any Windows Phones on all carriers.
  • I wonder if that's a L950 he's using for the demo    
  • I think it just a start, to see big technology can be brought to small devices. I the world of technology, it always add-on and the most advanced always win. Ms want to make smart phone more than a smart phone
  • I respectfully disagree. It's definitely cool tech, but I don't see the wide adoption down the road.  It's one more Microsoft idea, that gets sidelined, flow-charted and re-organized away.   The company is too big, sprawling and beaurocratic to be nimble, change the tech where it needs it, and run with it. Microsoft is as large and sclerotic as a government; just look at how long it's taken them to have an answer to modern smartphones.  The iPhone was introduced in 2007!
  • MS has only been a manufacturer of PC hardware since 2012 when they released the first surface. They have been cranking out the Xbox for much longer of course. As for the OS, Windows Phone 7 was the main reason I left the bland old apple ecosytem back in 2010. Continuum adoption will be hard. People will need to realize that they don't need a full tower PC or even a tablet PC. Emerging markets will definitely love this. Other territories way stick to the old way of thinking that each person needs a phone, a tablet and a computer. 
  • Windows phone is dead.... Saving up for my note 5
  • Go whine some other place
  • Nice
  • Here comes Acer to rescue Microsoft!
  • Only problem is MS doesn't have years to get this to market. Thinks like Hololens and continuum devices need be delivered soon.
  • They need to really promote the new app models and store. Many lazy developers including big companies will keep dishing out win32 apps and ignore the store (because they can). This will hinder apps and windows mobile from being a success..
  • I don't think Continuum that is only present on flagships currently is gonna replace computing in emerging markets because like it or not you get pretty decent laptops around $200-$300 range arguably of old gen. CPUs/GPUs in 1st/2nd hand machines. Although yes, I can foresee a use case of it in education sector and conferences where people have to give presentations and have to carry a heavy laptop with them all day. With PowerPoint mobile and continuum enabled phone, they could do so with their phones without having the need to carry laptop around with them. Microsoft need to market the hell about this feature particularly in emerging markets.
  • Plain and simple, I just love the idea of just having a phone, being able to use it with pen, mouse/keyboard and a screen of any size. And, I am not in a developing country.
  • This article is marred with spelling mistakes. Short and insubstantial.
  • Continuum will change the name of the Windows Phone from "smartphone" to Pocket PC.
  • Does not matter if they are. Microsoft is never short of grandiose ideas. It is actually executing them and getting those devices and services in people's hands where it falls way short of expectations.
  • Given that: Continuum will be first released on ARM-based devices. MS recently delivered the Start Menu on Windows RT To me it looks like MS may be planning to allow developers to publish desktop apps for ARM devices! Then both of the above features would instantly make sense in the short term.
  • I need for this to move fast because apple is one idock away from copying this and calling it "revolutionary". To me looks like they are already in line to so this anyways with the iPad pro raking control from the mac
  • lovely Continuim  
  •    It's a great feature but it won't officially take off for another three years when Apple invents it wtih the iPhone 8.